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Discussion Starter #1
I have an '09 650 that I really like and runs great with 73K miles. I'm planning on keeping it for at least another 25K miles but lately have become very interested in the 2017+ 650's. So my question to anyone who has owned a first gen. and now owns a 3rd gen, is it a better bike? What things are better or worse? I know about the new tech like quick start, low assist take off, and traction control, none of which impress me, but what about suspension, motor, brakes, wind management, MPG/range, etc? I love the gold spoke wheels but I bet they're a PITA to clean.
 

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I'm new to Vstroms, but have found the stock windshield very noisy and the stock seat not so comfy for me. Love the ride, handling, general ergonomics and engine characteristics. The reviews seem to indicate the brakes are competent rather than impressive. I'd agree with that. Hopefully you get a response from a long time Vstrom owner who has first hand knowledge of the differences between the generations. I do prefer the looks of the previous model.
 

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I have an '09 650 that I really like and runs great with 73K miles. I'm planning on keeping it for at least another 25K miles but lately have become very interested in the 2017+ 650's. So my question to anyone who has owned a first gen. and now owns a 3rd gen, is it a better bike? What things are better or worse? I know about the new tech like quick start, low assist take off, and traction control, none of which impress me, but what about suspension, motor, brakes, wind management, MPG/range, etc? I love the gold spoke wheels but I bet they're a PITA to clean.

Motor is best one yet, same ole brakes, slighter better suspension than first gen, wind management is better, MPG/range about the same if not slightly better, fit/finish night and day better, technology is literally apples to oranges different/better. The spoke wheels are not hard to clean at all IMHO, of course I'm far far far from honestly ever cleaning them. :grin2: That's the XT version anyways, why not just get the cast wheel versions?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the info Big B. I may very well go with cast wheels, I just really love how those gold rims look. My rear wheel is usually filthy with chain lube & dirt, which doesn't bother me with a cast wheel, but I'd be cleaning the rear gold rim constantly, something I really don't want to do.
 

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yup, love them Gold Rims, honestly, cleaning them isn't that bad, just get some S100 Motorcycle cleaner, after I lube the chain that first ride after is an easy clean up and well worth it, those rims really set off the bike
 

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I had a 2009 and sold it with 64,000 miles.. main reason I sold it was I having issues with my back at the time which really reduced my riding time - I had a Ninja 650R with some low bars that actually did not bother me as much (go figure). At any point I seemed to have gotten control of the back issues and I have no doubt that my Russel Daylong on the 2018 has a lot to do with that.

As far as a comparison goes..

I think my 2009 ran a bit smoother especially when it comes to buzziness back in the subframe area. I know they made changes to the subframe which I think may have impacted this a bit.

The 2018 does feel quite a bit lighter even though it doesn't show that on the scales. I thought I would miss the double headlight setup on the 2009 but I have to admit I have been impressed with the single headlight setup.

Fuel economy is about the same. While they say the 18 has more HP than the 09 I really haven't noticed much of a difference.

I don't seem to have as big of a concern with wind buffeting on the 18. I added some of my trials and tests in the Wind Buffeting Sticky and basically I am pretty much good with the Suzuki Tall Windscreen.

While I really enjoyed my 2009 I would give the nod to the 2018 because it has ABS and Traction Control. I wasn't a big fan of ABS until a couple of years ago when riding home from a long trip and I had a truck pull out in front of me on my CB500X ABS. All my training went out the window when I panicked and grabbed as much brake as I could. I ended up in a controlled stop about 2 inches from the truck. I don't think that would have been the case without ABS.

Oh one other thing. The suspension on the 18 is much better than the stock suspension on the 2009. The front is not nearly as soft and the rear shock seems to work fairly well. Granted I still will be replacing these but it was a nice surprise.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Jarvis, thanks for the info, some is surprising.

My '09 is extremely smooth running too, but your comment on the new bike correlates to a few online video reviews mentioning a bit of vibration up around 5K RPM, but vibration can vary from bike to bike.

Suzuki claimed they increased fuel mileage on the 2nd generation, along with a smaller gas tank, but few people noticed it. Seems to be the same with the 3rd gen.

I've got the suspension, seat, and wind sorted on my bike, and since my '09 is paid for and giving me no trouble, I'll just hang on to it. I'm going to try to get test ride on a new 650 at some point.
 

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I didn't post earlier because I don't have any experience with the 2018.

We had a 2004 and I still have the 2012 DL 650. Several trips were made together with both bikes. Both were used for commuting under similar conditions.

Yes, the gen 2 bikes feels MUCH lighter. But it really isn't. All in the bodywork and perception, along with a little less weight up top in the fuel tank:crying2:.

Suspension and brakes for gen 1 vs 2 is a tie. I cannot say the gen 2 suspension was really any better, it was just new and not worn when comparing. Brakes on both are a sore spot for me. Just not good enough on a bike you ride at 75 mph......

Both bikes can be made comfortable for very high mile days. I spent a LOT of time and money getting a windshield to work on the gen 2. The cowling on the gen 2 where the windshield attaches is plastic. Nothing but plastic. So installing large windshields might be an issue over time. Gen 1 and Gen 3 won't have that problem.

Power? The gen 2 was not rated much differently in peak hp. But there is no comparison in real world power! The gen 2 pulls away from the gen 1 in side by side roll ons, agressive take offs, and especially in top gear roll ons.

Fuel mileage. Gen 2 tank is smaller. That still burns my ass. It has at least as good of range as a gen 1 bike. We would fill the bikes up and the gen 1 always took a few tenths of a gallon more and would usually be in the 2-4 mpg less fuel consumption. This is with similar sized riders, both with panniers and other luggage, riding one behind the other.

Now for the non facts....I think the new gen 3 is a really good looking bike. I like how the windshield is mounted. Probably a lot more refined feel to the bike. The fit and finish is improved.

Now to piss off a few readers.....When I bought my 2012 650 I could not say this. I would not buy a 650 today with the 1000 available. There was a time the 1000 was simply not as good a bike and giving up the power by going with the 650 gave you a bike that simply was more reliable, much better on fuel, performed much better all around. That is not true when comparing the bikes now. I would buy a used 1000 over a new 650 if there was a budget limit.

Pretty harsh statement. But the front suspension and good brakes of the DL 1000 make the DL 650 a dinosaur in my book!
 

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I didn't post earlier because I don't have any experience with the 2018.

We had a 2004 and I still have the 2012 DL 650. Several trips were made together with both bikes. Both were used for commuting under similar conditions.

Yes, the gen 2 bikes feels MUCH lighter. But it really isn't. All in the bodywork and perception, along with a little less weight up top in the fuel tank:crying2:.

Suspension and brakes for gen 1 vs 2 is a tie. I cannot say the gen 2 suspension was really any better, it was just new and not worn when comparing. Brakes on both are a sore spot for me. Just not good enough on a bike you ride at 75 mph......

Both bikes can be made comfortable for very high mile days. I spent a LOT of time and money getting a windshield to work on the gen 2. The cowling on the gen 2 where the windshield attaches is plastic. Nothing but plastic. So installing large windshields might be an issue over time. Gen 1 and Gen 3 won't have that problem.

Power? The gen 2 was not rated much differently in peak hp. But there is no comparison in real world power! The gen 2 pulls away from the gen 1 in side by side roll ons, agressive take offs, and especially in top gear roll ons.

Fuel mileage. Gen 2 tank is smaller. That still burns my ass. It has at least as good of range as a gen 1 bike. We would fill the bikes up and the gen 1 always took a few tenths of a gallon more and would usually be in the 2-4 mpg less fuel consumption. This is with similar sized riders, both with panniers and other luggage, riding one behind the other.

Now for the non facts....I think the new gen 3 is a really good looking bike. I like how the windshield is mounted. Probably a lot more refined feel to the bike. The fit and finish is improved.

Now to piss off a few readers.....When I bought my 2012 650 I could not say this. I would not buy a 650 today with the 1000 available. There was a time the 1000 was simply not as good a bike and giving up the power by going with the 650 gave you a bike that simply was more reliable, much better on fuel, performed much better all around. That is not true when comparing the bikes now. I would buy a used 1000 over a new 650 if there was a budget limit.

Pretty harsh statement. But the front suspension and good brakes of the DL 1000 make the DL 650 a dinosaur in my book!

Absolute HERESY comments towards the 650!!! :wink2: Suspension and brakes most certainly better on the 1000 as well some of the other electronic wizardry, but I'm fine not dealing with the "still current" annoying issues of the 1000. :grin2: I have said more than once that I won't be buying another Strom unless they either give the 650 same suspension/brakes/electronics, and finally have cruise control and ride by wire. My 2015XT is such a great bike and set up very nicely for me, so I see myself having it for quite some time.
 

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When I bought my 2012 650 I could not say this. I would not buy a 650 today with the 1000 available. There was a time the 1000 was simply not as good a bike and giving up the power by going with the 650 gave you a bike that simply was more reliable, much better on fuel, performed much better all around. That is not true when comparing the bikes now. I would buy a used 1000 over a new 650 if there was a budget limit.

Pretty harsh statement. But the front suspension and good brakes of the DL 1000 make the DL 650 a dinosaur in my book!
I looked closely at the 1000 as well when buying new but then if I was going to go that route (extra cash) I would have just opted for the Africa Twin instead since that felt much more comfortable and refined. Actually I was ready to pull the trigger on the African Twin just before I rode the 18 DL650XT.

Spent some time on 2016 DL1000 and just never bonded with it. Felt heavy and cumbersome in comparison and the motor still did not feel as refined as the 650. Then again the power delivery was nice.

Never really had an issue with the brakes on my DL650's either which seems to be at odds with many. My 2018 actually feels better than my buddy's Triumph Thruxton R with Brembo radial mounted calipers - must be something wrong with his bike but they have yet to figure it out.
 

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Don,
Sorry to tell you this- you are now sounding like me! As you know, I have been looking for a new bike for a while now. Problem is, I think many of us have been spoiled by the Vstroms. I would take any generation Vstrom 650 or 1000 over dealing with stancion problems, poorly manufactured engines, gremlins of all kinds etc... In spite of some Vstrom issues and recalls, we owners are lucky and blessed.

I recently read a great post on advrider touting the positive aspects of chain drive verses shaft drive. It really hit home. I would rather replace a chain and sprockets every two years for under $200. than have to worry about a major shaft problem. Especially with the type of riding we Stromtroopers do.

Don, if your '09 650 works for you - keep it until it dies. If you're getting antzy like me, there are great deals out there for newer 650's and 1000's. As almost all Vstrom owners know, you can't go wrong with Suzukis. Why don't you sell the HD and 650, and purchase a newer 1000 with low miles. Or, maybe buy a Hayabusa before they are all gone:>:)
 

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After coming from an 09 to a 14 I can without a doubt say that my 09 engine was smoother. I feel that the Glee is lighter and the transmission ratio suites my riding much better. I miss my seat on the 09 but that's about it. For me after two near miss incidents in three weeks ABS is now a must have on my list for bike purchases unless it's just a toy which will be sometime before I have a toy motorcycle as of now it's my daily driver.
 

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After coming from an 09 to a 14 I can without a doubt say that my 09 engine was smoother. I feel that the Glee is lighter and the transmission ratio suites my riding much better. I miss my seat on the 09 but that's about it. For me after two near miss incidents in three weeks ABS is now a must have on my list for bike purchases unless it's just a toy which will be sometime before I have a toy motorcycle as of now it's my daily driver.

Hmmm.....I have ridden 3 different first gen 650's, and none of their engines were as smooth as my 15XT.
 

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Hmmm...I've owned 5 Wee and 4 Wee2 and I agree with you Big B. And yes transmission ratios work better for me too. I definitely prefer Wee2 over Wee. In fact I almost pulled the trigger on Wee3 couple of weeks ago. The best looking Wee IMHO. Oh - still thinking 650 is just enough for me. Go for it om28. It's about time
 

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Although I've ridden the Gen1's I've never owned one. I've owned Gen2 and now Gen3 (2017). So, can only speak to those differences.

1-Comfort. Vastly improved. While I still would have swapped for a Sargent seat if they actually intro'd one for the '17 650, the Gen3 stock is ridable for hours. Gen1 and 2 were an exercise in pain mgt after a couple of hours. Suspension noticeably improved on the 3 but not perfect. IMHO less buffering overall on the 3 with stock equip.

2-Utility. The brakes still suck on the 3. However, after swapping out for steel braided, it's night and day. I'm getting 3-4 mpg better on the 3. I use the Fuelly app, so I'm relatively religious about accurate input. Engine feels peppier in the low and mid-range on the 3, and not as much shift shock going from 1st to 2nd. High end rolls on smoother as well. Handling is equivalent, but while the 2 wasn't a really buzzy ride, the 3 is smoother still. Forks feels stiffer on the 3, and that translates (for me) into better cornering in the Georgia mountain twisties (I put an AdventureTech fork brace on the 2). I like the traction control on the 3, and do use it based on road conditions. Panels on both very similar.

3- Looks. I actually liked the 2's cat's eyes headlights better. But I'm fine with the over/under on the 3. I can take or leave the beak, but all this is personal perspective.

4- 650 vs 1000, since it was brought up. 90% of my riding is around town, and Ga mtn twisties... 10% slab. I personally prefer not to tool around in 3rd gear most of the time, so the 650 suits me in weight, handling, and shift points. When I HAVE done the multi-day slab trips, I've found the 650 has zero problem at a consistent 75 to 80 (mph) without breathing heavy. If I were doing MUCH more slab, and riding with a pillion (I rarely do), I'd consider the 1000.

My $.02
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Don,
Sorry to tell you this- you are now sounding like me! As you know, I have been looking for a new bike for a while now. Problem is, I think many of us have been spoiled by the Vstroms. I would take any generation Vstrom 650 or 1000 over dealing with stancion problems, poorly manufactured engines, gremlins of all kinds etc... In spite of some Vstrom issues and recalls, we owners are lucky and blessed.

I recently read a great post on advrider touting the positive aspects of chain drive verses shaft drive. It really hit home. I would rather replace a chain and sprockets every two years for under $200. than have to worry about a major shaft problem. Especially with the type of riding we Stromtroopers do.

Don, if your '09 650 works for you - keep it until it dies. If you're getting antzy like me, there are great deals out there for newer 650's and 1000's. As almost all Vstrom owners know, you can't go wrong with Suzukis. Why don't you sell the HD and 650, and purchase a newer 1000 with low miles. Or, maybe buy a Hayabusa before they are all gone:>:)
Sell the Harley?!?!! :surprise: Syd, That's cold. After 29 years and 200K miles, it's more like a family member than a vehicle. It sounds like your Moto Guzzi infatuation is over, yes?

I have become spoiled by the V Strom, it checks all (or most) of the boxes for me. Every other bike I consider means unchecking at least few, which why I started looking at the Wee 3, and why I started this thread. I've come to the horrible realization....I'm a V Strom man. :crying2:

I feel smoothness varies from motor to motor. My '09 motor was very smooth when new, but after a year or two got a bit buzzy at 6K+ RPM, but now is smooth again.
 

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No disrespect for the Harley. I see now that it would be like getting rid of a favorite uncle. Still love the looks and the specs of the V85TT. Motoguzzi is just not a Suzuki/Yamaha/Kawasaki. I would purchase the V85TT sight unseen, if one of the Japanese companies made it. I am waiting for it to actually be released sometime next summer. Almost non-existent dealer network. In the meantime, my beloved 1000 is just a teenager at 40k miles, and I will keep it regardless. My 1000 does get a tiny bit buzzy when pushed over 6k rpm. But because the 1000 has so much power, I rarely push past 6k rpm. Maybe something to think about. I have seen new and slightly used 1000's in the $8000 price range.
 

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Everyone's got different senses. I do as well prefer my wee2 but it is buzzy for me on the highway anything above 5500 till about 7 which is where I cruise most of the time my Wee1 didn't do it to this extend it would buzz for a tiny bit at about 6500 which I took care of with going a tooth up on the front and 80 was at 6k and I don't cruise much faster than that.
 

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While I still would have swapped for a Sargent seat if they actually intro'd one for the '17 650...
Don't they have one now? If you're hesitant because they're building them on stock pans, don't be. I've had a Sargent on 5 different bikes and the most comfortable one of the bunch was the one that had their foam & cover on the stock pan.
 

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Absolute HERESY comments towards the 650!!! :wink2: Suspension and brakes most certainly better on the 1000 as well some of the other electronic wizardry, but I'm fine not dealing with the "still current" annoying issues of the 1000. :grin2: I have said more than once that I won't be buying another Strom unless they either give the 650 same suspension/brakes/electronics, and finally have cruise control and ride by wire. My 2015XT is such a great bike and set up very nicely for me, so I see myself having it for quite some time.
The suspension and brakes can be upgraded. My 2012 has a good bit of work done to the front forks and that was worth ALL the time and money to do it. I also converted to 4 piston caliper brakes, which saved a LOT of money on riding boots where I was using them to slow me down.........

The 650 has been and still is one of the most reliable bikes you can buy. Honda civics are that way. But there is more.....that I want sometimes. I have come to appreciate what the electronic stability control can do on a bike. I like the sound and power of the 1000. While it may have a few niggles you hear about on some bikes, it is hard to say they are going to be a bike you have to work on to make right ( like the gen 1 1000's were ).

Said it before and here it is again: Suzuki is MISSING THE BOAT by not offering a DL 650 with first class suspension and brakes. No reason they could not have designed a fly-by-wire throttle so they could have cruise control. ( That goes for the 1000 too!) I truly believe that bike would sell better than it does now! And bring a much higher opinion of the Suzuki brand.
 
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