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Discussion Starter #1
I've narrowed it down to a V-Strom or Ducati Multistrada. :) I realize this forum is somewhat biased but would appreciate any words of wisdom. I rode the Multistrada and loved it. :D I sat on a V-Strom but didn't get a chance to ride one yet. :cry: But looking at all the reviews, the bike seems like it may fit my needs. :twisted: Blast up the interstate for 40 miles and then play on the N. Georgia twisties and gravel fireroads for two hours before heading back.

I think the Ducati's probably a better runner on the twisties but am concerned about Italian reliability. I also think that the V-Strom would give better wind protection and easier DIY servicability. It seems like Suzuki is addressing most of the problems in the 2004 model whereas I can't imagine Ducati will ever figure out how to waterproof their dash computer. :roll:

Will it be worth spending $1,000-1,500 extra to get a 2004 vs. a leftover? It seems like nobody likes the windwhields on the 2002, 2003. Does anyone know how much larger the gauges will be on the 2004? Since I now wear reading glasses, it seems like this may be reason enough.

Any comments to help me make a decision would be appreciated. :wink:
 
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Discussion Starter #2
V-strom VS Multastrada

The V-strom only needs the valves adjusted every 15,000 or at least checked. I believe it is heavier but it really isn't too bad. I'm not sure if the Duc is worth $1500 more and from what I've read the seat isn't as comfortable for long distance riding. The Duc should handle better in the twisties but the Strom isn't bad either. Wind protection is okay depending on how tall you are. Gas mileage might go to the Duc as I get around 35-38 in town commuting and between 40 and 50 on the highway. It really depends on what you like but I'd try and score a test ride on the Strom. Never hurts to ride as many different bikes as you can. As far as 2003 vs 2004 that is up to you. The had guards and belly pan should fit the 2003s. The adjustable and different shape windshield won't. I think I might like the new dash better but will have to wait until the Seattle motorcycle show in December. If I could save $2000 I think I might go for the 2003 but who knows what other changes Suzuki might have done to the fuel mapping if anything.
 
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Thanks for the info guys. It definitely will be a good idea for me to take a ride on a V-strom in the near future. :D Now if I can only find someplace to do it.

Regarding the butt ugly. Actually the butt of the Multistrada is rather cute. :oops: It's only the ridiculous scooterish fairing that hurts the looks. But of course the V-strom won''t win many beauty contests until they figure out a better looking bellypan. :cry: Looks like the '04 may be a step in the right direction.

rbike
 
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Discussion Starter #5
rbike,
I too was considering the Multistrada, the Aprilia Caponord and the V-Strom. I eliminated the Capo because of a rumor that 2004s would not be imported because of poor sales. I eliminated the MS because of all the problems reported by owners. Checkout www.multistrada.net if you have not done so. The list that discouraged me was front brake shudder, oil line leaks, crankcase sensor leak, electrical shutdown in the rain, useless mirrors and a $400.00 - $600.00 valve adjustment every 6000 miles. Also, Ducati dealers are few and far between compared to Suzuki dealers. So I have a deposit on a 2004 V-Strom to be delivered in May.
Spirit
 
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Discussion Starter #6
rbike, I actually like the looks of the MS but the dealer network would worry me along with friends experiences with Ducati reliability. I don't have a problem with the stock screen but I think I would holdout for an '04 Strom.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
Spirit,

I actually have 2 Ducati dealers nearby which makes them closer than the nearest V-strom dealer. Unfortunately, my local Suzuki dealer is only interested in "sit up and beg cruisers" and "crotch rockets". :( But I guess that shouldn't matter much since I plan on doing 95% of the mechanical work myself.

I nixed the Caponord because the thing just seemed so massive and topheavy. Likewise, the Tiger sits too tall for comfort with a 31" inseam.
I spend a fair amount of time perusing the multistrada.net site and agree that the brake shudder and electrical problems seem pretty prevelant. At least Suzuki seems to be responsive which is a trait I've always liked about the Japanese (I worked for them for 11 years before spending 3 horrible years with German companies). And since the MS's mirrors contain the turn signals it would be a major undertaking to replace the useless things. :roll:

You said May for delivery on the '04? :shock: I called a few dealers and they mentioned November for expected delivery.

Can I ask what factors made you decide to wait for an '04 instead of taking an '03? And what will you pay for the '04?
 
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Discussion Starter #8
rbike,
With winter approaching in Wisconsin I chose to put down a deposit for delivery next spring. The dealer now has to carry the bike over the winter for me and I will pick it up when the weather is better in the spring. I am sure the 04's will be available this fall but I did not ask the dealer for an available date.
Randy
 
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Vstrom vs Multistrada

I test rode a strada last weekend. I currently own a Guzzi Quota. I do not understand Italian manufacturers that cannot address a simple design flaw after several years. ie the duck's sidestand is ridiculously short and extends straight down from the frame tube. The dealer says,"all ducati owners carry a crushed beer can". I do not understand how a designer would allow a bike with worthless mirrors to go into production. Especially ones that have a turn signal incorporated into them and will break in a sidestand related tipover. They prolly cost $150... A seat that prohibits you from doing much alteration because of a high step between rider and passenger. The dealers say there is a "comfort" seat option, however none have ever been able to lay an eyeball on one that I have spoken to. Strada owners have been tryting to get better wind protection from the shield by adding a "Laminar Lip".
I have had to play all these games and more with my Quota. It's even worse because they brought less than 200 over here and ceased importing after one year. There are still a few new ones on floors. The Capo Nord will suffer the same fate. I still love my Guzzi tho! I just don't want to have to fight with every issue on all my bikes. The Guzzi will be a keeper. I want to supplement it with a new DL650. Same hp and 150+# lighter. They will both be black and the Givi luggage will be interchangeable. I also own an 03 F650 Dakar. Great bike, but somewhat boring. It will be replaced by the baby strom in January. 50% more hp and lighter with better wind protection. I did an Iron Butt 1100 miles in 16 hrs on the beemer, just think what can be done on the baby strom.
 
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Discussion Starter #10
I agree that it's ridiculous that most European mfg.'s have this arrogant attitude that says "We designed it ourselves so it's perfect as is. Why do you Americans complain so much and want to change everything?"

I also finally got to ask a dealer who sells both Ducati and Suzuki. Here's his response: "A word to the wise, the Ducati is a GREAT bike but for what your looking to use the machine for; the Suzuki would be the better bet for maintanence and reliability. The ducati requires special tooling even for first echalon maintanence. " :lol:

So, it looks like another V-strom will find a new home in the near future.
 
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