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I used to have a 1980 GS850G shaft drive and it was OK. Kids came along and the bike was sold. Earlier this year I wanted to get back into it and was looking for an older kawasaki Concours or a Honda ST1100. I ended up changing my mind because I did not want the fairings for city commuting. I am 6 foot 3 and extremely good looking and the bike fits me well. so far this year My longest day ride was about 800KM, and it was great. I sometimes take off for a small ride with the wife and the 1000 CC is great for us. The chain is OK, I would clean and oil it every few weeks, but its easier if your bike will have a center stand.
 

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Discussion Starter #43
The whole thing with the chain drive is likely me just overthinking it. I have heard such awesome stories of a shaft being maintenance free and had very good luck with a belt that it’s hard to get the idea of a high maintenance, noisy, mess maker out of my head. But I have also heard that modern chains are much tougher, pre stretched, heavy and are nothing like the old school kind. Thanks a lot.
 

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The DR650 is a lighter and nimbler bike that would be far more at home on gravel and dirt - the rougher the better.
However, it will be far less comfortable, especially on trips or freeways, although it CAN handle them if you have an iron butt.
It comes down to where you wish to ride, and what are your priorities - travelling comfort or unsealed road capabilities.
 

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Do you think a DR 650 would be a good bike to get back into riding on before getting a Vstrom? Or any DR for that matter.
A short story I think, stories are good.

When I bought my DL1000, my riding friend was looking at the adventure style bikes as well. He has a 2010 Triumph Rocket for travelling/cruising. He was sending me a steady stream of VStrom and Triumph Tiger adds, and ask my opinion. He is fortunate to not have to concern himself about finances. After a few weeks I could see/feel that he was leaning towards the Triumph - he had looked at a new 1200 Tiger fully loaded but couldn't get past the sticker price - don't blame him for that, close to $30K CDN. I finally sent him an email and phoned, told him to pick one or stop looking. He finally bit the bullet and bought a 2010 Tiger 1050, nice bike and he's quite pleased with it. Even his wife told him to get on with it.

Having mentioned the above, there will always be another bike around the corner. It's the waiting and the want that will be a driver. I would treat this the same as I would buying a house, that's how I got the bikes I have. Make a list of contenders, determine how you will use the bike. This is the most important issue. Romantic notions of disappearing into the sunset on long trips is probably a romantic notion for most, but some have made this happen. I submit that most owners spend 80 to 90 percent of their riding time around home, short day trips, with the possibility of a trip once a year. This should be foremost in your decision making.

Lived on a 40 foot boat for 5 years. Expected to be out on the water most weekends and at least one long trip each year. Reality replaced the romance, and life/work got in the way. Spent most time alongside, but tried it - no regrets.

Keep long/short term? This should be your second consideration. Getting back into riding can be great, and barring any complications a good experience. Don't rule out the possibility of something happening that can derail the best laid plans.

If considering riding two up for day and longer trips, or out for coffee, make sure the passenger has a comfortable ride. This could entail an aftermarket seat, upgraded suspension - you will hear about this if it isn't adequate. Riding position for the pillion is very important. Knees up around the eyeballs is for younger riders, and not very comfortable for the pillion. Seat configuration, need new aftermarket or is the seat already changed - is the OEM seat adequate. I always consider this into my buy, otherwise I'm riding by myself. Sit down with the other half and discuss what you are doing. There are a lot of good books out there for and about pillion riding and what the pillion can expect and do to be helpful in this process, and after the buy. Pillion ergonomics is as important, if not more, than that for the rider.

You might consider putting together lists that detail your must/need to have, would like to have, and a bonus list(s). Once you do this you can focus on what is out there. Browse the forums and take notes of good/bad points regarding any bike that is being considered. You will also find what issues are recurring. Look at trip threads - lots of good info in these. When I bought my 1800 with 37K Kms on it, I knew from this process that the suspension was less than adequate - number 1 issue, number 2 issue - the seating position for a tall person was less than stellar, and third was tire wear, Goldwings were/are known to be hard on tires. I factored these items into my maintenance/work requirements when I bought my 1800.

A person who has had a bad experience will tell you, as will those that have good ones. These are personal opinions, much like buying a GM or a Ford. Keep a spread sheet of the bikes looked at and how each stacks up against the list(s) and the other bikes being considered. List the bike specs on each and find out what each parameter means, such as rake and trail. My 1800 could easily turn in a 19/20 foot circle (2 car lot places), the DL1000 I expect to be closer to 16 feet. Eventually you will narrow it down.

Talk to riders at coffee shops and wherever. We like to talk about our bikes, what we have done, and our impressions of the bike. The DL1000 needed to be good for two up riding, there is a lot of room for two people. It will not replace the 1500 Goldwing for long trips. Good day/weekender for two, possibly longer for solo riding.

Look at the riding position, does it look comfortable. My son-in-law got into riding on a Honda CBR 600. Very uncomfortable to look at and when we went riding, always standing up and shaking some blood back into his legs. 300 miles crouched over a gas tank is no fun. He eventually got a 2014 Moto Guzzi 1400 California Special. Better riding position, all the bells and whistles he needed, and quite the thoroughbred of a bike, extremely fast as well. He enjoys his rides much better now.

Don't be looking at too many at any one time. Like buying a house, the bikes will tend to blend and you will loose focus of what you are looking at. Print out hard copies of listings, and bikes being considered. A picture can bring a specific bike back into focus much better than "do you remember that one....". Make notes on each listing. When a listing or a bike is no longer a contender, remove it from the file.

You can rent bikes. Find a rental place and take one out for an afternoon, first by yourself, and if it's not bad, with the pillion on board. Easier to spend say $200.00 and realize it is not for you then to spend $5000.00 and find out the same thing. Flipping a depreciating asset is not easy. My daughter had this romantic notion that a Jeep CJ would be a neat vehicle to have. We went car shopping, looked at one and the salesperson offered a test ride. She didn't want to but I insisted because I knew her and what the outcome would be. She test drove the CJ and when she came back it was not her cup of tea so to speak.

To finish, you need to be comfortable on the bike. My riding friends are merciless when it comes to my rides. They pick on me for riding Goldwings - in jest. I give as good as I take. I like my rides, and each has pros and cons.

Long banter - I'll stop now. A few more thoughts you might want to consider. Good luck.
 

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You and I are about the same size. Ditto for the wives.

I ride a 2018 Vstrom 1000, and I own a Victory Gunner Cruiser. I've ridden the Victory up to Alaska and I've been through 8 NW states on it as well with those trips being anywhere from 5000 km to about 8000km over a two week period.

After buying a used 2006 DL1000 Vstrom and taking it on a 12 day ride I will tell you that I will never go back to doing long trips on the Cruiser. The Vstrom is simply more comfortable and carries more than my Gunner ever will. Before I bought the Vstrom I thought that they might be hard on my back but the truth is they are far, far easier on my back.

My wife also finds the Strom a more comfortable ride as well.

The Gunner is now my mistress, I take her out for the day and show her a good time but I don't want to be with her all the time. She's got the looks but she doesn't have the comfort. No more long rides for her.

So, it really depends on your needs. If you are just doing day trips, the Cruiser will be fine. If you want to go for multi-day trips I'd suggest the Strom is superior.

I lube the chain about every 600-1000 km. Just pop her up on the center stand and it takes 1 minute. I probably tst the tightness of the chain at the start of the year, and rarely tweak it during the season.
 

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Discussion Starter #48
How many km do you put on in a year? I don’t plan on off road riding unless I hit a detour so there won’t be that type of wear from excessive dirt or grime.
 

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My suggestion would be to find a used 2014 or later DL1000 that someone else has added some options and accessories to and enjoy it.
Your not a newb, you’ll get right back into riding in no time and you may just find out that this is an awesome bike and be happy for a good while. Like many here have.
There will always be objects of desire down the road, that’s just to be expected! Good luck!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Wow that’s a lot of information! I was kinda leaning toward the 1000 and there is a leftover 2018 at the dealership now that is a smoking deal.

I’d love to buy it today and get a few trips in before winter but my bank account will not allow that. Save up over winter and hopefully buy in spring.
It's not unlikely that your dealer will still have an '18 around still next spring. If not, ask. I bought a new '17 last year, and the dealer said he could get more. Suzuki's website lists 2017's in some models still.As others have said, a 1-4 year-old DL1000 with low miles turn up frequently on the web.
 

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Discussion Starter #51
That seems like a good idea to me. I’m hoping I can find a good used or left over model. What would you guys consider high mileage? At what point does a Vstrom have lots of life left in it? With shift work and a very short riding season I don’t think I’ll put on huge Km but I still want to ride worry free and I’m not a mechanic beyond oil changes and chain maintenance.
 

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That seems like a good idea to me. I’m hoping I can find a good used or left over model. What would you guys consider high mileage? At what point does a Vstrom have lots of life left in it? With shift work and a very short riding season I don’t think I’ll put on huge Km but I still want to ride worry free and I’m not a mechanic beyond oil changes and chain maintenance.
My 2006 650 is at 140k miles and is my everyday transportation. The maintenance has actually gotten more predictable over time. Most important thing for reliability is to ride it.

I wouldn't cross the continent on it 2-up, but I just did it solo last month.
 

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650 underpowered for 2up?
Depends on your generation. When I got my licence in '72, a 650/750 was a monster, and lots of people toured two up. A 650 nowadays is also good for touring, but has limitations for two up ridding. You'll be shifting more, have to plan passing, and the more load on the bike, the more you have to work the bike to achieve the same ride.

It comes down to a realistic riding profile decision. Are you going to ride primarily solo, what is the percentage of two up riding? Do you intend to do day/weekend/extended touring, once/twice/three times a year? Are you going to do one long trip, if so need gear and such even if using hotels/motels - added weight. Is the suspension going to be sufficient for your requirements - OEM suspensions generally need upgraded/renewed after some 30K miles (approx 50K Kms). If the pillion is not happy, the ride will be less than memorable.

The difference in weight between the 650 Wee and 1000 Vee is approx 50 lbs. Not enough in my book to be concerned with, I still have my 1200 and 1500 Goldwings at 775 and 875 lbs respectively, the Vee is quite fun and agile comparatively.

I did not look for a 650 Wee. I knew I'd be riding two up and there is no replacement for displacement. Lots of room on the Vee for two up riding.

Considering price point, 650 and 1000 being equal, bikes kitted similar, year comparison, take the 1000. An off road/dirt course will have you taming the 1000 in short order.

If you are vertically challenged, lots of foam in the seat can be removed. You can drop the ride height by some two inches just by removing excess seat foam.

Don't want to be in a position where after a few months or so thinking about the coulda/woulda/shoulda scenario.

All used bikes will require maintenance work, or fixing some design issues such as the clutch rattle/chudder on the 1000.

Just a few more thoughts and my opinion only.

Cheers
 

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650 underpowered for 2up?
I would go sit on one along with your wife. You may immediately find that it's just too cramped to be comfortable for much aside from a day trip.

From a performance perspective, I am 75 pounds lighter than you and with the wind and elevation, some roads were a challenge for power. Add another 100+ pounds plus more luggage and then as Rednaxs60 was saying the suspension will be marginal, especially on rough or technical roads.

Some bigger-bike alternatives would be the Honda ST1300, Yamaha FJR which add considerable weight but you won't have to worry about power, passenger space or a chain. On the used market, they are also more likely to already have good hard luggage, and the ST in particular can be very inexpensive. Do price out insurance though.

It's tough to make a bad decision either way.
 

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Discussion Starter #56
I do plan on 2up riding and definitely plan on long distance, through BC. I d did the trip once but was riding solo and packed very light. 1 change of cloths in a tank bag and did laundry every night. But travelling with my wife I don’t think I’ll get away with that!

I have always been thinking that a 1000 would be best for my plans but also kinda hoping that I’d be pleasantly surprised to hear someone say they’ve done it on a 650 in the event I’d find a mint 650.

Regardless I’m hoping to buy in the spring time and will make decision based on bank account and availability
 

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I have always been thinking that a 1000 would be best for my plans but also kinda hoping that I’d be pleasantly surprised to hear someone say they’ve done it on a 650 in the event I’d find a mint 650.
Regardless I’m hoping to buy in the spring time and will make decision based on bank account and availability
I rode solo from Western Wisconsin to Eastport, ME. and back on my 38 hp '76 Honda CB500 in 1978. Mc Gyver-ized a frame rucksack to the sissybar and went a-wandering. That was then this is now. My DL650 is considerably longer and has nearly twice the power than my old "Brown Bomber," but I think that riding two up cross-country I'd want the 1000. In stopngo traffic or long steep grades, I think my 650 would be maxed and taxed much of the time, riding at or near GCWR.
 
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