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Discussion Starter #1
Dear Suzuki,

You engineered and built a great engine for our 'stroms. You kept the price down so the working man can afford one. The pavement handling characteristics of the the DL series are fantastic.

But,(you knew there would be a "but" in the letter right?") all the other manufacturers are going after that group of riders that want to get further off the pavement on a reasonably big bike. So, as a card carrying Suzuki fan, please re-engineer the DL650 just a little bit:

-a better suspension
-better ground clearance
-a lower center of gravity
-A 21" FRONT TIRE

That's it, keep it simple, we will add anything else ourselves that we feel we must have, like cruise control, kill switch for the ABS, aux lighting, etc.

What you would give us would be the perfect mid-weight Adventure bike. The market for it is there, please consider this at your next board room meeting.

Your faithful customers.....
who can't wait forever.


Yes, I am sending this letter out to Suzuki. They request all comments and inquiry's to go here:

Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. MC/ATV Customer Service
P.O. BOX 1100
Brea, CA 92822

So, I say it's time to let Suzuki know what we want. If we don't it most likely will never happen.

In the mean time, that siren call of that sexy kitty cat of a 800XCX is ringing in my ears....over riding my tinitus and forcing me to think about cheating on my faithfull 'strom. And it goes like this:

-waves crashing in the background, slight fog obscuring the landscape-
-in that sexy Elizabeth Hurley whisper-.....Look at my 21" front tire, mmmm, and a comfortable saddle to ride me up that rocky wash, mmmm, let's go, leave your 'strom behind, take me with you, let's RIDE!!!

....then the noise and the fog is gone, and I am staring at my DL650......argggggg!:devil_32:

On a serious note, I did not think the Tiger would ride that much better off road...I was wrong. {sigh}
 

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The 3 cylinder engine can't be beat. After you ride one you are hooked.

I rode a 2010 Tiger, the large engine one and it was very smooth and powerful. I bought a 2010 Triumph Scrambler and it was smooth and not powerful. Besides my new DL650, I ride a 2012 Triumph Rocket 3 Roadster---'nuff said!

There are very few Triumph dealers though as compared to the Japanese dealers that are everywhere.

The Wee Strom is a good little bike for what it is. If we enthusiast designed/ redesigned it, it would cost a lot more money.

Sam:smile2:
 

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I think "lower center of gravity" and "more ground clearance" are mutually exclusive, especially with that V-twin's upper cylinder placement and decent-sized tank up high. I looked at the 800 Tiger as an option, but IMO they're nice bikes, but way overpriced. At least at the dealership I visited, I could have bought TWO DL650's for the price of one Tiger. If you like the Tiger, buy it, but for me the V-Strom is the best overall compromise in its price range. Good luck with your letters to Suzuki though!
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
I did like the triple, but the DL's engine is completely adequate for my use. I also wonder if the rest of you wind it up like I do...I tend to give the throttle a real workout every-time I ride(not speeding, but that 0-60 stuff). Anyway, it's the heavy feeling of the front end off road that I just don't like. It feels like a boat that can't get on plane. The Tiger was much lighter in the front, and I snuck it off road and found it rode much better than my strom. I really want to hit some more serious off pavement stuff over the next few years & unless the DL650XT has much better dirt manners, it will have to be on a Tiger.

So far I have been unable to find a dealer that has an XT to demo. I don't want to make a decision until I do that, but it's not looking good.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Yeah, a 5 grand+ difference gets my attention for sure. If I stuck to maintained off pavement I would never consider anything else but a strom. I also thought about the two bike deal and the war dept has already approved a requisition for a DR650 to add to the stable. But, I don't want to ride a DR to Moab and back, so I am reconsidering the purchase. I know one bike can't do it all, but I need one bike that can do more.
 

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Yeah, a 5 grand+ difference gets my attention for sure. If I stuck to maintained off pavement I would never consider anything else but a strom. I also thought about the two bike deal and the war dept has already approved a requisition for a DR650 to add to the stable. But, I don't want to ride a DR to Moab and back, so I am reconsidering the purchase. I know one bike can't do it all, but I need one bike that can do more.
Wow, your Minister of Finance is pretty awesome! :)
 

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I looked at a few used tiger 800 and f800gs. They sure look nice and may have more tricked up suspension, but, they all had warranty claims in the first 30000km (oil leak, coolant leak, abs problems) I have owned many Jap bikes and all have been flawless. If you want a bigger more dirt oriented bike from Japan it exists: the new AT. It ain't any cheaper than its European brothers but it's very likely to be more reliable and capable.

Many years ago I toured Canada on a gpz305... It's not all about displacement!

Sent from my SM-T700 using Tapatalk
 
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Great looking bike for sure (the Triumph) but for me, at that price, it won't happen. I can believe that the the suspension is a lot better but the weight and seat height provide no advantage over the Strom.
Right now I'm doing most of my touring on the roads. My plan is to add a slightly used DR650 for more offroad traveling when I feel the need. I think that a DR, with some suspension upgrades and easy power upgrades, would be more capable on dirt than a lot of "Adventure" bikes currently on the market. The weight difference alone is a big deal for me.
 

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You don't really need more ground clearance, and a proper suspension would make better use of what you have. A robust skid plate can take the place of suspension travel along with adaptive riding style. You can keep the 21" front wheel. Tall height and 21" wheels make for less inspiring performance on paved roads and let's face it, that is where 98% of the mile put on V STroms are.

Bikes are a compromise, and none greater than asking a bike to work "off road" and then get you onto the highway for the 200 mile trip back home. At really good suspension and brakes not from a 1938 Indian would help both highway and off road riding. The DL 650 engine is second to none, they have a real gem there. No it won't outrun an 800, but sometimes that isn't important.
 

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Plus the length of the vtwin makes for a long bike, difficult to wheely over logs. 2 cylinder is much more compact if you don't mind the vibes.

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Actually the v twin DL 650 engine is considered smoother than the Triumph triple. They tend to have a bit of buzz to them. Not bad, but a characteristic.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I agree 100% Big Adventure bikes are so-so off road, that's why I think a re-designed DL could make it's mark.

RS, yes it does have a buzz to it. I read some guys could not stand the exhaust noise....didn't bother me at all....kinda reminds me of the old KZ1000's. As for a 21" front wheel, have you ridden a Tiger 800 on the street? I could not tell there was any negative road handling capability vs my DL. The reliability thing is really something to consider....wonder if I can jam a DL650 engine into a Tiger;)

I think the DR is a great bike, pretty sure I don't want to go cross country on it though even though I know lots do.
 

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As for a 21" front wheel, have you ridden a Tiger 800 on the street? I could not tell there was any negative road handling capability vs my DL.
Yes. The gyroscopic effect of a 21" front wheel makes it more difficult to tip into a turn at faster speeds compared to a 19". Not a lot, but it's noticeable.

The reliability thing is really something to consider....wonder if I can jam a DL650 engine into a Tiger;)
For a lot less money, you could put a decent suspension on the DL. Start taking hub measurements, too. With a little machining of the spacer and axle, you could probably put a dual rotor 21" wheel on the DL. You'd just have to figure out something to do with the fender and track down the proper bearings.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
For a lot less money, you could put a decent suspension on the DL. Start taking hub measurements, too. With a little machining of the spacer and axle, you could probably put a dual rotor 21" wheel on the DL. You'd just have to figure out something to do with the fender and track down the proper bearings.
Don't think this has not crossed my mind. There was a guy that did that, can't remember if it was here or ADV. If I recall, it was not an easy conversion.

I can see it now.....RichlandRick 21" DL650 conversion kits....$999:punk:
 

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Don't think this has not crossed my mind. There was a guy that did that, can't remember if it was here or ADV. If I recall, it was not an easy conversion.

I can see it now.....RichlandRick 21" DL650 conversion kits....$999:punk:
I've seen guys swap out the front suspension to allow for a 21" front, but I don't recall seeing having the axle and spacer machined. I ditched the 19" for a 17" on my bike, and it was super easy. Found a guy with a lathe in his garage, gave him the specs, and he cut down the axle and spacer for me. I threw the bearings in, put the DL rotors on the new wheel, and away I went.
 

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I looked at a few used tiger 800 and f800gs. They sure look nice and may have more tricked up suspension, but, they all had warranty claims in the first 30000km (oil leak, coolant leak, abs problems) I have owned many Jap bikes and all have been flawless. If you want a bigger more dirt oriented bike from Japan it exists: the new AT. It ain't any cheaper than its European brothers but it's very likely to be more reliable and capable.

Many years ago I toured Canada on a gpz305... It's not all about displacement!

Sent from my SM-T700 using Tapatalk
When the new iteration Tiger 800's first came out, I got pretty worked up. Thought maybe I'd wait a few years and pick up a used adventure ready XRX. Ultimately though, I thought about weight, my short inseam and reliability/dealer network and went the other way. Just bought a new CB500X.
In the couple weeks I've owned it, it is quickly growing on me. I will always be an admirer of the DL650 and will be hard pressed to sell mine. However, I think I made the right decision for me. I like to feel in command of my ride and not worry about parking lot maneuvers. After 42k miles, I've become pretty masterful with my Strom, but a 30 " inseam isn't something I can do anything about. Or the fact that I'm turning 67 in a couple months. If I were a younger, bigger guy, I'd be much better equipped to own a Tiger.
The suspension, brakes and seat on my new bike are better stock than the DL with upgrades. And, the fuel economy is outstanding.
They all have 2 wheels. That's the best part..:grin2:
 
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Discussion Starter #20
I'm not going to do anything until I can ride a 2015+ DL650XT. I might have to ride up to Ohio and steal Big B's while he ain't lookin:devil_65:
 
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