So I put over 5600 km (~3500 miles) in 1 month on my new v-strom 650 xt as I took it on trip through Balkans
fully loaded with pillion. We rode together with friends on another bike, v-strom 1000c also loaded and 2up.
I thought I'd put together a list what I liked and what I didn't.
- engine is perfect even for 2up and loaded, never had problem with power or passing. Motor is so flexible you can accelerate on any gear. Highway cruising speed 140 km/h no problem. No vibration to complain.
- seat very comfortable even after 10 hours in saddle for both pillion and me.
- headlamp (hi and low beam) is useless and dangerous to ride at night, it illuminates top of the pine trees and blinds the oncoming traffic. Really disappointed Suzuki put so poor lamps on this bike and didn't even
adjust them properly in factory.
- handling at speed is very good, very nimble bike. Riding through Montenegro/Serbia mountains through thousands of twisties was a pleasure.
- handling at low speed not so good when you put too heavy luggage on the back or pillion moves back wobbling can occur. Preload was cranked all the way to hard and tire pressure 33/42 psi as per book.
- average fuel consumption 4.1 liters for 100 km, pretty good.
- stock mirrors introduce huge turbulence to shoulder and sides of the helmet. Especially on the left. Fixable when riding with left hand on the mirror which deflects the wind.
- Added adjustable wind deflector did the job well, no turbulence on top of my helmet or bugs on my visor.
- Suspension setup pretty universal from factory, no complains.
- stock tires Bridgestone Battlax Adventure very good, dry and wet. The wear is good.
- didn't take any oil.
- brakes are good, not very good but good.
To sum up - 650 run beautifully, not a single issues. dl 1000 had F1 warning popped up, flashing 2 times. Culprit was not tighten enough battery connector.
There was no problem with keeping up with 1000cc at all and fuel consumption difference was about liter per 100 km.
- Need to fix/adjust headlamp
- add auxiliary lights.
- change mirrors or put side deflectors on them.