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Discussion Starter #1
Hello! First post here and have been doing extensive research about which bike I should get.

About me:
I'm 30 years old, 6'0, 175 lbs, athletic build.
I ride bicycles a lot and previously owned a dirt bike for a few years.

My commute:
24 miles one way, mostly highway. 10 mins stop and go on way home. I ride to hiking places on weekends on gravel or dirt roads for last couple of miles.

How much to spend?
I've looked through current listings and am torn between buying an older cheaper one, or a 2014 used.

I went to sit on a 14 Vstrom yesterday and it felt great, but asking price is $6k.
I looked through craigslist and found these listings that I've honed in on.

The kbb values vs asking prices are:

-Red 2006: kbb is $2950, asking $1900 (but 70k mileage is through the roof and needs at least a turn signal)

-Blue 2005: kbb is $2800, asking price is $2900 (has mods like hand guards, seat, and windscreen)

-Gray 2014 Adventure trim: kbb is $7k, asking price is $6k (also comes with givi luggage and locking mounts. Dealer said that costs a lot to add. Adventure trim has nice features like big crash bars, abs, and adjustable suspension)

I've gotta say that I'm leaning toward the 2014. It might not be such a big hit if I do if I get it for $1k below kbb.

Which would you choose if you were me?

Thanks!
Mike

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For what you seem to want, although I ride a 2018 1000, I would recommend the 2014 Adventure. Now, I do not know, but is that a 1000, or 650? For what you want, a 650 would be ideal.


2018 V-Strom 1000 XT
Past Rides:
2008 BMW K1200S, 2005(x2) Triumph Sprint ST 1050, 2005 BMW R1150R, 2004 Suzuki Intruder 1500, 2003 Yamaha 650 V-Star,1992 Honda 125 Enduro
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Since I didn't see where you are located.....will you be able to ride year round? This can be important to this decision. I'd go for a later model bike. Based on the choices you listed and the price is within budget look at the 2014 closer. Dealer will jack with the price so same bike from individual may be had for less money. Heck, set up a search on eBay for the model you want and watch prices to get an idea of what things are going for at different locations. I suspect the same bike in the North is less than one in South Florida for example. Often individuals will hold back from selling a bike this time of year knowing in the Spring it will sell easier and for more money.

Also it seems folks think every add-on (Farkles) seem to increase in value the minute they add them. That said, having some sort of case(s) will benefit using the bike for commuting. I really like my top case even when running to the grocery.

So, unless you are desperate for a bike keep an eye out for "the" one.

Rick
 

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Also look at the Honda CB500x. It's a great bike that's not a handful, and good to grow into. It's probably easier to live with than the strom maintenance-wise, but doesn't have as much power or carrying capacity.
 

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Without seeing them, I vote for the cheap one. 70k miles isn't that much really, you can learn to work on it yourself without worrying too much about ruining anything. The value won't decrease much over the next few years as you learn to ride, and if you dump it, or abuse it a bit, it's not as much of a hit.

Also, I definitely recommend a 650 rather than a 1000 as a learner. Still fast enough to be comfortable on the highway and get into a little trouble, and WAY easier to handle and pass all your license tests on. After riding for over 20 years now, I could easily pass the finicky skills test on any bike, but if I had to take it again and had a choice, I'd pick the smallest bike possible.

After a couple years you will know more about what you want on a bike, sell this one for barely less than you pay now and get something closer to what you want. In a couple years that k14 will be worth half that.
 

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Hola, easier to live with maintenance wise? My 04 runs well on neglect and dealer avoidance.
It's a great ride that a newer issue will only provide ABS as the deal clincher.
In the case of farkles adding value, that's debatable. It's mostly in the mind of the seller who thinks everything is gold.
My farkles, while useful and operational, are far from valuable.
If you insist on high price farkles, like Touratech, then caveat emptor.
 

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My commute is very similar to yours, and my L3 works just fine for me. I have top trunk that holds what I need to carry for work and running errands. Also have the factory side cases. I found mine on cycletrader after searching for awhile and felt like I got a great deal on mine. For me, ABS was a must have to keep my wife on board with me riding. I had a Ninja250 after going through the MSF and earning my endorsement. I really like the neutral/upright sitting position. My bike was very nicely farkled (top & side cases, windscreen, heated Corbin seat with backrest, Garmin mount, accessory plugs, battery tender, barkbusters, etc). If you are not in a huge hurry, keep an eye on the usual places as well as the classifieds here.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
For what you seem to want, although I ride a 2018 1000, I would recommend the 2014 Adventure. Now, I do not know, but is that a 1000, or 650? For what you want, a 650 would be ideal.


2018 V-Strom 1000 XT
Past Rides:
2008 BMW K1200S, 2005(x2) Triumph Sprint ST 1050, 2005 BMW R1150R, 2004 Suzuki Intruder 1500, 2003 Yamaha 650 V-Star,1992 Honda 125 Enduro
Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Since I didn't see where you are located.....will you be able to ride year round? This can be important to this decision. I'd go for a later model bike. Based on the choices you listed and the price is within budget look at the 2014 closer. Dealer will jack with the price so same bike from individual may be had for less money. Heck, set up a search on eBay for the model you want and watch prices to get an idea of what things are going for at different locations. I suspect the same bike in the North is less than one in South Florida for example. Often individuals will hold back from selling a bike this time of year knowing in the Spring it will sell easier and for more money.

Also it seems folks think every add-on (Farkles) seem to increase in value the minute they add them. That said, having some sort of case(s) will benefit using the bike for commuting. I really like my top case even when running to the grocery.

So, unless you are desperate for a bike keep an eye out for "the" one.

Rick
Without seeing them, I vote for the cheap one. 70k miles isn't that much really, you can learn to work on it yourself without worrying too much about ruining anything. The value won't decrease much over the next few years as you learn to ride, and if you dump it, or abuse it a bit, it's not as much of a hit.

Also, I definitely recommend a 650 rather than a 1000 as a learner. Still fast enough to be comfortable on the highway and get into a little trouble, and WAY easier to handle and pass all your license tests on. After riding for over 20 years now, I could easily pass the finicky skills test on any bike, but if I had to take it again and had a choice, I'd pick the smallest bike possible.

After a couple years you will know more about what you want on a bike, sell this one for barely less than you pay now and get something closer to what you want. In a couple years that k14 will be worth half that.
Sorry, I should have mentioned that it's a 650 I'm after and I live in SE PA (8 month a year riding weather)

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Discussion Starter #9
Also look at the Honda CB500x. It's a great bike that's not a handful, and good to grow into. It's probably easier to live with than the strom maintenance-wise, but doesn't have as much power or carrying capacity.
Funny that you mentioned that. I actually liked that one at first after 3 hours of sitting on bikes for the first time last week.

But I can only find it new, and it's weaker for eventually having my girlfriend on the back. I like how the Suzuki looks and sounds better too.

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lmike6453,
The model boundary years for the DL650 are, 2012 and 2017.
I bought a used 2012 Adventure, the Adv. comes with side cases. My interest in it was ABS. I'd had 2 accidents on my last bike where ABS would have saved me. Give ABS serious consideration, it is helpful for riding in the rain and the congestion often associated with commuting. I now leave the cases on all the time for gym bag, laptop, groceries, whatever may come up. There's also the Versys 650 that you might like, 2015 first year with ABS.
Cheers,
 

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I have a very similar situation to yourself having purchased a 2013 650 in September to help manage a 50 mile round trip commute, 90% of which is freeway (although "freeway" should be taken with a grain of salt given the commute hours traffic situation here in the Bay Area>:)). Due to its size, it took a couple of weeks to really get comfortable with the bike but now, 4 months in, I am completely relaxed with it. At the time, it was a toss up between a CB500 and the DL650 but the freeway miles tipped my decision towards the bigger bike. I am very glad that I did. It is reassuring having sufficient power to accelerate out of an unfavorable situation should one arise but it isn't so much that you are quickly going to get into trouble (I can honestly say that the bike has never gotten away from me).

If you are set on the v-strom, my advice would be to first determine how much you want to spend minus about $500 assuming you'll need safety gear (helmet, jacket, boots; there is a lot of this available second hand so you may in fact be able to get kitted for less). Spend some time shopping around to get a feel for how the model you are targeting is being valued by sellers. Then find the bike with the lowest age and miles that fits in your budget. Knowing how new I was to motorbikes, it was a requirement on my part that the bike had ABS. Something to consider, particularly if you are going to be riding in wet weather. I also planned on having the bike for some time and wanted to do much of the work myself which skewed by selection towards a lower mileage bike that would hopefully be issue free for the first few years of ownership.

Now that I have the v-strom, I have found that I love the riding position (comfortable and easily see over cars in front), the flexibility to carry gear or passengers (I can throw a big bag of gym gear in my top case and then when I get there, swap it with helmet and riding gear), the 50+ mpg gas mileage and the community available through this forum. The only real downside that I have found is the width of the bike when splitting lanes. Not so much an issue on the wider freeway lanes but can be a disadvantage compared to a narrower bike when filtering on city streets. Not an issue if you live in one of the other 49 states where lane splitting is frowned upon :confused:.

One item worth mentioning since you will be primarily commuting... since initially purchasing a jacket and pants, I have now moved to a Roadcrafter suit and would highly recommend for any commuter. On/off is super quick, protection is excellent and it is ready to take on just about any weather condition. No more faffing with jacket and pant liners which was a real issue here in CA where the morning temperature can start in the 30-40Fs and then climb to 60-70Fs by midday. Just thought I would throw that out there as something to consider.
 

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Get the 650 for sure for first bike. Get used to it on your own before putting anyone on it with you. The bike may feel a bit heavy, so start with a light load. I also think ABS is worth considering, significant safety upgrade. Keep in mind that many riders here started before the moon landing, so ABS and traction control and other techno bits don't necessarily get valued as highly as a new rider "should". IMO
(If I spent 50 years riding without ABS, I may opt to go without.....that kind of thing.)

Your skin, you choose. You will have a blast no matter which way you go. Ease into it, everything will come together.

Welcome to the fresh air travel world!
 

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I would shoot for ABS and save some budget for some gear and upgrades. The DL650 feels pretty tall, substantial and wide with the panniers esp if you are new to riding. It gets lighter and smaller as you get accustomed to it. I would not be afraid of mileage up to a point if properly maintained and the price is right. I would plan on dropping it eventually so too new may bring a tear. I wear ear plugs and really enjoy the bike. The 500X had my eye as well but they were pretty new when I was shopping.
 

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I too recommend the 650 over the 1000. Having had sporty bikes before, the 1000 was great for me, but I also enjoy swapping with my son who has a 650. It's a fun and somewhat safer bike. Start with the old bike and after a year, when you have stopped dropping it, you can step up if you want to a newer one with ABS. Also, if the height of the seat is bothering you, there are a few ways of lowering the seat and bike. Any question you can come up with has already been asked here. We are lucky to have some real experts on this forum and Stromtroopers. So ask away! There's always someone to help you.
 

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I would recommend 2012+ 650 if you have the budget for it. You should be able to find a nice, low-mileage '12 or '13 for around $5k. New name-brand luggage will likely run around $1000 or more so getting that would be a plus since you're commuting and hiking.
 

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...-Red 2006: kbb is $2950, asking $1900 (but 70k mileage is through the roof and needs at least a turn signal)

-Blue 2005: kbb is $2800, asking price is $2900 (has mods like hand guards, seat, and windscreen)

-Gray 2014 Adventure trim: kbb is $7k, asking price is $6k (also comes with givi luggage and locking mounts. Dealer said that costs a lot to add. Adventure trim has nice features like big crash bars, abs, and adjustable suspension)

I've gotta say that I'm leaning toward the 2014. It might not be such a big hit if I do if I get it for $1k below kbb.

Which would you choose if you were me?

Thanks!
Mike
My take:

The 2006 - 70k miles is a lot for the 650. They are generally worn out at 120-130k. Unless it had luggage and I could get it for <$1500 I'd pass.

The 2005 - Seems reasonable, price may be a bit high, at $2500 it would be a decent deal.

The 2014 - The luggage is a big plus, the dealer is right, it's expensive to add. ABS is good, especially for a newbie. Probably the one I'd recommend.

One thing, don't put too much credence in "book value", especially on older bikes. KBB and NADA can be way off on actual values. Bikes have far fewer data points for them to work from compared to cars, and that can lead to some odd numbers.
 

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I love my new-to-me 2012 DL650 but for a commuter bike you might also consider a NC700X.
 

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If you want something easier to handle when you get started, a 650 would be fantastic. However, in my opinion you will grow out of it in a year or two. If want to start with something that is a bit more to handle, go with the 1000. You won't outgrow it.
 

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If you want something easier to handle when you get started, a 650 would be fantastic. However, in my opinion you will grow out of it in a year or two. If want to start with something that is a bit more to handle, go with the 1000. You won't outgrow it.
I've been riding street bikes for almost 40 years, haven't "outgrown" my 650 yet. Maybe this will be the year though... :)
 
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