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.