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So I've been riding since a kid when I got a Honda Cub. I've had my current bike since I was 16. Others have come and gone but that 21 year old Nighthawk has been a constant companion. Its got to the point that it's time me to move on. I've had two back surgeries and back pain is an issue. I don't want a big heavy cruiser. I've had one and just don't enjoy big heavy bikes. Everywhere I look people rave about the comfort. How is the saddle? Any must have upgrades to the bike (not just comfort). I'm a pretty even mix between county roads and highway. Should I go for the 1000 or is the wee adequate for 80 mph cruise? Thanks for any insight.
 

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Do a search on this site and you will find lots of threads comparing the 2. Only own the 650, but my take away from the discussions is that the 1000 has better suspension, which "should" translate to better comfort, yet the 650 is a bit lighter, so easier to move around when not under way.

Mark
 

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"There's a seat for every butt." They say, whomever they are?? Maybe it was the other way around. I find the old Vee seat very comfortable. Mine is a Suzuki gel seat and i really can't tell the difference between that and the standard one. Between the supple suspension and good seat and ergos, you really don't need to do much to the bike to make it comfortable. I like the lowered footpegs for my aging knees. The rest of the suggestions you will hear about are personal preferences. I like the HP of the 1000, yet the 650s outsell them by a huge margin. I've ridden both and prefer the performance of the Vee. I don't do dirt with mine. I'm too small for that. For true joy of riding back roads, get an aftermarket exhaust and enjoy the tone as you go through the gears. My two cents.
 

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I found the OEM Wee seat unbearable after an hour or two of steady riding and a stop and stretch necessary. I tried the OEM Vee seat on my Wee and it was a little bit better but not much. I finally upgraded to a Russell Day Long and wow! It made a tremendous difference. I no longer need stretch stops and can go all day without a stop (except for a pee and gas). But that's me and others have no issue with the OEM seat, or a Sargent seat works for them, or a Saddleman, or ...

My Wee will cruise at 80 mph, or higher, all day long. Me, I prefer cruising around 60 or so.


YMMV
 

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I have owned both,currently have a 2012 650. At 6'1" 200 lbs, either is comfortable, the wee seat is a bit lower, so I dropped the pegs using Honda GL1800 foot pegs to give my old knees a little more room. That helped. I have always put after market seats both 650's and the 1000, I found neither comfortable after 3 or 400 miles. the Suzuki Gel was good, my current 650 has the Terry Adcox rider and passenger, and they are very good. I think I spent $350 on the seat, but have put 50,000 miles on it in six years, pretty cheap by the per mile or year calculation. Most of my riding is solo, I went to Colorado and back last summer, staying on two lane blacktop wherever possible, so at those speeds, up to 70 (where legal, of course :) in Nevada, Idaho, Montana, etc, the bike rides and performs beautifully. From Mt Evans to Glenwood Springs on I70, my longest freeway ride, 125 miles at 85 mph. The bike would have done that all day, no problem.
In heavy weather, or wind, cross wind can be an issue, maybe, just maybe the extra weight of the 1000 would help with that, my 1K was an 07, totaled years ago, I don't remember if it was an issue or not. My wife and I take this out on local 100 mile days, and we're both 6 foot + and, never a problem, it has a 6 speed gear box, sometimes, I'll use 4th or 5th to accelerate or climb, not a big deal. The 1K, more than enough power to haul us up any hill, or around any slow moving vehicle on a side road, that was nice, and I sometimes miss it. The lightness of the 650 is worth more to me than the extra motor. I often wish Suzuki would have made a DL800, but I do 10 day road trips on this 650 every year, commute and errand ride around town, and cannot say enough how great this little bike is for all of that.
Maybe find some local owners, and test ride ? I've let several guys ride mine, that's the best way to know.
Rider magazine a couple months ago did a comparo, 650 to 1000. They had lots of good to say about both, but they chose the 1k for suspension and power. But also said, the difference in price will put some nice accessories on the 650. Hard choice.
depends on what you want.


https://ridermagazine.com/?s=vstrom
 

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V stroms of any model and year can be made to be quite comfortable bikes. The ergonomics as they come from the factory give plenty of room and a good sitting position.

But I cannot stand a stock seat on any bike so I will tell you that needs to be upgraded.

Footpeg lowering kits are made by Rick, a member here, under the business name AdventureTech. Good stuff and really make long hours more comfortable. They also make some other very nice accessories to mount stuff and make stuff work better.

Windshields are not an automatic bolt on fix. The Madstad bracket with a good screen large enough to do the job is a good starting point. Otherwise at higher speeds you will have to deal with noise and turbulence that can get old.

I have owned both the DL 650 and 1000. If you are actually going to cruise at 80+, buy the 1000. You will be told the 650 will do that. Which I can verify is true. But you are working the dog crap out of it and there simply isn't much left. The 1000 runs 80+ with no effort. They will get the same mileage, or very close, at those speeds.

If you can spend over about $7000, plan on buying a 2014 or newer DL 1000. These have a superior front suspension and vastly superior front brakes. Fueling and some other issues the 2012 and earlier DL 1000 are known for are for the most part taken care of in the latest generation 1000's.
 

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You didn't mention where your back pain is. If it's lower back, stay away from cruisers. The foot-forward riding position is not for lower back pain. The ride is not so bad but when you're done riding, walking away is the problem.
I'm 5' 11", 200 lbs., just shy of 56 years. I've had four back surgeries. My spine has been fused twice in the neck and the discs have collapsed in L3,4,&5. I also have Arachnoiditis, which is permanent incurable inflammation of the middle layer of the three layers surrounding the spinal cord. It causes nerve-clumping which is the source of the pain. I've had a spinal cord stimulator surgically implanted at T9-10. The electrical stimulation is supposed to interrupt and scramble the pain signal. Actual results are strange and long description that I'll spare you. I can say that one of the incidental effects is that my butt no longer cares about the seat. My butt never goes numb anymore. The back however, still requires correct positioning. Stay upright with your feet under you.
For me, weight is the bigger enemy. The heavier the bike, the bigger the toll on my body. So the DL650 was a very welcome return to enjoying riding again. Sure, on the interstate I would like more power, but the 650 has all the power I need. The weight of the 650 is effortless enough that I don't have to fight it at slow speeds or when I'm acting like a geriatric hooligan in the twisties. With the addition of some set-back handlebar risers, this is easily the most comfortable and enjoyable bike I've ever owned - straight out of the box, so to speak.
But for the sake of full disclosure, I've not ridden the DL1000 so my advice and a $10 bill will get you a cup of coffee anywhere.
 

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I was in your predicament a few months ago trying to decide between the 650 and the 1000. I found a BMW dealership that had both in used bikes and so I test rode them both back to back. The 650 has less power but to me has a smoother motor. The 1000 that I rode had a considerably heavier feel and steered a lot slower. The 1000 was old enough to have double exhausts on it and when I cranked it up, the deeper rumble made me smile. I did go with the 650 from an individual that had numerous aftermarket add ons. Madstad windshield bracket, Barkbusters, Givi engine guards, adjustable clutch and brake levers, a bracket for a GPS and a cigarette lighter socket under the seat for GPS power. The Sargent seat pretty much sealed the deal on this bike.

After pulling the bike in and out of the garage for a month, I am glad I bought the 650 with the lower weight. I'm sure that I would appreciate the extra power of the 1000 but I ride 2 lane winding state highways, which I consider "motorcycle roads" and generally run 60-70 mph. The Wee does fine with those types. The thing that I love the most about the bike is the handling. It is a true joy to flick through the curves due the very light pressure needed on the handlebar to make it turn.

I plan to upgrade the windshield to allow less noise and I want an aftermarket exhaust to eliminate the sewing machine sound of the OEM pipe. I also found that Adventuretech's footpeg lowering kit and shifter relocation kit did wonders for my knees.

Whichever bike you end up with, I think that you will be happy. My Wee is the 8th bike that I have owned and I think it is my favorite due to comfort and handling.

Hope this helps.
 

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The newer gen 1000 can be made to be with 2 pounds of the stock 650. Installing an arrow full race exhaust (not that loud at all with the db killer in) does most of it. There are a lot of seat options. I use the Shad comfort seat and believe other than Russel the day long seat believe t to be teh best available for the DL1000. The custom seats mentioned above are also good. Stay away from the Mayer brothers custom seats.

The foot peg and control lowering kit has been lauded for its beneficial effect on the lower back and eliminating pain.

I have owned somewhere around 40 motorcycles. The V-Stroms have had teh best all around comfort and utility of any of them. Any DL650 or newer generation DL1000 will make you very happy. The older Gen 1 DL1000s 2004 and above have a few things that need to be sorted out, but can be excellent values as well and instill a great since of pride in ownership.
 
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