Need some 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 20 Old 01-05-2007, 09:57 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Need some help.

Hi folks, new to the forum and am seeking advise from pro Vstromers.

A little back ground, if you will. I am a 54 yr young rider with a 20 year gap between bikes. Long story, I won't bore you all with it. Please keep that gap in mind though. Prior to "The Gap" I was a devout BMW rider. As far as I was concerned and somewhat to this day, there are no other motorcycles but BMW's. I would not even consider owning a "riceburner" or "Hardly Ableson".
Please don't be offended it's just a personal thing.

Anyway, I have been actively seeking a good used Beemer. With say a 6-8K budget. Not owning any riding gear I have been looking for helmet, riding suit, boots etc. and happened on a guy in the area selling a helmet. Spoke on the phone with him and made arrangements to stop by and check it out. Upon arrival noticed what I thought was a GS in his garage. Turned out to be a 650 Vstrom. Course I'm blowing it off not being a BMW and just being a little 650.

As the next 2 hours or so in conversation with the owner pass I'm growing fond of this homely looking thing. The guy's telling me he has had Beemers, Wingdings and assorted others and this VStrom is the sweetest, most fun bike he's had. Says he rides two up with a full load, long distances, bike is comfortable, plenty of power, and fun in the twisties. He would have no quams ridin the thing cross country. IS THIS TRUE?

Are there any of you out there that can atest to this, and what's your story?

One of his comments was that the 650cc bikes of today are not the 650's of the say 70's. With technology this bike compares to the 1k cc of yesteryear. Sorry but I just can't fathom that. Can someone help me here?

I will say this, I did spend the better part of today at the local dealer eyeballing this homely looking thing and squeezing info out of the salesman, sales manager, and finally the manager.

I'm on the verge here but I gotta hear some more. Thanks for spending the time to read this and thanks for the replies.

Should I buy one of these "things" I will be starting a club. It will be the ICBIRAR club. I Can't Believe I'm Rideing A Riceburner.

Last edited by Wayne; 01-05-2007 at 10:00 PM.
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post #2 of 20 Old 01-05-2007, 10:12 PM
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V-Strom is the way :)

Either of the Stroms are all you have described and more. The 650 is just as fast as my old 1990 GS1000.... well maybe not that fast but its no slouch.

It is true that a motor like the DL650 has just as powerfull as a 1970 1000cc. Not only that its is probably smother in every regard with better delivery across the board.

I got my 1k in March last year. My choices were GS, KTM950, Tiger and the Uly. I was so set on the GS, I was almost sure this was the bike for me. Then I did my research, and found that the V-Strom (either one) would do what I wanted for much much much less with better reliability.

Once I sat on one, even compared to the GS, I knew I was on to something. So I researched some more in these and Advrider forums.

Before long my mind was made up I was getting a strom. Then the hard decision came, which one to get!!!!

I was sold on the 650, being a dual sport rider for years it was the best fit in my mind. Then I took a ride with a buddy that let me ride his Monster 650 while he rode his Monster 1k.

It only took one pass on a straight to make my mind up. The little monster just could not keep up. While it did great in the twisty stuff as soon as raw HP was needed it was just not there to keep up with the S4.

Since I knew most of my riding on street was going to be with guys with liter bikes I had to go with the 1k. And after riding it in dirt, 3k miles on my summer trip and 13k total since March, I am sooo glad I went with the 1k.

Both great bikes, I can not see spending 2 to 3 times more for the logo.

Last edited by Cheff; 01-05-2007 at 10:21 PM.
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post #3 of 20 Old 01-05-2007, 10:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne View Post
One of his comments was that the 650cc bikes of today are not the 650's of the say 70's. With technology this bike compares to the 1k cc of yesteryear. Sorry but I just can't fathom that. Can someone help me here?
Today you need to look at torque and horse power. With fuel injection, variable cam timing, and other computer controled systems, the bikes are much different from there 70s counterparts.
Look at an older harley motor, full dresser factory was 40hp and 1348cc. Today on bikes, 650cc and 65hp, 1000cc and 95hp. And these are not the high hp models.

Totaled on June 9 2012 08 Victory Vision Tour Premium.
No longer riding due to injuries on June 9 2012.
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post #4 of 20 Old 01-05-2007, 10:48 PM
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Yes, Wayne, it's true.

Dear Wayne,

Well, I was 54 long ago, and just once, back in 1965, I managed to ride over 400 miles in one day. I have generally ridden 5000 to 10000 miles per year since then, sometimes in dire weather because I lived most of those years in Canada.

Undaunted, I bought a new DL650 in March 2006 and planned to ride it from Toronto Ontario to Vancouver British Columbia in early June. I actually planned to cover 400 miles per day for eight days, if I could.

So on June 4 at noon, I set out with over 100 pounds of gear in about six satchels and boxes sloppily tied behind me. Ninety miles later I made my first stop, and it felt as if I had just gone around the block. I was amazed. That day I was still amazed in Michigan, Indiana, and Illinois. Yup, I passed Chicago before midnight, and I was not in any distress. I set up my tent at a rest area beside I-80, quite impressed with the 567 miles on the trip meter for the day.

This tale is told in more detail elsewhere on this site, so I won't repeat much more. My mileage for the following days was 567, 566, 568, 495, and 490, and there I was in Vancouver, having detoured to Golden Colorado to see its roundabouts. Six days sufficed for the westward journey, with generally favorable weather but occasional rain. The return trip to Toronto was mostly through Canada, and I needed only 5 days for that, covering 687 miles on the third day. Bear in mind that, because of time changes, three of those five days were only 23 hours long.

Bottom line, a reasonably healthy 64-year-old can go 3250 miles in six days, then a week later 3050 miles in five days. This year I plan a summer trip from Toronto to Sydney NS and perhaps Newfoundland, then an October trip from Sarasota FL to Williamsburg VA.

Maintenance during the trip: Squirt the chain daily with sticky stinky goo from the local Harley shop. Change oil in Vancouver. Buy gas when the bike asks for it. Check the oil daily but never add any. Rap the tires occasionally but they never change. I guess I got 40 mpg, but I never computed it because I wasn't making decisions based on gas mileage. I generally cruised at 70-75 indicated on expressways and 50-65 on secondary roads, which I used for about a quarter of the trip. On I-76 in Colorado, a crotch rocket went past me at about mach 2. I screwed it on to see what the dickens it was and how fast it was going. In seconds, I was doing 110 and the crotch rocket was rapidly getting smaller, so I shut off and resumed 70, and never got any answers.

Go for it! Next year you will NOT be 53.
Keith
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post #5 of 20 Old 01-05-2007, 11:26 PM
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Wayne you have found the source of true VStrom information. The only question is which one. The camps are about evenly divided and fiercely loyal to their bikes. Both Stroms will do everything you want them to do. I was considering the GS, FJR, ST etc... and found that the 1K Strom did all that the higher priced machines could do, all the while felling better in the saddle and costing less. I've got 19000 miles on my '06 at the moment and ride it almost every day. The 650 owners will also regale you with their satisfaction regarding the diminutive Strom and how well it handles all aspects of riding. Ultimately the choice is your, but choose a Strom you won't regret it.
post #6 of 20 Old 01-06-2007, 12:02 AM
 
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I picked up my wee in October and what with break-in and nasty weather haven't had the chance to do a really long trip on it yet. I do have something like 3,400 miles on it tho and have done 400+ mile days. The thing is dead smooth and plenty quick. If it was my primary touring ride I'd likely go for the 1000 just to drop the RPM down a peg (6K on the wee at touring speeds) but for me its the everyday ride so the lighter weight is more desirable. I'm pretty sure you could take it anywhere and the 200+ mile range is really handy. To me, it's a better alternative to the GS for the money. I loved old Beemers but it's getting hard to find a new one that I even like. Be sure your buying the bike in front of you, not a memory of one you use to have.
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post #7 of 20 Old 01-06-2007, 01:58 AM
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Wink

Spent October and November in South-east Asia, rented small mopeds in Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia, returning last month.
Got 110ccs to take 2 people over the DMZ pass and saw several bikes carrying 3 people with porkers on the back doing the same thing. Needed a fair amount of patience, but the notion that more is better is only valid if you plan to ride I-ways exclusively.
Plan accordingly, sez I and give yourself time to set up the bike to your own needs; most farkles are as effective as stripes in adding speed, comfort, handling or reliability but they are pleasing to some.
Make out a check sheet and list the variables, pluses and minuses.........then go out and buy the one you really wanted anyway.

'15 Red DL650
Subaru Outback X/T
Brody Mtn Bike

Give 'em a twist, a flick of the wrist
That's what the showman said...
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post #8 of 20 Old 01-06-2007, 10:17 AM
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Wayne,

Obviously, on this site you're not going to hear too much negative about the Stroms.
My 2 cents worth is that you can't buy a more functional, useful, and all-around fun bike than the 650 VStrom, from any manufacturer at any price. I use mine for 2-up touring, commuting, twisty strafing, back road exploring, whatever really and the bike just handles it all with ease.

The BMW lust I'm afraid I don't understand at all. I've ridden a number of them recently and they just kind of leave me cold. They're not any more reliable than a Japanese bike (less, actually) and don't do anything enough better to justify the huge cost premium.

All that said though, bikes are a very emotional purchase for most of us, and the most important thing is to get the bike that you are going to enjoy riding.

Rich Desmond
'07 DL650, '01 DR-Z400S, '99 SV650 (race bike), '80 GS1000S, '85 RZ350, '08 Ducati 848
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post #9 of 20 Old 01-06-2007, 12:20 PM
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Wayne,

I am a 56 year old who also got back into motorcycles after a 20 year break. In the past 5 years I have logged a little over 81,000 miles, most with my wife on the back seat. I started with a Valkyrie then added a ST1300 and finally the DL650. I still have all three bikes but the Valk is for sale and the ST sits in the garage more than it would like. I would not hesitate to do a cross county on the Strom... just haven't had the chance to do it yet. If I didn't already have the St I probably would have gone for the liter Strom. A close friend with a WeeStrom allowed me to ride his and that was all it took.

With your budget, you can get new Wee or Vee and you will probably be delighted with either. For the cost of a new BMW you can get a new one of each and have money left over.

Good luck.
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post #10 of 20 Old 01-06-2007, 01:20 PM Thread Starter
 
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OK I'm impressed

Thanks to all of you for your input. Would still like to hear more.

I'm convinced, in fact I'm going to the shop right now for a demo ride. They don't usually do that but the shop manager and I hit it off yesterday and he said he'd oil, water and fuel one up for me to try. Should be fun and he'll probably accomplish what he's set out to do. Sell me one.

I'll be looking forward to conversing and hopefully riding with some of you in the future. Let me know if your in Florida and you want to pitch the tent in the back yard.

Any pre membership takers to join the ICBIRAR club?
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