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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello , I am new to this catagory, however back in my 20'sand 30's I had my beloved Suzuki DR-Z 400 and 650 .. I strayed from my Suzuki loving roots about two years ago .. the DR-Z 's are long gone .. and now I am seeing why I should of never left Suzuki . I have a 2011 HD hertiage softail classic.. and had one or more things causing it to be in the shop three times in the two years I have had it . I am so angry at HD .. how can you justify a $1000.00 to replace a rubber drive belt ?!?!?! this is a deal breaker .. If a bike is in the shop for three weeks for a fork seal repair and you get it back and your headlight does not work ... that is unacceptable. OK so enough of my blowing off steam.
I am interested in adventure riding and specifically the Suzuki V-strom . I am trying to educate my self so that I do not get ugly surprizes( like that it's a grand to fix a belt) . I am tring to make a wise purchase. so whilst I get my finacial ducks in a row, I am tring to do some research. Would my fellow Stormtroopers help me out and share your insights on the Vstrom ??.. which models and such should I stay away from? , what model years are good? I have read that vstroms have a lot of electronics .. how problem ridden are they ?
I am 47y.o. 5ft.11in. about 245lbs. I will mostly be riding on pavement, but really want the bike to do well on a dirt road or slightly more rual as well .. you might say I am looking for the cross of the sport bikes power and agility mixed with the ability of a duel sport in a long riding (200 mile range) comfortable package. also It must be reliable and inexpensive to maintain and repair.. please share your insights, or direct me to previous threads or information that coverd these questions ..
So I just sat on the new Suzuki V-strom1050 after writing the above paragraph... to me it's a wee bit tall for my 5'11'' frame .. I can't flat foot it . and I found it to feel a little top heavy.... after chatting with the saleman and telling him what I was looking for he showed me the yamaha tracer.. I could at least flat foot the thing but was having difficulty that it was not a Suzuki .. So what do you know about the V-strom 650?
 

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Welcome. V-Stroms are generally well known for their reliability and economy and do not be fooled by the "little" 650. It is almost the size of the 1000 and that 650 motor can still get along very well - in fact faster than 99% of the cars on the road. Touring on the smaller V-Strom is no issue for most.

Coming from an H-D you will find it taller and with a higher C.O.G. The idea is for a greater suspension travel that set up correctly can provide a smoother ride over rough roads. Some go offroad but most use them as an all roads tourer, enabling them to get to places that most road bikes never see.

They can be lowered if needed.

Look at these threads:
 

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Reliability of the Stroms is no issue. (The Yamaha Tracer shouldn’t give you problems either.) The Tracer is heavier and more of a sport tourer though. The 1st gen 1000s had a clutch basket problem that was easily fixed. This forum is a great resource full of friendly folks.

If you had a DR or DRZ, the height should be no problem for you. The DL (Strom) is much heavier than both of those, but ~60% of the weight of your Harley. It will be much better on road than the DR & DRZ, but a lot more work off road. The Strom is fine on forest service roads, moreso than the Tracer.

Like most bikes, it takes most folks some time and “farkles” to get the bike set up for them. Most people end up doing something with the windshield, for example.
 

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I can't speak to the off-road part, my 650 is almost always on pavement. But I can see that with better tires it would be okay until you found the limits of front suspension function. Even on potholed roads I find the front end a little lacking. On the road, though, I think its a great combination of a super motor, great handling, nice options and ease of adding farkles. It's like a sporty lightweight tourer with a more comfortable (for me) seating/handlebar position. I don't ride the interstate either, not because of the bike, I just don't like it.

I rode a Tracer GT, it was nice, but it's no V-Strom. It's fast but peaky, lacks low end grunt, and is too busy with gizmos. Really fun, though, and pretty, and I'm sure I'd like it better once I got used to it. It's a Yamaha, which is to day it feels somewhat race-bred. I was glad to give it back and ride my Suzuki back home.

In my opinion, anybody who doesn't like riding a V-Strom (given its intended purpose) needs to ride it more. Best, DD
 
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