New Zealand - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
Ride Reports (Route Sheets) The place to share your motorcycling adventures.

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post #1 of 11 Old 02-09-2018, 03:02 PM Thread Starter
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We have just returned from an 8 week trip to New Zealand. Bought a 2016 DL650A-XT specifically for the tour, adding Givi Trekker Outback boxes and a few other odds and sods. Shipped the bike from Gravesend to Auckland through a great little firm, New Zealand Motorcycle Adventures. For 1600 return, they crate the bike up, load into a container, ship to NZ, collect from container, clear bike through customs and arrange the Warranty of Fitness (WOF) to enable you to ride the bike in NZ. The boss, Daniel Jansen, picked us up from the airport, and took us to our hotel, and then to the bike. He also provided a load of good advice, and was on the end of a phone if we needed help. The bike is currently in storage in Auckland, awaiting the return journey in March.
We toured both North and South Islands, travelling on some of the most epic roads I have ever been on. Generally, the speed limit is 100kph, which is plenty for most of roads. We also did a fair bit of gravel roads, which fully loaded and 2 up, were a little challenging to start with (although the little XT did very well on them). We did 12000km all told (and about 500km off-road). Changed the oil half way through, and had to change the rear tyre (fitted a Heidenau K60). Apart from the Sat Nav mount falling apart, and a running light falling off, the bike performed impeccably; plenty of power and bottom end grunt. The Scottoiler was a boon, especially with the dusty conditions on the gravel roads. Only niggle was the seat, which despite having gel pads fitted and the foam recontoured, we both suffered from numb-bum - sheepskin next time. This was a trip of a lifetime, and one I would highly recommend to any biker. The VStrom was the perfect bike for the trip, and she will be a keeper once back in Blighty. Happy to offer advice to anyone considering a similar trip.
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post #2 of 11 Old 02-09-2018, 04:01 PM
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Quite jealous as NZ has been at the top of my travel list for many years. Unfortunately, its needs a good chunk of time to do it justice and US holiday schedules are not conducive to making that happen. 8 weeks sounds ideal! Look forward to seeing a trip report and photos if you are willing to share. Glad to hear that it all came together for you.
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post #3 of 11 Old 02-09-2018, 08:26 PM
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Nice , NZ is awesome for riding bikes if only I could get time off being self employed .

There are great roads and the population isn't too big ( around 4.5 mill )

I've just treated myself to a corbin seat so hopefully that will solve the seating once & for good .

You would of been blessed with the weather as this Summer has been exceptionally hot & stable .

I guess the only question is do you think it would have been any easier with the Thou as you were travelling 2 up & with trekker boxes on a 650 ?

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post #4 of 11 Old 02-10-2018, 05:24 AM Thread Starter
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To be honest, I did wonder if the 650 would be up to it, especially as we were down-sizing from a ST1300 Pan. We did plenty of research, and spoke to several 650 riders, who all assured us that they were fine for 2 up touring. Test rode both the 650 and the 1000, and we both preferred the 650. Clincher was finding a brand new XT at J&S Doncaster for 6499 (getting rid of old stock prior to the updated 2017 models).

Even fully loaded, the 650 is very light and nimble (compared with the Pan), and is surprisingly torquey, with plenty of bottom end grunt. Admittedly, it takes a while to get a head of steam up, but for most situations its top end is more than adequate. The only time I was ever caught out was committing to an overtake I probably shouldn't have - there just isn't the 'emergency' power available to accelerate out of a tricky situation (but that is down to the rider, not the bike).

Was never sure if we would be keeping the bike post holiday, but now we have truly ridden the wheels of it so to speak, there will be a permanent space in the garage for her.

A few years back, I took up Green Laning (too bloody old, but I love it!). Lots of mates ride big adventure bikes on some of the less demanding lanes, and I wondered what the XT would be like. Reports weren't good from other users, but once I got my eye in, the XT was fabulous on the loose gravel tracks of New Zealand - you've just got to build up your confidence and open the throttle to achieve stability and directional control. I'll see how she gets on with the mud and rocks of the North York Moors.

I'll look into a Corbin seat - cheers!
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post #5 of 11 Old 02-11-2018, 08:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reasonable View Post
Nice , NZ is awesome for riding bikes if only I could get time off being self employed .

There are great roads and the population isn't too big ( around 4.5 mill )

I've just treated myself to a corbin seat so hopefully that will solve the seating once & for good .

You would of been blessed with the weather as this Summer has been exceptionally hot & stable .

I guess the only question is do you think it would have been any easier with the Thou as you were travelling 2 up & with trekker boxes on a 650 ?
I don't have a Strom yet so can't talk to the suitability of either but I would think that given the general lack of boring straight roads the 1k isn't necessary. Yes there are a few, down Christchurch or coming out of Auckland/Tauranga but they aren't long enough to really get bored with the lack of speed. You aren't running super-slab for hours on end at higher speeds so the extra power isn't as necessary. And at least according to the Vee vs Wee thread the rated carrying capacity of the two is about the same.
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post #6 of 11 Old 02-11-2018, 09:56 PM
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We toured both islands [by car | ] in 2009. What a beautiful country. Milford Sound is a must. Should be on everyone's bucket list. Just make sure you stay on the left side of the road!
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post #7 of 11 Old 02-12-2018, 01:51 AM
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Hi rambaldi and apologies to the original poster manxman57 for not welcolming you to the forum , welcolme to you both .

The DL650 is a great engine and I agree compared to the USA we don't have the length of roads or just the size of your place anything close .

But what we do have is twistie roads , great scenery and generally relaxed people ( its strange how people change when their behind the wheel of a car ) .

I ride a 2013 DL650 and while its a bleedin awesome bike there are times when it would be good to have a little more oomph eg overtaking or hills

Hey manxman was the shot of you on the bike up at 90 mile beach looks awesome
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DL650A L3
KLR650
CB900 Bol d'Or
Yamaha Nifty Fifty ( great way of saving for university )
RD350LC
CB125twin
Farm Bike Suzuki Van Van 125
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post #8 of 11 Old 02-12-2018, 04:12 AM Thread Starter
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Hi Reasonable, This is my second attempt at answering your post. I replied to your original question about 650 or 1000, but I received a message saying that the moderator had to approve it - no approval yet, which I find most strange, as it was just a chatty reply, and nothing contriversial. I'll see what happens when I post this reply.
Yes, 90 Mile Beach as you come out the river at the northern end. Happy to say we did The Cape to Bluff, and loved every kilometer of it!
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post #9 of 11 Old 02-12-2018, 02:25 PM
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Good stuff envious as hell . We travelled up to the far North over Xmas and our boy surfed the big sand dunes on a boogey board & freakin loved it .
You'll have to come back and do something like this

https://youtu.be/Ob3lyYRxrdo

DL650A L3
KLR650
CB900 Bol d'Or
Yamaha Nifty Fifty ( great way of saving for university )
RD350LC
CB125twin
Farm Bike Suzuki Van Van 125
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post #10 of 11 Old 02-12-2018, 02:28 PM
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That must have been an absolute blast. New Zealand is on my bucket list - to visit if not to ride
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