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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all! Hope everyone is doing well in these difficult times. I'm looking for a bit of advice, as it will become quickly apparent I am very confused about what I want...

I've been riding for a year and am just about to graduate to my full license. I've been on a Yamaha MT-07LA (52HP variant of the standard FZ-07/MT-07). I'm 6'2" 80kg. Here's a quick rundown of how I'm feeling about the current bike (and why I'm looking at moving to something different).

Good:
  • Very light and easy to maneuver around, both in town and flicking through corners.
  • Heaps of torque at all rev ranges. That and the weight make it super fun in twisties.
  • Surprisingly quick for the low HP, helped by the weight and power delivery. No real problems passing at highway speeds.
Less good:
  • Gets windy, just life on a naked bike.
  • Starting to feel like I could use a bit more oomph. This goes as fast as I need to. But there are times when I'm pulling out of a corner and pin it back and don't quite have the pull-away I would like.
  • Starting to feel a bit small under me. Not exactly folded up but I would like to stretch out a bit more. Between this and the wind I get a bit uncomfortable after more than an hour.
  • No storage (admittedly I could add something to the passenger seat, so I can't complain too much about this).
  • Because of the above, long trips don't even feel like an option.
So I have been considering new bikes, and here is where it gets silly. The 3 bikes that I'm tossing up between are:

Yamaha XSR-900: Big brother to the MT-07, and I really like the styling. The biggest selling point is from every owner I've spoken to, these are endless fun in twisties. I am hopeful that it would be more comfortable but I'm entirely operating on faith as there are none available to test ride locally. I have ridden an MT-09SP and that was amazing at speed but I found the seat very uncomfortable at low speeds in town, but the XSR is slightly different. Obviously still a naked bike so the wind buffeting won't be any better. Definitely has more grunt than my skill level would require.

DL650: I would like to believe this would solve most of the comfort issues for me. Slightly more upright position, screen, more convenient storage options. Three big concerns here:
  1. Power-wise I expect this to be pretty anemic compared to the XSR and possibly even a sideways step to the MT-07.
  2. Fun in twisties. Here is where I'm not sure. I have ridden with guys on DL1000's in twisties who have had no issue keeping up with me, I'm just not sure how much of the fun factor is lost on these larger, less flickable bikes.
  3. Daily commuting in town. Obviously this is bigger than the MT-07 so will be slightly more work in tight spaces, I'm hoping you just get used to it.
DL1000: Most points of the DL650 apply, but I am hoping the displacement will make the difference. I still wonder if it would feel like a step up to the MT-07's responsive triple, when by all accounts the engine in the Vee sounds a bit more... boring. I'm just not sure what people's point of comparison is when they talk about it that way. I think the key to me is whether this is still going to be fun on twisties.

So really for me it feels like a toss-up between the XSR and Vee. To be clear I don't have any current plans for 2-up riding, super long trips or anything offroad beyond the occasional dirt/gravel back-road, so I'm not sure whether the Vee is just pointless for me. It just seems nice to have the option of any of that stuff in future. The XSR seems like the fun choice, but when I look at my list of cons of the MT-07, it seems many of them will be solved by the Vee, whereas the XSR just looks cool.

If you've made it this far, thanks! Obviously I am just rambling on. Would love to hear your thoughts.
 

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HP is a blessing and a curse and more isn't always better, faster or more fun. Learning to ride smooth and carrying speed into and out of turns will do more for upping the fun factor and being a faster rider than just adding HP.

Way to many riders cannot ride turns. They come in hot, stab the brakes to scrub excessive speed which unsettles and slows the bike through the turn Then to exit he turn they rip the throttle open unsettling the bike some more as the front unload and the rear loads. Its actually a lot of work to ride bad. A smooth rider will carry speed into and through the turn keeping the bike settled and stable then as the hit the apex roll on the throttle to exit the turn.

Trust me it not the bike as much as it is the rider.
 

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Ride them all. While the DL1000 is a liter bike it performs like a Harley. Vstroms are extremely comfortable. It all will come down to what it feels like to you and what your most important attributes are.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
HP is a blessing and a curse and more isn't always better, faster or more fun. Learning to ride smooth and carrying speed into and out of turns will do more for upping the fun factor and being a faster rider than just adding HP.

Way to many riders cannot ride turns. They come in hot, stab the brakes to scrub excessive speed which unsettles and slows the bike through the turn Then to exit he turn they rip the throttle open unsettling the bike some more as the front unload and the rear loads. Its actually a lot of work to ride bad. A smooth rider will carry speed into and through the turn keeping the bike settled and stable then as the hit the apex roll on the throttle to exit the turn.

Trust me it not the bike as much as it is the rider.
Thanks, that makes sense. I went on a riding course with an instructor on a DL1000 through some very tight and quick corners and it was clear from watching him in my mirrors that he was just gliding smoothly through every bend, whereas I was working my ass off because - like you say - I was dropping most of my momentum and having to pin it out frequently. I'm convinced that with a lower power bike he would have been faster than me as well.
 

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Most riders are happy on the DL650 -v- DL1000. The Vee would really only be needed for two-up or long distance touring which you say is off the table (for now). I wouldn't consider touring or two-up in the equation until you cross that bridge. The Wee can do both (once in a while) but not ideal if/when you start to do a lot of that.

The Vee is heavier and muscling it around parking lots or low speeds can be a challenge for someone tall and lanky. The Wee would probably be a good fit for your size. Personally I like a faired bike as fighting the wind wears me out and the upright riding position is easy on my back, especially on longer rides.

The +10HP upgrade over your MT07 is a nice bump and will be noticeable and probably keep you happy for a while. The Wee handles just fine in the twisties (with street or sport/touring tires) though the suspension and brakes might not be as good as the FZ/MT variants. I read that the MT07 suspension isn't all that great and one of the corners Yamaha cut to meet its price point. BTW, once you get your full license can't you derestrict your MT07 and get the full 70HP the motor was designed to output?

You could pick up a used Wee for around $3-$4K, probably upgraded with a lot of extras already installed. You could ride it for a year or two and sell it for what you paid for it if it is not for you or decide to go in a different direction. Reliable as a rock, low financial risk and smiles/$ are some of the Wee's strong points.
 

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The DL1000 is a blast on twisties. It’s not a light bike, but once you get it up to speed...it is an absolute pleasure to ride:

-It’s responsive and flicks back and forth quickly...even more so without luggage attached (I tend to remove my panniers when I want to REALLY enjoy the twisty road near home)

-It’s peppy. I’m pushing 40 and don’t consider myself to be a speed demon, but the 1000 is a LOT of fun. It’s enjoyable to just cruise around with and it’s equally enjoyable to let it rip.

-The stock DL1000 sounds pretty nice/deep.

-It’s tall rider (I’m 6’3”), big rider, and 2-up friendly. I don’t ride 2-up, but given my size and typical payload...my DL1000 likely thinks it’s operating 2-up every ride...and it handles it well.

-The Strom (650 and 1000) are like KLR’s....there is an endless amount of things that you can do to them to make them fit you and suit your riding style.

Do you NEED the 1000? Probably not. Some things to consider:

-DL650 fuel economy > DL1000 fuel economy.

- DL650 is tuned to run on regular unleaded. DL1000 is recommended to use 90+ octane only.

-DL650 has a lower upfront cost than the DL1000.

-The DL1000 is very top heavy. It REALLY sucks to move it around the garage.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks guys. This has me considering the 650 much more seriously. I have been reading a lot of reviews over the past few weeks, including the 650 vs 1000 thread here. Obviously there are people that feel strongly about both. But realistically one of the big points that I see come up again and again from people that prefer the 1000 is the comfort on long-trips and 2-up, which as was pointed out aren't really in my priority list. I think I have just gotten myself into the mindset of bigger is better so have had my blinders on on that front, and am probably cherry-picking info that supports my assumptions.

We are in fairly strict lockdown here (New Zealand) for at least another 10 days or so. I'll be taking both bikes out for a test ride after that, though the dealership is a bit tetchy about test ride distances, so I'm a bit limited on types of roads I can test - which is why it's useful to get input from owners.

The +10HP upgrade over your MT07 is a nice bump and will be noticeable and probably keep you happy for a while. The Wee handles just fine in the twisties (with street or sport/touring tires) though the suspension and brakes might not be as good as the FZ/MT variants. I read that the MT07 suspension isn't all that great and one of the corners Yamaha cut to meet its price point. BTW, once you get your full license can't you derestrict your MT07 and get the full 70HP the motor was designed to output?
Yeah I'm on a 2015 MT-07 which does actually suffer from overly squishy forks. Derestricting is a bit of a headache here because the bike legally needs to be re-registered and no longer falls under the power/weight restrictions for learner bikes. At the end of the day these bikes have great resell value as-is so I'd be better off moving it on and buying something different, and would probably just lose money on any upgrades.
 

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Thanks guys. This has me considering the 650 much more seriously. I have been reading a lot of reviews over the past few weeks, including the 650 vs 1000 thread here. Obviously there are people that feel strongly about both. But realistically one of the big points that I see come up again and again from people that prefer the 1000 is the comfort on long-trips and 2-up, which as was pointed out aren't really in my priority list. I think I have just gotten myself into the mindset of bigger is better so have had my blinders on on that front, and am probably cherry-picking info that supports my assumptions.

We are in fairly strict lockdown here (New Zealand) for at least another 10 days or so. I'll be taking both bikes out for a test ride after that, though the dealership is a bit tetchy about test ride distances, so I'm a bit limited on types of roads I can test - which is why it's useful to get input from owners.


Yeah I'm on a 2015 MT-07 which does actually suffer from overly squishy forks. Derestricting is a bit of a headache here because the bike legally needs to be re-registered and no longer falls under the power/weight restrictions for learner bikes. At the end of the day these bikes have great resell value as-is so I'd be better off moving it on and buying something different, and would probably just lose money on any upgrades.
One option there is to keep the stock parts in a bin and return it to stock in the event you decide to sell it at some point. Ex. I kept my stock seat, because whenever I decide to sell the bike...I should be able to at least get $200 out of the Sargent/aftermarket one. Same with my windscreen (Givi), etc.

I kept the stock parts for my last motorcycle (a KLR), but opted to sell it intact with the stock parts as extras, because I did ok on the sale price and the buyer was a good guy.

Another thing...people seem to like well “farkled” bikes. While you might not get more out of it...it might help you move it more quickly.

Good luck with your search when the time comes. 🍻
 

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I have not ridden a MT07 but I do own a MT09, it is a blast and as you say very quick to steer, weight is the big difference, quick to get moving & quick to slow up, the strom is more like a dinosaur.

I loved my 650 for many years and still have a huge soft spot in my heart for it, move to a 2014 1000 then added cruise control and boosted the HP & torque with a PCFC but spend a lot of time 2 up if I was solo I would still be on the old 650, I dropped the front and lifted the rear to get it turning the way I wanted.

I test rode a number of 1000 before I purchased one, HP a side they never felt as good as that old 650.
 
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