New V 650 Owner, first post - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 16 Old 05-10-2014, 10:08 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: May 2014
Location: Anchorage, AK
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New V 650 Owner, first post

I've been riding for 30 years... all cruiser/bagger style bikes, and exclusively Harley Davidson for the last 25 years. I sold my Road King (Road Sofa, very comfy bike) in Feb. I decided I wanted a more dual sport oriented bike, mainly because of the roads here in AK.

Many gravel roads, and lots of summer construction where they tear up miles of road, and you have to ride mud/gravel. Not so much the Road Sofa's forte. Summer before last, I was riding from Fairbanks, between Delta Junction and Tok. I had been riding on road breaks (sections where the road becomes gravel for a mile or two) all day. On a curve, I hit a road break that must have been recently filled with gravel. As soon as my front tire hit the gravel, the handlebars tore out of my hands. At 65 MPH, the handlebars bounced side to side full lock, and the bike violently began to fishtail. The speed dropped rapidly to 50 mph, and I was sure I was going down. Just as the bike was completely out of control, I hit asphalt again, and was able to grab the bars and get her under control. Scared the crap out of me! Partially my fault because I was not expecting that to happen after riding on gravel all day, and I wasn't as guarded as I should have been. Sadly, a few days later a biker from the lower 48 on an electra glide was killed in the same spot, probably from the deep gravel.

After looking at BMW, Yamaha, Kawasaki, etc. I settled on the V. Mainly because of the cost of ownership, 5 year unlimited mileage warranty, and 0% APR financing for 5 years. It was also the fastest and easiest finance experience I have ever had with a vehicle. Also, because at 5'7" and 30" inseam, I didn't feel very stable on most of the other bikes I tried. I did not get to test ride the V, and I was apprehensive about only having 650cc's. The last non HD bike I owned was a Yamaha 750 Virago, and that poor thing sounded like it was going to explode over 70, and couldn't accelerate out of it's own way. As I pulled out the dealership with .0 miles on the bike, I was hoping I made the right choice. I broke her in per the owner's manual, and was ready for her 600 mile service 4 days later. After 1,000 miles, I finally could play and see what she could do. Very impressed with the acceleration! Very smooth engine, and after a low seat was added, very comfortable. Only issue is getting used to riding in wind. My 1200 pound lower to the ground Road King could handle pretty major wind before having to fight it. Not so much on the light and tall V. It gets pretty windy between Anchorage and where I work. I'm sure I'll adapt. She is very stable feeling on gravel, even with the stock tires.

I commute 120 miles a day, 4 days a week to work, so I plan on putting a lot of miles on her, plus taking trips around the state on my days off. I am very encouraged by the posts on here as far as the reliability people are getting out of these bikes.

I had to add some things to get her the way I wanted her. Skid plate, barkbusters, low seat, and top case. So far, very happy with the V.
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post #2 of 16 Old 05-10-2014, 10:18 PM
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Very nice looking bike (looks just like mine )

. . . . . BIKES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . DL650 FARKLES
2013 DL650 Adventure . . . . . . BB VPS, HT Center Stand,
2009 DR650, 2009 DRZ400 . . . .Kaoko, Oxford Grips.
2002 ZG1000, 1999 DR350 . . . .EB PC-8, ABS Switch &
-Some others long gone-. . . . . Headlight Relay Kit.
75&77 CB400F, 78 GS550 . . . . AdvTech Fork Brace,
---- First Bike ----. . . . . . . . . Peg Lowering Kit,
------ 1973 ------. . . . . . . . . Aux Shelf & Over Dash Shelf.
-- Suzuki T-500 --. . . . . . . . . E. G. Bash Plate & Hwy Pegs
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post #3 of 16 Old 05-10-2014, 10:37 PM
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Quote:
The last non HD bike I owned was a Yamaha 750 Virago, and that poor thing sounded like it was going to explode over 70, and couldn't accelerate out of it's own way.
So you were right at home when you got the HD? (I'm kidding, they are pretty bikes).

Congrats on the new V-Strom. I'm more impressed with mine with every ride. As far as the wind, I think you'll get used to it pretty quickly. I came off a lightweight WR250R and DR650, in comparison the Wee is set in concrete in a gusty wind!
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post #4 of 16 Old 05-10-2014, 10:45 PM
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Welcome!

You might want to try the Adventure Tech fork brace. Not very expensive and super easy to install. With mine, I don't notice pavement grooves, and, while I can feel the wind and turbulence from trucks, the bike is well planted and stable, have never felt like I had to fight it at all. (All my riding has probably been in under 50 mph gusts.)

-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 #5 of 16 Old 05-10-2014, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
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Junior Trooper
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Anchorage, AK
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Haha Idaho! The HD's had plenty of power compared to my poor Yamaha virago. Still like HD, just not the cost of ownership.
The V so far is a blast to ride. Just need to get used to the wind handling and the lack of noise. The other day I was at a stoplight next to a semi truck. When the light turned green and the truck hit the gas, I couldn't hear my bike... I am used to driving by the sound & had to look at the tach to see if it was still on, lol!
The quiet is very nice riding out in the middle of nowhere. No noise headache after a long ride.
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post #6 of 16 Old 05-10-2014, 10:51 PM Thread Starter
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Junior Trooper
 
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G-Dub, I might try one of those. Although I don't even notice the tar snakes anymore. Uneven pavement that would send my last bike wobbling or bouncing is just tamed by the V.
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post #7 of 16 Old 05-10-2014, 11:01 PM
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'Only issue is getting used to riding in wind. My 1200 pound lower to the ground Road King could handle pretty major wind before having to fight it. Not so much on the light and tall V'.

Places that were off limits to the 1200 pound lower to the ground Road King are now an option with the light (more agile) and tall (more ground clearance) V.
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post #8 of 16 Old 05-10-2014, 11:04 PM Thread Starter
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Junior Trooper
 
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Chicago, precisely why I bought it
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post #9 of 16 Old 05-11-2014, 03:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akphotoguy View Post

After looking at BMW, Yamaha, Kawasaki, etc. I settled on the V. Mainly because of the cost of ownership, 5 year unlimited mileage warranty, and 0% APR financing for 5 years.
Are you sure about the warranty? Factory Suzuki warranty on this bike is 1 year unlimited miles.
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post #10 of 16 Old 05-11-2014, 07:17 AM
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Prince Edward Island, Canada
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The Adventure TechnFork Brace definitely made a huge difference for me in high crosswinds. The bike is much more stable. Definitely worth the investment.
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