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Hello V-Stromers;

I just signed in as a member to this website, although I have taken the opportunity to read through a number of the forums over the last few months.

Having retired 4+ years ago, I am seriously considered riding again. The past two bikes were a Bonneville 750 and a Honda CB650. It has been at least 10 years since owning the CB.

Naturally, I have looked at the Honda offerings, honing in on the NT700V with abs. Abs is a necessary component of any new ride and this limits my choices of bikes. The BMW line is out because of maintenance costs and high initial costs.

What I look for in this forum is a reassurance that I will find a reliable choice in a new 2011 or 2012 V-Strom 650. Of course, there are some less-than-reassuring stories related to maintenance or other issues to be found in this forum; the same can be found in the NT Forum as well. I am the sort who follows all manufacturer recommendations and does not abuse any vehicle in any way. What I look for is a reliable machine that I can ride for at least 8-10 more years. Gladly considered are aftermarket additions that can make a 650 even more reliable.

Especially interesting to me is the resource this forum has in Greywolf. There are other valuable contributors too, of course. Greywolf seems to be spot on in his responses to any query. I would especially value his recommendations.

That being said, I appreciate input from anyone who owns and rides a V-Strom 650 and will consider all responses carefully. Thank you very much for your help!
 

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Welcome! I think you'd be hard pressed to find a more reliable bike than a DL650.

And a word of experience: You'll probably drop it a couple of times. Without crash bars that will probably scratch up a side cover, smash a blinker and maybe more. Make a set of crash bars your first add-on. They will also help to protect the engine, radiator and your legs in case of a mishap.
 

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there are some less-than-reassuring stories related to maintenance or other issues to be found in this forum
??? There are no routine issues. If you do the oil changes, lube the chain, and half the other maintenance recommended in the owner's manual, it'll run over 100,000 miles for you. There are a couple of places where Suzuki could have spent another 50¢ or so...starter switch is one...and they could have put a few more bucks into the suspension. Other than that, you read about very rare problems that are posted into the forum and very little about the bikes that don't have these problems (like mine). There is no perfect motorcycle or space shuttle or cruise ship captain or anything else. The V-Stroms are exceedingly reliable, very economical, and FUN! Buy. Ride. Enjoy. The people here will help you determine the best way to make the bike fit you...handlebar position, seat mods, raise or lower the bike, springs for your loaded riding weight, and anything else that is rider-dependent,* not bike-dependent. There are a couple of ways to make it more reliable--headlight relay for one--and a few ways to improve the suspension. We'd like you to become a member of our very nonexclusive club. The 2011 DL650A would be an excellent choice. The 2012 DL650A has numerous improvements that aren't enough to make me sell my 650A, but would probably sway me to get the new model if I didn't already have a strom. The suppliers of accessories are producing or getting ready to produce the ones to fit the 2012...engine guards, skid plates, etc.

*Some strom riders are about 5'6" and 110#. Others are about 6'6" and 300#. Position changes and spring changes make the bike fun for everyone.
 

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I have been a member of this forum for some , however I do not post much. But I did want to offer my opinion on your choice.
I have owned and ridden way too many bikes over the past 10 years, from one extreme to another. From a Honda ST1300, to a CB175, with many in between. I owned a 2005 V-Strom back when the 650's first came out and sold it after a couple years. I have since gone back to the V-Strom because I have come to the realization that it offered me the best bang for the buck. It is a real all-rounder. You can go across the country, or up a fire road. You can throw almost anything at the V and it shakes it off and keeps on going. If you like to add "farkles" there is tons of aftermarket goodies for you. It is easy on gas and easy on insurance. It has an adequate amount of power in a easy going manner. It offers a very comfortable riding position. There are bikes out there that are flashier, more high tech, faster, better handling, but, in my opinion, none offer the same package at the same price as a V. You will not be disappointed. I would stick with a 2011, in my area you can get a new left over 650 with ABS and Suzuki hard bags for under $8000. If you shop around I am sure you find deals in your area.
Good luck in your search, I hope this helps.
 

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I'm almost 60 years old, started riding at 16, owned and ridden many bikes recently owned a 2008 1400 Concours and a 2009 1200GSA. After owning a 2010 Wee for a year I don't think that you can buy a better bike that is good value, easy to maintain, easy to ride and great fun. You also get to hang out with this great bunch of guys
 

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The DL 650 is one of the most under rated bikes on the road. I feel the press treats it in this fashon due to as they put it's "price point". May be that is how they justified $20,000+ for there BMW the the wife? As for realiability, do what the manual says to do and you will be tired of the bike long before it is tired of you! Suzuki in general is very under rated for there cost of ownership/reliabiltiy. Do some searching, our beloved V-Stroms are not alone. If you were to search the net you will find forums/info on every model Suzuki makes. The story is the same, do your maintaince and they are some of the least problimatic/longest lasting bikes in there respective class.
 

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I have been riding for over 30 years. I currently own in addition to the Wee an FZ1 and a 2nd Gen Venture Royale. I am selling both Yamahas and keeping the Wee. Just went for a ride this evening with my brother who also rides an FZ1 and can honestly say I had more fun on the Wee than I have had riding the same route on my FZ1. I was more comfortable and am getting much better gas mileage. If your heart is set on buying a new bike I agree go with the 2011 - last year before the update so if you find one on a dealer's floor you should be able to make a great deal especially in the winter. The added bonus is the 2011 to the best of my knowledge is not much if any different than a 2004 with respect to most farkles you may want to add. So you will have a ton of accessory options to choose from and many millions of miles ridden cumulatively from the members of this forum to help you decide what farkles will help you make the bike work best for you - let us know when you get yours.
 

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's floor you should be able to make a great deal especially in the winter. The added bonus is the 2011 to the best of my knowledge is not much if any different than a 2004 with respect to most farkles you may want to add. So you will have a ton of accessory options to choose from and many millions of miles ridden cumulatively from the members of this forum to help you decide what farkles will help you make the bike work best for you - let us know when you get yours.
I agree with the last note. A 2011 is probably more reliable than a new 2012 Wee - the reason is simple, every major upgrade introduces new bugs and issues (e.g. who knows how reliable is the new LCD display? Only time will tell). The 2011 is the last iteration of the 'older' generation so it has the minimal amount of issues.
 

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17 bikes of assorted brands and types over 40 years [including 3 BMW's].

The Wee [09 ABS] has been the best by far.

The changes between the 2011/2012 are cosmetic in the main part [according to my local dealer].

Same frame/engine/gearbox/brakes and so on.
The motor looks a little different but it is only the engine covers, the internals are the same- SV 650/Gladius/DL650

I'd opt for the 2011 because of all the extras available on the after market scene, and the price will be a bit cheaper.

No issue with buying the 2012 though from a reliability and performance point of view.
 

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Think your dealer is misinformed, the 2012 does have a different engine, frame the same but suspension is improved, also the brakes are improved. From most of the reviews a lot of little changes made a big change in the 2012 bike. Of course as a new owner of the 2012 I would be a little biased ha ha.
 

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Think your dealer is misinformed, the 2012 does have a different engine, frame the same but suspension is improved, also the brakes are improved. From most of the reviews a lot of little changes made a big change in the 2012 bike. Of course as a new owner of the 2012 I would be a little biased ha ha.
Right.
Stating that MkII (2012) is reliable more than MkI (2004-2011), is just a speculation which is not based on facts. The Mk1 modes are reliable in an absolute way after being tested and used for many millions of miles and hours.
When the MkII are sold to enough people in Europe and US, and are held for some period of time and mileage under different conditions, then the problems might surface.
It could be that the Mk1II are more reliable, but it is a risk early adopters will have to take.
In the history of products (in general), not all successors were better. Example: Windows Vista and Windows XP.
 

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Your right, too soon to say if the engine is more reliable or even as reliable as the old model but ockerstorm did say that his dealer said the engine is the same and its not. Was replying to ockerstorm comment, sorry I wasent more clear.
 

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Flicker:

I doubt seriously you will go wrong with a WeeStrom. Whether a 2011 or a 2012. However, I agree with Big Man. Any new model introduces new issues, whether it is a car (look at the Ford problems with their new hi-tech nav system), software (too many to name) or a motorcycle. I suspect the 2012 'Strom would have less issues than most, but you have still introduced new instrumentation, and tuning etc.

Additionally, there are so many pre-2102 DL650's around that those bugs have been pretty well worked out. Plus many of the add-on "farkles" that are readily available for the 2011 you are looking at haven't been designed, revised, developed or tested for fit or function on the 2012. The result being that (I suspect) any farkles you add to the 2012 will probably be considerably more expensive.

The totality of the all those factors would seem to inure to the benefit of the 2011 or before WeeStrom rather than the 2012.

To summarize:
1. Lower initial Cost,
2. Proven record of reliability (vs. inferred reliability),
3. More options in farkles and add-ons,
4. Lower price for such add-ons, and lastly
5. Possible (not certain of this yet) lower insurance costs as well.

For those primary reasons I would opt for the 2011.

Hope this helps you in your decision making process.
 

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I have about 4 months and 5000 miles on my V Strom. Like many of the other seasoned riders who regularly post here, I've been through dozens of bikes in 35 years of riding. The V Strom wins, period. Comfort, price, reliability (I'm a freak about quality research (part-time college professor), and overall ease of maintenance sell the bike.

I have to offer a casual comment here not germane to the V Strom discussion. Does anyone else here notice that everyone on this board is actually able to articulate a thought effectively in writing? Read some of the other motorcycle forums and you'll immediately see what I mean. I don't mean to be snooty, but the general IQ of the Strom-force seems a bit higher than the norm! :hurray: This board is extremely positive and informative. Friendly folks who genuinely enjoy riding and talking about the V Strom (and I can actually read and understand it).

Sigh... Awesome!
 

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2006 dl650 blue

I bought mine in 2006 because of commuting and day trips it has never disapointed me . It has even gotten 60mpg while putting with the Harley group. Now I have 2010 Goldwing ,time to sell the DL650 PM me and maybe we can deal I'm in Baltimore .
 

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I owned an 06 model and now own one of the new 2012 bikes.

Buying new, get the new one. The seat is comfortable ;)

Suspension is better, wind problems are reduced, the engine is better and it's nicer to ride.

On the other hand, if you could find a low k's second hand one at half the new price - you'd fix the seat and suspension and wind issues still have a lot of $$ left.

I've only had the new bike a month so reliability can't be assessed - but there's a LOT of attention to detail. I was a bit worried when I noticed the left side coil was pressing against the radiator hose - but Suzuki beat me to that - there's a sleeve around the hose.

FWIW. The 2012 engine has been around in the Gladius for a couple of years with no serious problems - Suzuki seem to have addressed most of the niggles and kept the good bits.

Either model will serve you well.

Pete
 

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There is an article in the latest "Rider Magazine" that compares the two generations of Wee-Stroms. I've not ridden the '12 model, so I can't comment on the accuracy of their comments.

However, a problem for me with the new bike would be the reduced fuel capacity, and the resulting shorter range.
 

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Fuel Range

I live in NE Nevada. There are places out here where it is well over 100 miles between gas stations (and they're not always open) and lots of very long dirt roads. I need every drop of fuel capacity in my 06 Wee. The smaller fuel capacity in the 2012 does not make me happy. Otherwise the new version sounds fine, but I think I'll just toddle along on my 06 for a few thousand more miles (Presently-32,345 and not a single problem). Love that bike.
 

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Ride one. If you like how it feels buy it. It is a great bike for the money. If you have money flowing out your ears you may want to buy a BMW or maybe a Triumph.
 

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My 2 cents as well. I have had a st1300 and a wee, both 2006 models. After a recent 5000 mile trip through the gravel roads in Wyoming and Colorado coupled with the return trip east on pavement, I traded in the ST for a leftover 2011 wee (I wanted ABS). This winter I am moving all the upgrades (crash bars, GPS, electronic cruise, bags, etc) and selling the 2006 wee. The wee is as comfortable as the ST with the right seat and windshield but WAY more fun. To be on gravel at 12,000 feet and running 70 all day on the pavement makes this the machine I want to ride all the time.
 
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