Considering a Vstrom, please help.... - 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 29 Old 09-25-2009, 05:55 PM Thread Starter
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Considering a Vstrom, please help....

I am conisdering a a used Vstrom and I was hoping you guys could help. I have done alot of searching through this forum so I dont mean to beat a dead horse. Let me first introduce myself. I am a long time rider of about 13 years. I have had a long list of bikes with some jap cruisers, about 10 BMW's including a GS, an ST1300 and a Buell. I am considering a Vstrom. Its always appealed to me and with my budget for the next bike being fairly tight I think it will be a good fit. The stroms seam like a alot of bike for the buck. I am debating between the 650 and the 1000. I have read all the differences debated and from what I can gather the 650 is better balanced, smoother, better mpg's but not very fast. The 1000 needs some help to the rear shock to raise the rear end, its faster, a bit buzzier, no abs option. I was all set to go with the 650 since I like ABS after many BMW's and I would like something to slow me down. I figure if the bike isnt real powerful it would help keep my speeding in check. However I am over 300lbs and I am concerned that the 650 wont be enough. I like to travel and take long trips so I will do some pavement pounding. It will never go off road (maybe some dirt roads) so the weight isnt an issue. I am not afraid of the power the 1000 has but I like alot about the 650 (better mpg, smoother, abs, cheaper...). My salesman at the local Suzuki dealer told me I would be very unhappy with the 650 becasue of lack of power. Also, how smooth are these bikes. Smoother than a BMW boxxer? comprable to a 4 banger or more similar to a harley? I havel only sat on one. I havent found a bike to test ride. dealers wont do it and I dont want to go private party until I am ready to buy as I find it rude to waste someones time. Can anyone compare the strom to a BMW 1150 GS? Are there any years on the strom to avoid? years better than others or made any improvments? It seams the very early 1000's had some issues. Can anyone elaborate the issues/differences? I apprecuiate you taking the time and I look forward to any responses. I am eager to get a strom but I feel I need to learn more about it before buying one.
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post #2 of 29 Old 09-25-2009, 07:19 PM Thread Starter
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I just smashed my balls with a hammer.
Huh? I hope it felt good.... Any serious replies?
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post #3 of 29 Old 09-25-2009, 07:57 PM
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I have a 2005 DL 1000, and I'd not trade it for a 650 personally...but DO NOT discard a 650 due to lack of power. It is not a slow bike by any means...as I've personally be "out ridden" by a fellow member who has a 650.

And for your weight...well...I've also witnessed a 650 haul two 225lbs men from Columbus Ohio to Canada...so don't let that worry you either.

Ride both bikes if you can...then decide.

Like what was said before...if ABS is a concern...decision is already made.

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post #4 of 29 Old 09-25-2009, 08:11 PM
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And for your weight...well...I've also witnessed a 650 haul two 225lbs men from Columbus Ohio to Canada...so don't let that worry you either.
They sure were cute together, weren't they.

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I have read all the differences debated and from what I can gather the 650 is better balanced, smoother, better mpg's but not very fast. The 1000 needs some help to the rear shock to raise the rear end, its faster, a bit buzzier (way wrong), no abs option. I was all set to go with the 650 since I like ABS after many BMW's and I would like something to slow me down.
Reading this you sound like a 650 kind of guy. The 650 is much quicker than you would expect from such a small engine. You care about gas mileage, ABS and slowing down...no reason for you to get the 1000.


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post #5 of 29 Old 09-25-2009, 08:22 PM
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Although I'm no expert, I can tell you 100%--it ain't no Harley. It doesn't vibrate at all like any cruiser V-Twin motor. As for the 650 being better balanced, that's highly debateable-with your (and my) weight on it, the better balanced part is shot. If you ride the open road like me, mostly interstates, the 1000 is the better of the two at high speed. 70MPH in sixth gear is purring along effortlessly. I've had ABS on my last three cars and trucks and other than playing in the snow-never used it. I test rode a 1150 GS, and the Strom is more nimber and all round easier to ride, plus a whole lot cheaper to maintain. You can ride a 1000 any way you want, just cruise, shift gears around 4 grand and she'll get great milage OR, it will go like hell if you want it to, but it's no V-Max or 'Busa by any means, most cops don't even look at these things when you go buy, kinda like a "Stealth Bike" that gets under the radar!! Cheers-BB

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post #6 of 29 Old 09-25-2009, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys for all of the great replies. I was thinking that this might be a instant response for the 1000 because of my weight. However, I am thinking that I definately need to ride the wee after these responses. I really enjoyed my R1150GS. The wind buffetting, an uncomfortable seat, small pegs and cramp leg room led to its sale. I have been more into the sport touring bikes and I have still considered an FJR or K1200GT (1st gen). However, I really loved the long travel suspension of the GS. The roads here in California get crappier and crappier every day. So I am thinking that the Strom might be a good choice. I sat on them in the showroom and I am in love with the seating position and leg room. Its like it was set up perfectly. I normally like the smoothness of a four cylinder but the flickability of 2 cylinder bikes. I figure I will put a set of Jesse cases on a strom right away whether it be a wee or a vee. Bourbon Boy, I appreciate the insight on the GS comparison. I have found my GS to be the best handling bike I have owned so I will be interested in riding the Strom.
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post #7 of 29 Old 09-25-2009, 09:29 PM Thread Starter
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Reading this you sound like a 650 kind of guy. The 650 is much quicker than you would expect from such a small engine. You care about gas mileage, ABS and slowing down...no reason for you to get the 1000.
I should have mentioned that my set up would be me (about 315-320lbs), a set of jesse cases and some luggage. We also have the sierra nevada mountains with 7-8 percent grades.
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post #8 of 29 Old 09-25-2009, 09:55 PM
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It all depends on how you ride

I have both a wee with abs and a vee. I personally think the wee is a little under powered but that is mostly due to the way I like to ride. But where it shines is flickability for in town riding and on the dirt. The vee can get you into trouble in a real hurry but it is a great all arounder also.

You can't go wrong with either one but your riding style will dictate which one is better for you. Test ride both and decide for yourself.

Current: '03 vee, '07 wee abs, and '01 xr650r.

Past: '73 cb350, xl500, 2x Ninja 600s, Radian 600, and '93 klx650r.

Other toys: '68 Bronco sport, '69 XR-7 Cougar convertible and '41 Teardrop trailer.
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post #9 of 29 Old 09-25-2009, 09:58 PM
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I should have mentioned that my set up would be me (about 315-320lbs), a set of jesse cases and some luggage. We also have the sierra nevada mountains with 7-8 percent grades.
Understood, but like BadTrainDriver said, there was a recent call for two full size men to ride two up from Ohio to Canada with luggage. I think it's safe to say they were pushing well over 450 lbs. The comments I saw from them was how impressed they were with how the 650 performed.

No question the 1000 is more relaxed in those conditions, but you will not get the gas mileage or ABS that interest you. As the owner of both Stroms (and an FJR) I sum it up this way. The 650 may be the best "joy of motorcycling" bike on the market. It's smooth and just makes you smile and happy to be on a bike. It's not fast, but it sure as hell isn't slow. It really is a joy to ride. The 1000 is a grit your teeth and nail the throttle kind of bike. You just want to slam that sucker into the twisties and grin like an ax murdering giddy little school girl. It's joyously evil, and I love it.

For comparison the FJR is more refined than both bikes and is like riding on rails in the corners. Which is good if you like that kind of thing. Personally I like my evil side more than my refined side and prefer the 1000.


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post #10 of 29 Old 09-26-2009, 01:34 AM
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There are plenty of heavy 650 riders out there. There are also plenty of folks who ride the 650 two up regularly and don't have a problem with power or comfort.

Don't fall for the 1000 is more macho line. Ride both and make an informed decision. Either is a good choice and will make you happy.


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