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Late to the party, but here's my thoughts based on your initial post...
I really like the 650 vstrom. I think its a great all arounder and hope to get one in the near future. the problem is that all my riding buddies have 1000 - 1300 sport and sport touring bikes. Whenever I mention the vstrom 650 they say: Why would you want a girls bike? or its a great bike if your a girl. I know alot of women ride them but is it really a girls bike? i don't want to be the laughing stock when I go riding with my buddies.
Any girl is a girls bike. If a girl is riding it, then it's a girl's bike.

But really, the way I live my life, I'm going to buy and ride what I want to buy and ride. If my friends want me to ride a bike that they ride, they can buy it for me. Then I'll ride it. When it's MY money, I make the decisions on where it's spent.

And lastly, if it bothers you that much, let them know. Tell them, "Alright guys. You got one more week of making fun of my bike. Then you have to shut up about it, and just ride." And if they don't, get new friends. In my book, while friends certainly are allowed to give you a ribbing, when you ask them to stop, they would stop. Someone who ISN'T a friend would continue when you ask them to stop. The person that continues is not a friend, but an aquaintence. And, honestly, both types of people are replaceable.

Lex

PS - If you're ever at some stop and your friends are trying to embarrass you by talking about their buddy who rides a "girl's bike", just casually toss out there that you don't feel the need to 'compensate' for anything by owning a large displacement bike.
 

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i had a HD street glide i put over 60k miles on in 4 years, i loved the bike, women always wanted to ride and everyone at the gas station said ahh nice harley. They say Ahh nice harley to even the old junk beat down harleys that have rattled apart, its not about the bike its about the name. No one will say ahh nice suziki or yamaha ( you might get a "do you know what HONDA stands for Hop on nothing dumbass" but that aside i can honestly say that the Japanese engineering outperforms. They are quicker, run cooler ,they cost 1/3 of the price and are a lot of fun. My DL650 i have currently, while it doesn't make panties fall to the floor and get compliments everywhere I go i honestly have a lot more fun on. it is 1/3 of the weight, much quicker about the same top end speed, it makes the twisties more fun and more safe to ride on and my overall enjoyment when in regards to the ride its self i have to give it to the VStrom. I did like the cruise control, heel toe shifter and riding 2 up on the harley, it was also nice to listen to music and did a great job of stroking the ego. all in, if you want something fun to play on that is quick and an overall reliable bike that is aways a pleasure to ride the 650 is the bike for you. if you want a bike you can customize in nearly any way anyone could ever think of and you want to look cool pick up women get the Harley. Honestly i would buy another harley again because i like the nostalgia and history of the company its self, i think they are the prettiest bikes on the road but they come with an even prettier price tag and lack in performance unless you upgrade to a stage three or higher. i will say they can be built and made into the most mean bike on the road if you have really deep pockets but comparing stock to stock they take second place. buy the bike you enjoy the most and the hell with what your friends think.

PS i will probably never get rid of my DL 650
 
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