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Hello all, I'm looking to upgrade to a V-Strom as my second bike from a KLR 650. I like going offroad around Oregon but have never attempted anything a Jeep wouldn't work in. I also plan on doing some 2 up touring (280 lbs combined weight, ultra-light packing) featuring offroad. I'm here today because I test rode a new 2017 V-Strom 650 at a dealer available for $7,000 and loved it. However, he also showed me their 5,000 mile 2014 V-Strom 1000 (w/ Givi crash bars, luggage, handguards, exhaust guard) available for the same price as the 650. Every 650 vs 1000 thread I've seen has had to work with the caveat that the 1000 is usually several thousand dollars more.

I think for the type of offroading I do, the 1000's better suspension and grunt will be worth more than the 650's agility. However, my main concern is the 1000's reliability and longevity. We couldn't get the 1000 started up at the dealer today and after some research it appears to have the well-documented stator issue (lights were violently flickering, engine choking while holding starter.) Are there any other major issues I should expect or ask them about? It's going to be "fully serviced" before I test ride it, so I'm curious if this will include checking/replacing the stator before it's sold. I also plan on keeping my KLR since it's fully farkled and I don't need to trade it in to afford either Strom, so the 1000 makes more sense as being more different-er.

In conclusion: Is a kitted 2014 Vee a better pick over a 2017 Wee at the same price?
 

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Yes, that would be correct.
 

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Well, nothing you describe is "common" for the 1000. They don't seem to be showing stator or rotor issues, actually much better than the 650. Don't know what is going on with the one at the dealer, but it is likely something they can get fixed and not something to worry about.

Neither will go where Jeeps go, at least with ease. I have a Jeep. I have had both the DL 650 and DL 1000. These are not off road bikes, but they are just fine on hard packed dirt and gravel. Beyond that, be prepared to manhandle them. A lot. The KLR is a better off highway bike by a large margin. And even it is a pig in rough stuff.

Long term reliability is at least as good on the 1000. Their engine turns less rpm and is under less stress. The 650's go over 100,000 miles often, but as you get into that 100+ range they are showing there age.

The front suspension and brakes on the 2104 and newer DL 1000 are a huge improvement over the 650. That alone would make me pick it. It cruises effortlessly with two riders on it.

That said, a new 2017 DL 650 is a very good bike that will give you years of good service. They are both used once they get home, so look at what the value will be in 2-3 years. If you are happier with one over the other, keeping it longer means it was the better value regardless.
 

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If I had a KLR, I would choose the 1000.

Since I have a much larger bike in the garage, I chose the 650 and I am very happy with it. I would choose the 650 again and I am nearly 270lbs by myself(the wife does not ride on the strom with me).
 
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