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Serious question please read all

This may seem like a dumb question on an enthusiast forum but I have not pulled the trigger yet. My wife and one of my best friends (who owns a dozen bikes) have brought up some serious questions as to whether or not I should buy one.:confused:


I am 52 and have had my cycle endorsement since my 16th birthday. I owned a nice V-max for about 10 years. Prior to that I owned a Honda hawk GT. Since then I owned a XR600 supermoto I made myself after I bought a new KTM exc. I sold that and bought a MZ Baghira supermoto and still own it. I bought the MZ as a stop gap because I could not afford a BMW GSA. After less than two weeks of ownership I had a major failure with the bike which left me stranded. I let the bike sit for a year before I fixed it. I drove it a couple time afterwards but I had never been so let down by a bike before and it has sat since 2007. The Wife did not want me to ride it and always referred to it as “the devil bike”. At the same time I had major knee surgery and lost a lot of faith in everything.


I lost my carrier in automotive engineering at the height of the GM buyout. I was unemployed for 3.5 years and have only been employed now for a year and a half. I developed major health issues and have been resolving them. I am working for the same wage I made in 1984, and do not feel secure in my employment. I do not foresee a return to a reasonable paying employment in the remainder of my working carrier.


I recently delivered some items to a gentleman who bought them from me. He is a fit and active 72 year old and in his shop was an immaculate Wee-Strom. I don’t foresee myself ever making enough money to buy a GSA. I am tired of wanting and I want to be riding. He paid less than 3K for the older Wee, and I started thinking I could be riding a bike instead of dreaming about one. I started looking for a Vee and found one. it is a long way away and not readily accessible but the price is good for the age and mileage.


I know I would not be happy with a Wee, Just not enough power. After a V-max, just about everything short of a sport bike leaves you wanting. 600-660 singles do not cut it.


Since I had never actually sat on a Strom the wife and I went to a stealership that had one. I sat on the Super Tenere first and she said I looked much happier on it. I had no problem with the Strom, and the ergonomics seemed fine. My wife wants me to be happy. We need to reestablish credit but I don’t want to take on a huge debt load. She doesn’t want me to be like I was with the MZ, she doesn’t want me to buy a stopgap. My friend concurs but wants me to get an old GS. I don’t want ANYTHING with a carburetor ever again, period.

SWMBO is suggesting I put a battery and rear tire on what is now called “EL DIABLO” and ride it for a while to get the angst out of my system.


Did you pine for something else when you bought your Strom?
If so has it kept you happy?

Did you only want a Strom?

Did you just want a good bang for the buck adventure bike and pick the Strom?

Let me here your story please.

I really appreciate your honest opinions.
 

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Did you pine for something else when you bought your Strom?
If so has it kept you happy?

Did you only want a Strom?

Did you just want a good bang for the buck adventure bike and pick the Strom?

Let me here your story please.

I really appreciate your honest opinions.
1- When I bought my Strom I was ready to pull the trigger on a new KLR650. I wanted something that I could take wherever I wanted, with a realistic view on what that means for me, whenever I was able. The Strom came up on consignment at a local dealer. I'd looked at the Stroms new but decided they were just too expensive by comparison for me even though they're a lot more road capable. This one turning up, already well farkled and in great condition, happened at just the right time. I have looked at a few classic Triumphs etc but it's the era of classic bikes that "fascinates" me not the reality of owning one, and I am realistic about the demands there as well. Has my Strom kept me happy? Very much so! I freely admit I'm not nearly so horsepower addicted as some others but my Strom (650) does plenty well enough for me. If you really felt the need for more torque then the 1000 might be a better choice.

The bang for buck question is harder. The KLR is the cheapest in the field, and more dirt capable than the Strom though not a "real" dirt bike since it's "roadification" a couple of years back. The Strom is kind of the Subaru Outback of bikes. Very paved road capable, smart tyre choice will make it very dirt road capable, good over distances and super reliable. It's not a rock hopper by any means. It's like a GS but without the pretense, grenading final drive or gold plated spares and servicing.

Am I happy with it? Very! No regrets what so ever.
 

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Wanted a good bang for the buck Adventure Bike and picked up the Strom (Vee)used. Spent maybe another $1000 on suspension, PCIII, and protective hardware. Been very happy with it. :yesnod:
 

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I was unemployed for 3.5 years and have only been employed now for a year and a half. I am working for the same wage I made in 1984, and do not feel secure in my employment. I do not foresee a return to a reasonable paying employment in the remainder of my working carrier.
We need to reestablish credit but I don’t want to take on a huge debt load.


That says it all, to me anyway. You're in a real tough spot and I sympathize.

Hard line approach - I wouldn't be looking for ANY different bike in your position right now. Stabilize the work situation, work on fixing the credit, put away some rainy day money for living and maybe in another year or so, revisit the different bike issue. Until then, just ride that MZ. It's yours and it's paid for, riding it is better than not riding at all.
 

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All I can say is, don't rule out the Wee.

Super reliable, and way more fun than you might think.

My two previous bikes were an R1150GS and a K100RT, the Wee is easily as quick, or quicker, than those two- and will perform as well as most 800cc bikes.
 

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And I bought my used Vstrom 1000 since the condition was showroom new at 5 years old at the time (8 years old now) and the price was very right.

Overall, I've had to tinker with it more than I had anticipated in order to resolve what I will consider factory shortcomings/faults.

Am I happy, reasonably so, particularly when I keep in mind how relatively little I have invested.
 

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l'm 55 and l originally bought the wee as a general work horse as l only have bikes (no car) the other bikes l have are the Kawa 1600 Nomad and a VFR800, l'v only had a 2012 wee for 4mths & done 12,000 ks so far, but what l can tell you is that they do seem to grow on you, for example in the time l'v owned its gone from just riding it to work each day to when l walk out to the shed to grab a bike for a ride l usually head straight for the wee, and now its come to a point where l'm thinking of selling one of the other bikes and grabbing another wee (same model) to pack away either for spares or resurrect when this one finally dies, which from what l can see is going to be quite awhile, l'v ridden one of those V-max's and l see where you're coming from as far as power is concerned but after a 500k trip though some nice twisties,abit of highway work then chuck in some rough roads with a dash of gravel packed full of gear l don't think the wee would be very far behind a V-Max, from what l'v heard the 2012 and up wee's are a bit more improved than the earlier ones, hope that helps regards
 

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I came from a 170hp gsxr 1000. The 650 is so smooth I don't miss the power. I wanted the supre tenere but wasn't in the budget. Bike number 30+, already one of my favorite.
 

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I resumed riding again at 52 after a 27 year break. I had my heart set on a shiney new BMW R1200RT and I could have paid cash for it but I just couldn't bring myself to spend that much money on a motorcycle re-entering the sport. I chose the Vstrom because of it's value, dependability and of all the happy owners. I made the right choice for now and I'm really enjoying the bike and racking up some miles and plan to keep it for a long time however when it wears out, if that's possible, before I do, I will probably get something more touring/comfort oriented as I like to go on long rides and I don't go off road. I might even consider the new Vsrom 1000. I longed for a GS too at one time but I got over it, thank goodness. The Vstrom is an all around fun motorcycle. It doesn't do any one thing exceptional but it does a lot of things very well. The bike is peppy riding solo and enough for most of us but if power is at the top of your priority list then look elsewhere. It definitely has more power than the 650 singles though. Not having a gazillion horsepower is probably a blessing for me at this age and level of responsibility. If you could ride one that would help you decide personally. Hope this helps.
 

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Serious question please read all

Let me here your story please.[/SIZE][/COLOR]

I really appreciate your honest opinions.
Well, here goes. I shed no tears about this sort of thing, neither should you. Perfect happiness cannot be grabbed, but we can do quite well enough thank you.

My upwardly mobile years coincided with raising a new family years, so that's where money went. I bought my first bike (CB350, used, about $400). Upgraded a couple years later to my second bike, one I liked a lot (SR500 street single, used, for $1100). In the picture above. Shortly after the picture was taken, I crashed a dealer's 750 Yamaha, and sold the SR to pay the $700 deductible on the insurance. Banged up a shoulder badly and broke my collarbone, wife was not pleased. End of biking for 28 years or so. I missed the biking.

Mechanical Engineer. Career goes up. Career goes down. Kids grow up, marriage goes south. Return to school and get some sort of computer science certificate at Carleton University. Money's in high tech, right? That career goes nowhere: Nortel (biggest employer in Ottawa after the federal government) goes belly up and hurts all the smaller industries around. I do technical writing for a year and a half. Contract ends. Screw this, I go fishing for trout in the mountains of Alberta and BC for three months. Great for clearing the head, good for body and soul, does nothing for getting back working.

Drive semi trailers over Continental USA and Canada for six years till my legs go numb. Brain too, I sometimes think. Screw this, get involved in solar energy, do a couple installations. A truly screwy industry here in Ontario. I keep some money coming in doing home renovations and repair. Sixty five, I'll never get back into engineering, and likely never make much money from here on in.

While still driving truck I managed to put aside enough money for a modest motorcycle and gear.

Roads here are pretty broken up where I like to ride, in the twisties. I want a bike that will handle these roads with comfort and ability. BMW, Ducati, KTM are all out of reach. I saw my first DL650 in 2004 and thought then that it made sense. Bought a previous year's remainder new in 2010 for a good price. I have not looked back since.

You might want the 1000, so you say. Well, OK, that's fine. The 650 suits my wants and my needs. It's a nicely balanced bike, it works well as a whole. Buy the 1000 if it makes you feel better; a lot of people do. It has more power than the 650, but don't even mention it in the same breath as your VMax.

My bike's a 650 twin with no great amounts of power. I have never owned a powerful bike. But I am not an old dotard on a slow bike, afraid to lean into a corner. I RIDE my bike. I ride it everywhere, though I avoid freeways. I sometimes ride it hard. Sometimes fast. I sometimes putter along and smell the forest as I go by. I've got it half-way farkled, next step is a $1500 suspension upgrade (nice but not totally necessary). My old Volvo however is in need of a serious suspension upgrade. It get the treats this year.

I like my bike - it's honest and reliable. More importantly, and I can't stress this enough, it's very good to be riding. (Well, in another week. It's still winter here.) We can make ourselves sick over not having the perfect this or that.

Your wife wants to see you happy. Well, I agree. The VStroms are good bikes. Get riding.
 

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I bought a used klR650 (A15) and liked it for its riding position and easy maintenance/repairs. I then got into long distance riding, did some research and decided that the Vstrom 1000 would be a good step up for what I was planning. It does 2up easily, has a good riding position and can carry all my gear with more than enough power to pass other vehicles.

I bought the Vee 2nd hand with low miles. I bought the Suzuki manual ( a worthy investment) and try to do my own maintenance. The big plan for the winter of 2015 is to address the chudder and weak rear shock.
 

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Had a 2005 1000 for 4 years "loved it once dialed in" then got a Kawasaki Concours 14 and enjoyed it for 4 years.....now I am back to a 2006 V-Strom 1000 and could not be happier. Want the best bang for the buck IMHO, look at the new 1000 V-Strom, it is a whole differently and completely new animal. The ADV style bikes like the V-Strom are just so versatile, I love them and know there will always be one in my garage above all else.
 

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[
Did you pine for something else when you bought your Strom?

I have a wee. I didn't pine for something else because I got it for a specific purpose, that being rough back road rides. Since I have other bikes it needs only to fulfill that mission. If it was my only bike I'd be quite unhappy with it and it would be gone in a flash. Like yourself, I like power and as an only bike I'd be wanting at a minimum the power of the 1000 Strom although it is unlikely that's what I would get unless money was a major issue.


If so has it kept you happy?

It does what it needs to. I can't say I especially enjoy riding it unless its very tight twisty road or dirt road. I guess you could say when I ride it I enjoy the ride and the bike is sort of a non factor.

Did you only want a Strom?

Oh God no. I didn't want to spend a lot at the time, Suzuki had 0% financing and they were discounting the '11s pretty heavily. I would have enjoyed the Tiger 800 or the BMW GS1200 but I didn't want to spend like that, I had a couple of other things in eyesight that were more pressing.[/COLOR]


Did you just want a good bang for the buck adventure bike and pick the Strom?

As above, that was pretty much it in a nutshell.COLOR]

Let me here your story please.[/SIZE]

I'm 58, been riding since 1969. I own several bikes, listed in the signature line and have owned many more over the years.
I tend to go for bikes made by companies with history behind them. Sometimes it will be a bike with something interesting in its design that appeals to me. Its hard to predict, I can't even predict what i'll be attracted to so I'm sure no one else can.

I really appreciate your honest opinions.


Oh, and if you're used to Vmax type power you're right that you would likely be disappointed by the 650 power wise. I know I'm certainly not overly awed by it. Many people will tell you it has all you need. what they mean it has all they need. Its pretty good for a 650 twin but its a long way from thrilling.
As above.
 

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1 - Did you pine for something else when you bought your Strom?
2 - If so has it kept you happy?
3 - Did you only want a Strom?
4- Did you just want a good bang for the buck adventure bike and pick the Strom?
===================

1- No, I researched the available bikes on the market for many months and the only other bike that came close was a Yamaha....but the Wee met my requirements better.

2- Yes, I subscribe to some motorcycle-magizenes and stay ontop of the available bikes. Nothing else has changed my mind. After a long day of writing software.... Me and my bike can be in the boonies of Vermont exploring within 30 minutes. :)

3- In question one, I already mentioned Yamaha was close 2nd. The Yamaha offered more 'technology' (inverted front shocks, one-sided swingarm...etc) But the inline twin of the Yamaha seemed archaic when compared to the race-proven V design in the Wee.

4- No, for *all* of my purchases, I approach with Engineering mind. I look for the the VERY BEST match to my requirements... the cost factor is not applied till late in the process.

Personal note, I too got my motorcycle-endorsement on my license at age of 16... and am now 52.

You did not ask... but - Some of my 'requirements' when I was looking for new bike.
*) Light weight. (I was tired of lugging around the weight of a bigger-bore machine)
*) Wanted to be able to explore off-road. (Vermont still has more dirt roads than asphalt)
*) Better (more compliant) ride. (Vermont roads are awful and after this winter will be much worse.)
*) Basic, readable instrumentation (I want to ride - not deal with complicated electronics)

In my mind, the ONLY thing missing from my '09 Wee is a 6th-gear indicator.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
THANKS!

I really like all the answers so far!
all great points and honest advise.

Thank you everyone.:thumbup::thumbup:

I have been out working in the shop and have been thinking hard about it. I am still leaning heavily towards getting it. IMO at the price I am getting it for I can drive it for a year and still recoup my purchase price assuming I don't crash it or ride the snot out of it.


Just to clear it up I am really only considering a 1000. I am a big guy and I LOVE power. I know the Wee does admirably but I know myself and the 1000 is more my speed.
 
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I had a VFR that I had ridden hard (over 200 k) as a commuter bike. I wanted another 750 with single sided swing arm, gear driven cams and a reasonable long distance.
Honda had gone to it's ridiculous VTec engine so the VFR was out and nothing larger appealed.
I bought he Wee on spec and it turned out to be a very good all around unit.
It's got enough of the right stuff to be a great bike.
 

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For me, it was pretty much "bang for the buck". The vstrom always seemed to have the "over all" edge when compared to other adventure bikes. You should be aware of the lean fuel condition and the clutch chudder that is common to the Vee but if your a "do it yourselfer", I haven't found anything that couldn't be dealt with on a tight budget, with the help of the terrific bunch of people on this forum.
 

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Buy a used Vee

I traded from a Gixer 1K for the VEE

Why

Here in the Northeast with the humorless Leo's the only place to have some fun is with small roads usually with bad pavement. The Vee runs at speed over these real world sh*t roads.

I have put 500+ miles on it on small roads in a day and I am a Little Geezer.

If you buy an older Vee near its terminal value you have converted cash to assets with a little loss.

Yes we in any kind of manufacturing will never be back to looking for a bright future, and besides the Beemer would have left you on the side of the road too.
 

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I have a 2012 650 that I bought last year. (leftover at dealer, brand new)
am I happy with it? well despite having about a month of not riding due to a broken collar bone and a lot of time not riding due to snow, I put over 19,000 miles on her in that year. :thumbup: and that is with also owning a little kawi ninja.

I love riding other bikes ,I have ridden (not owned :( ) stuff from my little ninja 250 to goldwings to crusiers to hyabusas.
but if I was told I can only have one bike I would pick my strom in a heartbeat. it seems to be able to do a little of just about everything.

is the v-strom for everyone? no, but if you have a chance, get a test ride on one. and you will know if you are a stromtrooper very quicky.
 

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Don't disregard the 650, I did for months and was about to buy a Stelvio, dealer finally convinced me to ride it. That was all it took. Ride them then decide.
 
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