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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Background:

17 years of riding.
Last bike: Suzuki Bandit 1200 'naked', bought brand new when I graduated college, was love/hate from day 1

Liked: The power, the price, the looks, the handling.. oh, that power! Chicks dug wheelies when I was in my 20's, at least I thought they did
Disliked: No wind protection, vibes in the bars, bitch to work on (big engine tight in frame), air-cooled cold-bloodedness, balancing quad carbs is not for me, not a lot of luggage options back when I bought it, ate tires (probably my fault), introduced me to lots of LEOs (also me), scared the bejezus out of my missus (pattern detected?)

Where do I ride: 100% street. Daily commute is 60-miles each way on the Interstate. Speeds averaging 70MPH over crappy New England pavement. Weekends spent tooling around on back roads trying to stay out of trouble. Lots of odd runs to hardware store, friends' house. Occasional day runs to coastal Maine, the NH lakes region.

I recently sold my Bandit after it sat in the storage for 2-3 years, then got fixed up 2 years ago.. aaaand.. sat in the garage some more! The Bandit sucked on the Interstate, and so was not a commuting option. The missus won't ride with me on that thing anymore, so it wasn't weekend transportation either.

Now suddenly I'm having toy car/bike withdrawal and need something fun to tinker with. My plan was to pick up a beat SV650. The SV suffers many of the same issues I had with the Bandit: poor ergos, minimal/no wind protection, etc. However it is pretty cheap used, and the newer ones are fuel-injected! Ooooh, fuel injection. An SV would be exclusively for weekend solo fun.

If money were no object, I'd probably have a stable full of toys and commute on an ST1300 or FJR. Sadly, money is an object.

Then recently I became acquainted with the V-Stroms.

I hear the SV/V-Strom twins are pretty smooth at speed and just this side of bullet proof. I hear twin carbs/fuel-bodies are easier to sync than quads. I hear SV/V-strom valves are not a DIY thing, but they only need a peek every ~15k miles.

My line of thinking is that the V-Strom can be equipped as a mini sport-tourer. Advantages over a real, heavy tourer is that it is better on fuel, better on gas, easier/cheaper to maintain, and cheaper to buy. Am I near the mark?

My plan is to buy a V-Strom, toss on a throttle lock, a taller aftermarket screen, a fork brace, and some hard-side bags and ride it ~120 mi/day to work 10-15 days a month, May through October. Then on the weekend I will take off for solo rides to de-compress by myself, bopping around New England back-roads trying not to be noticed.

Is a V-Strom an SV, plus a nicer fairing, more upright ergos, and better light touring manners?
Will it handle my M-F commute without leaving me knackered?
Will it give me some grins on the weekends?

My budget is $4k for a bike + $800-1000 for toys. (I believe this community calls them 'farkles'?!) Although I could stretch that for the perfect example.

Am I delusional? My missus says I am, can't believe I'm looking at another bike "after you just sold the one you never rode"!
Looking for enablers here!
 

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Well I bought a 07 Wee last year for $3,700 some farkles, very clean, less than 10,000 miles. It's a pretty good commuter, but don't know how much you will really use it in the North East. I'm in NC so I can ride all 12 months.

Think real hard about the real reason you quit riding your last bike??????

Hate to say it but wives are sometimes right..........
 

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There's nothing mini about sport-touring on a Wee...it's a big bike with a very capable engine. I've sport-toured on 1200s and also have a Goldwing, and don't enjoy it any less on my Wee. It's a great bike.
 

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Are you thinking Vee (1000) or Wee (650)?

The Wee will actually do everything you want.

Commute, tour, have fun on weekends.....and keep your licence.

Put luggage on and take your Mrs. for a weekend away or a picnic day ride.

Fuel injected with farkles galore, you will love everything about it.

Don't let anyone tell you the 650 can't handle two up, I have taken my Mrs. and luggage ( and she doesn't travel light) away for weekends, including highway travel, with no problems with speed or comfort.

The 650 performs like an 800, also comes with ABS and is super reliable without the tuning and clutch issues some of the 1000's seem to have.
The 1000 is still a top bike in the dual sport/adventure tourer class along with the 650...and these things handle the twisting stuff as good as most sports bikes do.

Go find one to take for a ride, you will be surprised (careful though, you can still meet LEO's, even on the 650).
 

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northeast Mass commuter 136-mile RT daily

I had been aiming for a bike like a Concours before I Googled "motorcycles for tall people" and learned about V-Stroms. Fate intervened and connected me with a friend of a friend who generously invited me to test ride his Wee for an afternoon and I fell in love. I got impatient when, trying to find a used Wee, every one I found got sold before I could even get to look at it so, two months ago, I used most of my "bike budget" money towards downpayment on a new 2011 Wee and financed the rest at zero percent interest over 60 months!

So far, I've invested another $1320.00+/- into the bike for farkles: mirror extenders, hand guards, Grip Puppies, crash bars, hard sidebags, tank bag and Madstad bracket. Since I'm a firm believer in ATGATT, I've also invested some serious $$$ into a full-face helmet, high-viz jacket and overpants.

The dealer I bought the bike from initially referred to it as "a great commuter bike" but, IMHO, that's an oxymoron here in northeast Massachusetts. My idea of motorcycling is just the opposite of what I deal with during my daily commutes from the Nashua area up to Gloucester and back. I think I'd rather eat glass than ride ANY motorcycle down Route 3 then north on Route 95 and then on to Gloucester on 128. My return trip south on 128 to 95, north on Route 93, south on Route 495 and then north on Route 3 ain't no picnic either.
It sucks doing it in my car day in and day out. I would not want to do it on a motorcycle: miles upon miles of inching along, drivers cutting in and out without using directionals, tailgating at 75+mph, drivers swerving unconciously because they've got their cellphone up to their ear or they're applying makeup.....No Thank You! I cringe when I see motorcycles in the midst of it all.

To each his own! Follow your bliss! I ride my 650 to get away from it all. As soon as I get home on a weekday, I shower off the angst from the commute, slip into my riding gear and head north and west to those "New England back-roads" you referred to. I get up early on weekends, too, and head out before the errand-runners hit the roads in full force.

All that being said, I am delighted with my Wee and I am grateful for all the posters on this web site whose comments and input helped me to decide that this bike was perfect for me. Tell the missus that, even if you DO get a Wee and for whatever reason it doesn't fullfil your (her?) expectations, you'll have no problem reselling it. Every once in awhile I've noticed that a Weestrom shows up at National Powersports Distributors Pembroke, New Hampshire- 1-603-410-4120

Good Luck with your decision.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
It's a pretty good commuter, but don't know how much you will really use it in the North East.
Enough to have fun! One would hope..
Think real hard about the real reason you quit riding your last bike??????

Hate to say it but wives are sometimes right..........
Meh, you're no fun. Neeeeext plaheeeze!

Seriously though. I need a toy. It's this or another sportscar. And those are even less budget friendly. Been there.

Its down to a V-Strom or a SV.. or a Versys, or Ninja 650R, or maybe a cheapo Buell Blast. Or a Honda CB-something that is as old as I am. (There's one of those on main-street in my town. A whopping 450cc! Milk crate pre-installed!)
Are you thinking Vee (1000) or Wee (650)?

The Wee will actually do everything you want.
Then why would I ever go Vee?!

Seriously, I'm Wee shopping. I think it does all I want with less $$ and more MPGs. I am looking to downsize here. Like I said, had my heart set on an SV650 until I discovered this wild V-Strom thing.
Go find one to take for a ride, you will be surprised (careful though, you can still meet LEO's, even on the 650).
Kewl. Any tips on landing a test ride these days? Last I checked new dealers don't play that game.

Not that I've found dealers 'round here flushed with them.

Meanwhile the Kawi guys have piles of those Versys things lying around.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I had been aiming for a bike like a Concours...
Hmm. Sounds vaguely familiar.

My friends all ride cruisers. One recently set me up with a spin 'round the block on his brand new Vulcan 900. Not bad, but I just can't do it. Another friend is biting at the chomp to let me try out his new Shadow 750.

The only people I know that ride anything like the V-strom is my folks' friends. One rides a BMW R1150RT. I've been around the block on that. Now that's a nice, nice ride. Sadly not in my budget.

But I digress.

Doode. Ready to think less of me? My commute and yours overlap. The upside for me is that my job permits me some latitude, so I can commute off-hours. I'm usually at my desk by 6:30 AM and shoving off by 3:30 PM. At those hours the traffic isn't nearly that bad. If I get held up I just sit tight until after 6:30 PM, even when armed with the ol' cage.

But yeah, I'm one of those nut-balls on those roads.
Every once in awhile I've noticed that a Weestrom shows up at National Powersports Distributors Pembroke, New Hampshire- 1-603-410-4120
He he. Their website just happens to be bookmarked.. and they just happen to have an '06.. Way out of my way though, so I haven't been up to see if I can see it.
 

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First, SV or a V-strom, I looked at both and was all about the SV until I found this site. I got the bike and slowly doing the farkles. I ride to daily to work and will until the snow hits. Weekends I ride for hours with my wife who said if I get a toy so does she... needless to say she has her first bike S40.
Once I get panniers I will be doing some trips to FL and to my home town in Upper state NY.
I have road with HDs and 1000cc sport bikes. WHen I want too I sit back and relax, but if my friends want to go, I adjust the mirrors sit like its a sport bike and my baby goes (and keeps up with the cool sport bikers.) I will say my friends are impressed with my Wee and like the profile better than their bike.

Fast/51mpg (w/o panniers)/fun/great price....You can't go wrong with it.
 

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I used to commute on a Concours, it was 75% urban/25% freeway commute though, which it did reasonably well. For freeway commuting I'd strongly reccommend a Concours with it's excellent weather protection, effortless high speed ability and luggage. They are more able at freeway speeds than the 650, but that's not to say the 650 is not good at those speeds, just the Concours is better at it.
Around town, 650 wins hands down. Much lighter, more agile and fun than the Concours. The 650 handles big guys no problems, I've never needed more power. I honestly think those that say the 650 is underpowered haven't ridden one, or didn't realise the tacho went past 5k rpms.....
I also think the suspension is fine for big guys, it's an all rounder, the suspension isn't as firm as a sportsbike, but that also means you don't go home with a bad back. And the stock suspension is excellent on bad roads.
For commuting and a nice, comfortable upright seating position, DL wins over SV. Pretty much kills any other 6-800cc bike in ergos for daily riding.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I've thought about the Concours. Sat on a C14.. but that's really way more bike than I am interested in. Nor do the C14's fit my budget. So I'd be looking for a C10. My objections:

- Not sure I can DIY the maintenance, means expensive shop bills
- Carb'ed... really hooked on going EFI
- Heavy
- Not so stellar MPGs (not a deal breaker)

Haven't found a C10 to sit on, but my perception is that they are heckuva lot bigger than the 'Stroms. No? They sure are heavier.

The C10 is way up on power though. And shaft drive... Oooo.

Edit: More negs from reading on the C10:

- Hot in the summer
- Quad carbs to sync (hated that on the B12)
- More, expensive plastic to replace after a tip-over
- Craptastic brakes
- I4 vibes (experienced that on the B12 too)
- Non-adjustable windscreen; fewer (currently available) aftermarket screen options

Seems like a lot of people dump C10's for ... wait for it ... V-Stroms.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Did some bike sitting today. Found a pair of dealers that had a nice cache of new and used stuff, including DL1000's and 650's. I sat on Concours 1400's, FJRs, ST1300's, SV650SFs, another new Versys.. the list goes on.

Nobody was up for letting me out for a test ride, so I'm still unable to ride a V-Strom.

Of the big heavy ST bikes, I think the FJR is hands down the looker and the ST1300 feels the best in the showroom. I really like that ST1300. Shame about the price tags and weight. I don't like much of anything about the C14, except the specs.

The ergos on the SV650SF are absurd. They feel even more sport-bike since the last time I sampled one. Yuck. There wasn't a naked SV/Gladius in sight.

The first (used) dealer had once each of the 'stroms. The 650 was priced at $5k and the 1k at $6k. Neither price is getting my attention and they aren't interested in dealing.

The second (new, suzi) dealer had a brand spanking new 650 ABS in stock. Honestly, if they offered some sort of incentive rate or something, I'm not sure I could contain myself.

More interestingly, they had a somewhat beat '02 DL1000 with gobs of miles (~65k miles) for a whopping $2500. Kind of piqued my interest. I don't mind pre-dented stuff.
 

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More interestingly, they had a somewhat beat '02 DL1000 with gobs of miles (~65k miles) for a whopping $2500. Kind of piqued my interest. I don't mind pre-dented stuff.
gobs, not really, the bike is going on 10 years old, 6500 miles a year, sure, more than average, but prolly less than half what yer planing on putting on with a 60 mile commute

I've got an 07 Vee, but if I were buying a new bike today it would be a Yamaha Super Tenere



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There's nothing mini about sport-touring on a Wee...it's a big bike with a very capable engine. I've sport-toured on 1200s and also have a Goldwing, and don't enjoy it any less on my Wee. It's a great bike.
I agree its a great bike. I'm not sure I'd call it big though. From the standpoint of weight, it's about the same as the GS 1200. But, it definitely feels much "smaller" than that. And the GSA? That things a monster compared to the Wee.

To me the Wee feels somewhat on the small side, but compared to sport bikes, it is huge. Relatively speaking. I think it's great for what it is. An inexpensive, dependable, fun bike that can do a little bit of everything pretty well. I'm going to try it offroad this weekend on some really smooth fireroads in an alpine forest. That should be fun.
 

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I've had 2 1200 Bandits (K2 and a K6) and did plenty of miles on them.

I traded my K6 on on an '08 Connie and 70,000km later I'm still madly in love with it but have obtained another mistress in the form of an '08 Vee.

You cannot compare the too when it comes to really long distance stuff. The Connie just does it so easy and so well. The motor is magnificent, the weather protection so much better and the brakes in a different league to the DL. Handling wise they both have that "wide bars = easy to throw around" feel although the DL would have a slight edge in chuckability - the suspension itself is superior on the Connie.

That said, after around 2,500km so far on the Vee I have to say that it is one heck of a lot of fun - especially on back roads when the going gets a bit rougher or the surface not so nice. Add in the extra ability to tackle gravel etc and you've now got even more options as far as avoiding highways etc.

So far the Connie is giving me better economy and a longer range although I probably ride the Vee harder than the Connie...
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Banditrider, you are talking about the newer C14's, right? My perception is that they are a far more modern bike (duh) than the old C10's. Sadly my budget won't handle a C14, so that leaves me in C10 territory.

Really I want a Japanese EFI twin:
- '03+ SV650 variant / Wee
- SV1000 / Vee
- Kawi Ninja 650/Versys/EN-6r
- Honda NT700v
- Some nameless metric cruiser

Of that list, the Vee or Wee seem best for my riding. No?
gobs, not really, the bike is going on 10 years old, 6500 miles a year, sure, more than average, but prolly less than half what yer planing on putting on with a 60 mile commute
Point taken: gobs more than the ~10-12k ~'07 bikes I had been looking at. And it would be nice to have a bike that someone else already sucked the value out of. If I wind up doing heavy commuting on it I would just wind up doing the same.

The Yamaha holds no appeal. Especially since the price tag is a cool $10k ahead of my budget.

So anyone think a ~$2500 '02 DL1000 with some cosmetic damage is a good buy? The early 1k's are really really different from the later (ie ~'06-'07) wees, aren't they? How's the accessory compatibility?
 

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Go the Vee - otherwise you may miss the Bandit...
 

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Your wife will prefer riding on the back of the WEE more than an SV650. especially if you install the trunk for her to support her back.

and yeah, it will do everything the VEE will do.... just smoother, persoanlly i like the unchained beast that is the 1000, but there are times I wish I had bought the smaller displacement version, for no other reason than I could have kept the Bike I traded in and had 2...
 

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Discussion Starter #18
The trunk is a good call. I hadn't thought about that. She's always pined for a backrest. I'm generally opposed to the look.. but I've done worse to keep the peace. Especially if its detachable.

If I'm not willing to go for a top-box, are there removable passenger backrests available? Looks like Corbin makes such a thing.

Actually spent the day deep in though re: 1000 vs 650. We'll see where that line of thinking goes.


So I'm reading that early 'stroms are easier to DIY the maintenance on. Is this true? I've read you can't to a throttle body sync (TBS) on the '07+ bikes without a special dealer tool. True?
Is there a workaround for this?

If I can't do the sync myself, kind of shoots the whole 'something to tinker with' and 'low cost of ownership' in the ass.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I know the thread says 'wee curious'. But I've seen a few reasonably priced vees (DL1000) lately.

Can someone help bring me up to speed on a quick summary of Vee issues? I understand there were issues with the early ones running rough. Read (rather old threads) about a 'Yosh' box, etc etc. Also clutch concerns? Pointers to keywords is all I need to get my research started.

If it matters, one option I have is a (rather affordable) '02. Another is an '05 Vee.

Thanks.
 

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Well I bought a 07 Wee last year for $3,700 some farkles, very clean, less than 10,000 miles. It's a pretty good commuter, but don't know how much you will really use it in the North East.
Lots of folks ride nine months a year here - April through December.

Randyo, Mr, Ray and a few others ride year-round, but that's not so common.
Road salt can be tough on bikes.
 
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