Are you happy with your V-Strom??? - 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 44 Old 03-29-2014, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
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Are you happy with your V-Strom???

Serious question please read all

This may seem like a dumb question on an enthusiast forum but I have not pulled the trigger yet. My wife and one of my best friends (who owns a dozen bikes) have brought up some serious questions as to whether or not I should buy one.


I am 52 and have had my cycle endorsement since my 16th birthday. I owned a nice V-max for about 10 years. Prior to that I owned a Honda hawk GT. Since then I owned a XR600 supermoto I made myself after I bought a new KTM exc. I sold that and bought a MZ Baghira supermoto and still own it. I bought the MZ as a stop gap because I could not afford a BMW GSA. After less than two weeks of ownership I had a major failure with the bike which left me stranded. I let the bike sit for a year before I fixed it. I drove it a couple time afterwards but I had never been so let down by a bike before and it has sat since 2007. The Wife did not want me to ride it and always referred to it as “the devil bike”. At the same time I had major knee surgery and lost a lot of faith in everything.


I lost my carrier in automotive engineering at the height of the GM buyout. I was unemployed for 3.5 years and have only been employed now for a year and a half. I developed major health issues and have been resolving them. I am working for the same wage I made in 1984, and do not feel secure in my employment. I do not foresee a return to a reasonable paying employment in the remainder of my working carrier.


I recently delivered some items to a gentleman who bought them from me. He is a fit and active 72 year old and in his shop was an immaculate Wee-Strom. I don’t foresee myself ever making enough money to buy a GSA. I am tired of wanting and I want to be riding. He paid less than 3K for the older Wee, and I started thinking I could be riding a bike instead of dreaming about one. I started looking for a Vee and found one. it is a long way away and not readily accessible but the price is good for the age and mileage.


I know I would not be happy with a Wee, Just not enough power. After a V-max, just about everything short of a sport bike leaves you wanting. 600-660 singles do not cut it.


Since I had never actually sat on a Strom the wife and I went to a stealership that had one. I sat on the Super Tenere first and she said I looked much happier on it. I had no problem with the Strom, and the ergonomics seemed fine. My wife wants me to be happy. We need to reestablish credit but I don’t want to take on a huge debt load. She doesn’t want me to be like I was with the MZ, she doesn’t want me to buy a stopgap. My friend concurs but wants me to get an old GS. I don’t want ANYTHING with a carburetor ever again, period.

SWMBO is suggesting I put a battery and rear tire on what is now called “EL DIABLO” and ride it for a while to get the angst out of my system.


Did you pine for something else when you bought your Strom?
If so has it kept you happy?

Did you only want a Strom?

Did you just want a good bang for the buck adventure bike and pick the Strom?

Let me here your story please.


I really appreciate your honest opinions.

My shop and a Readers digest of my life’s story:

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post #2 of 44 Old 03-29-2014, 05:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frederickflintstone View Post

Did you pine for something else when you bought your Strom?
If so has it kept you happy?

Did you only want a Strom?

Did you just want a good bang for the buck adventure bike and pick the Strom?

Let me here your story please.


I really appreciate your honest opinions.
1- When I bought my Strom I was ready to pull the trigger on a new KLR650. I wanted something that I could take wherever I wanted, with a realistic view on what that means for me, whenever I was able. The Strom came up on consignment at a local dealer. I'd looked at the Stroms new but decided they were just too expensive by comparison for me even though they're a lot more road capable. This one turning up, already well farkled and in great condition, happened at just the right time. I have looked at a few classic Triumphs etc but it's the era of classic bikes that "fascinates" me not the reality of owning one, and I am realistic about the demands there as well. Has my Strom kept me happy? Very much so! I freely admit I'm not nearly so horsepower addicted as some others but my Strom (650) does plenty well enough for me. If you really felt the need for more torque then the 1000 might be a better choice.

The bang for buck question is harder. The KLR is the cheapest in the field, and more dirt capable than the Strom though not a "real" dirt bike since it's "roadification" a couple of years back. The Strom is kind of the Subaru Outback of bikes. Very paved road capable, smart tyre choice will make it very dirt road capable, good over distances and super reliable. It's not a rock hopper by any means. It's like a GS but without the pretense, grenading final drive or gold plated spares and servicing.

Am I happy with it? Very! No regrets what so ever.

"I've recently come to the realization that true happiness can often be found at the bottom of an empty gas tank" - Prime
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post #3 of 44 Old 03-29-2014, 05:23 PM
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Wanted a good bang for the buck Adventure Bike and picked up the Strom (Vee)used. Spent maybe another $1000 on suspension, PCIII, and protective hardware. Been very happy with it.

06 DL1000
2007 Royal Star Tour Deluxe
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post #4 of 44 Old 03-29-2014, 05:31 PM
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I was unemployed for 3.5 years and have only been employed now for a year and a half. I am working for the same wage I made in 1984, and do not feel secure in my employment. I do not foresee a return to a reasonable paying employment in the remainder of my working carrier.
We need to reestablish credit but I don’t want to take on a huge debt load.


That says it all, to me anyway. You're in a real tough spot and I sympathize.

Hard line approach - I wouldn't be looking for ANY different bike in your position right now. Stabilize the work situation, work on fixing the credit, put away some rainy day money for living and maybe in another year or so, revisit the different bike issue. Until then, just ride that MZ. It's yours and it's paid for, riding it is better than not riding at all.

Jim
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post #5 of 44 Old 03-29-2014, 05:33 PM
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All I can say is, don't rule out the Wee.

Super reliable, and way more fun than you might think.

My two previous bikes were an R1150GS and a K100RT, the Wee is easily as quick, or quicker, than those two- and will perform as well as most 800cc bikes.

Ock. in Oz

I ride naked and unafraid.

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NSW
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post #6 of 44 Old 03-29-2014, 05:39 PM
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And I bought my used Vstrom 1000 since the condition was showroom new at 5 years old at the time (8 years old now) and the price was very right.

Overall, I've had to tinker with it more than I had anticipated in order to resolve what I will consider factory shortcomings/faults.

Am I happy, reasonably so, particularly when I keep in mind how relatively little I have invested.

Jim
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post #7 of 44 Old 03-29-2014, 05:48 PM
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l'm 55 and l originally bought the wee as a general work horse as l only have bikes (no car) the other bikes l have are the Kawa 1600 Nomad and a VFR800, l'v only had a 2012 wee for 4mths & done 12,000 ks so far, but what l can tell you is that they do seem to grow on you, for example in the time l'v owned its gone from just riding it to work each day to when l walk out to the shed to grab a bike for a ride l usually head straight for the wee, and now its come to a point where l'm thinking of selling one of the other bikes and grabbing another wee (same model) to pack away either for spares or resurrect when this one finally dies, which from what l can see is going to be quite awhile, l'v ridden one of those V-max's and l see where you're coming from as far as power is concerned but after a 500k trip though some nice twisties,abit of highway work then chuck in some rough roads with a dash of gravel packed full of gear l don't think the wee would be very far behind a V-Max, from what l'v heard the 2012 and up wee's are a bit more improved than the earlier ones, hope that helps regards
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post #8 of 44 Old 03-29-2014, 05:59 PM
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I came from a 170hp gsxr 1000. The 650 is so smooth I don't miss the power. I wanted the supre tenere but wasn't in the budget. Bike number 30+, already one of my favorite.
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post #9 of 44 Old 03-29-2014, 06:10 PM
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I resumed riding again at 52 after a 27 year break. I had my heart set on a shiney new BMW R1200RT and I could have paid cash for it but I just couldn't bring myself to spend that much money on a motorcycle re-entering the sport. I chose the Vstrom because of it's value, dependability and of all the happy owners. I made the right choice for now and I'm really enjoying the bike and racking up some miles and plan to keep it for a long time however when it wears out, if that's possible, before I do, I will probably get something more touring/comfort oriented as I like to go on long rides and I don't go off road. I might even consider the new Vsrom 1000. I longed for a GS too at one time but I got over it, thank goodness. The Vstrom is an all around fun motorcycle. It doesn't do any one thing exceptional but it does a lot of things very well. The bike is peppy riding solo and enough for most of us but if power is at the top of your priority list then look elsewhere. It definitely has more power than the 650 singles though. Not having a gazillion horsepower is probably a blessing for me at this age and level of responsibility. If you could ride one that would help you decide personally. Hope this helps.
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post #10 of 44 Old 03-29-2014, 06:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frederickflintstone View Post
Serious question please read all

Let me here your story please.[/SIZE][/COLOR]

I really appreciate your honest opinions.
Well, here goes. I shed no tears about this sort of thing, neither should you. Perfect happiness cannot be grabbed, but we can do quite well enough thank you.

My upwardly mobile years coincided with raising a new family years, so that's where money went. I bought my first bike (CB350, used, about $400). Upgraded a couple years later to my second bike, one I liked a lot (SR500 street single, used, for $1100). In the picture above. Shortly after the picture was taken, I crashed a dealer's 750 Yamaha, and sold the SR to pay the $700 deductible on the insurance. Banged up a shoulder badly and broke my collarbone, wife was not pleased. End of biking for 28 years or so. I missed the biking.

Mechanical Engineer. Career goes up. Career goes down. Kids grow up, marriage goes south. Return to school and get some sort of computer science certificate at Carleton University. Money's in high tech, right? That career goes nowhere: Nortel (biggest employer in Ottawa after the federal government) goes belly up and hurts all the smaller industries around. I do technical writing for a year and a half. Contract ends. Screw this, I go fishing for trout in the mountains of Alberta and BC for three months. Great for clearing the head, good for body and soul, does nothing for getting back working.

Drive semi trailers over Continental USA and Canada for six years till my legs go numb. Brain too, I sometimes think. Screw this, get involved in solar energy, do a couple installations. A truly screwy industry here in Ontario. I keep some money coming in doing home renovations and repair. Sixty five, I'll never get back into engineering, and likely never make much money from here on in.

While still driving truck I managed to put aside enough money for a modest motorcycle and gear.

Roads here are pretty broken up where I like to ride, in the twisties. I want a bike that will handle these roads with comfort and ability. BMW, Ducati, KTM are all out of reach. I saw my first DL650 in 2004 and thought then that it made sense. Bought a previous year's remainder new in 2010 for a good price. I have not looked back since.

You might want the 1000, so you say. Well, OK, that's fine. The 650 suits my wants and my needs. It's a nicely balanced bike, it works well as a whole. Buy the 1000 if it makes you feel better; a lot of people do. It has more power than the 650, but don't even mention it in the same breath as your VMax.

My bike's a 650 twin with no great amounts of power. I have never owned a powerful bike. But I am not an old dotard on a slow bike, afraid to lean into a corner. I RIDE my bike. I ride it everywhere, though I avoid freeways. I sometimes ride it hard. Sometimes fast. I sometimes putter along and smell the forest as I go by. I've got it half-way farkled, next step is a $1500 suspension upgrade (nice but not totally necessary). My old Volvo however is in need of a serious suspension upgrade. It get the treats this year.

I like my bike - it's honest and reliable. More importantly, and I can't stress this enough, it's very good to be riding. (Well, in another week. It's still winter here.) We can make ourselves sick over not having the perfect this or that.

Your wife wants to see you happy. Well, I agree. The VStroms are good bikes. Get riding.

Marc, rider of a black 2009 V-Strom 650A ABS

"To the Companion who knows how to go light and fare hard, who is friendly with the rain, and finds no road too long." William Blake in "Brown Waters and other Sketches", Malbaie, May, 1915.
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