Starting to consider my next bike... - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
General V-Strom Discussion Talk about all things V-Strom not limited to just one of the above models

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post #1 of 45 Old 09-24-2013, 11:21 PM Thread Starter
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Starting to consider my next bike...

Hi all,

Glad I found this forum. A little background...

I am a relatively new rider (3 yrs., w/BRC) and I am the 2nd owner of an '82 GS750T that *just* turned over 30,000 original miles. (Long story short, I'm a Ham radio op, talking on-air with friend, co-worker of his getting a divorce, bike in storage 5 years, has to get rid of it. Had alays wanted a motorcycle...said "I'll take it!" and the rest is history).

I am starting to think it is time to look for another bike. Up until now, my riding has been mainly what I guess you'd call "commuting" (grocery shopping, errands, church, appointments, some "fun" riding...max 20-30 miles) BUT am starting to take longer trips. Took a trip with a friend down to Starved Rock (Utica IL, about 180-ish miles RT) and LOVED IT! Took the bike on a minor IT service call I did from St. Charles to Alsip IL, on the tollway...and LOVED IT! The GS750 (named Blackie by my daughter, guess what color it is?) l-o-v-e-s the open highway as fast as she can go. HOWEVER, it *is* 32 years old- technically vintage. I like the bike, but do not have the knowledge or the resources to care for this bike, or effect a repaur on it if I should have a Major Mechanical Malfunction. It will need some ongoing maintenence and one-shots items that will require much $... Then there's the issue of parts...my wife would like me to have something newer, too. I think if I was going to continue to *just* use it for short-run commuting this wouldn't be as big as issue...I'd run it until it died. However, now that I am finding the joys of the highway and open road...I'm thinking perhaps I should start to look for someone who can give the care (and $) to this vintage bike that I cannot justify right now

I have always admired the V-Stroms. 1) I need an upright bike, and 2) thry seem to have a good price point to perfomance/features ratio. I was going through Ohio yesterday, and happened to stop at a local dealer I saw from the Interstate. They just happened to have an '06 DL1000K6 Adventure with about 7,500 miles on it, for $6,000. I was surprised, when I first sat on it, i hadn't seen the side fully, so wasn't even aware that it was a 1000. It felt good! (I sat on a new 650 later, and it felt small). Was surprised to learn later (tonight, doing a little research) that the dry weight of the DL1000 in question is about 50 lbs. less than my GS750, and that is about 2" higher at the seat (didn't feel like it).

I *have* read through some of the 650 vs. 1000 threads...I *think* my question is a bit more specific- given what I am coming from (GS750), and what I am looking to do with it (still commuting-style riding, but also more road trips)...would a DL1000 like this be something to consider, or is there some BIG thing I am not seeing that should steer me towards the 650 still? Any way to equate the handling of my GS750 to either the Wee or the Vee?

Thanks for your help- yeah, I kinda fell for the DL1000...I know I should probably look around more...but this is another fun part of the hobby/sport.
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post #2 of 45 Old 09-24-2013, 11:28 PM
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I haven't ridden an old GS so can't say how it would compare to a strom. As to a 1000 vs a wee, i preferred the handling of the wee, so i bought one. Friend of mine had a 1000.
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post #3 of 45 Old 09-24-2013, 11:40 PM
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I had a 1981 GS550, and like your 750, they are very nice long-legged mile burners. And I've ridden the wonderful GS850 too - what an incredible tractor! Like you, I was in the same boat with my last bike - a 1984 Kawasaki GPz 750. I bought the bike in 1987, and pretty much grew up with it - I rode it a lot! But, as you well know, having a bike that is approaching 30 years old presents challenges - those of which that you either have to take head-on (lots of stuff that wears out on old bikes), and deal with mechanics who won't work on a bike over 15 years old, having a "vintage" bike can quickly become a PITA.

Which is why, when I test drove a Vstrom three years ago, it was a revelatory experience for me. Easy starting, smooth fuel injection, super easy handling, blah blah......The bike IS as good as you are reading about. Coming from an old GS, you'll still see the lineage, and that 'Suzuki'ness" in the Vstrom, but my oh my, have things changed for the better. Newer bikes are so much more a pleasure to ride - and LIVE WITH!

Just imagining hearing that fuel pump wind up, when turning the key and pressing the start button makes me want to ride....

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Last edited by jokermtb; 09-24-2013 at 11:44 PM.
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post #4 of 45 Old 09-25-2013, 09:26 AM
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I had a 2001 Suzuki GS850G. A perfectly adequate bike that did everything it was supposed to do but never left me dying to ride it more than I did. I took a hiatus from having my own bike after having it a few years. I kept ridging friend's bikes when I was without a bike and in 2003 a friend (Sylvain) came to visit me on his DL1000. The bike blew me away and I knew at that point getting a Bike again was in the future (I was going to buy an Anniversary Harley in 2002 (or was it 2003?) but instead bought an Ultralight Airplane.) A few years after that I had the bike itch real bad and talked to Sylvain. He was all for me getting a Strom but highly recommended I get a DL650. I did and loved the bike! The DL650 was quicker and lighter than my GS850 and gave me a feeling of doing whatever I wanted to do on a bike.

My 2006 is parked (but licensed and ready to ride!) with over 125,000 mile on it and is replaced by a 2012 DL650 that I bought last year in March. The 2012 now has close to 46,000 miles on it. It is my everyday vehicle from March until November or December (until whenever snow on the roads up here is a threat.)

Both my Stroms are/have been everyday bikes that I commute with, go on weekend rides with, do long tours with, rip down back roads and non-paved roads, play with my sport bike friends, give my Harley friends something to laugh at and generally have a great time with!

..Tom

2006 DL650: 202,000 km 125,500 miles, Sold
2012 DL650 139,500+ km, 86,700+ miles. Sold
2015 DL1000 New July 2015 200,000+ km, 125,000 miles.

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post #5 of 45 Old 09-25-2013, 09:57 AM
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My BMW is in the shop after hitting a deer and my thoughts stray to a replacement bike too.
I keep thinking another Wee makes a lot of sense. Parts interchangeability and the knowledge that I really like it makes me question getting something I may find lacking in comparison. Once you find love, stick with it!
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post #6 of 45 Old 09-25-2013, 11:08 AM Thread Starter
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For those of you who replied who have had/ridden the GS750/850's...it would *appear* that weight-wise, they are closer to the Vee (according to published specs, my '82 GS750 weighs about 50 lbs. more that the '06 Vee I'm looking at.)- will that necessarily translate to similar handling...kinda? If the weight differential is that close between those 2, will going "down" to the 650 possibly be too much of a difference?

Eric
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post #7 of 45 Old 09-25-2013, 11:34 AM
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I'm big so I prefer the torque of the DL1000 for quick passing at highway speeds without straining. The DL1000 is still only a high 80's hp bike after a power commander. Test ride a DL650 and see if there is enough go to make you smile.

$6000 for a 2006 DL1000 is not good at all. I would offer $4,000 MAX. Paid $3700 for mine but, it was scratched up. It was close and had luggage / center stand, exhaust, PCIII etc.

I like the DL1000 suspension better, slightly better rear shock, cartridge forks, a taller stock seat too. The DL1000 is lean from the factory so, most end up with a revised tune of some sort.

I've seen good DL650s well equipped for $3500. Look around more!

The Vstrom will handle better, its fairly nimble. Coming off a FJR1300 it feels very light. I find my Vee tracks well on rough roads, holds a line easily and feels secure on the rough pavement around here. I'm pleased with the Vee compared to my other rides, I think its easy to ride. On pavement it feels more secure than my past KTM 950 and its not so top heavy.

Last edited by Sagebrush; 09-25-2013 at 11:40 AM.
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post #8 of 45 Old 09-25-2013, 06:59 PM
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As you can see in my signature, I currently own an 82 GS650L and a '12 DL650 Adventure. I just picked up my DL650 2 days ago, on Monday night. All I have to say is, the difference between these two bikes is night and day.

I have been riding the '82 for about a year. It was my first bike. I've loved the experience of learning on it, riding it, and learning the sometimes painful ins and outs of maintaining a 30+ year old motorcycle. I've probably invested an equal amount of time in fixing it up as I have in riding it.

Even having only 2 rides of moderate length on the new DL650, I can honestly say that I KNOW I made the right choice. As others have noted, the first immediate response is the convenience of fuel injection, liquid cooling, etc. It's so nice to have a bike that I don't feel constrained by. Stuck in traffic? No problem, the radiator keeps it cool. Cold morning? Fuel injection takes care of that. It's just awesome. And beyond that is the peace of mind that ABS brings. As a novice rider, I am so excited to have ABS because I know it will save my ass one of these days when I have to make a panic stop.

Beyond the obvious "modern" advantages... well, the handling is worlds apart. I feel like I can maneuver on a dime on the DL650. I frequently practice avoidance maneuvers when I'm riding on back roads with no traffic around, and the response in handling on the new bike is so much better. It's effortless. It handles tight turns with more finesse and confidence as well... really sporty feeling compared to the GS.

On the engines - I dont know if your old GS is also an inline 4 like mine, but I'm already starting to enjoy the characteristics of the v-twin engine on the DL650. It's super torquey, and accelerates about twice as fast. It feels like it has twice as much power available, which is unbelievable to me given that they are both 650s. The GS will do 0-60 in about 6 or 7 seconds... while the DL650 is just a hair under 4 seconds. Power is still readily available in 6th gear on the highway too. It's great.

Bottom line? I'm looking forward to a long ownership of the DL650... I feel like I can go anywhere on this thing. Did NOT have that feeling on the GS. With a 30 year old bike I'm always sweating over "what do I have to replace next" and "how long will the bike be down" and "I guess I have to learn to do this myself"

If you can afford it, go for it!

2012 V-Strom 650 Adventure
1982 Suzuki GS650L
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post #9 of 45 Old 09-25-2013, 07:01 PM
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And personally, for what it's worth, I feel no need for the 1000. Perfectly happy with my 650. I have not done any long trips but it is certainly WAY better on the highway than my GS ever was.

2012 V-Strom 650 Adventure
1982 Suzuki GS650L
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post #10 of 45 Old 09-25-2013, 07:19 PM
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I just took the plunge on a '06 Vee. I came from a heavy '01 Concours. The V feels much lighter and is very easy to handle. I've only used it for commuting so far, and I can't wait for a day trip. I'm 6'1', 200 lbs and the bike plenty of go with me and the wife aboard. Go for it, you will love it!
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