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I am looking to get an adventure bike, not new to bikes, have a couple dual-sports. (Kawasaki KDX 200 and KTM 520), but looking to get something to do some long distance travel. I began looking and have seen a few V-Stroms out there, but I know absolutely nothing about them. I have a passing knowledge of the BMW GS(A) line and the KTM 950/990/1190/1290 line, but until I stared looking around, never even heard of the V-Strom.
I am only in the market for used.
So, the first question, and apologize right up front if it is offensive, but why is the V-Strom such a bargain compared to the BMW and KTM? I realize the price premium that both those brands carry, (I am not going to reveal how little I paid for the KTM), but I am seeing comparable V-Stroms at third to half of the price of comparable BWM and about half the price of the KTM.
Having looking at and test ridden a couple, they appear solid, well made and with the right set of accessories, very capable ADV bikes.
I am focusing on the 1000 for myself, and the 650 for my wife. How is the 650 at highway speeds? I researched the KLR 650, but given the poor feedback about extended periods at interstate speeds, I have ruled it out. Our trip is in the initial planning stages, not intentionally choosing interstate travel as a major part, but there will be some.
Is the 650 a capable highway cruiser? Any issues with overheating or oil consumption at 65+ MPH?
Are there any know issues/problems that I need to be aware of when looking at one?
Are there particular year models, for the 650 and 1k that are better built, equipped?
Year models to avoid?
Thanks for your response, hoping I did not offend. If these answer can be found in a particular forum or post, please just point me that a way.
 

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I have a 2011 dl650 abs ,its my first V-Strom and I did a lot of research and test rides,and for me I decided on the 650 ,cruises highway speeds all day no problem ,as far as I know the one issue with them is no headlight relays ,you can look it up on this forum ,I installed relays on mine just to avoid a future problem,I have had no issues with mine so far 9k miles since I bought it used had 6k,I was going to get the 1000 because I had not ridden anything smaller since I was a kid ,I test rode a 1000 and when I returned to the dealer the salesman had a 650 out ,he convinced me to try it ,I had already tried several bikes around that size and was not to impressed needless to say I wound up getting a 650 and I dont regret it. Good luck.
 

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The 650 had a redesign in '12, and one thing that became standard was ABS. Pre '12, ABS is an option. There are great bargains to be had out there, including bikes with all the farkles already, saving you money doing it. I don't know much about the 1000, but I think it was redesigned in '14. The 650 is very capable of interstate travel, it will easily hold the spedo at 90, however with a drastic drop in fuel mileage. Will cruise 70-75 real easy, and get close to 50 doing that, depending on the load. I did a 3500 mile trip last Sept., the first day leaving Texas. The temp climbed to 105 for some time, never a problem overheating, the whole trip never using any oil. The return day was 600 miles of total interstate. While boring, it did the job nicely. Farkles are cheap and plentiful for the Vstrom, costing much less than the other brands. I got bar risers, along with other items, on the forum fleamarket here. Risers for the strom (what's to wear out?) were 35.00. For my BMW they were 230.00. I'm real happy with the Strom, it has lots of power and revs freely. Keep the revs above 5krpm and it provides lots of thrills too. The one thing you will most likely want for extended tours is a new seat, but there are great options for that also. The strom is not a heavy duty off road machine, but for dirt roads, creek crossings and the like it does real well. I ride often with GS guys, both 700 and 800, and I have no problems keeping with them. The F800GS is more capable off road, I think the Strom compares more with the 700GS, but at a lot less money. Oh, and the Strom can be lowered for around 50 bucks, with simple dog bones, if that's a need for your wife. Compare that to the cost of lowering a beemer. I'm not trying to knock the beemers, I own a F800GT also, it fills different needs than the strom, but the cost of ownership into that line is indeed more. Good Luck with whatever you get! Happy Trails....
 

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I'm on my V Strom #8. First 2xVee (1000 first gen.) Then 5xWee (first gen. 650) and now on my first Wee2 (second gen. 650). Never any single problem. No oil consumption at all and no overheating. I don't know which 1000 you after but ride 650 before you pull the trigger on 1000 (specially that your wife is not going to be your passenger).
 

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My wee has 115,000 km on it ....uses about a 1/2 pint of oil in 7,000 km - mostly out the breather. Will cruise all day at 75 mph ( faster if you want ) and get 400 km per tank at 60-65 mph.

I've never seen the temperature gauge even move except at warm up. Starts reliably...solid machine with tons of farkles available.
Suspension handles rough patches nicely.

They are tallish bikes and top heavy ...a challenge for 30" inseam or less but can be lowered.

I'm happy on it weeks on a tour. Without luggage it's reasonably light and nimble. The 650 can carry as much total weight as the 1000

You should seriously look at a CB500x for your wife as an alternative.
 

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I bought a 2005 Wee Strom this past January and have put 4000 miles on it since I picked it up. The bike now has 32500 miles on it and doesn't use any appreciable oil. I noticed it was in the middle of the glass a few months back and topped it off. It hasn't dropped any thing noticeable in 2000 miles.

It is tall and can feel top heavy at times. I am 6 feet tall, and I couldn't find a place where the stock windscreen would let the air move around my helmet without beating me up, I put on a taller Givi screen with Madstad mounts and it is better.

With the stock mirror mounts, I could only see my shoulders; moved them out an inch and they work much better.

The Givi bags and trunk work well.

Obviously the Chain is something that needs some attention on a regular basis. I clean it and oil it before a long ride. I've been running regular gas and the bike seems to run well. Just put in a tank of mid-grade to see if it makes any difference. Normal riding 49 to 55 MPG all day highway riding. I can go 250 miles on a tank. When the gauge is flashing empty, and I am at 250 miles I have never put more then 5 gallons in the tank. They say it holds 5.8 gallons.

Even stuck in traffic on a hot day, I don't notice the temperature gage move.

On the whole, it has been what I expected from the bike. It still feels large to me, larger then my brothers Honda Shadow 1100.

John
 

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There are some really nice used bikes out there for not a lot of money, and you can find them nicely outfitted. I just bought a Sargent Seat from a Guy in Delaware who had a beauty of a 2009 for sale fully loaded with 23000 miles and he was only asking $4800 for it. I was tempted to move to a newer bike.

I did get pretty sore on the stock seat after 3 days and 800 miles.

John
 

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Why is the V-Strom such a bargain compared to the BMW and KTM? Besides brand premium, I believe economy of scale due in part to the number of DL650 bikes sold and shared components with the SV650 (maybe paid off tooling costs sooner?). Along with steel parts and chain final drive, and possibly other lower cost design decisions (like crummy wind screen and seat), Suzuki targeted a broader market at the lower price point. Seems to have paid off because there are lots of these around.

Is the 650 a capable highway cruiser? Any issues with overheating or oil consumption at 65+ MPH? I'm 210lbs and have no issues with my 2014 DL650 at highway speeds. In 6th gear: 5k RPM = 70mph, 6k RPM = 82mph. The bike pulls strong into 90mph. Redline is at 10k RPM so there is plenty of room. Best fuel consumption occurs between 3.5k and 5k RPM, where you'll approach 57mpg in the low 4k RPM range. My 1-2 hour highway speed riding (65-80mph) doesn't produce any oil burning smell and I don't notice any consumption in the glass. I really only notice the engine temp gauge climbing on hot sunny days while low cruising. At speed, the radiator seems to keep the engine cool, which was a concern of mine since the gen2 models no longer have the oil cooler.

I bought my 2014 DL650 new and have about 8800 miles on it as of today. I just rode to get my new SoloBox panniers, and if anyone here is looking for really well made welded aluminum boxes with steel mounting frames, check this guy out.
 

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Unless something is wrong, A Glee should always display three bars on the temp gauge once warmed up regardless of external conditions. The bike does have an oil cooler. It is a coolant/oil heat exchanger behind the oil filter rather than an air/oil radiator. The best mileage comes from going as slow as top gear will reasonably allow which is around 3000rpm for long stretches. Unless there are a lot of things sticking out or the air is cold to add to the aerodynamic drag, 40mph in sixth should yield well over 60mpg US, maybe even 70mpg.
 

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So, the first question, and apologize right up front if it is offensive, but why is the V-Strom such a bargain compared to the BMW and KTM?

budget bits in the suspension (something that can be fixed with $$$)

undersized alternator (for an adventure bike, something that cannot be fixed IF you need it for heated gear for2up, I understand the 2nd gen Vee '14+ has a larger alternator)

not offensive at all, would I buy another one....NO, more likely the a Triumph Tiger
 

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I had a gen 1 Wee 2007, and now a gen 2 Wee 2012. I had over 60K miles on the gen 1 and now have over 60K miles on the gen 2. I have done 600 mile days a lot of it at 80+ mph. I have ridden in up to 110F here in Central Texas, neither one has ever gone over 3 bars on the temp. The only areas that need upgraded are the seat and the windscreen. The gen 2 seat is a lot more comfortable to me than the gen 1. A gen 1 DL1000 seat is more comfortable (a little thicker and wider) than a gen 1 DL650 seat and they can be swapped, and you can find them cheap on eBay, but the gen 2 seat is more comfortable than either, but it doesn't fit the gen 1. Of course there are multiple other options if you have the $$$.

Windscreen there is a mega-thread here for that, but suffice it to say, most people end up upgrading.

Overall probably the best all-purpose bike out there for the money.
 
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