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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All

I haven’t ridden in about 15 years and am looking to get a bike again. I’m pretty sure that the V-Strom 650 is the right bike for me. the last bike I had was a 1984 VFR 700 and I like mid sized bikes. I’ll be riding around town, occasional commuting, and occasional weekend trips. I’m 6’6” tall and like the upright seating position of the Strom and the plentiful aftermarket accessories such as tall seats, peg lowering kits, and bar risers. I figure if I can’t make this bike comfortable for me, then I never will get a bike to work for me. I’ve got a test ride scheduled on Saturday and after quite a bit of scouring the Internet, I have three top contenders that I’m looking at.

So my question for you is which of these 3 bikes do you think is the best value and smartest purchase:

1/
2014 Vstrom 650 (on Facebook marketplace)
$5,000
7,200 miles
Panniers from a KLR and a Givi case
Pics look good but I have not seen it in person

2/
2018 Vstrom 650 (new from dealer)
$7,799 ($1k off of msrp)
This is the bike I have scheduled to test ride on Saturday

3/
2020 Vstrom 650 Adventure (new from dealer)
$8,999 ($1400 off msrp)

any advice would be greatly appreciated
 

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If you need panniers, and they are Tusk alloy panniers, #1 is a bargain as the cost of buying panniers and brackets, plus a top box will set you back a lot of dollars.
But you can buy soft saddlebags for casual use for a LOT less.

Suzuki is ever refining and developing its V-Strom range and so the newer models #2 and #3 are much advanced on the 2014, and for $1,200 the 2018 model will always be 2 years older than the 2020, which only has minor improvements on the 2018. Both are better looking IMO, and does the Adventure model have accessories that you intended to fit anyway?.

It really comes down to what you are prepared to spend. Overall, V-Stroms tend to be economical to buy, run, and to maintain.
 

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If the 2014 had a decent accessory list then I'd go for it. You're going to need a center stand, better lighting, and some other comfort mods like Rox risers and and a better windscreen. if this bike has them it's going to save you "new" pricing for them. The mileage is nothing as you probably know.

I'm not sure if this model is party/ subject to the stator recall, but if so make sure it has been done.

I'm 6'4" and long in the trunk, so my riding position will be similar to yours. The buffeting is a b1tch for us tall guys without some form of airfoil on the windscreen. I have a givi airflow standard and a manta screen with the airfoil on it. Both mounted to a masted screen bracked.

I love riding my K9 Wee on the open road now. Before the windscreen mods I thought I made a mistake getting the Wee..

All that said, if the '14 isn't set up well and you're going to need to purchase a lot of accessories anyway, you might as well put 'em on a newer machine with warranty.

Relax and have a homebrew

Autocorrect is my new enema
 

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Personally if the used bike checks out I go for it to save money and not take the hit on depreciation from new.

Seems like you are in the $5,000 to $10,000 budget for a bike. That amount of money will give you a lot of choices from mutiple brands especially if you are okay with gently used.
 

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I would go for #2 and see if the dealer might throw in an accessory or two. Regardless I would still go for it. Some changes were made in 2017 but the 2018 and 2020 are essentially the same bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you for your replies.

The 2020 adventure has what looks to be nice aluminum panniers and an accessory bar that looks like a crash bar and a center stand. Those are all options I value. Does anyone know if the Suzuki aluminum panniers and accessory bar are of decent quality? I can’t find any online reviews of them.
 

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Alloy panniers are certainly more sturdy than plastic and this new review on the 2020 Adventure seems to indicate that they are very well built. There is a lot of money tied up in the Adventures accessories. If most are things that you want your decision between the 2018 V-Strom and 2020 Adventure seems simple. 2020 Suzuki V-Strom 650XT Adventure First Look (9 Fast Facts)
 

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Thank you for your replies.

The 2020 adventure has what looks to be nice aluminum panniers and an accessory bar that looks like a crash bar and a center stand. Those are all options I value. Does anyone know if the Suzuki aluminum panniers and accessory bar are of decent quality? I can’t find any online reviews of them.
Yes they are made by SWmotech and are excellent high quality items.

I'd go for #3. 1 has some good value but I just like shiny and new :)
 

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As mentioned above if 2014 has a lot of farkles the price is ok but if not the price is to high. Plus 2017 and up are better and better looking bikes. Between 2018 and 2020 you have better value in 2020 considering the extra accessories. 2 years difference between these 2 is about $600-$800 worth to pay extra for 2020 so in this case you are paying only about $500 for accessories (which you like and which are worth more if you have to get them separately). Saying that I think on US market (specially now) you should be able to find a better deals on any of these 3 bikes. And specially if you look at the used market (again - as mentioned above).
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks again everyone.

So I think the panniers on the 2020 Adventure are perfect and are probably even better quality than I would buy separately. Are the crash bars also good quality? It makes me nervous that the stated intent of the bars is for you to mount accessories, not to protect the bike.

Also, I thought $1400 off of MSRP on the 2020 was a pretty good deal. You think I should be able to do better?
 

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Thanks again everyone.

So I think the panniers on the 2020 Adventure are perfect and are probably even better quality than I would buy separately. Are the crash bars also good quality? It makes me nervous that the stated intent of the bars is for you to mount accessories, not to protect the bike.

Also, I thought $1400 off of MSRP on the 2020 was a pretty good deal. You think I should be able to do better?
I believe the crash bars are also made by sw motech, as is the skid plate. If you look up pics of the sw motech bars you could likely confirm. As for the intent of the bars, I think that's probably just a liability thing, they protect the bike they just don't want to guarantee and be on the hook for damages.
 

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I'm not sure it's a "fair" comparison the $5000 is the OTD cost and the $7800 and $9000 price tags are plus fees right?

With the 1st bike the price is $5k but it can only go down the other bikes realistically the price can only go up right? so $9k for the second and likely over $10k OTD for the 3rd...
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Correct. I’ll have to pay Mass sales tax on all of them but the two new ones will have about $500 in other fees.
 

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If you have the money, #3 seems like a winner. Besides what others have mentioned, I believe it comes with spoked wheels, which is nice. If money's tight-ish, #1 seems solid. 7200 miles is nothing on these bikes, and luggage isn't cheap. If it has other goodies--heated grips, aftermarket wind screen, center stand, skid plate, crash bars--so much the better.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Rode #2 at my local dealer today. Had 15 miles on it when I hopped on. Price has come down about another $1k and the deal is now very tempting. They also agreed to match the deal the other dealer had for the 2020 Adventure so that’s nice that I have that option available closer to me. Generally I’m loving the bike and it’s almost the perfect bike for me. The only problem is the wind coming off the screen. It hits me right in the chin and that’s at the high setting. I know there are options to deal with this but I’m worried they won’t work and the bike will be ruined for me. I plan to do some research tonight.
 

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Wind and buffetting is an issue that many find with the Strom. A Givi Airflow Screen is the cure.
I know when I had buffeting issues the Givi Airflow Givi made about a 50% improvement over stock. The Madstad was even better at about 70% better and both were aided buy the addition of different mirrors and wind deflectors accounting for another 10% better. In the end wind buffeting was never eliminated but made tolerable.

Windscreens, seat and handlebars are all a trial and error thing. What works for me might not work for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks again Brockie. Good community here. I’m still worried because what works for 98% of people won’t necessarily work for me. But I also know that tall guys have made it work. So I should probably do less worrying do more Vstrom purchasing... I’m eager to get riding. So I think I’ll add up my intended purchases (given that I’ll be buying more for the cheaper one), then compare the two deals, and pull the trigger.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
If anyone knows of a windscreen that works for someone my height, 6’6” - I‘d be very grateful. Booghotfoot mentions a setup above that I’m not quite understanding.

actually, I should probably be doing some searches through other threads on this site right about now...
 
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