A few thoughts on my new DL650 V-Strom! :-) - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 23 Old 05-01-2014, 11:45 PM Thread Starter
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A few thoughts on my new DL650 V-Strom! :-)

Hey y'all!

I've been a member here for a couple of weeks. I am the proud owner of a brand new '13 DL 650 V-Strom. (I apologize here, for just once...I'll never call this bike a Glee, ever) but let me tell y'all a few things from where I sit.

I have been lucky in life to own lots of motorcycles. From Yammers, Hondas, Kawis, Suzis and Ducs and my all time favorites, multiple Beemers; and I also have just over 400,000 miles logged on all these bikes....and just having all those miles over the years I can share with your several impressions.

First, a little history. I bought my first bike, a Yamaha Trailmaster 90, lightly used, at the ripe age of 18, in the middle of nowhere in the state of Nebraska. I hid it from my parents for about 6 months, and although NE was a no helmet state in that time, I used a full face helmet from my go-kart racing days because I just thought it made sense. It still makes sense, so those of you who ride without a helmet....well, I can only say, uhhh..... (fill in the blank). [38+ years of being a medical pro and 10 yrs. as part of a trauma team gives me some credence in this area, but that's for another post].

Now to the V650.

Wow! What else can I say? Just wow!

A bike that just fits. I mean it just fits. 64 years old at the end of this month, still 5'11 (down from just over 6.0), leg length of 32" and just a hair over 200 lbs, this bike is comfortable. I've owned several custom seats from Bill Mayer, but for this bike? No need. Superbly comfortable.

The handlebars are just right too, no need for extensions, bar backs, risers....nada. It just fits. ;-)

The windscreen works just fine at the factory setting. I may raise it to the top to see what that does, then maybe lower it to the lowest setting to see if it'll allow a little more circulation when the temps here in North GA rise in the next two months but right now, at 70 degree temps, it is perfect. Don't screw with it, just go ride.

The bike needed a center stand, so I added one. An easy job, but required another pair of hands to place the springs. I also added that day a pair of knuckle guards and a Bestem top box, so now I am ready to roll with some 'stuff'. I also have a Givi tank bag coming, but just a small one....enough for sunglasses, a water bottle and some small extras. I loathe tall, expandable bags....from my camping days and my LD (Long Distance) days, a larger bag was needed. When you were doing 1500 mile days, 8-10 in a row, you lived out of your tank bag.... water, food, meds, etc but now, since those days are behind me, a 15 liter bag will more than suffice.

The V650 itself is quite a machine. Plenty of power, not enough if you are a wheelie-munster.... but hey, I didn't buy it for that. More than enough power for what it does, a nice tall first gear for rapid acceleration from lights and stop signs and a tranny that shifts so smoothly you don't feel it...and with proper throttle blipping you don't even need a clutch.... sweet!

ABS brakes are always a nice thing to have....if you only ever use it once, just once, it has paid for itself. And having the knowledge that on a very wet road, IF you ever need to grab full brakes (I still heartily believe your throttle hand gets you out of "trouble" more than your brakes ever will), then this package will certainly 'deliver' you from evil some day soon. (Deer, texters, drunks, soccer moms, stoners, teens, the list goes on into infinity).

In the twisties, this bike is at home. Sure, it's not as easy to touch a knee on it as it is on a full sporto because it is an Adventure bike (akin to a Beemer GS) but that isn't where this bike shines. It doesn't 'fall' into corners...it takes them on in a stabile fashion....no weave, no wiggles, it just slices through the apexes confidently and smoothly. A little trailing rear brake on sharper, decreasing radius turns with a fast 'outlet' reminds me of my track days... just wow...this bike does so much so well.

It's also smooth enough due to the 90 degree angle of its cylinders to not numb your butt when droning down the freeway. It is also smooth enough and well engineered enough to take your hands off the bars at 90 mph and it tracks straight and true down a straight and flat road. Just a little peg weighting will easily aim it to wherever you wish to go.

I can go on and on, but this post is already pretty long but I guess you can tell that I really like this bike. I like it...a lot!

I can pull into Bike Night in downtown Atlanta on a Thursday night and fit right in or go to Road Atlanta for for a super bike race and still feel at home. Hell, I can feel 'just right' anywhere I wish to ride it, even to a Beemer rally somewhere obscure. :-)

This is most likely my last bike...but I am very comfortable with it right now. The only additions (I also cannot and will not use the F word for mods) I plan to add are electric grips, a splash plate, and possibly Givi crash bars and a Throttle-meister-type cruise control and that'll be it. It doesn't need anything else IMHO, at least for me. My LD days are over as are my bike-camping days so this bike will fulfill what attracts me to this sport..... it's the ride. The destination means not a lot....it's the ride that means it all.

Cheers!

pr

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.

Albert Einstein

#64-> White V-Strom Group! :-)
Poopy head #2 here....
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post #2 of 23 Old 05-02-2014, 12:14 AM
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Let me be the first to welcome you to the site. From reading you're post, sounds like you have more saddle time than I have behind the wheel of a car
Glad to hear you like the bike so much, so do I. BTW found it funny that you refer to a 15liter tank bag as small. The Givi I am currently using at 15L feels a bit excessive. I agree with you about the handling character of the DL (don't like the Glee name either). With my limited experience (7 bikes from dirt to sport) I find the DL well balanced and adequately powered, but like you said, we didn't buy to be able to 5th gear wheelie down the highway, those days are hopefully behind me.
Nice first post (or 11th) but good introduction. Look forward to your thoughtful contributions. Take care.

Keep Calm, Fly-fish
------------------------------------------------------------
L2 Glee White- birthday 17 JAN 13
Farkles last to first: MFW Hwy pegs, Russell Daylong, Givi 3D604 tank bag, Motech Pegs, Madstad bracket&adv windshield, Tuono mirrors, Uclear HBC200 headset, E45 topcase, Cree driving lights w/Motech brackets,14T Sprocket, bar riser, E21 panniers, Stich heated grips/outlet, EB PC8, RR Fork Brace, Kouba link, Barkbusters, SW-Motech Centerstand/Skidplate/Crash Bars.
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post #3 of 23 Old 05-02-2014, 02:47 AM
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Nice post 'pr' - we could be related as our history is so similar

I,m 68 and have recently acquired a 2013 DL650. Gone are my days of heavy bikes and this thing does everything I need and more.

Enjoy

Gary.
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post #4 of 23 Old 05-02-2014, 07:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by p_rod View Post
Hey y'all!

I've been a member here for a couple of weeks. I am the proud owner of a brand new '13 DL 650 V-Strom. (I apologize here, for just once...I'll never call this bike a Glee, ever)

(I also cannot and will not use the F word for mods)
Cheers!

pr


G'day p_rod

Great to read your report and see that you are having a blast with the new bike.

It seems that some owners get too caught up with what the bike isn't, rather than what it is!

The V-Strom is perfect at making every ride an adventure!
Hope yours takes you on some great trips and you fun doing it.
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post #5 of 23 Old 05-02-2014, 07:29 AM
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Welcome PR,
Sounds like you have had a Vstrom epiphany! Welcome to the Stromtrooper world. I had a midlife crisis at age 54, took the motorcycle safety course, and bought my first real bike, 2011 Vstrom 650. There was never a ride that I did not dismount with a smile on my face. For me, this bike was just about perfect. Of course, I accessorized it to my liking. I put almost 30,000 miles on it in my three years of ownership, and loved every mile. But alas, being a relative noobee, I was searching for more of the same great experience. I did research a number of other cycles - 1200GS, FJR, Triumph Explorer, S10 etc... In the end, I came back to the Vstrom, and am now the proud owner of a '14 Vee2. For me the Vee2 is the Vstrom 650 on steroids. As a rider without many bikes in my history, a change was welcome. I would however, have no problem riding the Vstrom 650 to my motorcycling retirement. It was that good. For now, I am loving the 1000 power, and happy to stay in the Vstrom family.

Safe riding.
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post #6 of 23 Old 05-02-2014, 08:15 AM Thread Starter
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bleedgrn! Thanks for the "official" welcome! I appreciate it! I've seen in your sig before you fly fish! Never mastered that but love trout fishing..now I just have to figure out how to combine the new ride with some trips for trout and I'll be grinning from ear to ear! :-)

Gary! I absolutely will enjoy this ride. My heavy bike days are gone too...and now looking back with the 20/20 vision guys our age now have (sure wish I had it earlier) I now wonder why sometimes I always felt I needed a liter or more when this 650 does so much so darned well. Oh well, I am not complaining...those days WERE fun, but with this bike, the fun is just starting all over!

zedex9r!

Hey mate! I fully agree with you...I have no concern what this bike doesn't do..heck, in the short time I've owned it I haven't found that yet and most likely won't. That's not what I am looking for....I now realize what a great 'little' machine this is, comparing it to what I've had in the past, and really, I just do not see the need, for myself, of course; for anything more. My only complaint about it so far is my jaw muscles are far more sore than my bum when I dismount because I am smiling the whole dam time when riding it! :thumb up:

chirosyd: Enjoy that 1000! To be truthful that was the bike I was looking at, hard, on the showroom floor. After sitting on it for an extended period, I saw a 650 kind of 'buried' a few bike away so I went to it. It just 'slipped on', comfortable from the first sit down. I then went outside to my truck, grabbed my old (20 years this month) AeroStich Roadcrafter, donned it, and went back and sat on that bike for another 20 minutes and that was it. The V650 just fit like an old pair of comfortable shoes. I am still surprised my old Stich still fits too....maybe just a tad 'snug' here and there but hey.....it's still waterproof, although quite faded because it has over 150K on it. But it still works. I am glad you are still in the V-Strom family with your 1000. You have a great bike there....enjoy it to the max!

One more thing for y'all. You have a very nice forum here...I can't tell you the forums I've been on over the years, from Prodigy boards to the newsgroups' infamous rec. motorcycles to..... the list is long and a lot of it wasn't all that great but this forum (much like the Burgman forum I was on for over two years) is a comfortable place to come to, take off your gear, and sit down and enjoy. Not too much drama....just a place where guys come and talk and show off their rides and also share tips and tricks and equipment. I think I'll hang around awhile :biggrinjester:

Thanks for the welcomes!

Cheers!

Pat

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.

Albert Einstein

#64-> White V-Strom Group! :-)
Poopy head #2 here....
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post #7 of 23 Old 05-02-2014, 08:39 AM
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I feel the same way about this bike, but since I've only been riding two years, and only ridden four different bikes in that time, I don't have a lot to compare to. Nice to know it's really as good as I think.

The only other far....I mean addition I would recommend is an Adventure Tech fork brace - you can read all the raves on here in other threads. (I understand about the "F"-word...when you get to a certain age there are just some words and abbreviations it just doesn't seem right to use.)

-Gary
2014 V-Strom 1000 - Desert Khaki
2016 GSX-S1000FA
2012 DR650SE
2011 Burgman 400
2007 Honda Helix
2013 V-Strom 650 - sold
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post #8 of 23 Old 05-02-2014, 08:47 AM Thread Starter
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Hey Gary!

I haven't seen anything yet on the fork brace you mentioned but I'll look into it. I have braced previous bikes before (especially the Long Distance bikes) so I'll look into it.

Thanks for the tip.

Cheers!

Pat

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.

Albert Einstein

#64-> White V-Strom Group! :-)
Poopy head #2 here....
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post #9 of 23 Old 05-02-2014, 10:47 AM
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Flyfishing and motorcycles, why not combine two favorite things. Where I am from we have a nice little community of flyfisherman/women. I have been involved with the sport over 20 years and have to say riding my bike to the river puts me in the right state of mind. Flyfishing is very much a meditation exercise. The bike ride helps me clear my head then when at the river I am in the place I want to be and magic begins to happen. I fly fish for almost everything but nothing beats a big brown sipping emergers or duns off the surface.
BTW happy to hear you are still wearing a Stich suite. I love the ones that have an old worn look to them. Mine still looks new but my old Star racing suite is tattered and torn from coming off a few times. No longer usable.
Cheers!

Keep Calm, Fly-fish
------------------------------------------------------------
L2 Glee White- birthday 17 JAN 13
Farkles last to first: MFW Hwy pegs, Russell Daylong, Givi 3D604 tank bag, Motech Pegs, Madstad bracket&adv windshield, Tuono mirrors, Uclear HBC200 headset, E45 topcase, Cree driving lights w/Motech brackets,14T Sprocket, bar riser, E21 panniers, Stich heated grips/outlet, EB PC8, RR Fork Brace, Kouba link, Barkbusters, SW-Motech Centerstand/Skidplate/Crash Bars.
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post #10 of 23 Old 05-02-2014, 10:49 AM
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PR; Very nice introduction and review! I also recently bought the same model as you and have also been riding for just as many years (I'm almost 55, but started at 9 ) and having come off a Moto Guzzi Stelvio as my last street steed (a very fine machine) the Glee fits me so much better and being about 100 lbs lighter is a big plus. The Stelvio had tons of torque and significantly more power, but I found it very difficult to contain myself with the right hand. The little strom has enough, in fact more than adiquate power and this also makes it a better fit. I've put on a few farkles, too, and would also recommend the Adventure Tech fork brace.

'13 DL650a
'12 Kymco GTi300
'08 Beta RS450 Dualsport
'03 Aprilia Scarabeo 150 - what a hoot!
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