1st generation vs 3rd generation? - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
DL650A - 2017+ DL650A - 2017 (L7) and later

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post #1 of 32 Old 12-09-2018, 04:46 AM Thread Starter
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1st generation vs 3rd generation?

I have an '09 650 that I really like and runs great with 73K miles. I'm planning on keeping it for at least another 25K miles but lately have become very interested in the 2017+ 650's. So my question to anyone who has owned a first gen. and now owns a 3rd gen, is it a better bike? What things are better or worse? I know about the new tech like quick start, low assist take off, and traction control, none of which impress me, but what about suspension, motor, brakes, wind management, MPG/range, etc? I love the gold spoke wheels but I bet they're a PITA to clean.

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post #2 of 32 Old 12-09-2018, 09:33 AM
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I'm new to Vstroms, but have found the stock windshield very noisy and the stock seat not so comfy for me. Love the ride, handling, general ergonomics and engine characteristics. The reviews seem to indicate the brakes are competent rather than impressive. I'd agree with that. Hopefully you get a response from a long time Vstrom owner who has first hand knowledge of the differences between the generations. I do prefer the looks of the previous model.
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2017 Vstrom 650 Base model (White)
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Previous loves:
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post #3 of 32 Old 12-09-2018, 09:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by om28 View Post
I have an '09 650 that I really like and runs great with 73K miles. I'm planning on keeping it for at least another 25K miles but lately have become very interested in the 2017+ 650's. So my question to anyone who has owned a first gen. and now owns a 3rd gen, is it a better bike? What things are better or worse? I know about the new tech like quick start, low assist take off, and traction control, none of which impress me, but what about suspension, motor, brakes, wind management, MPG/range, etc? I love the gold spoke wheels but I bet they're a PITA to clean.

Motor is best one yet, same ole brakes, slighter better suspension than first gen, wind management is better, MPG/range about the same if not slightly better, fit/finish night and day better, technology is literally apples to oranges different/better. The spoke wheels are not hard to clean at all IMHO, of course I'm far far far from honestly ever cleaning them. That's the XT version anyways, why not just get the cast wheel versions?
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post #4 of 32 Old 12-10-2018, 04:02 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info Big B. I may very well go with cast wheels, I just really love how those gold rims look. My rear wheel is usually filthy with chain lube & dirt, which doesn't bother me with a cast wheel, but I'd be cleaning the rear gold rim constantly, something I really don't want to do.

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1987 Harley Low Rider Sport (current - with 204K miles)
2009 Aprilia Mana 850, 2006 SV650, 1984 Yamaha Virago 1000 (all sold)
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Wee Farkles: Russell Day Long Seat, Madstad with Moose Adventure Shield +4'', SWMotech Centerstand, 1'' up & back bar risers, Givi XS308 Tankbag, Aprilia mirrors, Framesliders, Fenda Extenda, Elka Shock.
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post #5 of 32 Old 12-10-2018, 12:55 PM
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yup, love them Gold Rims, honestly, cleaning them isn't that bad, just get some S100 Motorcycle cleaner, after I lube the chain that first ride after is an easy clean up and well worth it, those rims really set off the bike

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post #6 of 32 Old 12-10-2018, 04:14 PM
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I had a 2009 and sold it with 64,000 miles.. main reason I sold it was I having issues with my back at the time which really reduced my riding time - I had a Ninja 650R with some low bars that actually did not bother me as much (go figure). At any point I seemed to have gotten control of the back issues and I have no doubt that my Russel Daylong on the 2018 has a lot to do with that.

As far as a comparison goes..

I think my 2009 ran a bit smoother especially when it comes to buzziness back in the subframe area. I know they made changes to the subframe which I think may have impacted this a bit.

The 2018 does feel quite a bit lighter even though it doesn't show that on the scales. I thought I would miss the double headlight setup on the 2009 but I have to admit I have been impressed with the single headlight setup.

Fuel economy is about the same. While they say the 18 has more HP than the 09 I really haven't noticed much of a difference.

I don't seem to have as big of a concern with wind buffeting on the 18. I added some of my trials and tests in the Wind Buffeting Sticky and basically I am pretty much good with the Suzuki Tall Windscreen.

While I really enjoyed my 2009 I would give the nod to the 2018 because it has ABS and Traction Control. I wasn't a big fan of ABS until a couple of years ago when riding home from a long trip and I had a truck pull out in front of me on my CB500X ABS. All my training went out the window when I panicked and grabbed as much brake as I could. I ended up in a controlled stop about 2 inches from the truck. I don't think that would have been the case without ABS.

Oh one other thing. The suspension on the 18 is much better than the stock suspension on the 2009. The front is not nearly as soft and the rear shock seems to work fairly well. Granted I still will be replacing these but it was a nice surprise.
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Last edited by Jarvis; 12-10-2018 at 04:17 PM.
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post #7 of 32 Old 12-11-2018, 05:33 AM Thread Starter
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Jarvis, thanks for the info, some is surprising.

My '09 is extremely smooth running too, but your comment on the new bike correlates to a few online video reviews mentioning a bit of vibration up around 5K RPM, but vibration can vary from bike to bike.

Suzuki claimed they increased fuel mileage on the 2nd generation, along with a smaller gas tank, but few people noticed it. Seems to be the same with the 3rd gen.

I've got the suspension, seat, and wind sorted on my bike, and since my '09 is paid for and giving me no trouble, I'll just hang on to it. I'm going to try to get test ride on a new 650 at some point.

2009 Wee Strom ABS (current)
1987 Harley Low Rider Sport (current - with 204K miles)
2009 Aprilia Mana 850, 2006 SV650, 1984 Yamaha Virago 1000 (all sold)
Silver Strom Club Member #11

Wee Farkles: Russell Day Long Seat, Madstad with Moose Adventure Shield +4'', SWMotech Centerstand, 1'' up & back bar risers, Givi XS308 Tankbag, Aprilia mirrors, Framesliders, Fenda Extenda, Elka Shock.
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post #8 of 32 Old 12-11-2018, 07:52 AM
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I didn't post earlier because I don't have any experience with the 2018.

We had a 2004 and I still have the 2012 DL 650. Several trips were made together with both bikes. Both were used for commuting under similar conditions.

Yes, the gen 2 bikes feels MUCH lighter. But it really isn't. All in the bodywork and perception, along with a little less weight up top in the fuel tank.

Suspension and brakes for gen 1 vs 2 is a tie. I cannot say the gen 2 suspension was really any better, it was just new and not worn when comparing. Brakes on both are a sore spot for me. Just not good enough on a bike you ride at 75 mph......

Both bikes can be made comfortable for very high mile days. I spent a LOT of time and money getting a windshield to work on the gen 2. The cowling on the gen 2 where the windshield attaches is plastic. Nothing but plastic. So installing large windshields might be an issue over time. Gen 1 and Gen 3 won't have that problem.

Power? The gen 2 was not rated much differently in peak hp. But there is no comparison in real world power! The gen 2 pulls away from the gen 1 in side by side roll ons, agressive take offs, and especially in top gear roll ons.

Fuel mileage. Gen 2 tank is smaller. That still burns my ass. It has at least as good of range as a gen 1 bike. We would fill the bikes up and the gen 1 always took a few tenths of a gallon more and would usually be in the 2-4 mpg less fuel consumption. This is with similar sized riders, both with panniers and other luggage, riding one behind the other.

Now for the non facts....I think the new gen 3 is a really good looking bike. I like how the windshield is mounted. Probably a lot more refined feel to the bike. The fit and finish is improved.

Now to piss off a few readers.....When I bought my 2012 650 I could not say this. I would not buy a 650 today with the 1000 available. There was a time the 1000 was simply not as good a bike and giving up the power by going with the 650 gave you a bike that simply was more reliable, much better on fuel, performed much better all around. That is not true when comparing the bikes now. I would buy a used 1000 over a new 650 if there was a budget limit.

Pretty harsh statement. But the front suspension and good brakes of the DL 1000 make the DL 650 a dinosaur in my book!
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post #9 of 32 Old 12-11-2018, 04:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by realshelby View Post
I didn't post earlier because I don't have any experience with the 2018.

We had a 2004 and I still have the 2012 DL 650. Several trips were made together with both bikes. Both were used for commuting under similar conditions.

Yes, the gen 2 bikes feels MUCH lighter. But it really isn't. All in the bodywork and perception, along with a little less weight up top in the fuel tank.

Suspension and brakes for gen 1 vs 2 is a tie. I cannot say the gen 2 suspension was really any better, it was just new and not worn when comparing. Brakes on both are a sore spot for me. Just not good enough on a bike you ride at 75 mph......

Both bikes can be made comfortable for very high mile days. I spent a LOT of time and money getting a windshield to work on the gen 2. The cowling on the gen 2 where the windshield attaches is plastic. Nothing but plastic. So installing large windshields might be an issue over time. Gen 1 and Gen 3 won't have that problem.

Power? The gen 2 was not rated much differently in peak hp. But there is no comparison in real world power! The gen 2 pulls away from the gen 1 in side by side roll ons, agressive take offs, and especially in top gear roll ons.

Fuel mileage. Gen 2 tank is smaller. That still burns my ass. It has at least as good of range as a gen 1 bike. We would fill the bikes up and the gen 1 always took a few tenths of a gallon more and would usually be in the 2-4 mpg less fuel consumption. This is with similar sized riders, both with panniers and other luggage, riding one behind the other.

Now for the non facts....I think the new gen 3 is a really good looking bike. I like how the windshield is mounted. Probably a lot more refined feel to the bike. The fit and finish is improved.

Now to piss off a few readers.....When I bought my 2012 650 I could not say this. I would not buy a 650 today with the 1000 available. There was a time the 1000 was simply not as good a bike and giving up the power by going with the 650 gave you a bike that simply was more reliable, much better on fuel, performed much better all around. That is not true when comparing the bikes now. I would buy a used 1000 over a new 650 if there was a budget limit.

Pretty harsh statement. But the front suspension and good brakes of the DL 1000 make the DL 650 a dinosaur in my book!

Absolute HERESY comments towards the 650!!! Suspension and brakes most certainly better on the 1000 as well some of the other electronic wizardry, but I'm fine not dealing with the "still current" annoying issues of the 1000. I have said more than once that I won't be buying another Strom unless they either give the 650 same suspension/brakes/electronics, and finally have cruise control and ride by wire. My 2015XT is such a great bike and set up very nicely for me, so I see myself having it for quite some time.

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2015 DL650 XT "Hector"

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post #10 of 32 Old 12-11-2018, 04:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by realshelby View Post
When I bought my 2012 650 I could not say this. I would not buy a 650 today with the 1000 available. There was a time the 1000 was simply not as good a bike and giving up the power by going with the 650 gave you a bike that simply was more reliable, much better on fuel, performed much better all around. That is not true when comparing the bikes now. I would buy a used 1000 over a new 650 if there was a budget limit.

Pretty harsh statement. But the front suspension and good brakes of the DL 1000 make the DL 650 a dinosaur in my book!
I looked closely at the 1000 as well when buying new but then if I was going to go that route (extra cash) I would have just opted for the Africa Twin instead since that felt much more comfortable and refined. Actually I was ready to pull the trigger on the African Twin just before I rode the 18 DL650XT.

Spent some time on 2016 DL1000 and just never bonded with it. Felt heavy and cumbersome in comparison and the motor still did not feel as refined as the 650. Then again the power delivery was nice.

Never really had an issue with the brakes on my DL650's either which seems to be at odds with many. My 2018 actually feels better than my buddy's Triumph Thruxton R with Brembo radial mounted calipers - must be something wrong with his bike but they have yet to figure it out.
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