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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys. Firstly is post is written on my phone so apologies in advance if it's a clunky read littered with mistakes.

Usual story:I'm getting back into road legal biking after 5 years off, though been keeping the hand in with trials and circuit riding. I know that I dont want a sport bike and want something adventure oriented. I have seen a dl650xt 2018 model for a bargain but want some opinion first.

Number one is off road ability - I'll ride 80% on road but that 20% off will be quite demanding. It won't be quick, no jumps or whoops - think rocky mountain single track. How does the vstrom perform. I know it's a compromise but I am also thinking with a bash guard and some decent rubber u will reach the limit before it.

Power - is there enough. On pavement o dont ride crazy wild but I do like spirited riding on the twisties and I like to push in during the motorway trundle... will 70bhp in a 200kg plus bike work ok. To note I had a sv650 and found it slow, but it had a more racey character so I think asked for more.

Any other general thoughts? My riding will be proper adventure, wilding camping around Ireland and Scotland and trying to get to the end of every mountain road and single track i can.

Is the dl650xt the bike for me? At the moment an Africa twin will be twice as much and I just can't see it offering that much more??
 

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I can't see the Vstrom 650 being any good on technical single track. Too heavy, too soft, not enough ground clearance. I have never tried , but do have a YZ 250x for woods riding. I wouldn't think of trying the Vstrom on the type of trails a true dirt bike works well at. The Vstrom has a very sedate throttle and you have to wind it out to make power. I think the Vstrom 1000 might be your bike if you want fast(er). The 700 Yamaha coming out will probably be the best dirt street compromise once launched.
 

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Sounds like you want the same bike everybody wants.

All bikes are a compromise I would say the Strom is a great value compromise and as you can see by this forum so do many others.

The amount of after market gear you can get also tells the story of just how popular these bikes are, you can build the bike you want for not much cash.

The 1000 is definitely more bang for you buck but I found the 650 more fun to ride I just had to be on the gas earlier and brake later than my mates, if I did not spend so much time with a pillion passenger I would be happy with either in my shed, with a load on the 1000 makes overtaking manoeuvres that much quicker and safer.


If you are fit and healthy the Strom can go a lot of places it was not designed to go but they are heavy, so up hills and down hills becomes a challenge against gravity.

Off road the ground clearance is another limiting factor but on road it has great clearance so cornering is a blast.

If you found the SV650 slow you may want to test ride the 1000.


I was surprised by how quick I grew to love my first strom, it is not the type of bike I ever expected to own but has become my favourite ride.
 

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All good but the rocky single track...too vulnerable, too heavy but the lots of fun in the twists and rock stable in gravel and dirt with 50/50 tires.

You might check the 2019 CB500x. Still not really off road but lighter than the strom, 19" front wheel and they've tweaked it more toward off pavement plus there are loads of farkles you can take it further into off road territory.

Fun in the twists, goes forever on a gal of gas and is stable at speed ...what's missing is any twist of the wrist thrill. As long as you stir the tranny it will do okay and the lighter weight and light feel to handling is a big plus.

Sounds like you are a candidate for the Africa Twin but it's not light either. Just realized you said Scotland....I'd give the nod to the CB500x 2019 -- the lower weight will help and you will appreciate the very long range on fuel and it will handle 130 kph on the highway in comfort.

The 2019 is too new but some blokes here might offer insight.
https://www.cb500x.com/index.php?action=forum

I think the AT is too much money and too heavy for your use.

This is dated.....both bikes are better
https://www.rideapart.com/articles/254474/2013-suzuki-v-strom-650-adventure-vs-2013-honda-cb500x-comparison-test/

here is some insight as well.

https://advrider.com/f/threads/vstrom-650-vs-cb500x-w-rally-raid.1133467/

The 2019 CB500x takes some real cues from the RallyRaid upgrade for the earlier CB500xs
 

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The DL650 is a great road bike. Your skills with lighter bike may give you an edge. But a tank of bike has its limits.
 

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I have ridden bikes for more years than most of the people on this forum have been alive. I am old! I raced off-road bikes many decades ago and owned a motor cycle dealership sellling them. I have ridden and races a lot of different motorcycles in all sorts of off road competition. (and did well at it, thank you!). This does not make me an expert but it does cause me to have opinions, some of them quite strong.

I love my DL650 as for me....it perfectly meets my needs. It is a great bike for the back roads of Kentucky where I live. "Off road" for me on this bike is a Kentucky dirt road and it does fine with that. Beyond that I don't take this bike. If I want an off-road bike my brain thinks something like "Husky WR" or KTM. I like off road bikes that weight less than 250 pounds, something I can toss around for fun. On the road I want a bike that handles well at highway speeds, has good brakes, ABS and Traction control.

People want these giant BWM's and Triumph Tigers or whatever. Seriously? A 400-500 pound bike for "off road"? I have a rebuilt left shoulder that a 450 pound "wanta-be" pseudo dual sport bike gifted me years ago. I learned my lesson and have been reminded of it for decades.

If you want an off road bike, get an off road bike. No bike I know of will be great both on and off road. There is different criteria for each and either you maximize the design to do one or the other or you compromise and do neither well.
 

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Always a compromise.....always a compromise. It can do what you ask, but will beat you and the bike to Hell. A KTM 790, 1090, Tiger 800 XcX sounds better for you, but yeah you're gonna pay more for more ability and flexibility. Did I say there is always a compromise? ;)
 

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You also have to consider tire choice ...50/50 not so good for scraping pegs in the twists and street tires a horror off road.

For your 80% you'd like either Vstrom I think. Why not get a smaller machine for your single track fun.
 

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No.

I've taken a DL 650 on gnarly single track multiple times and mostly got away with it but it's too heavy. I'd have to say that even the big bikes with 21" fronts aren't any better there. If you are determined in your stupidity then the DL650 is probably the least bad choice in that it's inexpensive and there are enough around second had that it won't cost you much but even so you really need a much smaller bike.

The KTM 690 is the closest to your unicorn but it's an expensive high strung maintenance whore.
 

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I have ridden bikes for more years than most of the people on this forum have been alive. I am old! I raced off-road bikes many decades ago and owned a motor cycle dealership sellling them. I have ridden and races a lot of different motorcycles in all sorts of off road competition. (and did well at it, thank you!). This does not make me an expert but it does cause me to have opinions, some of them quite strong.

I love my DL650 as for me....it perfectly meets my needs. It is a great bike for the back roads of Kentucky where I live. "Off road" for me on this bike is a Kentucky dirt road and it does fine with that. Beyond that I don't take this bike. If I want an off-road bike my brain thinks something like "Husky WR" or KTM. I like off road bikes that weight less than 250 pounds, something I can toss around for fun. On the road I want a bike that handles well at highway speeds, has good brakes, ABS and Traction control.

People want these giant BWM's and Triumph Tigers or whatever. Seriously? A 400-500 pound bike for "off road"? I have a rebuilt left shoulder that a 450 pound "wanta-be" pseudo dual sport bike gifted me years ago. I learned my lesson and have been reminded of it for decades.

If you want an off road bike, get an off road bike. No bike I know of will be great both on and off road. There is different criteria for each and either you maximize the design to do one or the other or you compromise and do neither well.
I totally agree with this assessment. I have a Strom for my road use and a forest trail if necessary. For pottering around on mountain tracks and rocky trails I have a CRF250L.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for all the responses, I found them very useful.

The reason to have some off-road capability is that my adventures nearly always involve me trying to get to that place where the road has turned to lane, then turned to a rutted singletrack rock fest.

I have a Trials and MX bike for true, proper, off-roading, but would like the adventure bike to retain some properties.

Though, as much as a bargain as this particular DL650 is, I think I would soon be frustrated with it.

Perhaps a PCP deal on the new 790 adventure is an option, though I can't help to think that it wont offer the return on investment compared to a naerly new DL650xt. Though choice, I guess I'll "pays my monies and makes my choice".
 

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Consider the Africa Twin very hard, as it may very well fit the bill nicely for you.
 

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Perhaps a PCP deal on the new 790 adventure is an option, though I can't help to think that it wont offer the return on investment compared to a naerly new DL650xt. Though choice, I guess I'll "pays my monies and makes my choice".
Your advantage is you've got the skill set to know when to turn the Vstrom around >:)

Consider that for 80% of your riding ...maybe even 95% of your riding the Vstrom will be an excellent ride, reliable, comfortable, decent fuel range ( nothing to be sneezed at ) and loads of farkles available.

Even the more off road capable AT will have limits compared to your dedicated off road machines. I'd tend to come down to the deal on the XT
 

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@Wanzap1

The swiss army knife bike is a tough call, especially if single track needs to be one of the tools. I'm no off road expert. If you needed advice on euro-style scooting, and help picking the right espresso bar in Rome, I'd be your guy.

But as a counter to @Macdoc, I'd probably say that if you found the SV 650 a bit tame, the CB500, in any guise, will not be the bike for you. I had a 2017 CB500F, and I found it to be fine around town, but on the highway, the power just is not there. Frugal and light? Absolutely. But It runs out of gears much too soon, and is a drag on the highway. Getting a 500X capable to do the 20% you speak of may add 40% to the price of the bike. Not everyone on that forum agreed with me, but plenty did.

But I do think his assessment that for 95% of the time, the Strom 650 would be very good. The Strom 650 is much more muscular and capable (and comfortable) than the CB500 on the highway, and I personally think is it a big step up from the CB500X, and likely a big step down from the Africa Twin.

If highway twistys are your bag, go Tracer 900 (That is a lovely engine) If you need some unpaved capacity, the Stroms are good, but as the man in the orange and yellow Hogwarts robe says, look to the Africa Twin. It is odd, and a parallel twin (not my bag) but it likely does all the things you want, at a higher level, than the Strom 650.
 

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The only place the DL650 lacks is in ground clearance. The motor is fine off road. The suspension is soft but you can slow down. But the belly is low and you will be dragging it. Too low for fire-roading.....no. But in the trails the first time you come to a down log or rock ledge......it will be too low.

The AT is a great bike, but IMHO it is not twice the bike a DL is....if you just look at the price difference.

Like everybody else, I have hopes for the new Yamaha T700. I suspect the T7 will be like a smaller AT more than it will be like a KTM790. I guess we will see.

In the meantime I keep enjoying my heavy weight, but mostly on the road.
 

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I had a 2017 CB500F, and I found it to be fine around town, but on the highway, the power just is not there.
Hunnnh ???. :confused:....the bike will cruise all day at 80 mph and some left when you drop a gear. No thrill getting there but there are loads of heavier bikes with 50 hp that won't keep up with the CB series. There was a real world test of the

2019 Honda CB500X | Top Speed
https://www.topspeed.com/motorcycles/.../2019-honda-cb500x-ar184184.html
Jan 17, 2019 - Speaking of top-end; the CB500X turned in a top speed of 115 mph, and I expect this model (when it hits the floors in March of '19) to get up to speed a bit quicker but not actually be any faster.
and the CB500 is slippier.

In fact the low RPM at highway speeds was a pleasant surprise and it was more stable at higher speeds than my Wee.
Indicated RPM at 60 MPH: 4,800.
I agree against the SV650 it will lack and sprint comparison but there is no issue with highway speed I've every heard of.
That motor has a strong tech heritage - a clean sheet design that spins eagerly right up to its 8500 rpm redline.

For the tech-heads, despite this engine being a clean-sheet design, it actually shares its 67mm bore size with the CBR600RR Supersports bike, which combines with a 66.8mm stroke to produce its 471cc capacity. It sports double-overhead cams, compact roller rockers with shimmed valved clearances and a 180-degree phased crankshaft with couple balancer.

Heading out onto the road for the first run, I was again reminded as to what was great about the F and R versions of this bike. That super smooth motor, with a very linear power delivery, no flat spots and isn’t peaky at all in its power delivery. Just an endless stream of power, which increases at the same rate as the revs rise.
The more you rev it, the more power and torque it delivers. It doesn’t feel as grunty as the 650cc engines (up to 5000rpm) in some of the competition, but that is just the feel of the motor. The realities are that it is just as grunty. It’s just so smooth that you tend not to notice it, until you look down at the speedo and realise you are in the ‘lock it up sonny’ zone where your bike and license are immediately forfeited in most states.
this might be the best review for the OPto read as it covers all aspects including a rocky trail.

Honda CB500X Review | Motorcycle Tests | MCNews.com.au

Once broken in I never felt any lack of power on the highway eve cruising at 130 kph. Drop a gear and it responds. My 650strom was no different....needed a gear drop ( or even two ).

Now I'm coming off a CBF1000 ( street version of the Fireblade Superbike ) so I understand the difference and expected to lose the roll on thrill at any speed. )
But the the CB500x surprised the heck out me at it's stability at speed and was always willing to give more when asked.

Not sure it's the bike for the OP but for sure the 2019 CB500x is step up in off road capability and will not disappoint at high speed touring solo. Not a crotch rocket tho.
 

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Opinions differ. It wasn't a challenge, just one comment as part of a response to the question asked by the OP.
 
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