Just how MUCH better is the 2012... - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 19 Old 03-05-2012, 11:15 PM Thread Starter
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Question Just how MUCH better is the 2012...

Background:
I've been eying the wee strom for quite some time. It seems a good platform upon which to build a nice "3rd world cruiser." All of my biking in recent years has been international touring on local bikes (Enfields in India/Pakistan, a Chinese 150cc in XinXiang/Tibet, Honda nx4 Falcon in the Andes, Bajaj in Nepal, even a Nissan Patrol in Tajik, Kazak & Kyrgyzstan).

My trips tend to be three months or more in stretch, solo, always trying to stay in the mountains and always crossing high passes. The terrain ranges from tarmac (50%), endless stretches of washboard/gravel/sand (40%?) and a little bit of truly rough 4wd type terrain (10%) or jeep trail. This is almost always with a full load.

My first project with the strom will likely be Salt Lake to Panama and back. Then maybe Alaska and hopefully another Asia trip down through Africa when I can manage another 15 monther. I still have the Falcon in N. Chile.

Questions:

I have no doubt that the 2012 is a significantly more refined machine, but after seeing one at the shop, I am beginning to wonder if it is truly worth it. I have no doubt that a well farkeled 2011 could match a 2012 in nearly all categories.

For example, the 2012 has better suspension tuning, but given my uses, is it enough or would I really need to do both the forks & the shock? If so, will the suspension really be any different after farkling both?

I hope to re align the exhaust for more clearance & thus may need a power commander. Will an 11 w/the pwr cmndr feel just as good as the 2012 motor?

Is the windshield now good enough or will I just end up with a madstad bracket anyways?

Is the seat enough improved or will I end up with a Sargeant on either?

I am beginning to feel that other than looks & instruments an equally frakeled 11 will ride much like 2012 and the 12 will need all the farkles anyways.

So I guess I am wondering, just how much better is the new one realistically.

thoughts?
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post #2 of 19 Old 03-06-2012, 12:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glasswave View Post
Background:



My first project with the strom will likely be Salt Lake to Panama and back. Then maybe Alaska and hopefully another Asia trip down through Africa when I can manage another 15 monther. I still have the Falcon in N. Chile.

Questions:

I have no doubt that the 2012 is a significantly more refined machine, but after seeing one at the shop, I am beginning to wonder if it is truly worth it. I have no doubt that a well farkeled 2011 could match a 2012 in nearly all categories.

For example, the 2012 has better suspension tuning, but given my uses, is it enough or would I really need to do both the forks & the shock? If so, will the suspension really be any different after farkling both?

I hope to re align the exhaust for more clearance & thus may need a power commander. Will an 11 w/the pwr cmndr feel just as good as the 2012 motor?

Is the windshield now good enough or will I just end up with a madstad bracket anyways?

Is the seat enough improved or will I end up with a Sargeant on either?

I am beginning to feel that other than looks & instruments an equally frakeled 11 will ride much like 2012 and the 12 will need all the farkles anyways.

So I guess I am wondering, just how much better is the new one realistically.

thoughts?
"
My trips tend to be three months or more in stretch, solo, always trying to stay in the mountains and always crossing high passes. The terrain ranges from tarmac (50%), endless stretches of washboard/gravel/sand (40%?) and a little bit of truly rough 4wd type terrain (10%) or jeep trail. This is almost always with a full load.
"
You'll probably need a new rear shock either way. The new DL rear suspension is a lot better than the old, but your back will thank you. The extra stability you get from that change is also worth it. I'd also recommend a fork brace and steering damper - the survivability with those fitted is also a lot better on either bike.

You probably don't need to touch the front suspension on the 2012, just find out what fork oil Suzuki used in case you need to change it. The older model needs firmer springs at least and emulators are probably a good idea.

"
I hope to re align the exhaust for more clearance & thus may need a power commander. Will an 11 w/the pwr cmndr feel just as good as the 2012 motor?
"
Don't bother with the PC. Neither bike will benefit enough to make a PC worth while, and the 2012 motor is intrinsically stronger. A bit more power, but the power starts 1000 rpm lower - which you really appreciate crawling through goat tracks.
Passing ability is also quite a lot better than the dyno figures suggest. I was riding with a KTM 990, an F800 and two older model DL's last weekend. The 990 and I were walking away from the other bikes when passing.

For me the stock shield is fine on the 2012. The older bike I put a cheap home made spoiler on the top.

2012 seat is all day comfortable. K6 seat was a torture device

You save a bit on farkles on the 2012 (seat/front suspension) and it's a bit lighter and less drop prone. The latter would decide it for me, I often ride alone - not quite as enthusiastically as you plan to - but the easier handling and greater chance of recovering from a near spill on the 2012 would be worth a lot to me.

I'd suggest at least sit on both and see how they feel though - what works for me may not for you.

Pete
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post #3 of 19 Old 03-06-2012, 12:30 AM
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I'm going to preface this by saying I've not ridden a 2012 but I don't think I need to to venture an opinion on some of your questions.


Quote:
Originally Posted by glasswave View Post
Background:
Questions:

I have no doubt that the 2012 is a significantly more refined machine, but after seeing one at the shop, I am beginning to wonder if it is truly worth it. I have no doubt that a well farkeled 2011 could match a 2012 in nearly all categories.

Thats what I thought so I bought a 2011.

For example, the 2012 has better suspension tuning, but given my uses, is it enough or would I really need to do both the forks & the shock? If so, will the suspension really be any different after farkling both?

They may have tinkered with the spring rates but its still a damper rod fork and a budget shock. If your weight and taste just happen to match the theoretical average rider they set it up for. There is no way that it is going to match a well tuned suspension set up for you as an individual.
That would be true of practically any factory suspension in my experience. I don't know of any that can't benefit from tuning and personalization.



I hope to re align the exhaust for more clearance & thus may need a power commander. Will an 11 w/the pwr cmndr feel just as good as the 2012 motor?

Is the windshield now good enough or will I just end up with a madstad bracket anyways?

Don't know but I don't see how you could help but benefit from the Madstad bracket. For a guy who's going to do a lot of traveling being able to tailor it to you as much as possible has to be worth a paltry $90 or so.

Is the seat enough improved or will I end up with a Sargeant on either?

Sort of the same deal as above. I don't care what they did to the seat on the '12. If you're going to be spending huge miles on it there is no way you aren't going to benefit from a better seat. My vote would be for a custom seat, the best probably being the Russell, but I've had good luck with Rick Mayer's work.

I am beginning to feel that other than looks & instruments an equally frakeled 11 will ride much like 2012 and the 12 will need all the farkles anyways.

So I guess I am wondering, just how much better is the new one realistically.

thoughts?
My final thought is that having said all of the above, considering the amount of miles you are talking about if the '12 is even incrementally better in areas that you value then it will be money well spent.
I believe that for touring the '12 is going to benefit from exactly the same things that the '11 will. The only benefit I see is that it might have somewhat less vibration (my '11 doesn't have enough to be significant to me) and it does weigh slightly less.
If the Strom was my only bike I probably would have sprung for a '12 because improved is improved but for my uses the '11 is fine and I didn't spend as much.

'11 DL650
'10 Tiger 1050
'09 XR1200
'09 400 Burgman
'07 DR650
'01 HD FXD
'97 R1100RT
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post #4 of 19 Old 03-06-2012, 02:05 AM
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The front suspension on the 2012 DL is excellent, yes, they might be damper rod, but they work well on or off road stock - which the unmodified K6 suspension didn't.
I have a K6 with well set up emulators and I was thinking of pulling them and the damper rods and swapping - there's simply no reason to. Rear shock yes, but the front is fine.


The stock seat on the 2012 bikes is excellent.

You MIGHT get a custom seat that's better, but I suspect that on average off the shelf aftermarket seats would be 50/50 on whether it's a gain. Yes, it's that good.


Pete
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post #5 of 19 Old 03-06-2012, 05:32 AM
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The engine is much better on the 2012. You will appreciate it's smoothness and extra torque on long trips. You will also no doubt appreciate the better economy.

I just did 457km on my last tank of fuel, and put 17.07L in when I filled up. My old Vstrom never ever got near that many kms on a tank. If you carry extra fuel on both bikes, then you will get even further on the 2012 than the <2011.
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post #6 of 19 Old 03-06-2012, 08:39 AM
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To me unless your looking at a used Wee then the difference in costs isnt that much, for another $400 your getting the new model not just a newer bike. $400 is the cost of one expensive farkle, really doesnt take any sence to get the 11 model unless your really sold on that luggage offer. Even then from what others have said the luggage isnt the best.
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post #7 of 19 Old 03-06-2012, 09:47 AM
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Just get the 12. -- the price difference is so small it doesnt make sense to buy an 11.. It sounds like you can swing it. You are taking trips that 99% on this board could never afford to do because we have to work for a living.

but maybe your a teacher or professor that takes the summers off to ride -- in any case I am jealous

Last edited by vstrom73; 03-06-2012 at 09:50 AM.
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post #8 of 19 Old 03-06-2012, 11:50 AM
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I'll be the dissenter and say that for your needs the V-Strom is the wrong bike. It's a street bike with some off-road ability. You say you will be riding 50% off-road...that's not the core strength of the strom.

'09 Wee (sold)
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Last edited by eye.surgeon; 03-06-2012 at 11:52 AM.
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post #9 of 19 Old 03-06-2012, 03:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eye.surgeon View Post
I'll be the dissenter and say that for your needs the V-Strom is the wrong bike. It's a street bike with some off-road ability. You say you will be riding 50% off-road...that's not the core strength of the strom.


For that kind of riding a Yamaha XT 660Z Tenere would be perfect - it's an awesome adventure bike that can handle off road riding way better than a V-Strom.


The reason I want the 2012 V-Strom instead of the Tenere, is that I'm riding 90% on road and really like the extra power from the twin.

Yamaha XT1200Z '15 - www.bike-addict.dk - It's not what you ride but how you ride it unk:
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post #10 of 19 Old 03-06-2012, 04:02 PM
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I like the new look. It is a bit more sporty. Of all the bikes I have owned I think the 'Stroms have been the most
Fun and least headache

K4 DL650
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