New forum member seeks advice for 2nd 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 23 Old 12-12-2017, 01:19 PM Thread Starter
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New forum member seeks advice for 2nd bike

Greetings,

Currently on an HD Switchback and am starting to itch for a 2nd bike...something non cruiser. My bike history is...
2002 SV650S (bought new....my 1st bike...still miss it and also think it still looks way better than what the SV became)
2002 Yam Road Star (bought new....wife's 1st bike was a cruiser, so had to get something similar)
2007 SV1000s (bought used, wife had a Kawi Z1000 at the time, loved the engine, but even after Convertibars, Sargent seat and Buell pegs, couldn't get comfy on it)
2013 HD Switchback (bought new...see below for anniversary story)

Before purchasing my HD, along with a bunch of other bikes, I had taken a test ride on a then new 2014 BMW R1200GS and loved it, but so many reports of expensive maintenance, durability/reliability issues and of course price, give me pause. My brother in law bought a 2014 VStrom 650 new, as his first bike and he loves it, but doesn't really have perspective of other bikes....and he rides less aggressively that I do. My buddy that I tour with quite a bit, has a BMW F800Gs that I've ridden here and there. When I had the SV1k, we were on tour by Lake George, NY. My body was pretty sore from riding the SV on day 4 and we swapped bikes for about 50 miles. I was very much appreciating the riding position and pot hole devouring suspension. I've been wanting to explore an ADV type bike since.

I'm somewhere between a VStrom 1k, Versys 1k and the new Kawi Z900Rs (yeah, I know...not an ADV bike, but it makes my heart go thumpa thumpa) is on the list as well. I'm looking for touring capability and comfort, while providing some excitement with good brakes, shocks, etc. I don't do off road, but who knows if I had a bike with more focus on that end of things.

What drove you to get a VStrom 1k over other options? Any thoughts as to how it compares to the Versys 1k?

If it helps, I'm 5' 11" / 34" inseam.

By the way, can't get rid of the Switchback. My wife and I both got Switchbacks for our 10 year anniversary that match the colors of the HD Fatboys we rented in 2003 to get married on a hot air balloon on the north side of Phoenix, with a ride and stay at the Grand Canyon for the honeymoon. Also, I have it setup for pretty nicely now for me.

Appreciate the help. Thanks!
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post #2 of 23 Old 12-12-2017, 02:25 PM
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How much are you willing/able to spend? Are you willing to buy used? There are horror stories about beemers as well as just about every brand out there on the internet. I've owned two GSs, a 2004 and a 2006 and never had a bit of problem with either one. The R1200GS LC is the standard by which all ADV style bikes are judged for good reason. These bikes have made steady improvements over the years and the liquid cooled GSs from the last couple years are really amazing.
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post #3 of 23 Old 12-12-2017, 02:57 PM
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Yamaha Super Tenere. Best all around touring platform I've ridden, including my old HD Road King. 43,000 miles so far, and all I've had to fix were two burnt out headlight bulbs. Way cheaper than a GS.

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post #4 of 23 Old 12-12-2017, 03:22 PM Thread Starter
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@zener (post count to low to quote)

I agree the GS is the standard of the ADV world, and based on the test ride of a 2014, I loved the bike. More than anything, the price is too much for me. I would want a "wethead". The engine reminded me a lot of the SV1k I had, with a little more bottom end.

@ RCinNC (again, post count to low to quote)
Appreciate the info. Was on tour with my riding buddy a couple of years ago and the motorcycling gods bestowed their benevolence upon us. While upon arriving at our 1st night destination in Killington, VT, said motorcycling god benevolence bestowment was comprised of running into a Yamaha and Ducati test ride. I test rode an FJR1300, FJ-09 and Tenere. Sorry to say, I liked the Tenere the least of the bunch. Liked the FJR the most, but it felt like straddling an ICBM.
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post #5 of 23 Old 12-12-2017, 03:37 PM
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I wasn't sold on it at first either. I had the same feeling the first time I rode the V-Strom; in fact, I really disliked the DL650 the first time I rode one. Both of them grew on me over time. Your mileage may vary, of course.
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post #6 of 23 Old 12-12-2017, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RCinNC View Post
I wasn't sold on it at first either. I had the same feeling the first time I rode the V-Strom; in fact, I really disliked the DL650 the first time I rode one. Both of them grew on me over time. Your mileage may vary, of course.
Thanks for the info!
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post #7 of 23 Old 12-12-2017, 05:38 PM
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I reread your question,and when you mentioned touring comfort, A DL650 would be a great choice. I've got a number of bikes, cruiser included and my choice of touring now is my DL650.
Of course you realize that your wife will also need one.
And the same colour of course.
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2009 Suzuki DL650
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post #8 of 23 Old 12-12-2017, 07:01 PM
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Even though I owned a couple GSs and they're the standard of ADV bikes, I too now ride a DL650 for longer distances. Not as good as a GS in any category except economy, but very good. Spend a couple thousand on seat, screen, aux. lights, etc., etc. and it's a great tourer at a fraction of the cost of a GS. The irony is that even with a GS you need to spend extra money on farkles.
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post #9 of 23 Old 12-12-2017, 11:18 PM
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I purchased a 1990 FLHTCU (Ultra Classic) last June after a 15 year hiatus from street bikes. It's great for me and the wife but quickly lost the "fun factor" for me when riding solo. My wife encouraged me to find another bike for me to ride solo on and I stumbled on an 03 DL1000 for a smoking deal. I don't have many miles on it yet, and there are a couple more farkles needed for it to be a little more comfortable for me but I love it. It's fast, handles well in the corners and rides very well on the local crap ass Colorado roads. I've only sat on the Tenere, liked it, but never ridden one and I haven't looked at a Versys. My vote would be for a DL1000 or Tenere.

I understand about keeping the Switchback, they're sweet looking bikes and Harley's are fun to ride in their own way. I look at it this way, my Harley is for nostalgia and for touring, my Strom is a tool, a Leatherman, if you will. It doesn't do one thing exceptionally well, but does many things well. Plus, no chrome to polish. Good luck to you on your search.

FYI, I have a Corbin seat on my Vstrom, I'm 6'1" with a 32"ish inseam and with thick sole hiking boots I can't fully flat foot the bike. I don't feel out of control but something worth mentioning.
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post #10 of 23 Old 12-13-2017, 08:16 AM
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Earlier this year I made a list of what I wanted in a bike. I wanted a lighter, more powerful bike than my Harley. I also wanted something that rode smoother on rough roads. The Vee 1000 checked all my boxes. The best part is that I gained the fun factor I had lost with bigger bikes and trikes!
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