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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

I am about to purchase my second bike and it's gonna be a Wee or a Glee.

My other bike is a Honda Superhwak VTR1000F and this one will take over my 300 mile weekly commuting duties for the most part as well as long distance travel.

I am weighing the following three options:

Option 1:

https://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/mcy/5691638636.html

Option 2:

https://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/mcy/5673806410.html

Option 3:

2011 Suzuki V-Strom 650 ABS, Victorville CA - - Cycletrader.com


It is also worth mentioning that I currently have no tools and virtually no wrenching experience (but I am looking to learn and 1/3 of the reason for my purchase of this second bike is to learn these skills. It is also worth mentioning that my purchase will be almost entirly financed and my budget for farkling will be very limited for a while (though I would definitly add a fork brace to options 2 and 3). This also means that I either need to buy from a dealer in California or a private party that is local enough that they would be willing to go to one of the branches of my credit Union.

I should also say that I will be primarily using the bike to commute from San Francisco to Foster City in the Bay Area. I might get to do 1 or 2 long hauls per year to Salt Lake City or Wyoming but the vast majority will be commuting with little or no need for luggage.


Any thoughts, feedback, or alerts to other options would be greatly appreciated and thank you in advance!

I cant wait to join the club in earnest!:grin2:
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Ahhhhh, forgot to mention that I have done extensive readings on the comparisons between pre 2012 vs post and I'm mostly looking for help between these specific options. I also thought I should mention that option 2 would require me to put on a new rear tire immediately.
 

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Hmmm, your financing will severely limit your choices. If it were me I would pick the one that has the most farkles that are useful to the type of riding I am going to do. If you are commuting, then soft or hard bags would be important. I vote #3, it has a custom seat...looks like a Corbin, bags and a decent price. I bet it could be had for $4500.
 

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If possible 2012+ is better than earlier versions but earlier models are still great bikes. Which of those bikes is best for you depends on what you can afford and what is important to you and how each bike was taken care of.

Farkels only add value if those particular things are what you want on a bike; and for the most part there is some kind of disease with riders thinking they have to add a pile of stuff onto their bikes.. do/get the basic stuff that makes the bike work for you, ride it a while and then see what really matters. (For me a Centerstand, Handguards, Madstad Bracket, throttle rocker and throttle lock, better seat and a topcase are the most important things. On pre-2012 DL650 I would lower the front of the bike by raising the forks half an inch an add a fork brace after a bit. )

I have never bothered with Crash bars, skid plates, extra lights, etc. and don't see any real value in them unless I was doing real off-road stuff. I have side cases but really don't ever use them (can't stand things that make the bike wider so will only use them if my back seat is full and I need to take LOT of stuff.)

..Tom
 

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I am also looking get a v-strom 650 and have been looking/ researching some of the same bikes you have listed on Craigslist. I am about 1-2 months away from pulling the trigger. Option #2 the price is very high, almost $2k over KBB. Since the bike is almost 8 years old, probably replace the front tire too so add that to the over all cost.

Here's another option that was reposted - briefly chatted with the owner too, seems like a pretty good guy and locatted in Oakland, so should be relatively convenient via BART. The bike will need its 15K valve check, otherwise seems reasonable.
https://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/mcy/5698793340.html

V-Tom makes a great point about Farkels. I am guilty of farkel disease - a perspective I have to keep in mind.

Personally, I am looking for 2012+ given the model updates
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi Guys,

Thank you for all the feedback. It's helped me to refine my thinking.

I'm 95% with V-Tom regarding the farkles I want (though I do like crash bars).

I guess realisticly what I'm trying to figure out is whether to go with Option 1 or Option 3.

Option 1:
I really trust the PO and it's condition. It has a lot of farkles that I like, chief being the fork brace, sargent seat, engine guards, givi adjustable windscreen, and center stand. I also really like that it is after the model change so I don't need to worry about dropping/raising parts of it to address aerodynamics of the pre 12'

Option 3:
has had a dealer inspection but has no service records. It has the top case which I would sometimes use and side luggage which I would rarely use ( I split for nearly half my commute on some days). It has the aftermarket seat which I did but would need to add a center stand, for brace, possibly a madstad, and possibly play with the suspension to address aerodynamics (but again no tools and very little wrenching so I would have to find someone to help me on here or BARF)

Really, I guess I'm trying to decide whether its worth a $2k dollar difference between the 2. My loan can go up to $8k so I can get either, but it is a loan and extending myself less financially is of course better. I realize of course that no one can tell me what will work best but I appreciate you guys offering your thoughts. (Also it is through my credit union so I can finance any private party willing to make the sell at a branch or any dealer in california).

I know I've read forums dealing exactly with what I'm about to ask (even to the price difference) but would love to hear your thoughts on these to specific options and whether it is worth a $2k difference to you.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hmmm, your financing will severely limit your choices. If it were me I would pick the one that has the most farkles that are useful to the type of riding I am going to do. If you are commuting, then soft or hard bags would be important. I vote #3, it has a custom seat...looks like a Corbin, bags and a decent price. I bet it could be had for $4500.
Do you think the dealer would haggle down to that?
 

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I like #3.

I have a 11 and have never driven the later gen 650's. 20k later with no problems. Bought it used with many farkels but I'm thinking for just a commute bike, right out of the box stock would be fine for that. Plus its a second bike, so mainly stuck in traffic? It has ABS and I would want that for your needs. Other than that? The bad is its in LA. So its not local and probably won't get any help from them unless you drive it back down. Can you work down the price? Prices seem to drop out of riding season. But then again its in So. CA and I don't know if riding gets out of season there.

That's my $.02
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I like #3.

I have a 11 and have never driven the later gen 650's. 20k later with no problems. Bought it used with many farkels but I'm thinking for just a commute bike, right out of the box stock would be fine for that. Plus its a second bike, so mainly stuck in traffic? It has ABS and I would want that for your needs. Other than that? The bad is its in LA. So its not local and probably won't get any help from them unless you drive it back down. Can you work down the price? Prices seem to drop out of riding season. But then again its in So. CA and I don't know if riding gets out of season there.

That's my $.02
So just talked to the dealer and offered $4,500. It seems like he might take it or at least come back with a counter offer.

In which case I have to figure out whether more than a $2,500 price difference is worth it to get the 14 with all it's farkles.

GRRRR! so tough
 

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I think both options have their pros and cons, save money with #3 or go with the newer bike with the updates and Farkels, but higher price. Something else to consider with #3 is the location where the bike was used. Is the add correct, Victorville? I grew up near this area, and the high desert heat is very hard on vehicles. Since you are going to need this for commuting 40-50 miles per day, reliability will be an issue.

Good luck with your decision and safe riding
 

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I have a couple of friends with 1st generation Wee's, I helped them set up the suspension to improve the ride and handling. I've ridden both and the earlier model is a very good bike but the 2012+ is still lighter (in feel) and more pleasant to ride, with better mid range power. For your intended use that may not matter, given your other ride, so yeah, it may get down to $$$...

However, when you are making discretionary purchases for enjoyment, any purchase, no matter how cheap, may be the wrong one if you keep thinking "It would have been worth it to spend the extra..."
 
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Discussion Starter #14
I have a couple of friends with 1st generation Wee's, I helped them set up the suspension to improve the ride and handling. I've ridden both and the earlier model is a very good bike but the 2012+ is still lighter (in feel) and more pleasant to ride, with better mid range power. For your intended use that may not matter, given your other ride, so yeah, it may get down to $$$...

However, when you are making discretionary purchases for enjoyment, any purchase, no matter how cheap, may be the wrong one if you keep thinking "It would have been worth it to spend the extra..."
Yeah, this is the deciding factor I'm finding at the end of the day.

As I was talking with the current owner of the Hlee (option 1) about test rides he said he wanted me to feel confident that I wanted to buy the bike and that the ride was just to make sure that there was nothing wrong with something I definitely wanted.

This was perfectly valid and as the chance to ride the bike and compare it to my previous ride on a was slipping away I did find myself really pulled towards it.

I am test riding tomorrow with the intention of buying it that day.

The dealer for option 3 was willing to come down to $4900 but its just not worth it to me. I will be spending at least 10 hours a week on the bike and it better be something that I love.

That plus the environment that EMFL mentioned (thank you for that point).

The only reservation that I have at this point is that the glee is always parked outside on a marina (though it is always covered and looks immaculate as this is an older rider who really cares for the bike).

Does any one worry about a 2014 sitting on a marina for 2 years?
 

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Option 3 looks great. Less than 5k miles. I put that on my 2011 within months of buying it. Sell the side cases and racks for a few hundred here if you don't need them. Save the money and still get a great bike. Consider head light relays, fork brace and some crash bars. The 2k saved is worth more than any gain from the newer model. The newer model does feel like it has a wider power band, but once the lights go out.....it all turns into lovin anyway.


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The only reservation that I have at this point is that the glee is always parked outside on a marina (though it is always covered and looks immaculate as this is an older rider who really cares for the bike).

Does any one worry about a 2014 sitting on a marina for 2 years?
Well, I live up in the clear mountain air and all of my Suzukis still get tiny corrosion spotting on the upper fork tubes (between the triple clamps, mainly...) where the sliders don't go, so if you see that don't sweat it....
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Skew-My brain is/has been saying a lot of the same things that you just did. Somehow my heart is drawn to this particular glee though and "IMMA ANSERIN DA CALL!" I mena I am going to be on this thing a minimum of 8 hours a week. I've made up my mind and barring an discoveries on the test ride am pulling the trigger. This will only be the second time I buy a vehical in my life and the first time that is within 2 model years of new. I'm going to celabrate the start of my third year teaching and first year of tenure with a nice bike and pull most of the stops.

Zone5-Thanks for the insights. On top of not being too put off by such spots it is also helpful to know where to look, to see if it is in extra good condition as it seems to be.

Thanks for all the help folks! I will be posting a few pics of my and my first strom tomorrow!:grin2:
 

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Option 3: 3 years newer, less money, CUSTOM SEAT, low miles. It seems asif about half of the posters here have problems with the OEM seat..I do!
Its really a b*tch on a long day ride (400 miles). I'd go for #3 (ask if they ve done a recent service) and counter at $4800.00 cash in hand.
That $100 will buy you a Fork Brace or new tire when required.
 

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I will admit, I like the color of the glee better, but "black bikes matter". I wanted white, blue or silver, but the dealer had black. My 2011 black wee has been great!, one day I may get it painted and change out the plastics. Or just keep on riding and grinning. :)


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