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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Want opinions on DL650 please

I've never ridden a V-Strom but am considering buying a new ABS soon. I have two street bikes( Goldwing and Shadow ) two dual sports ( Honda 250XLs ). I would like some input to help me make a decision. My Wing is great for touring. My 250 is nice in the woods but a little small to be getting me to the dirt roads that I like to ride. I also like to do paved roads after I get off work for an hour to unwind. Is the V-Strom 650 for me? Is the seat comfortable after a couple hours? Also how is it two up, my wife rides with me a lot. Thanks a lot.
 

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Welcome to the site! Just hang around in the 650 section, and do a bit of reading. Things will become clear to you very quickly.;)
 

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Handling is going to be better than your previous road bikes and it'll probably be more fun overall, the DL is capable of handling dirt roads, but the XL's are far easier to ride on bad surfaces - it's certainly not in that class as an off-road bike.

Seats O.K. for 15 hours (last long trip I did) if you add a sheepskin and lycra cycling shorts. 5 hours without that.

2-up it's powerful enough provided you are sane and slow down a little with a passenger. You don't lose a lot of performance, but a pillion is noticeable. Pillion comfort is good.

Other than that, your use seems right on the money - it'll take you to distant dirt roads easily and bring you back, it's pretty easy to ride on reasonable dirt roads (even unreasonable ones if you are good enough).
The difference is that you'll probably be slower offroad than you were on the XL's and you'll have to plan ahead more. Turning circle is worse,deep mud,deep sand,logs are "don't even think about it" and it's a bear to pick up.

Get crash bars and a sump guard - you'll need them.

Cheers
Pete
 

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How do I put this best............the DL650 is no KTM but it is very capable of smooth and some what rutted FSR's and gravel roads. I find it does best with the stock Deathwings to go on smotth dirt surfaces.

If you want to traverse goat trails on this bike then forget it. But if you want to just ride decent maintained gravel roads along with asphalt then the DL650 will fit the bill.
 

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My GL1800 caused all the blood to drain from my face whenever I was on gravel or even rutted dirt. Never tipped it, but man was it stressful.

The DL on gravel and dirt seems very capable and confidence inspiring, even as good as my former KLR or better. The GL was a capable canyon carver for an 800lb motorcycle with lots of grunt and good top end. The DL650 (being one-third the displacement and one half the weight) is much lighter in feel and flicks through turns with incredible ease. At first I was overpowering it and awkward, but after a couple of hours...the DL is pure joy in the twisties, but does not have the instananeous acceleration the wing had. However, it is no slouch, either and in the right RPM range, is smooth and willing.

Two up it is NOT a goldwing, but my wife on the couple of short trips we have taken on it, says that with a decent windshield (my next farkles will be a Madstad and Givi) and she would like floorboards, it would be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the info. I don't plan on goat trails anymore, just dirt roads. Seems like the DL650 is for me. I will lurk in this forum and hear what everyone is saying, then probably go out and buy a new one.
 

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Get a motopump, air down for extended gravel/dirt, air up for pavement, the WEE is right at home.
 

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Ya. Dirt roads are OK as long as its not mud/slush. I went through the Hulcum trail on the Dl-650 with a fellow forum member, and I was able to keep it up at all times! Why is that special? Well #1, this is my first motorcycle, #2, I was only riding for about 6 months, and #3, it was also my 1st time off-roading on two wheels ;)

Personally, I dont think I will do it agian. I think im more of a canyon carver then a dirt kicker. Cleaning my wee after was a pain. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
By the way, I have a 29" inseam, will I be able to flatfoot this DL650? Are there any lowering tricks for the suspension?
 

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By the way, I have a 29" inseam, will I be able to flatfoot this DL650? Are there any lowering tricks for the suspension?
I am 5'8" with a 29" inseam same as you. My bike came with a gel seat (1" higher than stock) and a stock seat. On the stock seat I can get the balls of my feet on the ground, maybe not quite to the heel, but enough that I feel confident. I am sending my stock seat in to have it lowered 1" (Spencer?) and rebuilt. The gel seat is too high, but on the street, I can still handle it okay.

You can lower the front forks about 3/4" (22mm, right?) and get a 1" lowering link for the rear. Personally, I am just going to lower the stock seat and call it good enough, leaving the suspension untouched for now. I figure the cost of seat will be off-set by selling the gel seat which is as new.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I saw my typo on my post title where I put 250 instead of 650, however I tried to edit the mistake and clicked SAVE, but it didn't seem to work. Oh well, we all know I mean 650.
 

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By the way, I have a 29" inseam, will I be able to flatfoot this DL650? Are there any lowering tricks for the suspension?
I have the same inseam. Before I got this 2012 DL650A I had been accustomed to a V-Star 1100, a heavier bike but with lower seat and center of gravity. In the first couple months I owned the VStrom I dropped it a couple of times from standstill because I wasn't used to managing my footing for the higher bike. So I put in 1 1/4" lowering dogbones and lowered the front 3/4" and had my welder chop like an inch off the kickstand.

This solved my footing-while-stopped problem, but I am aware that my clearance is even lower and it complicates the question of getting a center-stand. I have an enduro guardian skid plate, and on the sketchier unpaved parts of my two big trips this summer I felt rocks striking that plate much more than I would have liked. (The fact the bike is overloaded for those trips wasn't helping, of course. Either my wife or I really needs to lose 150 pounds. Unfortunately she would vanish completely, so I guess that means it up to me.)

I've gotten much more confident in managing the bike now, so I am thinking about going back to original height. I am going to wait until after Winter commuting is done because I think I want all the footing I can get for ice/snow. My plan then is to upgrade the springs and put my non-winter tires back on and see how tall the bike gets when loaded. If I still have the roughly the footing I do now, then I'll go back to stock height and try to get used to that.

I guess the point of all this is to say that if you are accustomed to taller bikes you might be okay with the VStrom at stock height, and it is definitely preferable to not lower it. If it is your first bike at this weight and height, you might want to watch videos of how shorter guys manage tall bikes. Like, I never knew the trick of putting one foot down and using the other to push down on the peg to help balance the bike. And put on engine guards before your first ride. Maybe find a used and abused POS with cracked plastics like I did so if you do drop it you won't feel bad!
 

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:wink2: I guess he bought a 650, considering his inquiry is 9 years old, and he's still here. :wink2:
 

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Beware the Zombie Thread!

But to add to the discussion, my current ride is a '98 Kawasaki Concours -- a bike not exactly made for dirt roads. 2 summers ago I was on a ride around Lake Superior and decided to follow my map's instructions to a campsite on the lake. What the map didn't tell me was that the road to the campground was a 2-mile cross between gravel and forest service road. That was a long 2-miles.

Halfway to the campground, another bike came up on my rear and, after understandingly getting impatient with my pokey pace, easily passed me. I was envious of how easily he handled the terrain.

Once I reached the bottom, I talked with the rider and found he was on a DL650. Just one more reason why that'll be my next ride.
 

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I just bought a DL250A. I've only done a few hundred km due to being in lock-down because of Covid-19. It's just had it's 1000km service. (bought it with 600km on the clock). I'll tell you about my riding experience so you can put my opinions in some kind of context relevant to you:
In the past 15 years I've had a number of scooters including a Suzuki AN650 which did 130,000km in six years before it threw a belt which effectively wrote it off. I had Honda CTX700 cruiser until it was stolen. I still have a PCX150 which makes me fell like a 9 year old on a skateboard but I want something with slightly longer legs and better suspension (Back roads in Oz can be a bit harsh). Thus the DL250.
So far: I love the handling. It's rock steady in all conditions, predictable & turns nicely. Mine came with knuckle guards, handlebar risers & a centerstand. My only issue so far is the gearing - great if you're into hill climb competition with an overweight pillion. It would pull comfortably from 40km/h in top. I don't need six gears to get to 40km/h. According to the manual you should keep it under 5000rpm for the first 800(?) km - with the standard gearing that's 60km/h in top! I tried a 15 tooth front cog which helped but not enough. I've put the 14 back on the front and put a 39 on the back (standard is 47). It has changed the nature of the bike. Now you can actually get some speed up in 1st before changing up. 100km/h (indicated 108) now comes up at 6800 rpm instead of 8000+. It still has plenty in reserve & feels much more relaxed. I looked at every review I could find online but no one complained about gearing. It was a $50 fix so I'm not complaining, just surprised. I can't wait to get more use out of it.
 
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