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Discussion Starter #1
These are the 2 bikes I'm considering to replace my ST1300. Any suggestions or comments comparing their character, strengths, and weaknesses??

I'm a long-time Honda Owner -- Nighthawk 650, GL1500, GL1800, and most recently the ST1300. Eager to return to my simplier, more nimble, and just plan old FUN earlier days of riding.

I am 5-11, 185 pounds, 44 years old, and want a bike for commuting, fun rides on the weekend, and one or two week-long trips/yr. I love a bike that is smooth, powerful, comfortable, and fun. Exciting styling is also a plus. Within a few years my daughter will be old enough to ride with me too.

Thanks for the input!
Den
 

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I am not really sure you can compare the two. The Honda is almost a liter bike, 4 pot and you want to compare that to a twin 650? I don't know much about either unfortunately...
 

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If you want a rip up the road on a grunty naked bike....then it's the 919. Drawback is that it's very small and very thirsty.
If you want to tour a bit and get off the beaten track, then it's the Strom.
Decide what you want a bike to do is the first thing, because these are two different genres of machine....neither of which is anything like your current ST.
 
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If you want more long distance, wind protection, fuel economy, luggage capacity, occasional off road, then go with the 650 strom. If you want all the above but with more speed then get the 1000 strom. If you want more short distance, performance, looks cool, then get yamaha FZ1 or SV1000s. The 919 is actually at the bottom of the bikes in its class as far as looks and performance.
 

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Bones said:
Exciting styling is also a plus.
Uh, Oh! Scratch the V-Strom off your list!



- Tom
 

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I sold my ST1300 and ordered a K7 abs. Wanted the character of the v-twin and still be able to tour a little. My 4 SV650S's have spoiled me, love that motor. Put on a Staintune, dial in what tone and how much you want. Sorry, IMO character and the 919 don't go together. At least on the strom you have the motor, not as fast but it is a v-twin.
 

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Apples and Oranges. IMO the FZ1 is a better bike than the 919 if that is the class bike you want. You mentioned touring a coupe weeks out of the year I would not want to tour on a 919 due to seating position and lack of wind protection. The Strom and FZ1 both have a more upright seating and just enough wind protection to make long days in the saddle easer.

A comparison that makes more sense is the 599 vs the DL650 but I think Honda only made the 599 for one year in the US. Too bad as it was not a bad bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
dl650 vs 919

Thanks all for some helpful responses outlining the strengths and personality of the Wee Strom. I know it and the 919 are extremely different machines, made for different purposes, yet they are the 2 I am most drawn to right now.
 

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While I like Hondas and have four in my garage, they've been asleep at the switch for several years now and bikes like the 919 are the result. Don't get me wrong... it's a fine bike, but if this is the sort of bike you want, I'd strongly suggest the FZ1, Z1000, SV1000S, or a leftover 1200 Bandit or ZRX1200. All are better overall bikes than the 919.

In choosing between a naked liter-bike and a Strom, it really is a matter of whether you want versatility or prefer a bike more narrowly focused on pure street riding. The Strom isn't the absolute best street bike out there, but it can do som many things well, it ends up being a superb all-arounder.

- Mark
 

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Your profile doesn't say where you live. If I were getting a bike for serious commuting (like almost every day), it would matter. In most places, you need better weather and wind protection than a naked bike will give you. The same for touring in my opinion. I love my DL 650 but if I were going to ride a bike to work most every day here in Tennessee, I would want a bike with a full fairing for real good wind and weather protection. That would rule the 919 out and probably the Strom. If you will use it only when the weather is nice or live in a dry and hot place, either will do.

I think you could eventually adjust to the ergos of either bike, but to me the V Strom is a lot more comfortable because of the riding position. The quality, reliability, longevity and maintenance costs will be fine on about any late model, Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki or Kawasaki.

Just Bill
 

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While living in Ontario I commuted every day on my Strom and weather protection was a non issue. If you want weather protection take your cage to work. It's a motorcycle and you will get wet in rain :roll: I don't commute in Alberta as of yet due to a 5:30am departure in temps in the mid 30's with an hour plus ride. Once I find a place that is half as far away I will ride my Strom every day from May through Late Sept

Just Bill said:
Your profile doesn't say where you live. If I were getting a bike for serious commuting (like almost every day), it would matter. In most places, you need better weather and wind protection than a naked bike will give you. The same for touring in my opinion. I love my DL 650 but if I were going to ride a bike to work most every day here in Tennessee, I would want a bike with a full fairing for real good wind and weather protection. That would rule the 919 out and probably the Strom. If you will use it only when the weather is nice or live in a dry and hot place, either will do.

I think you could eventually adjust to the ergos of either bike, but to me the V Strom is a lot more comfortable because of the riding position. The quality, reliability, longevity and maintenance costs will be fine on about any late model, Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki or Kawasaki.

Just Bill
 

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I can't really speak on the DL650 since I've only ridden the 1000. However I did own a 919 for a few years and did what you're basically describing...commuting, 1 or 2 long trips a year, and long weekend rides/blasting around. It was a great bike for that. I test rode all the nakeds that were out there at the time and it was by far the most fun to ride for me. Smooth and refined can add up to boring for others and if it's not showing 120+ on the dyno chart they'll chaulk it up to lame and weak. But if they'd actually ride it, they'd realize that it's one of the best do it all machines around. Throw on a set of Erion's and it adds a bit of bark to the otherwise sedate bike.

However it does lack in the two up department if you're thinking of two adults. There's just not as much room or as comfy a seat for two as there is on the DL bikes.

I sold my 919 to get a VFR since I'd planned on doing longer touring rides and still wanted a sporty bike. After that phase passed I'm back to a naked bike. When I was shopping this time I was down to 3 machines. Another 919, a DL650, and a Z1000. The Z won. :twisted:
 

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Ben1050 said:
If you want more long distance, wind protection, fuel economy, luggage capacity, occasional off road, then go with the 650 strom. If you want all the above but with more speed then get the 1000 strom. If you want more short distance, performance, looks cool, then get yamaha FZ1 or SV1000s. The 919 is actually at the bottom of the bikes in its class as far as looks and performance.
And before you look at the FZ1 or SV1000 go dive a Triumph Speed Triple. It will stomp both of those bikes.
 

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"It's a motorcycle and you will get wet in rain"

Thanks for that info, Night Wolf. I didn't know that.

"I don't commute in Alberta as of yet due to a 5:30am departure in temps in the mid 30's"

The 30's aren't so bad for commuting if you have good weather (wind) protection and proper clothing.

I do believe that weather protection is a good thing for commuting.

Just Bill
 
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markjenn said:
While I like Hondas and have four in my garage, they've been asleep at the switch for several years now and bikes like the 919 are the result. Don't get me wrong... it's a fine bike, but if this is the sort of bike you want, I'd strongly suggest the FZ1, Z1000, SV1000S, or a leftover 1200 Bandit or ZRX1200. All are better overall bikes than the 919.
WRONG! I've ridden every bike you described and the only bike that I'd say is better is the FZ1....b/c I like the suspension better and it's got more power.....but not on the low end. But the Z1000 and Bandit? Gimme a break.

The 919's is the smoothest running of all of them and has the best fit/finish by far and handles great. So easy to ride this bike fast and it ooozes quality.

ZRX-great bike but feels cheap compared to the 919 and BIG...and it's carbed
Z1000-FAST but BUZZY as all hell.....vibes everywhere....ruined it for me
Bandit-super fast but buzzy as well and handled poorly......not very fun except in a straight line,
SV1000S-ergos are painful....but a good bike
 

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Ben1050 said:
If you want more long distance, wind protection, fuel economy, luggage capacity, occasional off road, then go with the 650 strom. If you want all the above but with more speed then get the 1000 strom. If you want more short distance, performance, looks cool, then get yamaha FZ1 or SV1000s. The 919 is actually at the bottom of the bikes in its class as far as looks and performance.
Or get a Speed Triple which is definitely a better bike in all facets than the FZ1 or SV1000.

But for " the long distance, wind protection, fuel economy, luggage capacity, occasional off road," I certainly agree with the DL.
 

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I thought about the 919 also for a couple of years. I have a friend here at work that has one and I have ridden it several times. The only things I didn't like about it were the sloping seat, that has passangers sliding into you and the way it felt on a gravel road. There is only one paved road where I live so just going over to a friends house involves riding on a gravel road or a jeep trail. If riding off the pavement wasn't a concern I could have been happy with the 919.

The Wee Strom has done everything better than I expected. I runs beter on the pavement than I thought it would, handles better, is good on gravel roads unless the gravel gets to deep, and it can be riden with care on jeep trails and single track trails here in the mountains.

The only down side with the bike is that the bars are a little buzzy since I installed a Pat Walsh skid plate and crash bar set up. It isn't a problem just noticble after having no vibration to speak of before the installation. nI don't have enough mile with the set up to know if it will get worse or better.

I may try some rubber spacers to see if I can dampen the vibration or a bar snake but it's not a big enough issue to do anything right away.

I had also ridden the VStrom 1000 befroe I bought the 650 and the thing that I didn't like about it was the lack of throttle control on loose rubble and rolling rock covered jeep trails. The other thing that steared me away from them was watching a friend go through a clutch basket a year due to what I have heard rerfered to as the chudder and the banging at idle.

For me the DL650 was the best thing going and I still think it is even thoug I'm a new owner a little over three weeks and 1600 miles.

 

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And before you look at the FZ1 or SV1000 go dive a Triumph Speed Triple. It will stomp both of those bikes.
LOL.... not sure where you get your info from. I've ridden both, and the FZ1 is the more comfortable, and outperforms the speed triple. I'm going to buy the 2007 FZ1 as soon as I sell my Valkyrie, sometime in the next 3 months.

Speed 3 top speed: 143
FZ1 top speed: 154

Speed 3 1/4 mile: 10.82 @ 125
FZ1 1/4 mile: 10.74 @ 123

Speed 3 0-100: 6.98
FZ1 0-100: 6.68

Speed 3 power/wt: 1:4.42
FZ1 power/wt: 1:3.9

Granted, the numbers are pretty close, but the Speed Triple by no means 'stomps' the FZ1. The FZ1 is $1,000 less MSRP, and IMO it looks better. But everyone has their opinions on what looks good.

As far as the original post goes, I'd recommend the DL650 over the 919, for the type of riding proposed. The DL650 would also have the upper hand to some off-road adventures! :D



 
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