Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Anderson Island, WA
Rode the Vee2, Rode the 1190
A local dealer let me take both for a test ride. Only about 15 minutes each but I will share my impressions. First, the 1190 had about 1.5k miles on it so I could ride with abandon. I did bounce it off the rev limiter a couple of times. The DL had fewer than 100 and I respected the break-in and kept the revs below 6k. I also didn't change any of the TC or suspension settings.
Engine: Of course the 1190 was a beast. I hit 85 mph on an on-ramp with time to coast down to 60 before merging. But even with the handicap, the DL was plenty impressive. Great pulling power at 4k rpm. The thing I didn't like about the DL was the whine coming from the engine. I guess it is the valve train. After riding the 1190, on which I heard only the exhaust and the wind, that noise was really noticeable and, frankly, annoying. Maybe it decreases with break-in and just getting used to it.
Suspension: I rode the same route and purposely hit some shallow potholes and rough patches. The 1190 was clearly superior, especially the rear. The DL sort of shuddered and bucked a little when the rear hit the bad spots. But, again, I had no chance to made suspension adjustments.
Ergonomics: Very close to the same riding position but I give a nod to the DL for the better seat. I would have to put 2+" bar risers on either to comfortably stand without being hunched over. I'm 6'3". Both windshields are too short for my tastes. The dealer didn't have a DL1000 Adventure model and I understand those come with a taller version.
Brakes: Both have great front brakes. The 1190 rear brake is excellent. The DL has, well, a V-Strom rear brake. Not near the feel or stopping power.
Other things: I did not like the turn signal switch on the 1190. It operates the same way as the DL but it lacks tactile feedback. Pushing the switch in to turn off the signal is like pushing on a switch that isn't meant to be pushed. Every time I hit the off switch I had to look down to double check.
I was seriously considering either bike but the test rides sealed the deal for me. Vee2 for sure.