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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm in the process of exploring my motorcycle purchase options, and one of my main requirements is longevity. Imported motorcycles here in Taiwan are heavily taxed, so I have to make a very long-term commitment to the bike I decide on.

The 2012 model has the Gladius engine, but I don't know much about it. How long has it been on the market, and what are the known problems with it? How many kilometers can it reasonably be expected to last during its lifetime (assuming it's driven modestly)?

I'm also curious to know how many kilometers V-Strom riders have put on them over the years. What's the life expectancy of this class of motorcycle from Suzuki (again, assuming it's driven modestly)? Any guesses about parts availability in 15 years?

Thanks, guys.
 

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I had an obscure British bike in the 1960's. You can still get parts for it as long as you are a little patient and troll ebay. I wouldn't worry about parts availability on any modern bike.
 

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V-Tom has over 200,000km on his bike. Rcacs has close to that. Black Lab has nearly 100,000 miles. I have 76,000 miles and figure I'm not nearly at half life yet. The Gladius based engines just came out this year on V-Stroms so hard numbers are not available but the 645cc Suzuki V-Twin engine line has been renowned for quality and feel.
 

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The Gladius engine just came out on the V-Strom but I believe was the Suzuki Gladius has been around starting with 2009 model year.
 

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My wife has a 2009 Gladius, but it has only 2000 miles on it so I can't comment directly on longevity. However, I can say that it feels like a very high quality engine superior in every way to my 2006 Wee. Enough so that I will be picking up my 2012 Adventure Wee soon, a decision based primarily on the engine. While not an issue for some, I have problems with vibration effects and consequent numbing of my hands with my Wee, a problem I have gone to great lengths to reduce with only limited success, however the smoothness of the Gladius engine does not cause this problem for me. When warming both bikes up a few weeks ago to charge batteries, etc., I noticed that the Gladius had to be revved 2000 rpm higher to get the same level of vibration as the Wee. This may be due in part to frame materials, the Gladius is steel, Wee aluminum, but early reports all confirm the new Wee to be smoother.

Given the SCEM coating and other proven Suzuki material and technology, the reduced vibes would suggest that this too will be just as, if not more, reliable as previous models. While I don't care for the styling, I absolutely love to ride the Gladius and the motor is basis for this affection. I can only hope the new Wee will be as engaging.
 

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I have always heard that in the USA the manufacturer had to have parts available for 11 year

I was very happy to hear of a 2012 VEE unmodified from past which I hope will restart the clock. Wee owners 2022 you've been warned.

Note usually a company buys the entire stock of NOS parts and they dribble on. I think you can still get a new NOS exhaust system for a water buffalo
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks. That's exactly what I'm wondering about. Any more comments?

Also, are there any known issues with the Gladius engine?
 

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I did 87,500kms on my 2004 DL650 and it still felt like new.

I am positive the new gladius motored 2012 DL650 will last even longer. The main thing that I think will help longevity on the new bike is the fact the bike is smoother and happier to run around town at lower revs than the old bike. I find myself using 1 gear higher than I used to. This will mean the bike will do less engine rotations for a given distance.
 

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I don't think you need to be concerned about engine longevity on these bikes, all are derived from the SV650 and its a tough motor.
If one is concerned about parts availability in 15 years a far bigger concern are the things that the Japanese makers traditionally suck at supplying, exhaust, body parts, headlights.
Having learned this lesson screwing around with some old Japanese bikes you find that the motor parts are usually easy to come by. Things like side covers and exhausts are typically discontinuesd and you're down to ebay. In my experience Honda is the best for support and I can tell you for a fact that they aren't all that good.
what you have going for you on the first generation Stroms is that its been in production for a pretty long time and has some parts interchangability with a SV and even the 1000 strom. Used parts should be available for many years if the factory stops supplying them. The bike has also been popular enough that the aftermarket support for it is pretty good.
The 2012 isn't quite as clear. If it has a production run anything like the first generation bikes then all should be well. If it doesn't then it could be a problem down the line.
 

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Put your engine-worries to rest. The roots of this engine were developed on the racetrack in the SV650. Any weak-spots were engineered out long ago.
Likewise, the transmission is bulletproof and based on some of the very best motorcycle xmissions on the planet. (It was once written that a Suzuki xmission should be sent into space to prove there is intelligent life on Earth.)

I would expect you would be replacing wheel-bearings or suspension-components before needing to open up the engine.

It goes without saying that oil-changes and other regular preventive-maintenance are important.
 

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I have always heard that in the USA the manufacturer had to have parts available for 11 year

I was very happy to hear of a 2012 VEE unmodified from past which I hope will restart the clock. Wee owners 2022 you've been warned.

Note usually a company buys the entire stock of NOS parts and they dribble on. I think you can still get a new NOS exhaust system for a water buffalo
Not exactly on topic, but I restored a Suzuki 72/T-250 Hustler and found a few NOS parts that were purchased through my closest dealer from their system. The pickings are few for a vintage Suzuki, compared to a BMW but any new parts are notable for an old machine.
 

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You can still buy old 70's Suzuki GS parts.........can't imagine not finding the same situation for the Strom, for it's one of Suzuki's most successful models. Suzuki has made very few motorcycles that were not paragons of reliability.
 

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You can still buy old 70's Suzuki GS parts.........can't imagine not finding the same situation for the Strom, for it's one of Suzuki's most successful models. Suzuki has made very few motorcycles that were not paragons of reliability.
Just for the heck of it I picked a popular Suzuki model, the GS550 (a 1984 model at that) and did a little OEM parts hunting. As I would have expected, engine parts available, most body parts (fuel tank, fairing pieces, rear seat cowling to name a few) and exhaust pieces (notably mufflers) listed as 'not available'.
This is typical of bikes more than a few years out of production. I'm in the process of restoring a '71 Honda SL100 and its the same thing. I can get oem pieces for the engine because it was shared in a lot of models, and I can get things like foot peg and kick start rubber for the same reason. OEM fuel tank from Honda? Forget it, ditto mufflers, fenders and fuel tank.
Its no particular indictment of the makers, its just how it is.
Conversely, I was able to order a factory side cover for a BMW R75/6 and decals from the local dealer. BMW just happens to be supportive in that way.
Its really not an issue of reliability either. No matter how reliable something is there is always that accidental drop that breaks a body panel, crushes a muffler or something. If your bike is very long out of production there is a fair chance you're not going to get the part from your local dealer.
In the case of the frist generation DL650 I doubt its ever going to be much of a problem, there were a lot sold, it had a long production run and there was a pretty big aftermarket. Couple that with some interchangability between models like the SV650 and DL1000 and you should be good to go.
The 2012 is, I think more of a question. There is no longer an SV650 to interchange with and nothing will likely interchange from a dl1000. The engine is the Gladius version so there may be some interchange there but they sold what? About seven Gladius world wide:biggrinjester:.
Add to that, Suzuki is in trouble, has been for some time. They're not selling bikes with rebates and 0% apr for 5 years because they're selling everything they make. Hopefully they survive but these are strange times.
Add it all up and to answer the OPs question, if you're really concerned about longevity (I'm personally not) then I think the generation one bikes are the safe bet. The '12 might be preferable in many ways but the reality is that nobody knows what its track record and production run will be like.
Since I don't often keep bikes all that long I could give a rat's rear one way or another but if it worried me, I'd get an 11 or earlier.
 

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FWIW, I agree with the sentiment below. While I would be very surprised if the Gladius based engine on the new 2012 proved to be problematical, I am not a "version 1a" kind of guy. Accordingly I too would get a 2011 or earlier if problem free longevity is the primary concern.

For me, a proven track record of a design and preformance is paramount before I will buy anything; whether software (e,g, Windows ME or Vista), Cars (Chevy Vega aluminum engine) etc. The 2011 and before DL650 is a proven design with minimal issues. The Gladius while probably as good is still relatively new. Accordingly I would error on the side of caution and get a pre-2012 version.

...if you're really concerned about longevity (I'm personally not) then I think the generation one bikes are the safe bet. The '12 might be preferable in many ways but the reality is that nobody knows what its track record and production run will be like.
Since I don't often keep bikes all that long I could give a rat's rear one way or another but if it worried me, I'd get an 11 or earlier.
 

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You might consider buying a few parts now on spec. Given a choice I would not buy a 2011 in preference to 2012 model. Suzuki, like any Japanese bike manufacturer have an excellent track record for reliability. A new bike properly maintained, will probably eventually be sold for a new and exciting model rather than for some mechanical issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for all the replies. I appreciate your help.

A new bike properly maintained, will probably eventually be sold for a new and exciting model rather than for some mechanical issue.
Or like an older car after 10 years you pick up a

"PARTS" bike for cheap and have a spare everything
Neither of these are options in my case. My situation is very unusual compared to most people on this forum. Prices here in Taiwan are almost double the US MSRP. Whatever motorcycle I end up choosing will have to be the last one I ever buy. That's why I'm so concerned about longevity.

You might consider buying a few parts now on spec.
This is an interesting option. Extreme, but interesting. It's not something I'd rush out to do, but perhaps 5-10 years after whatever model I choose is discontinued.
 

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Thanks for all the replies. I appreciate your help.



Neither of these are options in my case. My situation is very unusual compared to most people on this forum. Prices here in Taiwan are almost double the US MSRP. Whatever motorcycle I end up choosing will have to be the last one I ever buy. That's why I'm so concerned about longevity.
At this moment in time given your situation I would defintely go '11 or older then. There will be support and owner's groups for that variant for many years. You should be able to get people to ship you anything you would ever need in the way of pieces, used or otherwise.
Do they treat used parts differently when it comes to tariffs? Or for that matter are parts genreally treated differently than a whole bike?
Good luck whatever route you go.
 

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V-Tom has over 200,000km on his bike. Rcacs has close to that. Black Lab has nearly 100,000 miles. I have 76,000 miles and figure I'm not nearly at half life yet. The Gladius based engines just came out this year on V-Stroms so hard numbers are not available but the 645cc Suzuki V-Twin engine line has been renowned for quality and feel.
I can relate SlowRain. I am considering relocating to Sweden and the bike prices are just :jawdrop:

MOTORRAD wrapped up their 50,000km test of their Gladius. It only was in the shop for scheduled servicing and when they tore down the drivetrain to look for wear, a few specs were within production tolerances and the rest showed minimal wear. :thumbup: Looks promising.
 

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You folks are talking about the Gladius engine like it's a lot different.

Changing from an air cooled to water cooled oil cooler is not exactly a design revolution.
 
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