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Hi all,

New member here. Getting ready to test ride a 2018XT 650 tomorrow. Just sold my Triumph Tiger 2018 XCA 800. Several reasons for the sale, but predominantly wanted something a litter lighter, and especially with tubeless spoke wheels. I do ADV stuff and am planning a trip to Mexico this winter from the Seattle area which will involve some dirt and gravel roads, but not single trail stuff. The Tiger also overall felt top heavy. Also, Suzuki seems to have much larger in US and out of US dealer network.

A few questions:
- How are the off-road characteristics from anyone that does forest type roads etc? Has anyone had any issues with the front forks bottoming out due to no adjustability there?

- Is there any easy way to lower the seat 1/2" - 1", without going the custom seat option? I see on the Suzuki website there's a lower seat, but it says through 2016. I have a 30" inseam and would like to get my heals closer to the ground.

- Anyone have any favorite aftermarket soft panniers? Looking at possibly Givi racks and Mosko or Wolfman or Givi Softbags.

- Anyone added the center stand? I know it makes things more convenient, but with tubeless tires, hopefully won't need to do that on a trip if just a plug is necessary. Not crazy about adding back in the extra weight. Anyone know how much it weighs?

- What other aftermarket stuff has proven useful for long distance ADV type riding.

Thanks!
 

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If you don't get the center stand, an automatic chain oiler system would make sense to me. This one recently got some good reviews on the forum.
https://www.tutorochainoiler.com/
 

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A few questions:
- How are the off-road characteristics from anyone that does forest type roads etc? Has anyone had any issues with the front forks bottoming out due to no adjustability there?

- Is there any easy way to lower the seat 1/2" - 1", without going the custom seat option? I see on the Suzuki website there's a lower seat, but it says through 2016. I have a 30" inseam and would like to get my heals closer to the ground.

- What other aftermarket stuff has proven useful for long distance ADV type riding.
The suspension is very soft a wallows off road. Does fine putting down a fire lane. It does bottom out easier than other bikes in this category and is sketchy at speed in stock form.

There is no seat height adjust ability on the V like the tiger. You will have to replace the seat.

This bike isn't a true adv bike. It's a sport tourer in adv clothing.
 

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I have a 31" inseam. I have a Russell seat that is taller than stock. I do fine with that. I say that because "lower" seats are another term for no padding and likely no comfort. The other route is to put lowering links in the rear suspension and lift the fork tubes about 3/4" in the front. You can only go about an inch or just over in the rear before the rear tire can contact the upper inner fender structure. Which would be even more likely in off road riding.

Everything is a compromise. The Tiger you traded is a much better equipped bike for off road excursions. But the DL 650 is just fine on gravel, dirt, and many 4 wheel drive roads. Just know that it has limited clearance and the suspension is road oriented. You can spend money on the suspension to help that, but again it is all about compromise.

I want a center stand on the bikes I own. Unless it were a true dual sport bike where weight and clearance were more important.
 

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To lower the seat you can also try removing the rubber bumpers from beneath it. That is what I did, and it got me about a good half inch lower with no changes in handling or anything else. The seat will rock and move a bit when you are not riding it and push on it, but once you sit on it no difference at all I can feel. May increase a bit of wear on the plastic trim edges where the bumpers were, but not visible until the seat is removed. Got nothing to loose trying it, they pop right back in if wanted.
 

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To lower the seat you can also try removing the rubber bumpers from beneath it. That is what I did, and it got me about a good half inch lower with no changes in handling or anything else. The seat will rock and move a bit when you are not riding it and push on it, but once you sit on it no difference at all I can feel. May increase a bit of wear on the plastic trim edges where the bumpers were, but not visible until the seat is removed. Got nothing to loose trying it, they pop right back in if wanted.
Haven't taken delivery of the bike yet. How do the bumpers come off? Fasteners? Glue?
 

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Hi JoeSiegel55!,

I'm also a new forum member, and a newbie rider. My inseam is also 30", and on my 2017 DL650, the stock seat works great for me. No, I can't flat foot both sides, but I can comfortably flat foot one by slightly scooting my butt in that direction. I like having left foot down at stops (right foot on rear brake, and bike in 1st gear). I also thought I would need a lower seat, but give the stock seat a try first. After 1000 miles on my Wee, I am quite happy with the stock seat. DANG is it so comfortable!

A good point someone else mentioned was that a lower seat will affect the angle of your legs as you ride...

Two quick points about cases/getting your bike off road ready (also from reading this forum): check out Motostorm from Italy- shipping to the US is only $35, and their prices are way better than Revzilla/other US retailers. https://www.motostorm.it/en/

Also, maybe consider a radiator guard for your off-road/touring travels. How'd you like the test ride on the XT650?
 

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Hi all,

A few questions:
- How are the off-road characteristics from anyone that does forest type roads etc? Has anyone had any issues with the front forks bottoming out due to no adjustability there?

How much do you weigh? Daugherty Motorsports can rebuild the front and read shock to match your riding style and weight for about $650:
DMr Performance Suspension ? Performance Motorcycle Suspension and Chassis

**this suspension work is excellent and well worth the money!

- Is there any easy way to lower the seat 1/2" - 1", without going the custom seat option? I see on the Suzuki website there's a lower seat, but it says through 2016. I have a 30" inseam and would like to get my heals closer to the ground.

Custom seat by Adcox, or try removing the seat pan bumbers.

- Anyone have any favorite aftermarket soft panniers? Looking at possibly Givi racks and Mosko or Wolfman or Givi Softbags.

I have the Mosko ...they are outstanding!

- Anyone added the center stand? I know it makes things more convenient, but with tubeless tires, hopefully won't need to do that on a trip if just a plug is necessary. Not crazy about adding back in the extra weight. Anyone know how much it weighs?

I don't know the weight, but it has been a great aid for normal maintenance and never an issue off pavement.

- What other aftermarket stuff has proven useful for long distance ADV type riding.

KLR MX type foot pegs from ebay for under $20. ROX 2" up and back handle bar risers. Chinese handguards that protect in a fall. Chinese shorty brake and clutch levers. A decent tank bag(I love the Suzuki one with magnets). A hard tail box like a Pelican(used off ebay). A skid plate like the Happy Trails one. And a highway peg set up to stretch the legs.

Thanks!
Here ya go...............
 

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2018 DL650 Standard The XT is even heavier with the panniers

Weight - 470 lbs

HP 60-ish

Brakes - Antiquated

Suspension - Archaic



2018 Triumph Tiger

Weight - 456 - lbs

HP - 95-ish

Brakes - Light years better than the DL

Suspension - Modern and adjustable


The DL is 1/3 to 1/2 the cost of the Tiger for a reason. It is a much lower spec bike in components and performance. The DL is a great bike in its own right but don't buy it with the intent of thinking you'll get to preform at or near your former Tiger for 1/2 the price.
 

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The Suzuki accessory low seat(-20mm) for the '17-'18 650 Vstrom part number is: 45100-28K50-BGP
The retail list price is $229.95
 

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I have taken DL650's to Mexico for quite a few years now and actually prefer a 650 over my DL1000 when going South of the border. I as well have a 30" inseam and had a Corbin made for me but found the stock low seat with an Alaska Leather pad my preference. I definitely would go with a center stand, I personally use the SW Motech because they tend to be stronger. I have bent the stock Suzuki center stands in the past.

A couple things I would recommend when setting up a DL650 for South of the border: 1- Skid plate, 2- Wide side stand foot, 3- Fork Brace, 4- Bark Buster hand guards for when you dump it, (keeps all your levers in tact), 5- Handle bar risers, you can go 2" without a problem and it makes it much nicer for standing when on dirt roads or just standing to stretch at lower speeds. 6- Radiator Guard. Other things which I'm sure you've already thought of where you want to go to a tubeless tire is a plug kit and a small air compressor. Its so nice to just pop a plug in, air it up and hit the road again. Another change I made which is relatively easy and helps with the forks and handling is progressive springs, its not necessary but there is a noticeable improvement. Maybe wait until you get a leaky seal (about every other trip South for me) then upgrade.

I've ridden DL650's a number of times down there and even done two up with my wife on some dirt without any qualms. Sure they aren't a great single track bike but for general exploring they are awesome. At standard speeds on most of Mexico's (not so smooth pot hole filled) roads I've managed 60+mpg more than once where I generally don't like to ride much faster than 90-100 kph (55-60mph).

 

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2018 DL650 Standard The XT is even heavier with the panniers

Weight - 470 lbs

HP 60-ish

Brakes - Antiquated

Suspension - Archaic



2018 Triumph Tiger

Weight - 456 - lbs

HP - 95-ish

Brakes - Light years better than the DL

Suspension - Modern and adjustable


The DL is 1/3 to 1/2 the cost of the Tiger for a reason. It is a much lower spec bike in components and performance. The DL is a great bike in its own right but don't buy it with the intent of thinking you'll get to preform at or near your former Tiger for 1/2 the price.
Thanks for the input. However, 70HP on the XT vs. your quote of 60. And the weight you have on the Triumph is dry. The XT is 42 pounds lighter wet using both manufacturers specs. After riding the XT it felt, to me anyway, much nimbler and less top heavy than the Tiger.

Thanks again.
 
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