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6'2", 205, 43 years old. Live in SE MN with lots of great twisties and lots of gravel to explore, but minimal trails or logging roads. I've ridden over 50,000 miles on the roads but mostly between 20-25 years ago. Since then I've been into motocross, had a blast but that's done due to busy kid schedule. Looking to get a street legal bike and I stumbled across a V-Strom on Craigslist which send me down the Strom rabbit hole.

I was originally looking for a DR or XL650, but was amazed at how high the prices are for used ones. Anything in decent condition is $3k plus. Also looked at a few street bikes, found some great deals on bikes I used to drool over (2000 VFR800s for less than $3k!!!!) but wanted something that could manage gravel and possibly some mountain roads and would be comfortable hauling kids to baseball games. Came across a 2012 V-stom 650, set up well, 5k miles, for $4950, and I was shocked at how low that price was. Then I did some research on V-Stroms and figured out that's not that great of a price. I had no idea V-Stroms were so cheap!

Of course then I found out that the 2017s had more power, and started looking for new "left-over" 2017s. Found one (non-adv) for $6436 out the door....and I'm severely tempted. Sometimes the used market doesn't react to how cheap the new prices have gotten. There is a used 2017 (adv) near my on CL with some add-ons for $8200 that is "FIRM" and "PRICED TO SELL"! LOL. I think I'll take a new bike and put that $1800 towards the add-ons I want, not the ones you want.

So I'm not completely sure where on the gravel vs. pavement spectrum I want my bike on, but I figure a V-Strom will do both and if I don't like it I'll at least figure out which way I want to go.

Any thoughts or comments would be appreciated, as would people's opinions on whether or not it's worth the extra $500 for the adventure model. I enjoy researching and installing so I'm leaning away from it, but...if you get $800 worth of goodies for $500 more, then I'd be tempted.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I should also admit that I'm really tempted to throw a $6k offer at this:

(oops can't post a link since I'm a newbie)

just google "la crosse craigslist motorcycles" then search "BMW" then check out the yellow F800GS...
 

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The strom has worked well for me, coming from a KLR, the biggest thing i worry about is the clearance, it's not that great, i hit the skid plate often, not hard, but it's something i have to think about on the strom that i didn't on the KLR, so street and gravel roads with a 50/50 tire of 70/30 at least and you will love the strom, :wink2:
 

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I just got a 14 DL1000. In plan to ride all the dirt roads in NM. Im puting on a skid plate and think that should do it. No single track, but maybe a few dirt roads that are a little ruff. Will have to put on some good tires, the stock ones are well.....stock. Ive done some long trips on V's and it worked fine. I did not get the adventure with spoke wheels. Ive dont a little dirt riding and dont plan to ride anything that would be so ruff I need to worry about dent n a wheel. If its ruff Ill go slow or go home.
 

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Find a cheap, higher mileage and possible cosmetically challenged first gen Vstrom. Have fun with it, theyre generally very reliable. Then decide if you like the bike enough to upgrade to a newer model. I'm on my third V-strom, I've gone backward to an '03! Can't keep away!
 

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I was sort of on the fence between the 1000xt and an Africa Twin 1000. I've had a lot of trouble-free miles on my SV650 and I'm already familiar with the engine, how it's put together and service procedures, and also like that there are lots of available parts and accessories on ebay.
 

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A friend had an '09 V-Strom 650. Always talked about how great it was. Every time I looked at it I thought, It's fat an ugly, and I HATE that orange color. And it looks TOO BULKY!

Over the years he has offered me more than on chance to ride it, and I always said NAH... maybe another time.

So recently I sold a bike, and had decided to give up biking - I'm 55 and have "foot issues" and had lost some riding confidence after 43 years on and off bikes.

So my friend had decided to sell his bikes as well. But I was at his house and was talking about giving up bikes, and he said. "look, just ride the V-Strom down the street and back as a favor to me, I want to keep it ridden while it is up for sale".

In that short ride it just felt like the bike I should have always had. I'm 6'3" and it fit very well. Handled nicely, plenty of power, just an all-around great fit. Did well on gravel road as well. Two hours later I bought it (he offered a great deal).

The fact that it has fit so perfectly for me has given me back a bit of riding confidence as well.

So all I can say is that all the hype about the V-Strom (that I poo-pooed over the years), happened to turn out to be true in my case. I LOVE this bike. And for some reason now I LOVE the orange color. :laugh2:

This is her - Ginger Sue...

Good luck on your decision. My vote - THUMBS UP.

 

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Discussion Starter #8
Find a cheap, higher mileage and possible cosmetically challenged first gen Vstrom. Have fun with it, theyre generally very reliable. Then decide if you like the bike enough to upgrade to a newer model. I'm on my third V-strom, I've gone backward to an '03! Can't keep away!
Probably wise advice. I'll go ahead and ignore. ;-)
 

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Did you mean the 650 XT version? Cause the adventure model stopped production in 2015 (suzuki.com).

What extras were worth 800$? I know the XT has wired wheels (ew) hand guards and a plastic under cowl (i don't care that it's not useful, it looks good imo :p).

I'd look in the aftermarket sector before i'd agree going for oem offers again (i was new to bikes when i bought the ADVSE), sometimes you'd even be surprised how low you can get almost new oem stuff on kijiji(or craigslist in the us?).

Then again, if they give you the XT option with full luggage for only 500$ more...hmmm
 

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Did you mean the 650 XT version? Cause the adventure model stopped production in 2015 (suzuki.com).

What extras were worth 800$? I know the XT has wired wheels (ew) hand guards and a plastic under cowl (i don't care that it's not useful, it looks good imo :p).

I'd look in the aftermarket sector before i'd agree going for oem offers again (i was new to bikes when i bought the ADVSE), sometimes you'd even be surprised how low you can get almost new oem stuff on kijiji(or craigslist in the us?).

Then again, if they give you the XT option with full luggage for only 500$ more...hmmm
Right, the XT is what I meant. I was just throwing numbers around, making the point that IF you get $800 worth of goodies for only $500 (the price difference I'm seeing between the base model and the XT) then the XT makes sense.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
From what I see, for the extra $500, you get the plastic engine cowl ($274.95), the hand guards ($90?) and the spoke wheels ($?). I'd say it'd take some pretty heavy duty off-road action to justify the spoke wheels. I think I'd pass on the XT but I get people wanting it. I'm sure this decision has been beat to death elsewhere in this forum.
 

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That's it? In Canada I got a the lower cowl, hand guards, spoked wheels and 3 sw-motech paniers and rack. $1000 more than the basic version...

I use all of it. Saved me a bundle. I was going to remove the lower cowl but after riding without it I chose to install it over the Touratech skid plate.

Spoked wheels would be redicously expensive if you were you upgrade after purchase.

Sent from my SM-G930W8 using Tapatalk
 

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I bought my 03 DL1000 on a whim because the price was right and it came with Rhemus exhaust, factory luggage, Corbin seat and some other goodies. The bike only had 23k miles and I snagged it for $2,700 last September but I need to install a peg lowering kit and handlebar risers (6'1", 34" inseam), but I freaking love this bike. To me, it's the best bang for the buck out there. Just be patient, there will be a deal out there.
 

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Just love my DL1000, fun to see the rice rocket boys do a double take when we both leave the stop light. There are deals to be had on pre love V-Storms. Saw a 2006 1000 for $3100 with a few goodies locally. The temptation to grab it is strong but...... I am eyeing a Super Tenere ES as a potential next.
 

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A friend had an '09 V-Strom 650. Always talked about how great it was. Every time I looked at it I thought, It's fat an ugly, and I HATE that orange color. And it looks TOO BULKY!

Over the years he has offered me more than on chance to ride it, and I always said NAH... maybe another time.

So recently I sold a bike, and had decided to give up biking - I'm 55 and have "foot issues" and had lost some riding confidence after 43 years on and off bikes.

So my friend had decided to sell his bikes as well. But I was at his house and was talking about giving up bikes, and he said. "look, just ride the V-Strom down the street and back as a favor to me, I want to keep it ridden while it is up for sale".

In that short ride it just felt like the bike I should have always had. I'm 6'3" and it fit very well. Handled nicely, plenty of power, just an all-around great fit. Did well on gravel road as well. Two hours later I bought it (he offered a great deal).

The fact that it has fit so perfectly for me has given me back a bit of riding confidence as well.

So all I can say is that all the hype about the V-Strom (that I poo-pooed over the years), happened to turn out to be true in my case. I LOVE this bike. And for some reason now I LOVE the orange color. :laugh2:

This is her - Ginger Sue...

Good luck on your decision. My vote - THUMBS UP.

That's one pretty good story. And you even love orange now eh?
 

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OK, a subject that I can give some insight on.
I have owned motorcycles since my 1964 (used) 305 Honda Super Hawk. Then when the Army sent me to far away Eithiopia I got a Honda Scrambler. (They don't have great roads in Ethiopia!) Liked the "dual purpose type bike). Came home and got a 441 Victor Special (you got to be old to remember that one...but it was the king dual sport of its day). From that I got into off road racing and spent the decade in serious off road competition, even owned a two line dealership. In the 1980's I was riding the king of enduro bikes of that era, the Husky 250WR. In 2004 I retired from serious off roading and came back to street bikes. I tried my share, at one point my wife saying I got a new bike every year as I worked my way through the various choices for a senior rider who had each foot in a different world (street vrs. off road). I did BMW's on the street but got a KLR to satisfy my dirt lust. But, the KLR spent more time on the road that off.
Out in Death Valley and ran into a pair of guys on Stroms. A 1000 and the brand new, at that time, 650. We talked seriously about them comparing notes. They agreed that both like the 650 as the better all around choice as it was easier to ride on dirt roads, etc. Came home and test drove an brand new 2005 650 Wee and bought it on the spot. Sold the KLR and never missed it. Meanwhile sold my BMW K1200 and replaced it with a Triumph Tiger 1050. That is the bike that a Wee would be if it had two engines, better suspension (like inverted forks), better brakes and was better looking with higher quality parts. Oh...and it cost twice as much!
Fast forward to summer of 2017. I rode a new DL650 and fell in love again.

The 2017 (and on) DL650 is a step above any of the 650's before it. It feels lighter, it has a beautiful engine that feels so much better, free revving on top, smoother, etc. Clearly more power. It has ABS and traction control and a wonderful "dash" with all sorts of options you can change with your left thumb while riding. Its worlds ahead of my old Wee. Fact is its so nice I am now selling my wonderful 1050 Tiger. The new Wee has plenty of power for me and the lady two-up. It sings when you want it to, its easy to handle on a dirt road. I would not want to do any technical single track, but then I came off a 250WR Husky and years of serious race bikes so that is just me.

If one could get a 2017 Wee for $6500 I would find it hard not to grab it. As for the "XT' with spoke wheels....for me I would rather have the cast wheels. I know I am not going to beat up my wheels on a dirt road. I spent years tuning spoke wheels and have no desire to go back to doing that. The new Wee wheels are nice, much nicer than the older three spoke ones of the past. I got the hand guards thrown in on the deal. I don't need a bash plate and I am very realistic about what this bike will actually see in its life and bouncing off logs isn't on that list!

I love my new Wee. After all these years of riding them I still can't find a bike that I would rather have for the type of riding I do. Yes, I could easily write up a list of things that could be made better, like better forks and shocks, etc. but I also know those would drive up the price of the bike much more. As it is the Wee gives you 85-90% of what the bikes that cost much, much more give you plus its a stone reliable piece of machinery. (And, you never have to worry about that darn Doo-Hicky thing on your KLR)
The 2017 650 is clearly a step, if not a leap, forward from the previous DL 650's. Well worth more money.
 
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