StromTrooper banner

1 - 20 of 30 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello!

As some of you may already know, I’m a potential rider who’s orienting himself around commuting to work, on very possibly a V-Strom 650. What better place to gather information from than the dedicated community here!

Perhaps a good starting point is the bike itself. I would like to know what you think about myself as seat meat on a DL650. I am 1.88 m (6.2 ft.) and weigh in at 110 Kg (240 lbs.). My commute includes a mountain pass named the ‘Malahat’ located on Vancouver Island in Canada. Its elevation is 352 m (1150 ft.) and that’s where my first question derives from.

Will a DL650 haul my sorry buttocks up and over the Malahat easily? With ‘easily’ I mainly want to make sure that the bike gets the job done without straining the engine, or any other components for that matter, too much. I’m looking to take care of the bike from a maintenance point of view, but under that same topic I’d consider not having to push the bike to its limits too often. That would be nice but unfortunately can’t tell from experience yet.

What says you?!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
201 Posts
I live at an elevation of 1800 and have no problems coming back up the threw the mountains ,i am 5' 10" 200 lbs and and always have at least 50 lbs of gear on the bike and sometimes the wife 160 lbs ,2011 wee .6 gear .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Alright, that was easy haha. If you get that job done, I should certainly be fine with myself as the only person riding, plus some luggage.

Ok, knowing this now I'm sure following replies are going to be very similar.

Adding a question:
Will the DL650 be a comfortable motorcycle for my body type? I sometimes see individuals riding, thinking to myself, "Man, you look way too tall for that bike! Why did you not choose a larger bike!"

Any thoughts?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
173 Posts
I lived in Victoria in the mid eighties to early nineties and have driven the Malahat many a time. Might have to do some downshifting, but the elevation and steepness of grade should not provide much of an obstacle for the bike.

Second question, I am 4 inches shorter so can not speak to it personally, but an upright riding style would seem easier for someone taller to hold on a bike than more of a tucked-in one (like that of a more sportier variety) and there is lots of aftermarket support (e.g. peg and lever lowering relocation kits from AdventureTech) to change the ergonomics to suit you better.
 

·
Official Stromtrooper.com Sponsor
Joined
·
5,215 Posts
The DL 650 is a full size bike. Basically the same size as the 1000 V Strom. The first generation DL 650 had a low seat that was not good for taller, larger riders but you could interchange a 1000 seat which was taller or go aftermarket. Install a footpeg lowering kit and maybe bar risers and you will have a bike that fits a large person better than 99% of the bike out there!
I am about the same weight. With myself and my wife, with cruise set on 68-70 mph it pulls some rather steep hills in the Texas hill country in 6th gear without losing any speed at all.
 

·
aka Rick in Alabama
Joined
·
501 Posts
In terms of raw horsepower and size of the bike, no problem.

In 2010 I spent 3 weeks riding in the Rocky Mountains and crossed 13 passes at higher than 10,000 ft in elevation. The only problem I had with my DR650 (not a typo - I was on the big Suzuki thumper) was with it running rich due to being on a carbureted bike.

So I would say go for a later model DL that is fuel injected, that way the O2 sensors in the system deal with the oxygen supply in the atmosphere.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,869 Posts
All V-stroms are fuel injected, so no problem. Plus you ride basically at sea level. The DL650 is well documented here to be plenty capable of providing the transportation you need, pretty reliable at low cost.

You need to study what modifications are best to accommodate your size. In addition to the earlier suggestions, which are good ones, you may want to consider getting the rear shock reworked to get it sprung and dampend for your weight. Daugherty Motorsports - Motorcycle Suspension Performance and Modification is one choice. He is good and reasonable priced but it may take some time for the shock to come back, especially in the busy spring and summer season.
If you find the fork dive when breaking harder annoying consider drop in fork cartridges from Ricor (Intiminators). I have them and they were relatively easy to install and made a big difference. I kept the stock springs.

Good luck with your choice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,828 Posts
I'm 6'-5", 230, and one of the reasons I got the bike is because it fits me so well. And I have ridden Malahat a couple of times. You will have no problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
So from what I've gathered so far is that the bike probably won't be a problem.

Jurgenk: Why the move?!
Blaustrom: Thanks for the link. I'll keep it in mind when the dream has become more of a reality haha. Appreciated.

What speed do you find the sweet spot is on a (2012+) DL650? And in what rpm range would it be sitting at that point? (Just so I have a future reference point when you guys and gals talk speed vs. ratio).
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,816 Posts
I find the bike comfortable and quiet 90-100 kph and maximum fuel mileage. ( 50-65 mph )

70+ is fine and higher but fuel really starts to gurgle out and you need to think about an improved screen to reduce buffeting

60 mph is about 4k rpm and varies if the OD kicks in.
 

·
Official Stromtrooper.com Sponsor
Joined
·
5,215 Posts
The DL 650 will cruise comfortably at an actual 80 mph (gps).

Put some tape over the tachometer and you would think it is just doing a nice days work with little strain.

Without the tape you will see that stock gearing will have the tachometer over 6000 rpms. With the 16t countershaft sprocket you will be in the 5800 rpm range. Which is not a problem. Tank after tank after tank of fuel when I am on trips. Fuel mileage at speeds of 75-80 with a load will be 38-41 mpg.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
173 Posts
So from what I've gathered so far is that the bike probably won't be a problem.

Jurgenk: Why the move?!
Blaustrom: Thanks for the link. I'll keep it in mind when the dream has become more of a reality haha. Appreciated.

What speed do you find the sweet spot is on a (2012+) DL650? And in what rpm range would it be sitting at that point? (Just so I have a future reference point when you guys and gals talk speed vs. ratio).
Was attending UVIC at the time and then moved back to where I was from (Terrace area).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
551 Posts
I live in Denver and routinely ride in the 8000 to 9000 ft level with rides that reach 11000 ft at times. (I am retired) I had a 09 model and now a 14 model. Never had a problem with the mountain passes. Don't worry and Go Ride.
 

Attachments

·
Administrator
Joined
·
13,211 Posts
I live in Denver and routinely ride in the 8000 to 9000 ft level with rides that reach 11000 ft at times. (I am retired) I had a 09 model and now a 14 model. Never had a problem with the mountain passes. Don't worry and Go Ride.
Damn beat me!

This was on my 2006 DL650, just outside of Cripple Creek, Colorado:



This was part of a 10 day, 6,000+ mile ride. In the last 2.5 days I zoomed straight home from Utah and covered about 2,000 miles, much of it at speeds of 80 to 90 mph. This is how the bike was loaded:


I'm 6'2' and weighed about 240 lbs at the time.

Can the DL650 handle a little hill in BC? you bet!


..Tom
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
669 Posts
There's nothing challenging about the Malahat highway, a 250 dual sport would get you through with ease as well. As far as ergonomics, the 650 isn't a huge bike, you may want to consider the optional taller seat and dropping the pegs 1".

Have you had a motorcycle before? If not you may consider buying a beater for the first riding season. A Dr650 comes to mind for that.

Sent from my SM-T700 using Tapatalk
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
13,211 Posts
BTW I am pretty sure my 62 year old friend Bruce (he used "Pilgrim" as his username here when he used to hang out here) rode that hill on his Bicycle towing a trailer when he did his cross-Canada ride last summer.

..Tom
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,829 Posts
There's a German bike mag that's stopped including the DL 650 in it's King of the Mountain competition.

Best guess, they get lots of money from BMW, KTM and the like, not so much from Suzuk and the results were so embarrassing the first time.

Yeah, you may have to use the gearbox, but they handle 'steep' just fine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Lots of information.

realshelby: Thanks for your input! 70 to 80 mph at 38 to 41 mpg though, at these rates I might as well drive a Honda Fit and get similar mileage! :-D I thought the V-Strom was among some of the most fuel efficient motorcycles. In motorcycle terms, are these numbers considered fuel efficient or should we really look at the 50 to 70 mph for the 55 mpg awesomeness?

jurgenk: Right on! An old class mate of mine started working in Terrace as a helicopter pilot at Quantum Helicopters. Not sure why I'm telling you this haha. Perhaps you've heard of that company? Haha. Thanks for your replies.

chucksklrst & V-Tom: Well, I'll stop whining about the Malahat and wondering whether it isn't too steep and start referring to it as the little BC hill that's a breeze to the V-Strom. Touché. Love the pictures, always enjoy seeing them attached to posts. I've always been that kid preferring picture books over text, nothing has changed in the past twenty-five years! :-D

marcham: Yes, the foot peg lowering kit has been of mention quite a bit. Good to know that there's a large variety of aftermarket products out there. I have never owned a motorcycle before, I haven't even gotten my license yet. I'm here to orient myself around becoming a motorcycle commuter. The V-Strom caught my attention for its reliability, time-proven setup and fuel economy. I will definitely have a look at your suggested DR650. I see that it is more a bike biased more so for the off-road capabilities. But you've got a point. If I can get my hands on a second hand 'beater' that I can drop/damage without feeling too bad about it, why not. Although, I'm hoping to acquire a second hand V-Strom.

Kind of flows into my next question: Fuel efficiency. What do you get at what speed?
 

·
aka Rick in Alabama
Joined
·
501 Posts
All V-stroms are fuel injected, so no problem. Plus you ride basically at sea level. The DL650 is well documented here to be plenty capable of providing the transportation you need, pretty reliable at low cost.

snip
LOL. I should have known that about the fuel injection, except that some popular bike did make that transition 6 or 8 years back and now I'm wondering what bike it was that I've forgotten. :confused:

Not that it matters for the purposes of the OP's question.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
304 Posts
Yep..It'll get you there

Hello!
... I am 1.88 m (6.2 ft.) and weigh in at 110 Kg (240 lbs.).
Around here, we'd call that MEDIUM Dan..:wink2:..Just joking ..I'm 6'4" 275. I dont recall the Malahat being too high or too steep (last time I was there about 20 yrs ago riding the DAY loop: Horseshoe Bay-Nanaimo, Malahat, Sidney-Tsawwassen-Van.) That was on my 1100 Gold Wing.

I picked up my new (to me) 2013 VEE650 a couple of weeks back and the first thing I did was head out from Westbank/Kelowna and up the Connector (97C) to the Brenda Mine exit. I'd hazard a guess that its much steeper than anywhere on the Malahat and I flew up the superslab at 70MPH in 6th gear and never looked back..
The altitude at the bottom (Trepanier Rd exit ) is 1772Ft and at Brenda Mine exit 4199 for a difference of 2425+ ft or 740M over (they say) 22km. It'll HAUL you!
I DID get passed by a few cars but they didnt seem to care about the 120KM posted speed.

BTW, the Govt online GRADE page lists that as a 6.5% grade and it shows the Malahat averaging 3.1%
 
1 - 20 of 30 Posts
Top