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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking for advice and I apologize in advance for likely asking the same kind of things that others may have...

I'm trying to decide whether to purchase a V-Strom 650 or new V-Strom 1000. And I need to buy two -- one for our winter home in Mexico and another for our primary home in Ann Arbor. I currently ride a KLR-650 in Mexico and a Concours 14 in Ann Arbor. For Mexico, I want to upgrade to a bike with ABS and for Ann Arbor, as much as I love the Connie, I'd like to switch to a bike that isn't so darn heavy.

I'm focused on a new or late model 650 for Mexico. I think the 650 is a very good fit for the kinds of roads I ride here and the 1K would be overkill. I'm currently considering anything 2012 or later. But, both here and in the states, the price difference between new and used is close enough that I think I would just get a new bike.

I'm leaning to a 2018 1K for Ann Arbor. My thinking is:
a) the 1K will be better for the roads I ride around home -- mostly two lane, mostly NOT dirt (although a bit of well graded gravel), and occasional interstate -- which I don't like and try to avoid.
b) the Motion Track Braking System is a major safety improvement and justifies my limiting my search to 2018 and not an earlier new or near-new year. I'm into getting any advantage I can out there.

Questions:
1) for both the 650 and the 1K would folks recommend I get the base model (I think cast wheels will be enough) and add my own bash plate, cases, etc., or are the XT upgrades worth the cost?
2) For those of you who have the 2018 1K, do you agree that the new turn-sensitive ABS is worth focusing only on 2018?
3) Any other considerations I should be looking at?

Thanks for your help.

Vinnie
 

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What a great problem to have!

KLR -> Vstrom 650
Concours -> Vstrom 1000


But don't put too much confidence in my comment, i used my head, not my heart...

Also, before buying a fully equipped bike, check if 3rd parties made accessories for your bike, you could save a lot of money buying a base model and ordering better aftermarket stuff.
 

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Not sure if you are doing off pavement in Mexico. The KLR is the better bike.
For rough roads tho the Vstrom is very good- absorbing rough spots, real brakes, better lights and long range and more comfortable.

If you do the occasional situation where you might have a tip over or low speed crash involving a picking up the bike or even mud. The Strom is a pig.
 

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Versys 300 for the win for Mexico
 

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and 650 for Ann Arbor since as you stated you are avoiding highways. buy basic and then get what you need/want aftermarket. cases on 2017 and 2018 are useless IMHO.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi Everyone,

Thanks for the comments. Re: the what I might ride in Mexico...

We've got a pretty sizeable group of mostly expat riders here and we regularly get together and enjoy the great mountain roads nearby. Mostly we ride pavement but sometimes we get off onto dirt.

In the group we have several V-Strom 650s, a few F700 and F800s, a couple of 1200GS class bikes (although they're a little big and heavy to use around town). Lately Triumph Tiger 800s have gotten popular with maybe three or four folks riding those, and we've also got three or four Africa Twins, both DCT and manual.

My current KLR is fine for in town and out in the Mexican countryside, especially when we do a little dirt. The brakes on it are terrible, though, even with an upgraded oversized rotor. The V's brakes are better and I'm only considering bikes with ABS for Mexico. I would put in a kill switch for when I'm in dirt in Mexico, but there are enough chickens, cows, dogs, the occasional loco driver here, and roadside obstacles like culverts and cliffs that don't always have guardrails, that I think it's pretty important to be able to stop without locking a wheel up.

The Versys 300 is an interesting idea. I haven't seen any of them here yet, although I have seen the new BMW 300cc bike around. I'm not sure it would be enough, though, because sometimes our trips to the mountains take us on the cuotas here (toll roads) and the speeds are pretty fast. But I'll check them out more. One advantage of the V-Strom beyond its reliability is, that if it does break, there are enough of them around that parts and expertise is available.

Surprisingly, typical deals here (I'm in Mexico for another ten days or so) for a new V-Strom 650 are about the same as in the states -- +/- 165000 pesos which today would be $8800 US. Other bikes, like the Africa Twin and BMW families tend to be maybe a 20% premium or so to the states.


Vinnie
 

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Discussion Starter #9
RE: Meanwhile in the US...

Looking at CycleTrader and searching within 500 or so miles of Ann ARbor, there I'm seeing deals (from different dealers) for the XT that are about the same price as deals for the vanilla ABS. True of both the 1K and the 650. Maybe down the road I'll be looking to follow someone else's suggestion here of getting the XT with the tubeless spoke rims and trading with someone for tubeless cast rims! Bags aren't included with the XT although the 1K XT has beefier tapered aluminum bars vs I believe steel for the vanilla 1K.

I'm still dithering about whether to go with the 1K or the 650. The brakes on the 1K are the primary appeal for me, not so much the power.



Vinnie
 

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If you are complaining about KLR brakes you should be happy with V strom 650. if not it's a low cost to upgrade them. If you not after power of 1000 you shouldn't think for a minute and go for 650.
 
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