Is the VStrom 650 for me? - 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 21 Old 03-27-2010, 11:11 PM Thread Starter
Junior Trooper
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Fresno, CA
Posts: 4
Is the VStrom 650 for me?

I figure, it's time to decide between the two... a VStrom 650 or a KLR 650. I've done my certifications, sat on just about every bike at every dealership in the area, purchased all of my gear, and just need to make this final decision.

I'm planning on using the bike to commute across town and run errands (which sometimes includes hauling my 9-year old to activities and things). I'm 6' tall, have a 33" inseam, and weigh in at 240 lbs. I like an upright, comfortable sitting position. My big thing is that I want something reliable that sips gasoline as slowly as possible.

Is the VStrom for me? I like the KLR as it sounds incredibly reliable and sits very comfortably... but the extra power in the VStrom sounds nice too.

Any opinions for a VStrom newbie??

Any advice is greatly appreciated!!!

Last edited by elias4444; 03-27-2010 at 11:13 PM.
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post #2 of 21 Old 03-27-2010, 11:24 PM
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Location: Port Perry, Ontario, Canada
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It's hard to not recommend the DL650. I now have over 100,00 km (over 62,000 miles) on my 2006 DL650.

You might want to read my comments about it that I posted over on Stromtrooper:


2006 DL650: 202,000 km 125,500 miles, Sold
2012 DL650 139,500+ km, 86,700+ miles. Sold
2015 DL1000 New July 2015 185,000+ km, 115,000 miles.

This can help preventing from cars pulling out in front of you (SMIDSY)
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post #3 of 21 Old 03-27-2010, 11:59 PM
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Location: Van, BC
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They are both good bikes, the Vstrom being the more luxurious/refined of the 2, just depends what you want?

They both offer their own benefits, strengths and weaknesses.
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post #4 of 21 Old 03-28-2010, 12:14 AM
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Location: Washington State
Posts: 1,793
If you're mostly going to be running across town and such, get the V-Strom. If you are going to be doing more dirt/off road than that, get the KLR. If you are going to mostly ride on the road, but think you might take a gravel road or Forest Service track once in a while, get the V-Strom. (Did I repeat myself? :biggrinjester

I have a DL650, and last year I got my son a used KLR650 for graduation. I love playing off road on the KLR, but the DL is waaaaaaay better on the pavement.

Either one will be a great first bike, though.


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07 650A | KLR250(x2) | KLR650 | DRZ400 | FJR
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post #5 of 21 Old 03-28-2010, 12:19 AM
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I had a KLR.

If you haven't ridden both, I can tell you it's like comparing a horse-drawn cart to a jet. Seriously - they are nothing alike, IMO.

The KLR is a thumper, ~30hp, carburated, released in 1987 or so. Cheaply built, prone to a few issues (doohickey, subframe bolts, probably a few other little glitches I'm not remembering). More dirt-oriented. Crap on the highway, IMO.

The Wee (I'm a little out of my element here - I own a Vee) is a V-twin, ~60hp, fuel-injected, released in 2004. Don't know of any "known" issues on the Wee. More street oriented.

If fuel economy is your main concern, then there's little more to consider - but I think your riding style is what will really lean you towards one of the other. If you want to be more comfortable at speed, and value the convenience of a gas gauge, a clock, etc. - get the Wee. If you'd rather knock the thing around in the woods, or don't really plan on ever going for extended trips or on the highway, and you really want a simple, cheap, practical machine, it's hard to beat the KLR.

The ergos, CG, and handling characteristics are pretty similar, IMO.
post #6 of 21 Old 03-28-2010, 12:27 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: GHC-WA-USA
Posts: 178
I had the same dillema, and we're similarly sized with me at 6'3" and 220lbs.

The things that tipped it for me to buy the DL650 were these-
Fuel injection
Better two-up accomadations
V-twin vs Thumper

I am a 90/10 rider and my DL suits well for forest roads and tarmac.

My friend sold his KLR a year ago because he got tired of the way it rode on the road. He took my DL out and told me if he had got that instead, he'd still have a bike instead of the Focus he traded it in for.

I think I chose the better bike for myself, and from your brief explanation, I feel confident in recommending the DL for your use as well.

The price point at nearly 2.5k more for the DL (dealer incentives bring MSRP on the KLR to $5k right now) almost had me go with the KLR, but after spending 400+ miles on the DL, I am happy to have paid the extra.

But all the great stories we can tell you don't mean poo, we can only tell you what we have found is best for us. You need to decide what fits you best and what you can afford to spend.

Edit- I fueled up for the 2nd time today, I calculated my mileage to be appx 51. That was with a lot of city driving and I tend to keep my rpms low and bike slow (still doing initial break in). The KLR will give you better range, but not by much, due to the larger tank. The DL is going to stomp the KLR as far as mileage goes, but you will make more fuel stops.

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[SIZE="1"]Tasty, tasty murder...[/SIZE]

Last edited by CoastalDefender; 03-28-2010 at 12:32 AM.
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post #7 of 21 Old 03-28-2010, 12:28 AM
Join Date: May 2007
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I've never ridden a KLR650, but for some strange reason I want one.

However, I'm 6'1", 190 pounds, this morning I left the house at 6:15 am on my 2007 ABS WeeStrom, rode 311.6 miles with a buddy who just bought a new 2009 ABS WeeStrom and had to finish the break-in. 5.4 gallons of gas, 3 candy bars, 1 quart of coffee, and I'm still happy!

Your satisfaction may vary.

2007 ABS Wee-Strom "The Silver Surfer"
2003 Kawasaki Concours "Mabel, the Flying Kaw"
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post #8 of 21 Old 03-28-2010, 07:20 AM
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 67
KLR didn't for me

After owning a 2008 KLR I'm amazed at the ability for many riders to use them as adventure touring bikes. If you're going to ride mostly on the dirt the KLR is the way to go. In every other aspect the Strom is far superior.
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post #9 of 21 Old 03-28-2010, 07:30 AM
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Location: Yuma, AZ
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I think you ought to buy the KLR.

I'm parting one out starting next week and you might need some stuff I use EBAY

The KLR is kinda fun, in a slow, noisy, buzzy sort of way. If you are located on good gravel roads, it's probably ok, but if you want to actually ride to get there? Not so much. And don't buy it thinking you are getting a dirt bike, it is way too heavy and underpowered for that.

You want a MOTORCYCLE? Buy the Wee. You a McGiver wannabe? Buy the KLR.

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post #10 of 21 Old 03-28-2010, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by BigTom View Post
You want a MOTORCYCLE? Buy the Wee. You a McGiver wannabe? Buy the KLR.
Someone on said something once that made all my experiences with the KLR much more enjoyable:

"Don't think of it as a bike - think of it as a tractor."

For some reason, lumping around town and on dirt/ gravel roads, riding a 2-wheeled tractor made more sense.
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