For experienced riders, go back to your porn links. This is for us newbies with challanged inseams. :biggrinjester:
Stroms on paper are not ideal starter bikes because they are tall and a bit heavy.
They have a pretty smooth clutch, plenty of low end torque to allow for smooth starts, feul injection for smoother starts ifrom cold start-ups, ABS for thoose "oh sh!t" moments and last but not least, plenty of tupperware protection if you have crash bars. And the biggest reason of all, you don't have to "upgrade" to anything else if you don't want to. Unlike starting with a 250 cc bike, the Strom can serve any need short of challanging Hayabusas, canyon carving with GSX's and trail riding the Alps.
I had a tough time gaining confidence on the bike and after I lowered it, everything changed. Before I lowered it, I had to tip toe to keep it upright, thus, every start become an "on/off" switch between moving or standing still. The bike couldn't roll more then a few inches before I had to pull my leg up and go. If it wobbled a bit and I tried to catch it, it would throw me off balance and cause an even bigger reaction. Ninety degree turns where also "on/off" affairs that needed to much space.
After the lowering links.....
I could put both feet flat on the ground. That in itself made the bike feel a hundred pounds lighter. I could man-handle the bike instead of sitting on top of it and keeping my balance on tip-toes. In the ride, it made a HUGE difference. Instead of "on/off" starts, it allowed me to let the clutch out smoothly while maintaining the three point contact. The difference is only about 12 to 16 inches of forward movement while keeping my foot down but that is the difference between centrifugal force taking over and Mr. Pavement. Ninety degree start up turns are also much smoother for the same reason. With experience, the clutch control vs balance issue become more reflex and the height issue diminishes.
Last but not least, that extra inch can be a heart saver if you happen to stop over a sunken man hole cover and when you put your foot down, you have thin air where you think there should be terra firma.
So here is what I suggest. If you are a newbie and you are looking at your first big bike and you think the Strom is to big and heavy, get some lowering links and drop the bike an inch. Normally, you can't drop it more then that because the front end only allow you to drop about 3/4 of an inch before the fork tubes hit the handle bar. You can drop it even lower but you need to get aftermarket offsets brackets for your handle bar. I don't think it's a good idea to go 2 inches or beyond and if you do, only on a very temporary basis. Also note that it will change your suspension by making it softer.
That's my experience and suggestions.
P.S. Here is a link on how it's done.
P.S.S. You need to cut and weld the kickstand about 3/4 of an inch AND re-adjust the headlights.