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Discussion Starter #1
Hey Everyone,

Very helpful site for a prospective strom owner. I wanted to pick your brain about buying a strom as my first bike. I have looked over the forums and a lot of you have indicated that both the 650 and the 1000 might be too much to handle for a first time rider. I definitely respect the opinions of long-time riders so I was hoping that you might be able to comment on my situation.

I am 6'4" for starters, so I have been sitting on a lot of different bikes and have had difficulty finding one that fits. I have completed the MSF course. I am not interested at all in the forward riding position of the sports bikes. I am looking for a bike that will take me long distances comfortably. I am 25, but am not looking at getting a bike to open the throttle up and go fast! I am simply looking for something that will be comfortable and affordable.

A few months ago, I sat on a 2004 V-Strom DL1000 and thought that I had found the perfect bike. It is the first bike that I had sat on that I felt very comfortable on. The bike is still for sale, it has 27k on it and is going for $5599. I have a few questions for those of you who are experienced riders:

1. Is this a good deal for this bike?
2. Should I even be considering a vstrom 1000? When sitting on it, I felt extremely comfortable, much more so than on any 500 or 750 that I have tried out so far.

My fear is that if I go with a smaller bike as you suggest on some other beginners threads, I will end up being uncomfortable and not going on some longer trips as I had originally planned. Any advice is welcomed!
 

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We of the long inseam have fewer choices than most when it comes to picking out a comfortable ride. At 6'4", you will likely find the Stroms to be comfortable. You may need a taller shield or may want a taller saddle if you are long in the torso or legs, respectively. I am 6'2", 34" inseam, but 38" sleeves (long torso), and find the 650 to fit fairly well. I am in the market for a new saddle, but that has more to do with how my bum feels after 300 miles than any ergonomic issue.

I have been riding for 34 years this year. I owned a 750 sport bike and a FJR 1300 Sport Tourer when I bought my Wee Strom. I ride the Wee the most. I still have the others (I hate selling bikes), but the Wee is the best, all-around bike. You will find the 650 to be plenty of bike for you as long as you are not into drag racing. A friend had a 1000, and his complaints about the fuel injection calibration swayed me to the 650. I paid $5800 out-the-door for my brand new 2006 in April of 2007. The one-liters are more pricey, and I won't offer any suggestion on if the one you are looking at is a good deal or not. Too many variables like condition, region, accessories, etc.

I heartily recommend the 650 Strom as a first bike. Good luck!

4BD
 

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As an MSF instructor, but not, of course, speaking in any way for the MSF or any other entity, I wouldn't be afraid to recommend the DL650 for a first-time bike for a really tall rider. I wouldn't recommend the DL1000 though.

I'd recommend getting the cheapest used one you can find and putting some crash bars on it, because you will have drops and other mishaps the first couple years, especially low or zero-speed parking lot drops. The Vstrom is a pretty tall bike with a high center of gravity and a relatively long wheel-base, thus has more difficult low-speed handling characteristics than many, if not most street bikes. When you get it, first thing you should do is get out in a parking lot and practice those low-speed turns, remembering the skills you learned in the U-turn box in the BRC course.

Main thing is though, to keep yourself out of trouble, remember what you learned in the BRC; keep your scan way out ahead, don't ride over your own capabilities, and keep using the SEE techniques you learned in class. Oh, and get yourself some good safety gear up front.

You'll do fine. Good luck to you on your riding future!
 

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If this is your first bike you may find the 1000 a handful. It may fit you better, but it may be more than you'll be able to handle. The 650 is a tamer beast and if you wish you can put a 1000 seat on it to give you a little more leg room. Whatever Vstrom you choose will prove to be a reliable ride.

SS
 

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A couple of very experienced riders thought the V-Strom 650 would be a perfect first bike for me. On their recommendation, I bought the oldest cheapest one I could find and I'm loving it.

I think you'll be very happy with it.
 

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My current ride, a DL1000 I bought from a guy at work who thought it would make a good first bike. It didn't. Too big and top heavy, even for a guy who is 6'2", without the sidebags too. Although I'm sure the MSF course helps a lot, he didn't take it despite my telling him that he should.
 

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I've seen guys buy full-dress Harleys and Goldwings as their first bike--it all depends on the rider and his natural abilities. My brother bought a '08 KLR650 for his first bike last year, and he had a learning curve that went straight up. He says he's hankering for a bit more punch on the pavement, and I have suggested the DL1000, but he is about to pull the trigger on a used Honda VFR800. I bet he'll do well whatever he rides--he's a thoughtful, careful guy by nature, and I've been coaching him on avoiding the common mistakes new riders make. So far, so good.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks!

Thanks for all the information everyone! After thinking about it for a while, I have decided that I should probably be looking for a wee! It will most likely be a bit more in my price range and will be more forgiving for a noob!

Now the problem comes with finding a used wee as it seems that people love them so much they don't want to get rid of them!

Anyone have any ideas of where I might look in Connecticut for a used Wee?

I am hoping to find one that is under 5k.

Also, are there any other thoughts on a less expensive first bike?
 

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Thanks for all the information everyone! After thinking about it for a while, I have decided that I should probably be looking for a wee! It will most likely be a bit more in my price range and will be more forgiving for a noob!


Also, are there any other thoughts on a less expensive first bike?
Good choice on the 1k, a newbie on a 1000 cc bike (unless it is one of those grossly underpowered and overweight cruisers) is a bad idea.

For one of the least expensive bike and yet large enough bikes for you to learn on would be a klr 650. The other 650 dual sports are also options but are not as comfortable on the highway (650xl, dr650) or quite a bit more expensive (ktm, bmw). And of course you have the wee as you stated before.
 

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650 or 1000

dont let the stories about droping the bike scare you . go to a riding cource , get the 1000 . its the same bike . with more power . dont end up like me 1 year later . less than a year . moving up to the 1000 unless you can afford it . get the big dawg . these are not race bikes or over powered:)for some reason these bikes are getting harder to find so i guess resale is going up . dealers around here are not carrying them. i heard suzuki cut production by 50%. stroms dont seem to be too popular around sw nh.last year used 04 dl 1000 . 6500 miles was selling for $6700 650 same miles $4500.00 do more shoping. kawi 650
 

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Either model is fine but starting with a 650 you will likely find a cheaper bike and cheaper insurance. Keep an eye on the various craigslists and ebay around the northeast. The bikes come up quite frequently if you don't mind running around a little to look at them. Real hard to get as much bike for your money in any other bike.
 

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good choice

I was in the same boat as you deciding about wee vs vee. But as I was out of the sport for so long I went for the Wee. While it is true there is only marginal differences between the weights. There is a great difference in the power and response. The wee is much more tame than the Vee. The Wee is very adept at handling all I put on it. I ride 2 up with luggage. It handles it very well. And the better mileage was a factor also. Since these bikes hold their resale fairly well, you will be able to learn then sell and upgrade without a tremendous loss. But everyone and their capabilities is different. I am gald I started with the Wee and now dont see the need to upsize for my particular purposes. Good Luck in deciding. And welcome to the Wonderful World of Strom.
 

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I was in the same place back in August. Vee...Wee, Vee...Wee, Vee...Wee? At 6'4", 285 lbs. I wanted to make sure I got the bike I wanted the first time I purchased as this was to be my first street bike.

To make a long story short I went with the Vee and have never looked back. I now have about 6,000 miles on her. She doesn't seem overpowering or difficult to handle at all. Given that please remember that each individual is different both in natural ability and confidence.

I also highly recommend the MSF course regardless of which bike you choose. I am getting ready to take the Intermediate level course as we speak.

Good luck and ride safe!
 

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There are better first bikes, and there are worse first bikes.......and there you have it.
 

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I almost ended up with a Vee because I could not find any used wees. The couple I did see seemed priced way high, so I ended up with a new wee. It seems like some areas just lack used stroms. I am not totally new to riding but fairly inexperienced, 2 seasons and 6K miles. I think the wee I rode home on saturday is a bit easier to ride than the Vees I test drove. YMMV but I think there is a big difference between "doing ok," and really being comfortable and enjoying the bike.
 

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I opted to get a KLR 650 last summer as my first bike. 1500 miles later (about 5 weeks) I rode a Wee. The next day I bought it. At 6'5", 205 lbs it is a fabulous bike for me. As some have said you may mod a bit for your height. I have a taller windshield, lowered the pegs, brought the bar up a bit, and put on a new seat. I didn't really have to, but it did improve the ride.

For overall sitting, the KLR was better with just the Corbin seat it came with. But I outgrew it very quickly as it just couldn't handle my commute and riding style. The only way I would get rid of my Wee is if I replaced it with an ABS model. Get a Wee, ride the hell out of it, take the ERC next year.
 

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either one have your money ready and when you find a good deal buy it quick or it will be sold:mrgreen:
Guns
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Still Looking

Thanks for all the advice so far. This site has been wonderful for learning more about this bike and I have become quite convinced that my first bike will be a wee!

And now I have begun the waiting game...waiting for the perfectly farkled wee to show up in my area.

Anyone have any ideas besides craigslist and local dealers of how to locate a used wee?
 

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I bought one off fleaBay out of Mass. a couple of years ago.

There is a V on CL in Vermont right now that doesn't sound like a bad buy.

Doesn't seem like many 650 owners have any desire for V's so you're not likely to convince anyone to trade....;)
 

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I bought my 2002 Vee with 9K on the odometer for 4K late summer last year off Craigslist. It is/was my first bike ever. I am 6'4" 235# so handling the bike is not a problem. It's not a sportbike so too much throttle is not a concern either with this bike. Power is just a mater of how hard you roll on the throttle. Just because it's there doesn't mean you have to use it. The newer Busa's come with a power selection switch that will allow you to adjust how much power is available to you - tone it down if you are a new rider or bad road conditions....turn it up if you are experienced. With the Vee you will just have to control how much you yank on that right grip!

If you get the Vee as your starter bike, you won't have to second guess later if you feel yourself wanting that extra power for two up riding, etc. Keep the bike in the 3-4K rpm range and it is very smooth and managable. Over 4K is when the bike really comes alive.

I will note that I dropped the bike the first 15 minutes I had it. Was practicing a slow tight turn in a parking lot. Wasn't the bike's fault, was mine for inexperience. Before I took it out again I was sure to have engine guards on it, so that would be my first recommended purchase for a new rider.
 
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