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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I had the opportunity of riding a 2012 Wee this morning so here is a completely personal set of thoughts.

Initial thoughts:

Sitting on the bike it definitely feels smaller. The slightly higher seat is balanced with the more chamfered edges and means that for me (175 cm, 75 kg) there is no touching the ground problems. Moving the bike around reinforces the lighter and better balanced feel. The top heavy feel has gone.



Start up:

Quieter and smoother. The throttle feels lighter as well but maybe mine is just old and in need of a clean.

Ride position:

Interesting and may not appeal to some. The higher seat means that the handlebars feel slightly lower. The top of the screen in mid position is about equal with my chin. My screen is in the high position but I get the feeling the new screen may be a bit lower.
The seat/pegs relationship feels oh so slightly more relaxed but if your legs are cramped on a 2011 or earlier they will probably still be cramped on the 2012. The chamfering on the seat makes the feel under the thighs much better while seated.

On the go:

Very smooth, very linear. Like many modern bikes no real power band it just goes. In some ways it feels and sounds like it has a sewing machine motor. No problems with speed or acceleration but for us old school people no head snapping when the power comes in. Boring really.
Doing the first gear stand up balance and use the rear brake and clutch it feels like when broken in it will be probably better (mainly because of the balance) in the tight stuff.

Suspension:

Improved. Improved a lot. It's still cheap bottom end stuff but I aimed the bike at some of my favourite road irregularities where my K7 sounds like the forks are about to drop out and there was only the slightest sound from the forks. It now feels like the forks are actually in some way connected to the bike. That has to be a good thing.

Cross winds:

It's quite windy today and there is a definite improvement in the side wind department.

Buffeting:

That's difficult I have never had any. The new bike with the screen in the centre position definitely leaves the rider more exposed but the wind appears nice and clean and constant. Using the sound of the wind test the noise is much more steady. Definite improvement for me you mileage may vary.
BTW: I wear a Shoei DS (Hornet) with peak with the visor open and it was very pleasant.

Brakes:

Tried some emergency braking in a straight line down hill and it stops way better than my K7 with ss lines and Galfer pads. The slightest ABS pulsing can be felt from the front and a little more from the back but I suspect that if you weren't looking for it you may not notice especially in an emergency.

The photos:

These are the pictures that you won't see in a bike magazine.

The seat - a problem area.



See how the seat is now nice an narrow. Well look at those plastic trim pieces below the seat. They are WIDER that the trim on the earlier models and are a real bloody negative if you want to be a trail rider. Try gripping the nice and narrow tank with your knees and you get those plastic pieces digging uncomfortably into your calves between your boot tops and your knees.
Fail Suzuki.

The dashboard - an improvement.



The top triple clamp is now black to show it's new and improved.
More visibility down the fork legs if you want to watch the road under your wheel.
Clutch cable adjustment.
Still room om either side for power outlets.
The instruments are now further away from the rider. The bracket on the front of the steering head that holds the fairing (appears unchanged) is much more visible.



Tach now where the speedo used to be (on the left). Display showing temp instead of time. You can have temp or time, not both.
Just like the old wee three bars temp and stayed there.
Fuel consumption showing 18.6 km/l. Don't know how that works but I assume it's probably an average since the last reset. It never changed while I was riding so it's definitely not instant.
There is a reset button just to the left (beside 6k revs)
Readable in bright light it's higher than the current gauges and angles more vertically so it faces the rider.



Meter change button. this has replaced the previous high beam flasher switch which is now on the high/low switch. Clicking quickly cycles through the odometers, holding it in toggles the clock and temp display. You can hold it in with you index finger while working the clutch if you want (I bet you have never seen that in a cycle mag!)



New front guard - this checker plastic effect is all over the bike including the front and rear guards, the side panels, radiator covers and dash.



I may be revising my thoughts that old model fork braces will fit the new guard. They will definitely fit the forks but there isn't much of a gap.



I hoping that even as I type this there is a budding ten year old engineer working a on better cooling pipe arrangement.
I'm wondering how long it will be before somebody tries to mount a bash plate on those bolt sockets sticking out from the cylinder. It wouldn't be on my bike that's for sure.



Access to the front left blinker from below. They probably won't be quite as easily broken as the earlier ones but they will be a heap easier to replace.
BTW: It will also be dead set easy to replace headlight bulbs there is now much more space in behind the fairing.
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)


New seat lock position



Chamfered seat and those rotten sticking out plastic panels.



Under the seat. Pretty similar but seems to have better access to the rear part.
The new seat is also noticeably lighter than the current one and much easier to remove. There is a small slot at the back of the seat to grab the back and lift it off once it's unlocked.



Tidier rear end and rear mud guard with that checker effect.



Screen mounting the checker effect is on the black fairing not the screen.



The radiator appears to be smaller and better ticked in. Notice the checker effect plastic!



Right side tank mount. They are much wider than the old mount.



The push pins. Don't worry they are still there just horizontal now.



New clutch actuator.



Random shot of the left side of the engine to complete this report.

So what's the summary? Would I buy one?

Well for me my bike will be five years old in January and I feel like a change so the answer is a qualified yes. Obviously price will have something to do with it but there is sufficient difference between my K7 and the 2012 to justify a serious look. If I had a 2009 or newer particularly one with ABS I don't think I'd be looking unless I felt particularly well off and there were no new camera lenses i had my eye on.
 

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Much thanks, K1W1.
Great report.
Almost everything looks good.

Even the toggle to alternate temp and time.
Sometimes it's nice to know the temperature : and sometimes it's nice not to be reminded of it ~ and just enjoy the ride.
Same applies to the time.

Those lower-zone coolant tubes look quite Heath-Robinson-ish [now there's an adjective that the world needs to have revived].
But doubtless, true Stromers will soon have them protected & hidden by a decent bash plate.
.
 

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$tromtrooper
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Very nice report. I won't be voluntarily giving up my nicely upgraded Wee, but if I had to, this looks like a good replacement with which to restart the accessorizing.
 

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Well done K1W1, thanks for the great detail shots! Though I'm sad to see that stupid fake carbon fiber plastic finish is all over the place.

Nice that they thought to move the clutch cable adjustment at the bars farther from the lever, so it won't be covered by the handguards.
 

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Thanks for sharing.

Lot of nice improvements IMO, but it doesn't look like any farkles from my 07 will fit :headbang: Especially my homemade dash that houses my GPS, radar, voltmeter, and 12v plug. As well as the Madstad, racks or guards.

Can't wait to see one in person though.

Thanks again.
 

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Thanks a lot dude!

Oh wait... How dare you be unscientific? ;)

I think I might just let wifey buy one if she decides to keep riding.

So, somehow that convoluted tubing is supposed to be better than the current oil cooler. I don't see how; there are so many more ways in which it can fail...
Oh, and it's ugly too.

But other than that, Damn! I wish I'd held off another 4 years before buying my wee.
 

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Good report, thanks. The best part is the collection of photos, great job on that. Not sure why you would expect "head snapping power" from a 650 v-twin, the old Strom sure doesn't have it :)

Good to hear about the suspension. I'm pretty happy with my Strom's suspension characteristics, but if you think the new one is improved, great.

More pics, and a tip of the visor to you, sir.:thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Not sure why you would expect "head snapping power" from a 650 v-twin, the old Strom sure doesn't have it
Talking about the old days (well before Stroms) when it was nothing or full on. It made riding interesting and much more fun especially exiting wet corners.
Now you just seem to get this fairly linear power delivery on most vehicles expect out and out sports vehicles, as I said boring.

One thing I didn't say was that at low (walking) speeds the fuelling and throttle response felt much better even though the bike only had a few miles on lit. The old Wees are at bit on or off at those speeds.
 

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One thing I didn't say was that at low (walking) speeds the fuelling and throttle response felt much better even though the bike only had a few miles on lit. The old Wees are at bit on or off at those speeds.
...aaaaaand that's about the only thing I really dislike about my '08. Good to know that got some attention.

Thanks for the report!
 

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Well done K1W1. You pointed out some nice improvements and features. My 05 Wee is far from worn out but you make a good case for trading up to a new and improved Wee.
 

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Living the Stereotype
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Thanks, K1W1.

If you do decide to get some new camera glass instead of a new bike, at least I know you'll put it to good use. Great, revealing photos. It seems like one of the design objectives was to boost the farkle market for returning V-Strom owners.

Myself, I may hold off to see what happens to the 1000.
 

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Living the Stereotype
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Don't hold your breath.
This is also economically convenient for me at the moment.

I hope we're both wrong.
 

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Fantastic photos and great write up.

But you really like that dash? I don't understand the appeal of a digital speedo, especially on a motorcycle. Maybe this is a minuscule point for everyone but me, but I vastly prefer analog gauges. Part of the thrill is rolling on the throttle and seeing the needles spin.

At least the tach still has a needle.

The temperature readout is the only improvement I see in the 'dash' area.

Do you happen to have a closeup of the left headlight control pod? You say the flash-to-pass trigger is integrated into the high/low beam control? I'm having trouble picturing how this works and a google image search isn't helping me out.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I also prefer analogue gauges as well and analogue wrist watch dials but unfotunately analogue speedos on motorcycles are rapidly going the way of drum brakes. I like the overall set up of the instrument panel, I can live with the digital speedo.

On the left side switch block you currently have the high/low rocker switch towards the top. That switch now has a pass function on the low setting. You push down on the switch when it's in the low position and the lights go on to high beam while you hold the switch down with you thumb. IMO its actually dumb it takes relatively speaking a lot of time to get your thumb from under the handlebar up to the top of the switch housing to push the pass button, way longer than just flicking the current pass switch with your left index finger (try it). I think that there should have been a button added for the instrument controls after all they will not be accessed that often and not in an emergency. I for one have wanted to get my high beams on instantly to let some stupid motorist know I'm there. I guess Suzuki are just being Suzuki and penny pinching again but the actual switch location might vary a little from country to country depending on local laws anyway.
 

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Great review and terrific pictures. I just bought a 2011 this past July. I commute with it and have around 2500 miles on it. I made a conscious decision to not wait for the 2012 and I'm happy I didn't. I actually like the styling and the way the 2011 bike rides. I find the extra weight is not a negative. I'm coming off a 800lbs Harley so everything is relative. I can flick this bike around way better than any other bike I owned. I've read a variety of reviews and although changes have been made, none seem to be a game changer. If Suzuki increased the engine size along with these other changes, that would be a different story. Like any bike, there will be after market farkles to compensate for it's short comings. So the basic platform seems to be very similar to the 2011. Mind you, I haven't ridden the new bike but every article I've read have not made me regret my decision.
 

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Myself, I may hold off to see what happens to the 1000.
Suzuki has to know their competition is rolling out liter-plus ADV bikes as fast as they can build them...even shoe-horning sportbike engines into ADV chassis (Kawi). The DL1K is still selling well overseas as is. If they tweak the 1K as they did the 650, they're right back in the game.
 

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Thank you for the great pictures and report, I'm impatiently waiting for them to arrive here, it's nice to see pictures and opinion outside of a magazine.
 

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Is there room above the instrument cluster for a GPS?
 
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