Wee or Vee for commuting? - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 21 Old 07-22-2012, 10:59 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Sandy Eggo
Posts: 13
Wee or Vee for commuting?

I live in SoCal and commute 170 miles/day. My BMW K1200S is fantastic at it, especially lane sharing with factory bags on, but tires and services are spendy.

Looking for a "better" commuter.

Here's what I know
- wee gets appx 50mpg average, Vee in the low 40s
- No consistent mechanical issues (e.g. Clutches on k's are a soft spot. Te 170hp doesn't help I suppose. )

How I ride
- corners - i wear out the entire tire from edge to edge - some good corners on my commute (PR2s).
- lane sharing - all the time, every opportunity. My TE610 husky's bars are at a bad height for car mirrors. The K is awesome, and with bags in their smallest setting, they are narrower than the bars. Way better than on the loaner RTPs my dealer has.
- average speeds can be in the mid-80s+ for much of the highway ride. I just go with the flow. 90 is not uncommon in LA.
- hills. I have to come up some big ones
- I doubt the MPG numbers I've listed above apply to my ride. I get 36-38 on the K, and many other K riders get in the low-mid 40s.
- tire longevity - I get 5-6k out of a rear Michelin PR2
- I'm giving up shaft drive, do I have to give up ABS too?

Any and all input or comparisons welcome!!
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post #2 of 21 Old 07-22-2012, 11:18 AM
Mudbutt's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Redmond Oregon
Posts: 541
I love my Vee, but if I had to ride in your traffic the Wee is the better choice.

The Vee is only happy above 3500 rpms. Wee has ABS.
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post #3 of 21 Old 07-22-2012, 11:22 AM
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Jay Maine
Posts: 34
I commute daily on my Vee, albeit here in the woods of Maine, Not Cali.
I know Coming from 15 yrs of riding big-bore sport=bikes I would not have
been happy with the power of the Wee. Ive ridden the big BMWS and they pull
pretty strong.
Go with the Vee ,IMO
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post #4 of 21 Old 07-22-2012, 12:25 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Houston Texas
Posts: 4,969
Running 80 plus mph for extended periods eliminates the DL 650. You are starting to run out of steam around there and working it that hard negates the big fuel mileage advantage it has at lower speeds. Don't plan on 40mpg with the Vee, especially at those speeds. If you leave it stock I suspect you will do well to match what you are getting now. It is not available with ABS and neither the Wee or Vee will feel like it has brakes after riding the BMW.

Not sure if you will be saving money over the BMW on service, just the chain and sprocket replacement will add up with your mileage. I have an R 1150 RT and while service may be easier on it than the K bikes I find the BMW easier and cheaper to operate maintenance wise than the Vee.

'12 DL 650 '14 BMW R 1200 RT

WERKS modified clutch baskets for DL and SV 1000's.
The BEST in chudder control, noise control, and lasting durability! AVAILABLE HERE: www.werksparts.com

Have questions about the clutch in your DL or SV 1000? E-mail Terry [email protected]
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post #5 of 21 Old 07-22-2012, 12:51 PM
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
Posts: 237
FJR. I had one, and it's an awesome bike. Just didn't ride enough two-up or highway miles to justify keeping it.

Takes regular gas, maintenance is so infrequent it's damned near optional, good gas mileage, plenty of power for highway and passing, the second gen (2006+ if i remember correctly) has the saddlebags tucked a little in so should make lane splitting a little easier.

And tons of them out there to find a used one at a good price. Right now on fjrforum.com, there's a 2007 with about 30k, FULLY FULLY FULLY loaded for about 8300.


PS - Oh yeah, and I think all the second gen as ABS as well. double check that one though. Also, (if you're interested), comes in a clutchless variety and there are some dealers that couldn't get rid of the clutchless one. Pushbutton shifting OR you could use the shift lever with your left foot like usual, just dont need to use a clutch. Should be plenty of $$$$ off cause it'll be something like a 2007 or 2008 old-stock at a dealer.

Last edited by sfalexi; 07-22-2012 at 12:53 PM.
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post #6 of 21 Old 07-22-2012, 01:40 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 53
I commute almost daily in LA traffic on the Wee. Not as long or as fast as you do, but for me it's a great commuter bike. I navigate a lot of traffic on the 10 freeway, and the maneuverability of the Wee makes it a breeze. I wouldn't want to do 80mph for hours on end, though 70mph for me is pretty good. Changing your sprocket ratios might help bring down the RPMs enough to make high speeds more comfortable long range. Also handguards are a great addition, I have them on my Wee and like the wind and grit protection. Good luck let us know what you end up choosing!
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post #7 of 21 Old 07-22-2012, 03:36 PM
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Baltic, Ct
Posts: 6,637
Burgman 650
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post #8 of 21 Old 07-22-2012, 04:15 PM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Pasadena, CA
Posts: 42
Wee Every Day

I have done the Southern California commuting on the Vee, the Wee, the C-14, and more recently, the new Triumph Tiger Explorer 1200. Of all of those, I would recommend the Wee. Narrow, light, likes the revs, ABS, good gas mileage. I run it at 80-90 every day and it doesn't complain. Tires may last longer too. Not as much of a smile factor as the other three, but very utilitarian.

BTW, i agree the FJR can be a good choice if the ergonomics work for you.

Last edited by PasadenaV-Strom; 07-22-2012 at 04:17 PM.
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post #9 of 21 Old 07-25-2012, 09:54 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Sandy Eggo
Posts: 13
Thank you for the thoughtful responses, everyone.

Couple quick thoughts and summary of your gracious inputs.

-FJR is a nice bike, but bags are wide, affecting lane sharing. City lids would help a lot. It competes directly with my K, and I checked it out before going BMW.

I'm reading
- 80+ as yes and no on the Wee.
- lane sharing goodness on the Wee
- Vee mpg may not satisfy
- Wee has ABS as option
- hey Eric, don't forget sprockets and chains get replaced!

I'll start doing my maintenance cost homework on the Wee'and see if having a 3rd bike is cost-effective.

I could do like the guy going South on 5 every day and ride my Dual-sport (Husky 610). he's on a KLR. (props to the guy/gal). Those are cheap to maintain! LOL

Wee seems to be a favorite choice.
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post #10 of 21 Old 07-25-2012, 10:09 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Washougal, Washington
Posts: 1,305
My vote is wee! I commute daily on mine and love it. The only adjustment I'd recommend (because of your higher speeds) would be to switch up the sprockets to drop your rpms a bit. My wee has stock gearing but I also at fastest go mid 70's on my commute and occasionally get into the 80's and know that if my commute was more freeway than highway, I'd have taller gearing.

Good luck!

XL1200N (Sold)
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