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Discussion Starter #1
Hey, gang.. My first post here and I've a few questions about the "wee" strom 650..

I'm looking to get a ST bike to replace my Boulevard C50T. It's nice, but I'd like something a little sportier. After looking at the Concours and realizing it's bigger than I am (I'm only 5'5"), that's out. So, the V-Strom is an option, I think.

Based on the stock seat height, it's still fairly tall for me and I probably won't be able to even tippy toe the thing. So, here's where my questions begin:

1. Is anyone my height that rides this?
2. A new school of thought I've heard about is the One Toe, One Cheek method. Something about if you can get at least one foot down, you can ride it. I'm not sure about how far I'd have to lean the bike to accomodate this, but the light weight seems to kinda allow for this. Any heavier and I fear I'd dump it every time. Does anyone practice this method on ANY bike?
3. How is the handling? Power?
4. Do I even have any business attempting to ride this bike? :confused:

Even if I do end up walking out with it and doing the one toe, one cheek method, I'm afraid it's the stupid things that'll get me in trouble: filling up, stopping (either on flat or canted road), walking the bike, etc..

Any thoughts/ideas/warnings/"you're an idiot" messages are welcome!!!

Thanks!
 

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Lowering links help.

I'm 6'3", and it definitely feels like a tall bike to me, but others have owned it and ridden it much shorter than I without incident.

However, engine guards would probably be a good idea in case the worst does happen.
 

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well, you can lower the bike up to 1 and 1/8th inch with no issues, then take the bars off the seat pan will give you another inch or so, you could also shave the seat through a local upolstery shop ti give you a few more inches.

I'm not your height, but my wife is 5'8 and she can flat foot my bike with just the lowering links. i would think with the seat blocks off you would be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I've known about the links, but the mods to the seat aren't a bad idea. Still, I'm a bit apprehensive about riding it without the proper mods made to it. I can't help but feel like the moment I take it out of the shop, I'll dump it! Blerg!

Maybe I should just sit on the bike, have a conversation with the dealer and get murdered on the cost of installing the links. :yesnod:
 

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I'm 5'4" and have been riding the 650 for about 9 months and am loving it! I did have the seat modded by Corbin and I do have the lowering links (Kouba) on. Taller boots help also. I can't quite flat foot it, but haven't had any problems.

 

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Discussion Starter #6
Zuki, you're the girl I wanna talk to!

Another hesitation I have is backing down from the 800 I'm riding.. My first bike was a 650 and there just wasn't enough power for the longer highway rides. Still, since this is a ST (the wife thinks it looks more like a sportbike), how does it handle at higher speeds? Does it ever feel like it could use another speed?
 

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Zuki, you're the girl I wanna talk to!

Another hesitation I have is backing down from the 800 I'm riding.. My first bike was a 650 and there just wasn't enough power for the longer highway rides. Still, since this is a ST (the wife thinks it looks more like a sportbike), how does it handle at higher speeds? Does it ever feel like it could use another speed?
this 650 will blow your c50 800 right out of the water.

you have 45 horse and 45 ft/lbs on a 550 pound bike with the c50

the wee sports 65 horse, 48 ft/lbs and and is only 430 pounds. that is significant.

the weight is a little higher on the strom vs the c50, but it is also quite a bit less.

I have had no problems cruising all day long at 80mph on the superslab. I did find i was looking for another gear for road only riding when getting near 75mph, you kind of wanted a 7th gear (at least I did) but i went to a 16t front when i got my new chain and now it is, imho, perfect.

bear in mind this is also from the aspect of a 6' 210 pound rider with 2x 25 lb ammo can side bags full of stuff, also.
 

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Middie26, maybe you should look at a naked SV650. Unfortunately (maybe) in the US, that means the Suzuki Gladius. (In Canada Suzuki still sells the original SV650) It's the same engine as the Strom, maybe better handling, and a touch more powerful, and a fair bit lower.
Don't worry about power, like most cruisers, the C50 is pretty gutless. The C50 has the same HP figures as the GS500,(not a lot) and the 90 degree V-twin in the Gladius/V-Strom is mega smoother than the 45 degree paint shaker engine in the cruisers.
To be honest, at 6'5", one of the attractions of the Strom for me is it's height. There's room for us big guys to spread ourselves around a bit. You don't seem to have that problem.:mrgreen:
Check svrider.com
 

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Zuki, you're the girl I wanna talk to!

Another hesitation I have is backing down from the 800 I'm riding.. My first bike was a 650 and there just wasn't enough power for the longer highway rides. Still, since this is a ST (the wife thinks it looks more like a sportbike), how does it handle at higher speeds? Does it ever feel like it could use another speed?
I had a C50, they're great bikes, but the Strom is much faster and also has a 6 speed transmission which makes a big difference for touring. You will not be lacking power on the Wee, especially if your weight matches your height :mrgreen: My last bike was a K1200GT with 152 HP, and I stepped down to the Wee just fine.
 

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Sit on one and see if it works for you. If not, you may want to look at the BMW 650GS which has an 800cc twin. They come in both a tall and a short set up. Nice looking bikes, but cost a few grand more than a DL650. The tank is under the seat which lowers the center of gravity.
 

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this 650 will blow your c50 800 right out of the water.

you have 45 horse and 45 ft/lbs on a 550 pound bike with the c50

the wee sports 65 horse, 48 ft/lbs and and is only 430 pounds. that is significant.

the weight is a little higher on the strom vs the c50, but it is also quite a bit less.

I have had no problems cruising all day long at 80mph on the superslab. I did find i was looking for another gear for road only riding when getting near 75mph, you kind of wanted a 7th gear (at least I did) but i went to a 16t front when i got my new chain and now it is, imho, perfect.

bear in mind this is also from the aspect of a 6' 210 pound rider with 2x 25 lb ammo can side bags full of stuff, also.
Well said. The Wee (650) weighs about 150-200 lbs less than most mid-size cruisers and it has a far superior power-to-weight ratio. While the Wee revs a bit on highway, it is sooo smooth and can rev forever and it is always in it's powerband on the highway with stock gearing. I've done 600 mile days in total comfort. Plenty of grunt for two-up so long as you aren't racing sportbikes at high speeds. Many Strom owners complain about buffeting, but IMHO good ear plugs and a good helmet solve the problem for many of us. Plus there are many aftermarket screens. At your height, it may be quiet.

You can easily make adjustments to get the equivalent of three incles or more of reduced height (lowering link= -1",low seat= -1", boots = +1" height). Lowering links (also called dog bones) are dirt cheap and can be done by you quickly with no unusual tools. These simply connect the rear shock to swing arm and (although counterintuitive) the longer dog bone lowers seat height. All that is required is rear wheel removal and then removing a couple bolts. Lowering the front forks is even easier. It is easy to find a used Low seat and if that doesn't suffice, then dig deeper into the pocket and try the abundant aftermarket. Slightly elevated riding boots can give you another inch.

I've ridden dirt bikes for most of my life and one toe one cheek is often fine. For pure street use, both toes are a better goal. On a bike this light you will adjust quickly and you will enjoy wonderful leg room. Many of us raise the seat height with taller seat and raising links, meaning there is quite a height range that can be accommodated.
 

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Your too short in my opinion.........heck I think many folks that buy the Stroms are too short. It was designed to be tall and long, it is an ADV type bike not a cruiser or a sportbike. It is kinda like raising a cruiser, it just isn't/wasn't designed with that purpose.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Your too short in my opinion.........heck I think many folks that buy the Stroms are too short. It was designed to be tall and long, it is an ADV type bike not a cruiser or a sportbike. It is kinda like raising a cruiser, it just isn't/wasn't designed with that purpose.
Ah, but that's EXACTLY why I plan on getting a procedure to lengthen my legs another 6".

Kidding.

Seriously, thanks guys for the honesty about the bike. I'll take a gander and see how it feels (Brian - I totally understand what you mean!) and we'll go from there...
 

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Height is not the issue...

What the real issue is your inseam. I'm 5'10"" but have only a 30 inch inseam. I am comfortable on the bike when I wear boots,otherwise it is tippytoes at stops. 4 bikes ago I had a C50. I went from there to an older BMW R1100RT, then to a BMW F800ST,then to a Honda 1300ST,then to a Yamaha FJR, and finally to the Wee. Every one of these bikes is MUCH better than the C50 and as the same time less desirable , for various reasons, than the Wee. Some are too expensive to maintain, some are too heavy, some vibrate too much, and I determined that one ( the FJR ) was going to kill me if I kept riding it. If you have over a 27 inch inseam I don't think you will have any problems with the Wee - the Swiss Army knife of MCs.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
What the real issue is your inseam. I'm 5'10"" but have only a 30 inch inseam. I am comfortable on the bike when I wear boots,otherwise it is tippytoes at stops. 4 bikes ago I had a C50. I went from there to an older BMW R1100RT, then to a BMW F800ST,then to a Honda 1300ST,then to a Yamaha FJR, and finally to the Wee. Every one of these bikes is MUCH better than the C50 and as the same time less desirable , for various reasons, than the Wee. Some are too expensive to maintain, some are too heavy, some vibrate too much, and I determined that one ( the FJR ) was going to kill me if I kept riding it. If you have over a 27 inch inseam I don't think you will have any problems with the Wee - the Swiss Army knife of MCs.
Thanks, Fuzzy! I actually have like a 27/28" inseam, but I can't seem to fit on anything bigger than an 800. Any bigger, and the size of the engine makes my legs even wider, which then shortens them. *sigh*
 

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Zuki, you're the girl I wanna talk to!

Another hesitation I have is backing down from the 800 I'm riding.. My first bike was a 650 and there just wasn't enough power for the longer highway rides. Still, since this is a ST (the wife thinks it looks more like a sportbike), how does it handle at higher speeds? Does it ever feel like it could use another speed?
It's a great bike at freeway speed and higher! I've been riding a street glide previously (3 yrs, 55,000 miles) and I am really enjoying, maybe I should say preferring the strom!

Many people on this forum are ridng 2-up and touring, loaded, and have plenty of power.....

We're heading to Alaska next month on the stroms...woohhoo!!

Here's a great thread from the adventure forum for you to read....a young couple riding 2-up on the 650 from Texas to the Arctic circle!

2 Texans to Alaska (and back)... - ADVrider
 

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Go for it

Here's a real life comparison for you. I like to think I am 5'7", but am closer to 5'6", and my pants fit best with a 29" inseam. I bought my bike used and it was already lowered in the rear, and I dropped the front forks 15mm after a few rides, mostly to improve handling. With the rear suspension set mid-range, and work boots on my feet, I can almost flat foot it. I have not removed the rubber bumpers under the seat.

The bike felt very tall last year when I got it, but the height is a non-issue now, one year and 5000miles later. Mind you I had not ridden in 20 years, so anything would have required some getting used to.

The bike height will become less of an issue with time, and it's irrelevant for 99% of the ride time anyhow when in forward motion.
 

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I am like you: looking to pervert the 'strom into a light duty sport-tourer. I know that's not exactly what it is designed or targeted at, but what the heck, the price is right.

Yesterday I was out 'strom shopping and had the pleasure of sitting on a brand new '11 650 and an '07 650 at a used shop. The '07 had been lowered using the aftermarket suspension link and by sliding the triple clamps down the shock tubes in the front. I'm 6' even and have a much longer inseam than you, but was able to flat foot on both sides with a very slight kink in my knees. Meanwhile on the '11 I was tip-toeing on both sides.

Moral here is that the lowering techniques mentioned here are quite effective!
 

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it all depends on your inseam:

I have about 29.5" inseam:

On stock 650, correctly adjusted preload, i can barely touch the ground with the balls of feet on both side;

lower by about 15mm both ends, things were scraping everywhere on stock suspension;

Reshape the seat to be narrower (nothing from top), and half the bump stops on the seat (5mm)- I could almost flat foot on both side (without lowering)

At the end, I raise the rear 10mm, drop the front 5 mm, raise my seat height about 10mm, but really narrow the seat to the bone. This set up still allows me to firmly put balls of my feet firmly on the ground - a bit more secure than stock even with all the raising.

The moral of stock is that - if with a one inch drop, u can flat foot one side while the other side is on the peg without sliding too much of your butt to one side, then u are okay to buy the strom.

a lot can be achieve with seat narrowing and a small drop in the front without the need of methods like lowering links which can potentially lead some undesirable effects.

good luck
 

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How does narrowing the seat effect long distance comfort? OP and I are looking for more ST usage.. not off-road.
 
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