Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Kingston, Ontario
1) I am same height and inseam and I went with the lowering pegs and a taller seat. You will also want to raise the handlebars and possibly a tall windscreen at the same time so you are not leaning forward and in the wind.
2) normal, the bike has stall assist and works very well on hills.
3) 2 false neutrals on a short ride seems a bit much. It's possible the PO adjusted the shift lever to allow for bigger boots. Moving this will make false neutrals more common.
4) You may consider the 650, it has the same engine as the SV. It's not as fast, but it's smoother and like you said fun to rev! downside though is suspension and brakes.
5) Was it a really hot day? I find that mine tends to grab a bit more on hot days. No more so then any other bike i've ever road. Does it still have the factory tires?
7) New fork springs will cure this.
Having said all that, IF I was buying a new bike today for road only use I'd go for the Tracer 900 GT. I feel like they have more leg room. Part of my reason for this is that I have a big touring bike (Vulcan 1700 nomad) and i've owned 4 Vstroms and would likely go for something different. The Tracer is faster, handles better, cruise control, TFT screen, quick shifter, lighter, etc.
2018 Vstrom 1000
2014 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Nomad