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In the order that I bought them.... (this is LONG>>>>)

I'm 48 years old, and road bikes until I was 30, then got kids. Now my son is 17yrs old, I saw this 2003 TW200 "Fat tire" that just looked KEWL! Got a good deal on it with 600 miles ($1800), and drove it for most of this spring. My son got his license, so now he rides it.

A little small for me (6'1, 270#) and I fell into a 92 DR350 For $800, runs GREAT, Lots of fun to drive, 3200 miles, but kick start only.... Very likely the best riding bike I have to date, but man that seat is like a 2x6 pine board and I have bad a bad knee (motorcycle wreck from my younger days) so I was still looking for electric start.

So... A friend in Springfield MO calls me in July, his friend has a 2004 Suzuki DR650, 7200 miles, Get seal, Rack, and 5 gallon IMS tank, etc. (and ELECTRIC START). It is a theft recovery, but the owner got it back, only damage was wires to the ignition switch. A few inches of shrink tube on the wire and it's like new! Got it for $1150.00 with a clear title and 7200 miles. I drive it every day (now over 8000 miles now). The Get seat is really not much better than the stock, but around town, it is great! A little less "agile" than the DR350, but so much easier to start!

But, I do not go off road much, so I want something with a little more "comfort" but still easy to handle (I had a Gold wing 1200 in 1990, and it was no "Fun" to ride).

I come across a buddy in Arkansas, in September, and he has a freind... He had a 2008 DL650 V Strom, 11000 miles, hit a deer. It was his 3rd DL650, best bikes he ever owned. He "had" the Givi bars, bags, etc and those took the hit, so, we take them off, and the bike is really nice, all plastic is perfect, no scratches, and it runs great.... BUT both front fork tubes are slightly bent. You Cant see it, but you can tell when you drive it.

I strike a deal, $2800.00 for the 2008 DL650 with 11000 miles. Again, clear title. I find a place that makes new fork tubes for $300 a pair. (Franks machine shop in Chicago) They came in yesterday... (Took 6 weeks for them to get made)
I started work in the VStrom Tonight, only to find I need a 12mm Allen to get the axle out....

Anyway, I did drive he DL650 around a bit, and to be honest, not sure I like the big fairing out front (The stock windshield has been painted black, so visibility is not great) and man... for a big Guy, the Seat shoves me right into the tank and "scrambles the eggs"! Not sure when I the wee fixed, I am going to like it.

But... I have been told the V Strom is the perfect bike... So, I got a Corbin seat for it. It came in last week (sightly used seat, but like new, $240.00) I will put it on and try the bike again, but the 2 miles I did drive it left me "concerned" for my comfort. (and it had no oil in he front forks)

So..... While waiting for the new Fork tubes, I find a KLR650, 2009, with 13000 miles and every possible Farkle on Craigslist. Side Bags, lowered pegs, raised bars, 3 extra windshields, 6 extra tires, Trunk, 2 tank bags, Corbin Seat, 12v outlet, Engine guard, Highway pegs... Mods goes on and on, Amsoil only, all for $3200.00 (bike made one trip to Alaska!)

I really like the way the KLR rides. Upright, lots of room.... The weather has changed, I had knee surgery, no insurance or plates on the KLR, (I live out in the Country) So I have only ridden it a couple of days, but it has a good "feel " to it.

But I am planning on some longer trips.... I think the V Strom may the best bike, if I can get my "junk" a little more room, and maybe highway pegs or lowering pegs so my legs aren't tucked up so tight... Maybe even room for my wife on back.

so, I am starting my second childhood. I know very little about fork tubes, but I have new seals coming, new fork oil, and the new upper tubes. I have ordered a set of metric allen wrenches up to 17mm, so the winter project begins.

If you have read this far, you have stamina! I am open to any all comments or help! (I still ride in 30 degree weather!)
 

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Welcome to the board and Howdy from a fellow Illini (Geneva and Rock Island). With the seat maybe try a medium sized Air Hawk (R+L aviation.com? plus you can use on your other bikes) and for the springs, try putting in some new ones from Sonic or Race tech. After 26,000 miles I'm about to put some Sonics and emulators in. From everything I've read a vast improvement and not much $. I think if you stick with the Strom and get the small stuff worked out, you will find a very capable all around good bike. Best part is that you got a great deal on it.

Good luck,

Kevin
 
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