I'm a bit baffled that people talk about how boring this bike is and how it has no soul. This thing's a keeper.
I can almost understand why people say it has no soul. Every time I ride, the single thought that keeps coming back is "neutral". It feels like it's a reflection of whomever is riding it in a way that is completely unlike some Ducati's or BMWs...the bike is perfectly happy doing whatever you want it to do. Slow, fast, twisty, straight line, off road, on road, superslab, back roads, whatever you want it to do - it does. So if you've got no soul, the bike will be a perfect reflection of that.
Maybe more fairly put, if you're relying on a bike to determine how
you ride, then maybe a v-strom isn't the bike for you.
If you're the kind of guy that needs a red Italian monster between your legs to tell you "FASTER", then the v-strom isn't going to do anything for you. Likewise, if you're the kind of guy that needs to look down at a protruding boxer engine to inspire that long-way-round idolatry, then the v-strom is vanilla.