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Discussion Starter #1
Background:
I've been eying the wee strom for quite some time. It seems a good platform upon which to build a nice "3rd world cruiser." All of my biking in recent years has been international touring on local bikes (Enfields in India/Pakistan, a Chinese 150cc in XinXiang/Tibet, Honda nx4 Falcon in the Andes, Bajaj in Nepal, even a Nissan Patrol in Tajik, Kazak & Kyrgyzstan).

My trips tend to be three months or more in stretch, solo, always trying to stay in the mountains and always crossing high passes. The terrain ranges from tarmac (50%), endless stretches of washboard/gravel/sand (40%?) and a little bit of truly rough 4wd type terrain (10%) or jeep trail. This is almost always with a full load.

My first project with the strom will likely be Salt Lake to Panama and back. Then maybe Alaska and hopefully another Asia trip down through Africa when I can manage another 15 monther. I still have the Falcon in N. Chile.

Questions:

I have no doubt that the 2012 is a significantly more refined machine, but after seeing one at the shop, I am beginning to wonder if it is truly worth it. I have no doubt that a well farkeled 2011 could match a 2012 in nearly all categories.

For example, the 2012 has better suspension tuning, but given my uses, is it enough or would I really need to do both the forks & the shock? If so, will the suspension really be any different after farkling both?

I hope to re align the exhaust for more clearance & thus may need a power commander. Will an 11 w/the pwr cmndr feel just as good as the 2012 motor?

Is the windshield now good enough or will I just end up with a madstad bracket anyways?

Is the seat enough improved or will I end up with a Sargeant on either?

I am beginning to feel that other than looks & instruments an equally frakeled 11 will ride much like 2012 and the 12 will need all the farkles anyways.

So I guess I am wondering, just how much better is the new one realistically.

thoughts?
 

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Background:



My first project with the strom will likely be Salt Lake to Panama and back. Then maybe Alaska and hopefully another Asia trip down through Africa when I can manage another 15 monther. I still have the Falcon in N. Chile.

Questions:

I have no doubt that the 2012 is a significantly more refined machine, but after seeing one at the shop, I am beginning to wonder if it is truly worth it. I have no doubt that a well farkeled 2011 could match a 2012 in nearly all categories.

For example, the 2012 has better suspension tuning, but given my uses, is it enough or would I really need to do both the forks & the shock? If so, will the suspension really be any different after farkling both?

I hope to re align the exhaust for more clearance & thus may need a power commander. Will an 11 w/the pwr cmndr feel just as good as the 2012 motor?

Is the windshield now good enough or will I just end up with a madstad bracket anyways?

Is the seat enough improved or will I end up with a Sargeant on either?

I am beginning to feel that other than looks & instruments an equally frakeled 11 will ride much like 2012 and the 12 will need all the farkles anyways.

So I guess I am wondering, just how much better is the new one realistically.

thoughts?
"
My trips tend to be three months or more in stretch, solo, always trying to stay in the mountains and always crossing high passes. The terrain ranges from tarmac (50%), endless stretches of washboard/gravel/sand (40%?) and a little bit of truly rough 4wd type terrain (10%) or jeep trail. This is almost always with a full load.
"
You'll probably need a new rear shock either way. The new DL rear suspension is a lot better than the old, but your back will thank you. The extra stability you get from that change is also worth it. I'd also recommend a fork brace and steering damper - the survivability with those fitted is also a lot better on either bike.

You probably don't need to touch the front suspension on the 2012, just find out what fork oil Suzuki used in case you need to change it. The older model needs firmer springs at least and emulators are probably a good idea.

"
I hope to re align the exhaust for more clearance & thus may need a power commander. Will an 11 w/the pwr cmndr feel just as good as the 2012 motor?
"
Don't bother with the PC. Neither bike will benefit enough to make a PC worth while, and the 2012 motor is intrinsically stronger. A bit more power, but the power starts 1000 rpm lower - which you really appreciate crawling through goat tracks.
Passing ability is also quite a lot better than the dyno figures suggest. I was riding with a KTM 990, an F800 and two older model DL's last weekend. The 990 and I were walking away from the other bikes when passing.

For me the stock shield is fine on the 2012. The older bike I put a cheap home made spoiler on the top.

2012 seat is all day comfortable. K6 seat was a torture device ;)

You save a bit on farkles on the 2012 (seat/front suspension) and it's a bit lighter and less drop prone. The latter would decide it for me, I often ride alone - not quite as enthusiastically as you plan to - but the easier handling and greater chance of recovering from a near spill on the 2012 would be worth a lot to me.

I'd suggest at least sit on both and see how they feel though - what works for me may not for you.

Pete
 

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I'm going to preface this by saying I've not ridden a 2012 but I don't think I need to to venture an opinion on some of your questions.


Background:
Questions:

I have no doubt that the 2012 is a significantly more refined machine, but after seeing one at the shop, I am beginning to wonder if it is truly worth it. I have no doubt that a well farkeled 2011 could match a 2012 in nearly all categories.

Thats what I thought so I bought a 2011.

For example, the 2012 has better suspension tuning, but given my uses, is it enough or would I really need to do both the forks & the shock? If so, will the suspension really be any different after farkling both?

They may have tinkered with the spring rates but its still a damper rod fork and a budget shock. If your weight and taste just happen to match the theoretical average rider they set it up for. There is no way that it is going to match a well tuned suspension set up for you as an individual.
That would be true of practically any factory suspension in my experience. I don't know of any that can't benefit from tuning and personalization.


I hope to re align the exhaust for more clearance & thus may need a power commander. Will an 11 w/the pwr cmndr feel just as good as the 2012 motor?

Is the windshield now good enough or will I just end up with a madstad bracket anyways?

Don't know but I don't see how you could help but benefit from the Madstad bracket. For a guy who's going to do a lot of traveling being able to tailor it to you as much as possible has to be worth a paltry $90 or so.

Is the seat enough improved or will I end up with a Sargeant on either?

Sort of the same deal as above. I don't care what they did to the seat on the '12. If you're going to be spending huge miles on it there is no way you aren't going to benefit from a better seat. My vote would be for a custom seat, the best probably being the Russell, but I've had good luck with Rick Mayer's work.

I am beginning to feel that other than looks & instruments an equally frakeled 11 will ride much like 2012 and the 12 will need all the farkles anyways.

So I guess I am wondering, just how much better is the new one realistically.

thoughts?
My final thought is that having said all of the above, considering the amount of miles you are talking about if the '12 is even incrementally better in areas that you value then it will be money well spent.
I believe that for touring the '12 is going to benefit from exactly the same things that the '11 will. The only benefit I see is that it might have somewhat less vibration (my '11 doesn't have enough to be significant to me) and it does weigh slightly less.
If the Strom was my only bike I probably would have sprung for a '12 because improved is improved but for my uses the '11 is fine and I didn't spend as much.
 

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The front suspension on the 2012 DL is excellent, yes, they might be damper rod, but they work well on or off road stock - which the unmodified K6 suspension didn't.
I have a K6 with well set up emulators and I was thinking of pulling them and the damper rods and swapping - there's simply no reason to. Rear shock yes, but the front is fine.


The stock seat on the 2012 bikes is excellent.

You MIGHT get a custom seat that's better, but I suspect that on average off the shelf aftermarket seats would be 50/50 on whether it's a gain. Yes, it's that good.


Pete
 

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The engine is much better on the 2012. You will appreciate it's smoothness and extra torque on long trips. You will also no doubt appreciate the better economy.

I just did 457km on my last tank of fuel, and put 17.07L in when I filled up. My old Vstrom never ever got near that many kms on a tank. If you carry extra fuel on both bikes, then you will get even further on the 2012 than the <2011.
 

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To me unless your looking at a used Wee then the difference in costs isnt that much, for another $400 your getting the new model not just a newer bike. $400 is the cost of one expensive farkle, really doesnt take any sence to get the 11 model unless your really sold on that luggage offer. Even then from what others have said the luggage isnt the best.
 

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Just get the 12. -- the price difference is so small it doesnt make sense to buy an 11.. It sounds like you can swing it. You are taking trips that 99% on this board could never afford to do because we have to work for a living.

but maybe your a teacher or professor that takes the summers off to ride -- in any case I am jealous
 

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I'll be the dissenter and say that for your needs the V-Strom is the wrong bike. It's a street bike with some off-road ability. You say you will be riding 50% off-road...that's not the core strength of the strom.
 

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I'll be the dissenter and say that for your needs the V-Strom is the wrong bike. It's a street bike with some off-road ability. You say you will be riding 50% off-road...that's not the core strength of the strom.
:bom_stupid:

For that kind of riding a Yamaha XT 660Z Tenere would be perfect - it's an awesome adventure bike that can handle off road riding way better than a V-Strom.


The reason I want the 2012 V-Strom instead of the Tenere, is that I'm riding 90% on road and really like the extra power from the twin.
 

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I gotta agree that the Wee isn't an all terrain machine and you're gonna need something like that to get through some of your obstacles. The Tenere is built for surviving rough terrain - power and street manners aside. I wouldn't want to pick up a Wee too often and you'll need help in soft surfaces (like quicksand!).

I appreciate the comments about the '12 model and am developing a tinge of green for wanting one over my perfectly suitable '07 Wee. Just don't need it that bad...
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Thanks for all the replies. Some good info.
...unless your looking at a used Wee then the difference in costs isnt that much, for another $400 your getting the new model not just a newer bike. $400 is the cost of one expensive farkle, really doesnt take any sense to get the 11 model unless your really sold on that luggage offer. Even then from what others have said the luggage isnt the best.
Just get the 12. -- the price difference is so small it doesnt make sense to buy an 11.. It sounds like you can swing it. You are taking trips that 99% on this board could never afford to do because we have to work for a living.

but maybe your a teacher or professor that takes the summers off to ride -- in any case I am jealous
I could save a thousand or more by getting a new 2011, but for that, I'd bite the bullet & go for the 2012. I'd never bother with the luggage offer unless I just resold it. I'll probably go Caribou Cases. Oddly one of the main things I'd want is the metric/US switchable instruments. I was all sold on the 2012, but then after sitting on one, I thought, "meh."

Common sense tells me that I should go for an 07+ w/low miles and add lot's of farkles, but something about the 12 seems to be pulling me. I guess after so many years traveling about on barely adequate local bikes, it seemed time to build what I really want.

BTW, I work for a living & a modest salary at that. College prof. A summer riding in India costs about $600 a month + air. S Am about $1200 + air. Perhaps it's more of the wife & kid payments that keeps you guys so close to home. Choices, choices.
I'll be the dissenter and say that for your needs the V-Strom is the wrong bike. It's a street bike with some off-road ability. You say you will be riding 50% off-road...that's not the core strength of the strom.
For that kind of riding a Yamaha XT 660Z Tenere would be perfect - it's an awesome adventure bike that can handle off road riding way better than a V-Strom.

The reason I want the 2012 V-Strom instead of the Tenere, is that I'm riding 90% on road and really like the extra power from the twin.
I gotta agree that the Wee isn't an all terrain machine and you're gonna need something like that to get through some of your obstacles. The Tenere is built for surviving rough terrain - power and street manners aside. I wouldn't want to pick up a Wee too often and you'll need help in soft surfaces (like quicksand!).
I have learned over the years, that a carefully ridden street bike can go one hell of a lot of places. Also, no loaded heavy bike is going to be very much fun in the rough stuff. Finally, an upright geometry street bike does great on gravel and gobbles up hours of washboards more comfortably than an enduro.

OTH, an upright geometry street bike is loads of fun in the twisties even when loaded. It's very comfortable on gravel roads and enjoys passing power when at speed.

Unfortunately, an XT tenere is not an option in the states. Also, it seems that 400lbs & 48 hp (XT) is not going to be so hot on the tarmac, when I could have a twin with 70hp that weighs in at 475lbs (strom). This leaves the other 650cc thumpers, the DR (at least it's a little lighter), the XR and the KLR (uhg, perhaps the world's most uninspiring moto). I guess I am a bit weary of under powered bikes. My 400cc Honda falcon has nearly no passing power at 100+ kph, yet is still pretty much a pig in the rough stuff.

A 21" wheel would help, but I am also sick to death of tubed tires. The f800gs, 990 adv & 800xc would all no doubt be a little better than the strom, but they cost a ton more & have tubes. Besides, the potential for catstrophic multi thousand dollar breakdowns on the ktm & bmw frighten me. The triumph seems a little more reliable, but still seems to have a high cost of ownership.

Anyways, this is my strom logic at the moment. It seems to be the closest I can get to an Africa Twin with tubeless and a modern power plant which is what I am really after.
 

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I'd agree with the above comments - provided you stick to travelled ROADS a DL 650 is probably easier than a thumper.

Yeah, a bit heavier to pick up, but loaded down for a trip, that's a wash - and the DL is a great , comfortable, non-tiring mile muncher on and off seal.

Pete
 

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Thanks for all the replies. Some good info.



I could save a thousand or more by getting a new 2011, but for that, I'd bite the bullet & go for the 2012. I'd never bother with the luggage offer unless I just resold it. I'll probably go Caribou Cases. Oddly one of the main things I'd want is the metric/US switchable instruments. I was all sold on the 2012, but then after sitting on one, I thought, "meh."

Common sense tells me that I should go for an 07+ w/low miles and add lot's of farkles, but something about the 12 seems to be pulling me. I guess after so many years traveling about on barely adequate local bikes, it seemed time to build what I really want.

BTW, I work for a living & a modest salary at that. College prof. A summer riding in India costs about $600 a month + air. S Am about $1200 + air. Perhaps it's more of the wife & kid payments that keeps you guys so close to home. Choices, choices.




I have learned over the years, that a carefully ridden street bike can go one hell of a lot of places. Also, no loaded heavy bike is going to be very much fun in the rough stuff. Finally, an upright geometry street bike does great on gravel and gobbles up hours of washboards more comfortably than an enduro.

OTH, an upright geometry street bike is loads of fun in the twisties even when loaded. It's very comfortable on gravel roads and enjoys passing power when at speed.

Unfortunately, an XT tenere is not an option in the states. Also, it seems that 400lbs & 48 hp (XT) is not going to be so hot on the tarmac, when I could have a twin with 70hp that weighs in at 475lbs (strom). This leaves the other 650cc thumpers, the DR (at least it's a little lighter), the XR and the KLR (uhg, perhaps the world's most uninspiring moto). I guess I am a bit weary of under powered bikes. My 400cc Honda falcon has nearly no passing power at 100+ kph, yet is still pretty much a pig in the rough stuff.

A 21" wheel would help, but I am also sick to death of tubed tires. The f800gs, 990 adv & 800xc would all no doubt be a little better than the strom, but they cost a ton more & have tubes. Besides, the potential for catstrophic multi thousand dollar breakdowns on the ktm & bmw frighten me. The triumph seems a little more reliable, but still seems to have a high cost of ownership.

Anyways, this is my strom logic at the moment. It seems to be the closest I can get to an Africa Twin with tubeless and a modern power plant which is what I am really after.
Sound logic indeed and I agree. I have an XT660Z, whilst it has a bit more suspension travel than the Strom, its about the same weight, but the COG is way higher (its a very tall bike). For gravel roads and even good dirt tracks I suspect the Strom will be fine (I get my 2012 today and can't wait to try it). Whack on a steering damper and some semi-knob tyres and it should rip. The low COG will certainly help here. Where there are deep ruts, washouts etc, then the only option is to slow down on the strom, whilst with the Tenere you can probably bounce right through them as its got good clearance under the bash plate. Given the power of the twin on the strom, and its smoothness, seating position and seat, it kills the Tenere on the road and open gravel roads just in its comfort levels. I have an enduro bike too for the gnarly stuff which I also do tour on if I know it will be real off-road, dunes etc.
 

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One other thought that may or may not be of significance.
The 11 and earlier 650 has been around for 7 years. Thats a lot of used parts available and hopefully a good stock of new oem parts.
Whether thats a factor or not I don't know, and if it is the '12 will begin catching up but probably not so much in used stuff.
My thinking is that if one breaks something and has to have it shipped in that being able to snag a used part off ebay could be a factor.
 

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Well, Just bought one

Sold my 06 on Thursday and gave deposit for a 2012 650 today (Saturday). Will pick up on Tuesday. Wondering- Will the lowering links for earlier models fit the 12?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
One other thought that may or may not be of significance.
The 11 and earlier 650 has been around for 7 years. Thats a lot of used parts available and hopefully a good stock of new oem parts.
Whether thats a factor or not I don't know, and if it is the '12 will begin catching up but probably not so much in used stuff.
My thinking is that if one breaks something and has to have it shipped in that being able to snag a used part off ebay could be a factor.
The support for any big bike is going to be spotty to non existent in developing countries for any brand. The used market is not very helpful when international touring. You simply need someone working support that can ship to you from the USA/europe if possible.
 

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Picked up 12 vstrom today

Like the machine. Engine has good throttle response and is mechanically quiet. For the little I have ridden it the handling is first rate. It takes me a while to feel fully comfortable on a new bike so have not winged it through the turns as of yet. Glad I bought it though.
 
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