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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all,

Without turning this into a debate over the suitability of a V-Strom 650 as a starter bike, I would like to pick the brains of those more versed than myself in the Wee and riding in general. I'm currently completing my safety training, and will be picking up a bike once I've passed my closed track test. Given the physical size, reliability, and my preference for an Adv, the VStrom sits at the top of my list. I'm 6'3, 215lbs, athletic, and I've had quite a bit of off-road riding and snowmobile racing in my youth. In my mid 40's, with a family of 4, I'm now looking at sensible commuting and some weekend camping/fishing trips, which is something the V-Strom is certainly suitable for. I'm debating the following options:

I can get a pretty interesting deal on a brand new 2018 650XT in the white (which I love), with the racks, panniers, center stand, accessory bar, as well as an incentive plan from the dealership that includes AirMedi coverage, free oil changes while I own the bike, 5 year warranty (factory now anyway), and guaranteed blue-book buy-back if I trade the bike in there. That comes in at $9k all-in CAD.

Option 2 is 2008 650 with crash bars, skid plate, racks and 3 panniers, and center stand with sub 30,000 kms, in really good condition for less than $3k CAD.

I'm starting out, so the risk of dropping a brand new bike is real (particularly given I plan to go off road with it, which is why I'd install TRex bars and pate on it if I buy the new one). That said, the rider-aids on the new bike make it an interesting option for starting out (ABS/Traction)...and the warranty and incentives are pretty interesting.

Opinions are appreciated.
 

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I'd go the used route. Spend a season on it and then decide if you want to upgrade. If so there are good used deals on the newer bikes all the time, even better if they are already farkled.

My first strom ws an '07 DL650A. I put about 20K on it and wanted to go off pavement more, so I sold it to a buddy and bought a '15 DL650XT.....could not be happier.
 

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B-nads -

Those dealer incentives sure are nice, butt my vote is for taking the $6k Cdn savings and using it to travel, ride, camp, fish, etc. while continuing to hone your riding skills.

I should think you could purchase a very nice tent, pad, waterproof bag, extras, and a complete set of very nice riding gear--including boots and helmet--while still having money to fund a couple of extended tours by motorcycle. Or you would have a nice maintenance account for new tires, chain & sprockets, wheel bearings, brakes, etc.

My '09 Wee has about 35k km now and I would not hesitate to ride cross-country. The only thing I think that could sway my opinion would be ABS but even that would not get me to pass up that much found money.

Good luck, whichever direction you choose!
 

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I'm an off-road guy and new to the street. I went with a used 2007 650 with 33,000 mi. This way I saved money, and can now determine how much I love being able to commute into work on the bike, etc. Being a new rider also has it's learning curve, and as you pointed out is another good reason to go used.

I agree with the other points above, start out going used.
 

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I agree with the others on the used. It has very low miles for an 11 year old motorcycle. One of the great selling points of v-stroms is the longevity, when properly maintained. Heck, they seem to even have longevity when not properly maintained. You could completely deck it out it the "most common" farkles for under $2000. If the farkles don't appeal to you, you are then really good to go. A five year warranty and free oil changes is appealing. However, comparing the $3,000 price to the $9,000 price, you could buy three of the older ones for the same price as the newer one. Think of how many oil changes and repairs could be made with that extra $6,000. Heck, you're in a position if you buy the old one to say, "oh no, it needs a new chain; I'll junk it and buy another for $3,000". Absurd? Yes. But it makes, what I think is, a good point.

Good luck with whatever decision you make. You won't regret it either way. Keep in mind, with the advice you are getting on initially buying used, is that it is much easier for anonymous posters on an internet forum to spend your money and the members here are not doing that.
 

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@B-Nads,
My 2¢ (2.6¢CDN ;) Go with the '08. Your offroad experience will come back quickly, like returning to skating, and you'll likely as not find opportunities to put the crash bars & skid plate to use sooner rather than later. You'll like it for your commute as well, having the carrying capacity. For the cost of farkle-izing the '18, you get a whole farkled bike. Next year, you can get a left over '18 or '19 and maybe even as much or more for the '08 on trade; pretty good price for it before negotiatiating, IMO.
 
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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Appreciated, guys - thanks.

I have to admit it is the way I am leaning, and no small influence in it is my objective of eventually ending up on either a Tiger 800 or a F850GS (or a new Strom XT). I can buy the well-farkled '08 for $2500 cash and not be tied to a 5 year financing plan like I will on the new one. I'm an outdoor hiking/fishing/hunting nut, so that gear is already bought, and I'm buying my riding rig now (helmet, gloves, boots, jacket), so I'm not worried about the funding for those items as they are outside the bike purchase anyway. Budgeting for more riding, better rubber, etc is a great point though.

I'm going to check out the '08 tomorrow night in person, and if I like how everything looks and runs I'll give the seller a deposit and set up an inspection with the mechanic from my riding school.

 

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Discussion Starter #8
Looks like some other lucky rider managed to swoop that '08 up before I could get a chance to go check it out...snoozin' and loosin' I guess.
 

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Too bad. I'd recommend going used for your first bike, especially if you're already thinking about upgrading. If money's not an issue, great, but if you buy new and invest in a lot of farkling you'll take quite a hit when you sell it. Shouldn't be too hard to find another 'strom, or (gasp!) a Versys.
 
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That was not the only v-strom out there. Unless you are desperate and need the bike now, just be patient and other deals will come up. Especially the further into the riding season the better the deals.
 

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I'm also in the camp of buying used as there are a lot of positives.

Low cost of entry 1st and foremost to see if you truly are going to be bit buy the motorcycle bug.

Most folks dream of riding every day endless miles planning mutiple adventures and so on then reality hits. Motorcycles are way different than cars and on the surface seem like great money savers for commuting but commuting and errand running on motorcycles can be a PIA. Jacket, gloves, helmet on/off every time you stop verses a car get in out and the outside weather condition don't matter. Limited carrying capacity and tires cost more and wear out a good bit faster like 5x faster. A buddy of mine who eats, sleeps and breathes motorcycles and rides between 30,000 and 60,000 miles a year and keep detailed records of gas oil tires has found that a motorcycle is actually more expensive to run than a modest automobile like a Honda Civic or a Toyota Camry. The automobiles get around 7 MPG less fuel economy than the average motorcycle buy the tires are the biggie. 4 tires that last 50,000 to 70,000 mile on a Honda are about $400 per set of 4. On a motorcycle if you rely on a shop you pay about $300 for a set of budget tires that last if you lucky 10,000 miles


Another thing is there are two types of people. Those who have dropped a bike and those who are going too. Dropping a used bike is way less frustrating than dropping a shiny new one.

And finally while the DL may seem like the perfect bike you need to get some miles on it and determine if it "is" the perfect bike. There have been many bikes that I though would be right from me until I sat on them or rode them for a while only to determine my eyes liked what they saw and the rest of me was like now way am I putting up with this bike. My Moto Guzzi Quota was at the top of this list. Looked great, handles great and sounded great. Wind noise and extreme buffeting were conditions that could not be corrected so I rode it 5,000 mile and sold it for what I paid.

At least in the lower 48 there are so many low mileage used bikes from folks than had dreams that never came to become reality I'd truly be hard pressed to buy anything new. New bikes just are not worth the premium over gently used.
 

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Yup, buy used. Get an old one and ride the wheels off for a small investment. They all work well and actually the old ones seems to have fewer problems than the newer ones.
New ones have features that are nice but not absolutely necessary.
 

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I bought a used '13 just as this year began for less than half the total of your two prices. I say buy used but be aware you are either going to spend some time going over the bike to set it up or spend some $$ having a mechanic do all the maintenance items any used bike should see. (Change all fluids, check date on tires and replace if more than 5 yrs old, test the battery, etc, and then add any accessories you did not get with the bike (heated grips? aftermkt windshield? upgrade lighting to LED's?, power outlets, etc.).

My own recommendation would be to buy a newer used bike - a 2012 and newer w/ ABS, but that is my preference only. Consider that depreciation in value on a used bike is always going to be less than on a new bike, should you decide to sell it in a year or two. I've always thought that it seldom makes sense to save money by spending more to get a "good deal".
 

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The used one is nearly fully depreciated.. When you are ready to sell it in a year or three, as long as you haven't beat it to death and have maintained it, you'll recoup most of your purchase price. You might just decide not to sell it.. The 650 is a capable motorbike regardless of rider experience.
 

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Glad you setllted on used. My experience and why I recommend used actually has very little to do with depreciation, but moreso that if you're not an avid rider yet (especially for those new to MC license), you REALLY don't know what style of riding you're going to fall in love with. Me, I bought a cruiser till I realized I wanted more power, switched to a Honda 919 (which sucked for the long miles I wanted to ride) until I found the bikes that fit my riding style, not what I THOUGHT my riding style was going to be.

Take your time getting a bike, but I wouldn't worry about picking the "perfect" bike as your first one. Pick one you think is a good style/fit for you, figure out what you like/don't like about it over thousands of miles of riding, and then either modify it or have a better idea of what a suiteable replacement would be.

Alexi
 

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Sorry - forgot I hadn't updated this. I bought a used CB500X.
How are you liking it? That may be a future ride for me. I hear a lot of good reviews from owners for the CB500X.

I seem to fall in love all over again every 2 or 3 years. Still loving my '05 wee for now.

Cheers

RLBranson
 

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Late to the Thread

@B-Nads, I wish you many happy miles on your 500X. For a first bike, I agree with nearly everyone including you to buy a newe used bike. Ride the pegs off of it and you'll learn along the way what you want to buy next. My first bike was a '76 Honda CB 500 I bought in 1978 and rode it on a three week trip from western Wisconsin to Addison, Maine on the coast. I learnt me some valuable lessons: don't leave on a cross country trip with the rear tire almost to the wear bars, a 500 is pretty cramped and anemic for 400 mile days, and a mo'sikkle trip costs as much or more than a car trip.
My next three bikes, including my present 2017 D'elle were all bought new; still have the '80 KZ750. Each one was a great learning experience, prepping me for the next bike.
 
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