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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I test drove a '18 DL1000 XT today. I'm still trying to gather my thoughts, so I will post more over the next day. That being said, I came away from the test drive looking forward to getting on my '15 DL650.

Positives:
  • Brakes - front brakes were a big improvement. Tons of bite, and took me off guard at first
  • Suspension - front suspension isn't as dive happy, which is needed with upgraded brakes
  • Power - solid increase in power, especially torque starting at 3k rpm
  • Windscreen - OEM windscreen is an improvement over the stock DL650 windsreen, but not as good as the Givi Airflow I have
Negatives:
  • Noisy - I found the engine noisy and unrefined, when compared to the 650. Lots of clakity-clunk going on
  • Clutch - assuming it can be adjusted, this point might be moot, but the clutch left something to be desired. There was a distinct lack of mechanical feedback and little to no transition, more of an on or off feeling
  • Shifting - shifts ok, but not as smooth as the 650
  • Skwirmy - For some reason I found it mildly unstable at 70-80MPH. Could be suspension setup, preload, or the like, not sure. It did not inspire confidence at highway speeds
  • Seat - was harder than my 650, or maybe it just needs some miles
  • Maneuverability/Agility - I did not feel as comfortable tossing the bike around at low speeds like I do with the 650. Again, this could just be a "getting used to it" thing
There's no doubt that many of the upgrades/addons on my bike may have helped skew my perception. My Givi AF, Augustus Deflectors, Fork Brace, all contribute to a positive riding experience. When I handed the keys back to the sales manager I asked if it was possible to put that power and brakes into my bike. And this was before the drive back to work on my 650 which reinforced my initial perceptions.

All that said, it's important to recognize that the DL650 is a really good bike! I was considering swapping it out for the 1000 before the rally, and that test drive sealed it for me. I would rather drive 5000KM on my 650 than that new 1000.

Take it for what its' worth, but that was my first impressions. I may test drive it again over the next 48 hours for a second taste and I'll report back.

Update:
Drove the same bike again today, twice, and some of the points above are no longer relevant. I also have the bike for the weekend due to the dealer replacing the head bearings on my DL650!

Agility: felt just as nimble on the bike this time around as on my 650.
Clutch: A longer test drive resulting in getting used to the clutch. It's more sensitive and requires a more delicate touch. That being said, I found it very light, and easy to use.
Shifting: Notchy shifting did not stand out this time around. To be fair I'm running 20w50 in the 650, so she shifts like creamy butter, even after 4k miles on the oil.
Twitchiness: Still found it twitchy when playing with the bars at highway speed, but when not, it was dead straight.

Overall, I'm impressed by the bike, specifically the brakes and power. The instant torque is addictive. And after a full weekend of it I'm sure I've sealed my fate.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
One thing that might be mentioned is tires being a differentiator. However, the demo 1000 had the same tire combo I'm running, a pair of Shinko 804/805's. I found that interesting considering the bike only had 2800km on it. Why would it have knobbies with such low mileage...?
 

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One thing that might be mentioned is tires being a differentiator. However, the demo 1000 had the same tire combo I'm running, a pair of Shinko 804/805's. I found that interesting considering the bike only had 2800km on it. Why would it have knobbies with such low mileage...?
and why not?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
and why not?
Considering it was a demo with low mileage, that they would eventually have to sell, they invested in tires thereby adding to the cost of the bike. I suspect one of the sales rep rode it for a short season and wanted them on.
 

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If you want to like your 650 even more put 4 pot calipers on it (used from e-bay), Intiminators into the forks and get the shock re-sprung and re-valved. Then ride the DL1000 again and you will be even less inclined to drop all that money into a new depreciation.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
If you want to like your 650 even more put 4 pot calipers on it (used from e-bay), Intiminators into the forks and get the shock re-sprung and re-valved. Then ride the DL1000 again and you will be even less inclined to drop all that money into a new depreciation.
Links to products and instructions please. I'm running out of ideas, and this just may be my next big one.
 

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Webfors, the clutch in the 1000 is hydraulic, not cable, so there is no clutch adjustment per se. The only adjustment outside of grinding on the clutch master cylinder pushrod is the lever-to-bar distance for comfort and, to a degree, engagement point.
I'll agree that the 1000 engine isnt as smooth as the 650. But to me, it isnt obtrusive at all, more of a characteristic of having 2 good-sized pistons doing their thing as opposed to the smaller 650 units.
The immediate low- and midrange power, to me, more than makes up for that. At 70-80 mph in 6th my 1000 is very smooth. Again, to me. And this is coming from long-term ownership of 4-cylinder engines. My Honda CB750 is buzzy at certain rpms, my ZRX1100 is glass everywhere what with its crankshaft counter-balancer.
As you said, the 650 is a really great bike. I swap between a friend's '14 DL650 and my ''14 DL1000 on rides. Both purchased as new/leftovers Jan '17.
I bought mine for commuting, sport-touring and multi-state rides. And for those purposes it's been ideal in every way. Off-roading and dirt is not in my riding regimen. For me, the seat is comfortable, has plenty of legroom, excellent instrumentation, handling, steering, suspension, and the torque is alway right there right now when wanted.
It's entirely possible that your highway instability is a tire thing. I'm on my 2nd set of Bridgestone BattleWings, and the bike is supremely stable at speed.
The 1000 windscreen is on-0the-fly adjustable for rake, and has 3 positions for height via Allen wrench.
I have the '18 screen on my 1000, far better than the original screen the bike came with.
 

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My .02 having owned a 2012 650 and now owning a 2014 1000:

The suspension on the 1000 is much better. I had Ricors in the 650 and they improved the forks no doubt but they're not in the same league as the 1000. Where it's most noticeable is when the bike is leaned over going over less than smooth pavement. The 1000 is much more compliant and settled feeling vs. the 650s tendency to want to "skip" if that makes sense. The 650 just didn't feel as solid compared to the 1000. Not to mention you can actually exteranlly adjust the 1000s forks.

Front brakes, the 1000 has much better feel at the lever besides more power. My 650 had the OEM brakes so maybe upgrading to a 4 pot caliper, steel lines, bigger master cylinder, fork brace, etc. could get into similar performance but the 1000 is really good to begin with.

Yea the motor on the 1000 is not sewing machine smooth like the 650 but it's much more the motor I want on a bike The way it's tuned for torque makes a more relaxing ride for me. You have to buzz the 650 through the gears to get anywhere near the acceleration the 1000 has just looping along. Want to pass at highway speeds (80ish) just twist the throttle on the 1000, I had to downshift the 650. Not a big deal of course on the 650 it's just a little more frantic.

Clutch on the 1000 takes some getting used to I agree. I moved the engagement point closer to the lever and I can live with it.

Low speed yea the 1000 is a bit more top heavy feeling than the 650. Bigger pistons and stuff moving around. I got used to it pretty quick. I actually prefer the 1000 in the dirt though, more like a big dirt bike than the 650. Funny if you watch the Motorcyclist Big ADV comparison videos they talk about how light and nimble the Vee was compared to the other bikes.


Edit: just noticed the comment about the 1000 feeling squirrely at speed. Make sure that the forks aren't raised. I bought my 1000 used and the owner had pretty much done all the setup recommendations from the WebBikeWorld review. They complained about the bike not wanting to turn in quick so they raised the forks 10mm, that's the way my bike was setup. After riding it for a awhile it felt kind of nervous at speed sometimes. I lowered the forks back into the OEM position and it's nice and solid feeling more so than my 650.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Webfors, the clutch in the 1000 is hydraulic, not cable, so there is no clutch adjustment per se. The only adjustment outside of grinding on the clutch master cylinder pushrod is the lever-to-bar distance for comfort and, to a degree, engagement point.
I'll agree that the 1000 engine isnt as smooth as the 650. But to me, it isnt obtrusive at all, more of a characteristic of having 2 good-sized pistons doing their thing as opposed to the smaller 650 units.
The immediate low- and midrange power, to me, more than makes up for that. At 70-80 mph in 6th my 1000 is very smooth. Again, to me. And this is coming from long-term ownership of 4-cylinder engines. My Honda CB750 is buzzy at certain rpms, my ZRX1100 is glass everywhere what with its crankshaft counter-balancer.
As you said, the 650 is a really great bike. I swap between a friend's '14 DL650 and my ''14 DL1000 on rides. Both purchased as new/leftovers Jan '17.
I bought mine for commuting, sport-touring and multi-state rides. And for those purposes it's been ideal in every way. Off-roading and dirt is not in my riding regimen. For me, the seat is comfortable, has plenty of legroom, excellent instrumentation, handling, steering, suspension, and the torque is alway right there right now when wanted.
It's entirely possible that your highway instability is a tire thing. I'm on my 2nd set of Bridgestone BattleWings, and the bike is supremely stable at speed.
The 1000 windscreen is on-0the-fly adjustable for rake, and has 3 positions for height via Allen wrench.
I have the '18 screen on my 1000, far better than the original screen the bike came with.
Thanks for the feedback. I agree that there must be more going on with respect to the skwirmy highway feeling. The bars felt twitchy and there was a lot of it depending on cross winds or turbulence from other cars. I was cruising 70-80 through a downtown stretch with a good amount of traffic. Would my fork brace make that much difference?

I tried the three settings on the windscreen, and it is very good. But it did let some uglier air in than my Givi AF, but definitely a huge upgrade over my old stock screen.

Regarding power, it was addictive no doubt. Lots of power, all the time. But I couldn't enjoy it because the noise, there was no sweet exhaust sound like on my 650. Just mechanical "thrashing". This could be a result of the muffler being up high vs down low. Maybe an aftermarket muffler would drown out the unpleasant noise by adding pleasant noise.. ?

I think I need to drive it again to see if I just had a biased day :grin2:

I really wanted to like it, and I was ready to pull the trigger if I did.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
If you want to like your 650 even more put 4 pot calipers on it (used from e-bay), Intiminators into the forks and get the shock re-sprung and re-valved. Then ride the DL1000 again and you will be even less inclined to drop all that money into a new depreciation.
And this is coming from a DL1000 owner... interesting. Did you do those mods to your previous DL650?
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
My .02 having owned a 2012 650 and now owning a 2014 1000:

The suspension on the 1000 is much better. I had Ricors in the 650 and they improved the forks no doubt but they're not in the same league as the 1000. Where it's most noticeable is when the bike is leaned over going over less than smooth pavement. The 1000 is much more compliant and settled feeling vs. the 650s tendency to want to "skip" if that makes sense. The 650 just didn't feel as solid compared to the 1000. Not to mention you can actually exteranlly adjust the 1000s forks.

Front brakes, the 1000 has much better feel at the lever besides more power. My 650 had the OEM brakes so maybe upgrading to a 4 pot caliper, steel lines, bigger master cylinder, fork brace, etc. could get into similar performance but the 1000 is really good to begin with.

Yea the motor on the 1000 is not sewing machine smooth like the 650 but it's much more the motor I want on a bike The way it's tuned for torque makes a more relaxing ride for me. You have to buzz the 650 through the gears to get anywhere near the acceleration the 1000 has just looping along. Want to pass at highway speeds (80ish) just twist the throttle on the 1000, I had to downshift the 650. Not a big deal of course on the 650 it's just a little more frantic.

Clutch on the 1000 takes some getting used to I agree. I moved the engagement point closer to the lever and I can live with it.

Low speed yea the 1000 is a bit more top heavy feeling than the 650. Bigger pistons and stuff moving around. I got used to it pretty quick. I actually prefer the 1000 in the dirt though, more like a big dirt bike than the 650. Funny if you watch the Motorcyclist Big ADV comparison videos they talk about how light and nimble the Vee was compared to the other bikes.


Edit: just noticed the comment about the 1000 feeling squirrely at speed. Make sure that the forks aren't raised. I bought my 1000 used and the owner had pretty much done all the setup recommendations from the WebBikeWorld review. They complained about the bike not wanting to turn in quick so they raised the forks 10mm, that's the way my bike was setup. After riding it for a awhile it felt kind of nervous at speed sometimes. I lowered the forks back into the OEM position and it's nice and solid feeling more so than my 650.
Great feedback. It sounds like all of the issues I listed are things you simply get used to, assuming there is another explanation for the highway speed "twitchiness" and the stock screen can be replaced with an AF. There is no way I could get used to that "twitchiness". My 650 at the same speeds is smooth and steady. It must be a preload or tire pressure setting. I'll check these before my next test drive.

So it sounds like if I can get used to my gripes above, the power, suspension and brakes really start to shine.

I have watched several ADV comparisons, and you're right. The DL1000 always surprises the reviewers with how smooth, agile and comfortable it is. Those other bikes must be rough brutes :grin2:
 

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Web, try a regular DL1000 instead of an XT of you can.
The noise you hear is something I dont hear on my DL1000. Unless youre just more used to your quieter, less vibratory 650. It took me a week or so to get used to the power characteristics of the big VTwin over my ZRX. One thing for sure--I NEVER get the hand/finger tingles on extended rides on the DL1000 as I used to with a couple of Fours Ive had and others Ive ridden.
As always, it all depends on your preferences, your riding style, and what floats YOUR particular float. I really like the 650. I just happen to prefer the 1000 for its additional power and content.
Long distance and swapping bikes, I noticed the 1000 tachs 1000 rpm lower than the 650 at 70 mph+. Much more relaxed at 80+ mph. Downshifting to pass on the 1000 is purely optional. It's a torquer, not a revver. Doesnt need to be. But it's power characteristics, sound, extra weight, may not appeal to you.
Purchase for YOU, no one else.
 

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And this is coming from a DL1000 owner... interesting. Did you do those mods to your previous DL650?
Yes I did and the link is in my post. Had a bit of buyer's remorse after I got the V2. But no turning back now. I added a boosterplug (pricy but worth it), that made the engine more pleasant and tractable down to 2k! And I sent my forks and shock out for re-valving and re-springing. Not a huge difference but it's plush now, so this bike will be ridden for a while.
 

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Thanks for the feedback. I agree that there must be more going on with respect to the skwirmy highway feeling. The bars felt twitchy and there was a lot of it depending on cross winds or turbulence from other cars. I was cruising 70-80 through a downtown stretch with a good amount of traffic. Would my fork brace make that much difference?

I tried the three settings on the windscreen, and it is very good. But it did let some uglier air in than my Givi AF, but definitely a huge upgrade over my old stock screen.

Regarding power, it was addictive no doubt. Lots of power, all the time. But I couldn't enjoy it because the noise, there was no sweet exhaust sound like on my 650. Just mechanical "thrashing". This could be a result of the muffler being up high vs down low. Maybe an aftermarket muffler would drown out the unpleasant noise by adding pleasant noise.. ?

I think I need to drive it again to see if I just had a biased day :grin2:

I really wanted to like it, and I was ready to pull the trigger if I did.
Fork brace isn't possible or required with an upside-down fork. It is more rigid than the conventional forks on other Stroms. As far as highway stability goes I never really noticed any difference compared to my DL650's; that is to say they all move around and I rather enjoy watching how they react to gusts, etc and self correct.

I have never heard of anyone raising the forks on a 2014+ DL1000. It was very common on first generation Stroms, not nearly as much on 2012-2017 DL650's and I don't know about after that. I recall reading that the rake and trail were more aggressive (ie sportier) on the 2014+ DL1000 compared to previous Stroms. Raising the forks/dropping the front of the bike would make it more so and may contribute to a twitchy feeling you felt.

As far as buffeting goes I use a Madstad bracket with stock windshield. I routinely ride with the front of my modular helmet up at higher speeds 80-90 mph+ with no buffeting. (I also have mirror extenders and Mirror that are roughly the shape as Napoleon Long-Stem mirrors.)

I agree the DL1000 motor is much nosier than the DL650 and clutch/tranny are not nearly as slick as the 650.

The DL650 is an amazing bike and if the 2014+ DL1000 had never come out I would still be happily riding one.

..Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yes I did and the link is in my post. Had a bit of buyer's remorse after I got the V2. But no turning back now. I added a boosterplug (pricy but worth it), that made the engine more pleasant and tractable down to 2k! And I sent my forks and shock out for re-valving and re-springing. Not a huge difference but it's plush now, so this bike will be ridden for a while.
My biggest gripes with the 650 are front fork dive and front brakes (now that I've experienced the V2 brakes). It appears I can address both of these issues.

Will this work on the '15 650?

43 MM Intiminator, fits 2004 and up DL650 V-Strom

Do you have a recommended link to the caliper upgrades for the 650?
 

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Hi V-Tom , agree that the DL650 is a very good bike .

I'm waiting for cornering abs to be added like its bigger sibling .

Don't know if that will happen or not .

And Webfors when I had my suspension upgraded the biggest improvement was the loss of dive in the front suspension , its like a different bike now .

As for front brakes , yes they're pretty weak but adding EBC HH pads helped heaps and I put in a braided Galfer line kit .

Actually I don't use the brakes a heap , let engine braking do its thing where I can
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hi V-Tom , agree that the DL650 is a very good bike .

I'm waiting for cornering abs to be added like its bigger sibling .

Don't know if that will happen or not .

And Webfors when I had my suspension upgraded the biggest improvement was the loss of dive in the front suspension , its like a different bike now .

As for front brakes , yes they're pretty weak but adding EBC HH pads helped heaps and I put in a braided Galfer line kit .

Actually I don't use the brakes a heap , let engine braking do its thing where I can
Can you provide details on the front suspension upgrade?
 

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My biggest gripes with the 650 are front fork dive and front brakes (now that I've experienced the V2 brakes). It appears I can address both of these issues.

Will this work on the '15 650?

43 MM Intiminator, fits 2004 and up DL650 V-Strom

Do you have a recommended link to the caliper upgrades for the 650?

I had the Ricors in my 650s forks. Yea they mostly stop the fork dive but they don't transform the forks into something comparable with the 1000. My opinion of course.

It's one of those things that if you didn't have anything better to compare it to you would be impressed. But once you know... :grin2:

Also I'm skeptical that you could change enough parts to make the front brakes on the 650 as nice as the 1000.

I mention this every time one of these 650 vs. 1000 threads pop up... The 1000 is a much nicer bike as far as fit, finish and components are concerned. Check them out side by side if you can.
 

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Sorry I'm no mechanic the upgrade was with K-Tech emulators on the front forks
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I had the Ricors in my 650s forks. Yea they mostly stop the fork dive but they don't transform the forks into something comparable with the 1000. My opinion of course.

It's one of those things that if you didn't have anything better to compare it to you would be impressed. But once you know... :grin2:

Also I'm skeptical that you could change enough parts to make the front brakes on the 650 as nice as the 1000.

I mention this every time one of these 650 vs. 1000 threads pop up... The 1000 is a much nicer bike as far as fit, finish and components are concerned. Check them out side by side if you can.
Doesn't need to be as good, just better :grin2:

Grippier front brakes and more stable fork dive is all need, because they stood out as deficiencies before, and definitely after the test drive.

I had my '15 and the '18 DL1000 side by side and drove them back to back, and other than the suspension and brakes (and of course power) I didn't get the impression the DL1000 was a "nicer bike". And believe me, I wanted to! But that's comparing two different gens of bike. I should look at the '18 on both, side by side, I suppose.

I think I need to test drive it again :)
 
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