The same old advice please - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
DL650A - 2017+ DL650A - 2017 (L7) and later

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post #1 of 23 Old 02-17-2019, 04:01 PM Thread Starter
Junior Trooper
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 3
The same old advice please

Hi guys. Firstly is post is written on my phone so apologies in advance if it's a clunky read littered with mistakes.

Usual story:I'm getting back into road legal biking after 5 years off, though been keeping the hand in with trials and circuit riding. I know that I dont want a sport bike and want something adventure oriented. I have seen a dl650xt 2018 model for a bargain but want some opinion first.

Number one is off road ability - I'll ride 80% on road but that 20% off will be quite demanding. It won't be quick, no jumps or whoops - think rocky mountain single track. How does the vstrom perform. I know it's a compromise but I am also thinking with a bash guard and some decent rubber u will reach the limit before it.

Power - is there enough. On pavement o dont ride crazy wild but I do like spirited riding on the twisties and I like to push in during the motorway trundle... will 70bhp in a 200kg plus bike work ok. To note I had a sv650 and found it slow, but it had a more racey character so I think asked for more.

Any other general thoughts? My riding will be proper adventure, wilding camping around Ireland and Scotland and trying to get to the end of every mountain road and single track i can.

Is the dl650xt the bike for me? At the moment an Africa twin will be twice as much and I just can't see it offering that much more??
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post #2 of 23 Old 02-17-2019, 06:32 PM
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Toronto, Ontario
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I can't see the Vstrom 650 being any good on technical single track. Too heavy, too soft, not enough ground clearance. I have never tried , but do have a YZ 250x for woods riding. I wouldn't think of trying the Vstrom on the type of trails a true dirt bike works well at. The Vstrom has a very sedate throttle and you have to wind it out to make power. I think the Vstrom 1000 might be your bike if you want fast(er). The 700 Yamaha coming out will probably be the best dirt street compromise once launched.

Bob S.
2017 Vstrom 650 Base model (White)
2017 Yamaha YZ250X (Sold)....Hopefully WR250R soon
Previous loves:
1982 Yamaha 650 Seca
1978 Honda CB550
1975 Suzuki GT380
1977 Yamaha RD400
1973 Can Am MX1 125 (bought while Mom out of town)

Last edited by Nicad; 02-18-2019 at 05:47 AM.
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post #3 of 23 Old 02-17-2019, 07:13 PM
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Sounds like you want the same bike everybody wants.

All bikes are a compromise I would say the Strom is a great value compromise and as you can see by this forum so do many others.

The amount of after market gear you can get also tells the story of just how popular these bikes are, you can build the bike you want for not much cash.

The 1000 is definitely more bang for you buck but I found the 650 more fun to ride I just had to be on the gas earlier and brake later than my mates, if I did not spend so much time with a pillion passenger I would be happy with either in my shed, with a load on the 1000 makes overtaking manoeuvres that much quicker and safer.

If you are fit and healthy the Strom can go a lot of places it was not designed to go but they are heavy, so up hills and down hills becomes a challenge against gravity.

Off road the ground clearance is another limiting factor but on road it has great clearance so cornering is a blast.

If you found the SV650 slow you may want to test ride the 1000.

I was surprised by how quick I grew to love my first strom, it is not the type of bike I ever expected to own but has become my favourite ride.
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post #4 of 23 Old 02-17-2019, 08:41 PM
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Location: Ontario Canada/Cairns Aus
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All good but the rocky single track...too vulnerable, too heavy but the lots of fun in the twists and rock stable in gravel and dirt with 50/50 tires.

You might check the 2019 CB500x. Still not really off road but lighter than the strom, 19" front wheel and they've tweaked it more toward off pavement plus there are loads of farkles you can take it further into off road territory.

Fun in the twists, goes forever on a gal of gas and is stable at speed ...what's missing is any twist of the wrist thrill. As long as you stir the tranny it will do okay and the lighter weight and light feel to handling is a big plus.

Sounds like you are a candidate for the Africa Twin but it's not light either. Just realized you said Scotland....I'd give the nod to the CB500x 2019 -- the lower weight will help and you will appreciate the very long range on fuel and it will handle 130 kph on the highway in comfort.

The 2019 is too new but some blokes here might offer insight.

I think the AT is too much money and too heavy for your use.

This is dated.....both bikes are better

here is some insight as well.

The 2019 CB500x takes some real cues from the RallyRaid upgrade for the earlier CB500xs

Ontario Canada rider staying in Cairns Australian Feb to May & Aug-Oct each year
Canada 2018 CB500x >2009 CBF1000 sold • 10 Wee ABS sold • 09 Burgman Exec sold • 10 NT700v sold
Australia> 04 KLR650 • 93 ST1100 sold •
Travel photos> Oz riding >
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post #5 of 23 Old 02-17-2019, 09:12 PM
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The Yamaha Tenere 700 might be worth considering. Too bad they aren’t releasing it until late 2020.
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post #6 of 23 Old 02-17-2019, 09:23 PM
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The DL650 is a great road bike. Your skills with lighter bike may give you an edge. But a tank of bike has its limits.
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post #7 of 23 Old 02-18-2019, 12:38 AM
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I have ridden bikes for more years than most of the people on this forum have been alive. I am old! I raced off-road bikes many decades ago and owned a motor cycle dealership sellling them. I have ridden and races a lot of different motorcycles in all sorts of off road competition. (and did well at it, thank you!). This does not make me an expert but it does cause me to have opinions, some of them quite strong.

I love my DL650 as for perfectly meets my needs. It is a great bike for the back roads of Kentucky where I live. "Off road" for me on this bike is a Kentucky dirt road and it does fine with that. Beyond that I don't take this bike. If I want an off-road bike my brain thinks something like "Husky WR" or KTM. I like off road bikes that weight less than 250 pounds, something I can toss around for fun. On the road I want a bike that handles well at highway speeds, has good brakes, ABS and Traction control.

People want these giant BWM's and Triumph Tigers or whatever. Seriously? A 400-500 pound bike for "off road"? I have a rebuilt left shoulder that a 450 pound "wanta-be" pseudo dual sport bike gifted me years ago. I learned my lesson and have been reminded of it for decades.

If you want an off road bike, get an off road bike. No bike I know of will be great both on and off road. There is different criteria for each and either you maximize the design to do one or the other or you compromise and do neither well.
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'17 DL 650 Vstrom, Best value ride of all time. (replaced our '05 Wee)
'07 Triumph Tiger 1050 Feel the Power! Culled from the herd...gone but never forgotten.
BMW K1200 GT, Gone but never forgotten
KLR 650.....
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A long list of so many others.....

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post #8 of 23 Old 02-18-2019, 01:12 AM
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Always a compromise.....always a compromise. It can do what you ask, but will beat you and the bike to Hell. A KTM 790, 1090, Tiger 800 XcX sounds better for you, but yeah you're gonna pay more for more ability and flexibility. Did I say there is always a compromise?
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post #9 of 23 Old 02-18-2019, 03:41 AM
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You also have to consider tire choice ...50/50 not so good for scraping pegs in the twists and street tires a horror off road.

For your 80% you'd like either Vstrom I think. Why not get a smaller machine for your single track fun.

Ontario Canada rider staying in Cairns Australian Feb to May & Aug-Oct each year
Canada 2018 CB500x >2009 CBF1000 sold • 10 Wee ABS sold • 09 Burgman Exec sold • 10 NT700v sold
Australia> 04 KLR650 • 93 ST1100 sold •
Travel photos> Oz riding >
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post #10 of 23 Old 02-18-2019, 04:23 AM
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Location: Gold Coast, Australia
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I've taken a DL 650 on gnarly single track multiple times and mostly got away with it but it's too heavy. I'd have to say that even the big bikes with 21" fronts aren't any better there. If you are determined in your stupidity then the DL650 is probably the least bad choice in that it's inexpensive and there are enough around second had that it won't cost you much but even so you really need a much smaller bike.

The KTM 690 is the closest to your unicorn but it's an expensive high strung maintenance whore.
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