My assessment on the 650 for long trips - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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Old 10-11-2019, 03:32 PM Thread Starter
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My assessment on the 650 for long trips

Just got back from a 10 day, 3,625 mile trip out west on my Wee. I wanted to give my thoughts while the trip is fresh in my mind.
First, the route one takes, and the time one takes it will have a lot to do with how the bike performs. I usually leave at night from N.Louisiana to get across Texas. The reason is because I find Texas boring an the side buffeting winds are a lot less at night.

I put a 16 tooth front sprocket on which was a good move all the way around. Less rpm's and perfect Speedo reading.

The bike performed flawlessly .
The mpg was less than desirable....high of 52 , low of 32 averaged when I got back was 40.
The hp is less than desirable for any super slabbing unless you go a little slower than the traffic.
The Shinko 705's made me feel a lot better on gravel than the Battlewings that were on it.
200+ tank range is a great thing out west!

The things that is the breaking point to me is trying to pass at highway speeds and trudging against headwinds.
There were a couple of times when it lost mph going up hill (against the wind).

To be fair, the 650 is perfect for what it is. My "problem" is I came off a Super Tenere and Versys 1000. No lack of hp in either.
I got the Wee because of it's lighter weight. Glad I did as I went down in the sand this trip. The Versys is by far the fastest bike I've ever owned but it didn't fit my frame.

That said, I'll keep it for commuting, but am looking at a larger bike for my long trips.
I will be looking at the V1000 , f800gs and Super 10 . Leaning towards the f800

So, my assessment is it's fine if you don't mind the wind and 18 wheelers slowing you down a bit. When I went a little slower than the slabbing traffic, I had a more relaxed ride. But, I like being able to go around big rigs quickly!

Sorry if I rambled a bit....
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Last edited by itlives; 10-11-2019 at 03:37 PM.
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Old 10-11-2019, 03:45 PM
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It is a great bike for what it is. I agree on the slabbing power, you really need to twist the throttle in some scenarios. I never felt the experience of losing mph's though. Then again, I never rode through the mountains at 70-80MPH either.

The 1000 has a lot of low end torque which fixes your main complaint. I can twist the throttle at 70 in 6th and she takes right off.

However, if you're going to have two bikes, you might as well get the bike that does the long tripping best. And that just might not be a Suzi.

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Old 10-11-2019, 04:54 PM
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I think you've forgotten how to shift

You are used to the easy torque of the litre bikes...you have to shift the Wee and run at higher RPMs.
I had no issue in the mountains with my CB500x and I'm down 20 HP and a good deal of torque but I could still maintain 75-80 mph in comfort as long as I kept the RPMs up.

6th gear is a over drive gear anyways on the 650 and with your sprocket change you've almost made 5th gear into that.

I'd certainly not buy a second bike for that reason....you just gotta exercise that shifter a bit

I too miss the roll and go from the CBF1000 but then again it couldn't get pass a service station without taking a drink. One of the reasons I sold it.
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Old 10-11-2019, 05:21 PM
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I never felt a lack of hp climbing over passes in Idaho, but that's me. The F800gs does seem like a nice package for getting more thrust without adding weight, certainly worth a test ride.

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Old 10-11-2019, 05:57 PM
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I pretty much agree with your experience on the 650. Pushing up hills at above legal speeds into a headwind taxes it out. At least leaves little to no reserved. And it isn't about the gearing, I have run 5th and 6th gears at those speeds to see what difference it makes. Almost none.....

But I do think you are asking for what you are getting with mpg and maybe lower than normal power at speed with your luggage setup.

You would be AMAZED at how much drag those bags you are using on the sides of the bike are giving you! Not only do they stick out further than typical side cases, but they are as flat on the front as you can get. Seriously, I would see about coming up with a different gear setup. It would make a huge difference.
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Old 10-11-2019, 08:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by realshelby View Post
But I do think you are asking for what you are getting with mpg and maybe lower than normal power at speed with your luggage setup.

You would be AMAZED at how much drag those bags you are using on the sides of the bike are giving you! Not only do they stick out further than typical side cases, but they are as flat on the front as you can get. Seriously, I would see about coming up with a different gear setup. It would make a huge difference.
Is that why v-Tom rides with no side bags...?!?

Good point Terry. I recall wind having a "push back" effect on my 650 with the Givi AF at speed with wind surges.
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Last edited by Webfors; 10-11-2019 at 11:47 PM.
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Old 10-11-2019, 08:55 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Macdoc View Post
I think you've forgotten how to shift

You are used to the easy torque of the litre bikes....
You have point. I never liked to really use all the rpms available.
I liked my Super 10 for it'slow end grunt.....
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Old 10-11-2019, 09:05 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by realshelby View Post

But I do think you are asking for what you are getting with mpg and maybe lower than normal power at speed with your luggage setup.

You would be AMAZED at how much drag those bags you are using on the sides of the bike are .
You also, are correct. My Hepco Becker hard bags are much more wind friendly than those Nelson Riggs. I would have messed up both the originals had I taken the trip with them. One low speed sand drop and hit an orange barrel on the interstate (18 wheeler ran over the base and it wobbled into my right side soft bag and broke two straps). Thank goodness for Rokstraps!

I guess mpg is not a bad trade off to be able to keep my hard bags! I really like the look with them!
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Old 10-11-2019, 09:27 PM
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Yep, wind that 650 out. She loves to rev! It starts getting fun between 6 and 9k rpms.
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Old 10-11-2019, 09:28 PM
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Bonus points for staying off the Interstates as much as possible. When touring, it's better to ride two-lane highway if you can. No need to pass trucks at 85. I guess Texas might be boring, but I'd still take back roads anyway. The 650 is fine for that. I never felt it was underpowered in most situations; I've downshifted to 4th and wacked the throttle hard. I think the bike likes it.

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