I need a tall, skinny highway bike. Is the Vee right for me? - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 45 Old 06-28-2013, 09:29 AM Thread Starter
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I need a tall, skinny highway bike. Is the Vee right for me?

I'm pretty new to the site. I've looked around a little bit, but haven't posted. So, a quick motorcycle background on me.

I started riding when I was 5 YO on a 5 HP mini bike and have been riding ever since. I went from there to a Honda CT70, Honda XR100, Yamaha 125, and on to a Honda CL350. Those were all off-road, pre- MC license bikes. Bought a 1979 CX500 when I turned 16 and then went on to a '82 CX500. About this time, I got an '89 CR250 and started racing motocross as well. I went on to an '86 VT700 shadow, and now I have a 2005 VT1100C Shadow Sabre. Aside from that, I currently own a KTM 620 LC4 and a '71 Honda CB350.

So, here's the deal. I want a bike that I can do long range highway miles on that is capable of a little bit of off pavement adventuring. I bought the 1100 Shadow because I'm a tall guy. I'm 6'4" and the 700 shadow was just too small for any long distance riding. I find both the 1500 and 1800 goldwings incredibly uncomfortable because of the width between the foot pegs and the peg locations. A cushy seat does me no good if my hips and knees are in pain simply getting my feet on the pegs.

So, in theory, the DL1000 would fit me well. I really need to find a dealership to test drive one to find out how sound my theory is, but I really want to know if it will do 300-400 miles of interstate. How much maintenance does that chain take? And will I regret giving up my shaft drive?

My KTM serves as my dirt bike that will do a little pavement. Now, I just need a street bike that will do a little dirt.

Is the Vee the right bike?

I wouldn't have even considered it, but after reading a ton on here, I may actually consider the Wee strom. How's the seat height and seat to peg distance compare between the two? Is it basically the same frame and geometry?
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post #2 of 45 Old 06-28-2013, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motopsycho View Post
...So, in theory, the DL1000 would fit me well. I really need to find a dealership to test drive one to find out how sound my theory is, but I really want to know if it will do 300-400 miles of interstate. How much maintenance does that chain take? And will I regret giving up my shaft drive?
...
Welcome aboard!

300 or so miles of Interstate isn't really a Long trip on a V-Strom. On June 6th I did over 300 miles after work heading to my daughter's graduation and home (and it was pouring rain to boot!) For many Strom riders 300 to 400 miles is a nice long Sunday ride.

Either the DL650 or the DL1000 will do the job for you. I have put over 125,000 miles on my 2006 DL650 with much of it being long trips. The last long trip was a 11 day ride from Toronto Area in Canada to the Grand Canyon area and Death Valley. After that I was heading up to the Salt Flats but had some get-home-itis. I rode about 1,800 miles in two and a half days with temperatures ranging from 90 to 100 and speeds in the 80 to 90 mph range for the most part.

You will get a lot of advice about chain life. You will get a lot of opinion as to how to take care of your chain. When talking with people about it ask them how long their chains last.

My chains last in the 45,000 to 50,000 mile range with very minor attention. Basically I lube my chain with Wurth HH2000 (New name HH2K I believe) with every tank of gas and after every rain ride. I never clean the chain and it takes about 10 seconds to lube the chain if you have a centerstand. The only negative of this method is that it is messy. The current chain on my 2012 DL650 has over 30,000 miles on it and it looks like it has lots of life left. I have adjusted it for a first time a few weeks ago and I think this is because my front sprocket is starting to wear. (I'll take care of that soon.) I suspect a DL1000 chain might not last quite as long but I doubt there would be major differences in chain life.

..Tom

2006 DL650: 202,000 km 125,500 miles, Sold
2012 DL650 139,500+ km, 86,700+ miles. Sold
2015 DL1000 New July 2015 200,000+ km, 125,000 miles.

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post #3 of 45 Old 06-28-2013, 10:00 AM
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Welcome, and here is my two cents. The Vee will do what you want it to do. It is plenty highway capable. So is the Wee, for that matter. But, prepare for buffeting. Read up on the buffeting these bikes are well known for. I'm no expert and I don't know why, but it is what it is. Maybe a Super Tenere is better. And a Concours, almost certainly better. But, for my hard earned dollars the Strom is one tough bike, an engine called bulletproof, and I don't travel so many highway miles to care all that much. Other guys here do and I would listen to them. Do the site search via Google "wind buffetting site:www.stromtrooper.com" I'm sure a lot will come up. Happy scooting.

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post #4 of 45 Old 06-28-2013, 11:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by motopsycho View Post
I'm pretty new to the site. I've looked around a little bit, but haven't posted. So, a quick motorcycle background on me.

I started riding when I was 5 YO on a 5 HP mini bike and have been riding ever since. I went from there to a Honda CT70, Honda XR100, Yamaha 125, and on to a Honda CL350. Those were all off-road, pre- MC license bikes. Bought a 1979 CX500 when I turned 16 and then went on to a '82 CX500. About this time, I got an '89 CR250 and started racing motocross as well. I went on to an '86 VT700 shadow, and now I have a 2005 VT1100C Shadow Sabre. Aside from that, I currently own a KTM 620 LC4 and a '71 Honda CB350.

So, here's the deal. I want a bike that I can do long range highway miles on that is capable of a little bit of off pavement adventuring. I bought the 1100 Shadow because I'm a tall guy. I'm 6'4" and the 700 shadow was just too small for any long distance riding. I find both the 1500 and 1800 goldwings incredibly uncomfortable because of the width between the foot pegs and the peg locations. A cushy seat does me no good if my hips and knees are in pain simply getting my feet on the pegs.

So, in theory, the DL1000 would fit me well. I really need to find a dealership to test drive one to find out how sound my theory is, but I really want to know if it will do 300-400 miles of interstate. How much maintenance does that chain take? And will I regret giving up my shaft drive?

My KTM serves as my dirt bike that will do a little pavement. Now, I just need a street bike that will do a little dirt.

Is the Vee the right bike?

I wouldn't have even considered it, but after reading a ton on here, I may actually consider the Wee strom. How's the seat height and seat to peg distance compare between the two? Is it basically the same frame and geometry?
I ride all pavement. I think the DL1000 would be a little heavy, but listen to the ones that have the experience. I am 6'4".
Mike
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post #5 of 45 Old 06-28-2013, 11:15 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses. I'm really not interested in IBA rides, so if I can put on a few hundred miles in a day comfortably, I'll be happy.

Most of my bike riding will be a 15 minute commute daily with occasional 40 mile blast down the interstate. My brother, dad, and I try to do a long distance bike trip every year or two - which is why I need something interstate capable. But, every time we get out to Colorado, I keep seeing these dirt and gravel roads heading off the pavement. I really want the option to see where these go. I cant' do that on my Sabre - the pegs are too far forward to get my butt off the seat. Though, with my dad on his Goldwing and my Brother on his 1800 VTX, I'd be exploring those alone!

Oh, and that's another reason I don't like the Sabre. On long distance highway miles, I can't really adjust the weight on my butt. On a bike with a more neutral body position - like my KTM - if I need to, I can push down with my feet a little and get some blood flowing to my cheeks.

I really hope the dealership in Des Moines has one I can test drive. I've been looking for a used one locally, and haven't found much. But, if it is the right bike, and I find one for the right price, I might be up for a fly and drive adventure. Just need to make sure it's the right bike!
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post #6 of 45 Old 06-28-2013, 11:18 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mikefryman View Post
I ride all pavement. I think the DL1000 would be a little heavy, but listen to the ones that have the experience. I am 6'4".
Mike
You're 6'4" and on the Wee Strom? How's it feel? Have you ridden a DL1000?
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post #7 of 45 Old 06-28-2013, 09:42 PM
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I think if you're going to go offroad at all, the Wee is probably the better choice. You'd probably appreciate the lighter bike and better mileage on your daily commute too. Certainly the Vee has more grunt, but unless you're doing lots of 2-up in the mountains, the Wee should have all the power you need.

The ergos are the same for both bikes, except the stock seat on the Vee is a little taller. But the seats are interchangeable between models (not sure about the 2013+ Glee though), and a number of Wee owners have traded seats with a Vee to get the extra height. Some tall riders install a peg lowering kit and/or bar risers to open up the space a bit.

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post #8 of 45 Old 06-29-2013, 03:56 AM
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Originally Posted by motopsycho View Post
You're 6'4" and on the Wee Strom? How's it feel? Have you ridden a DL1000?
I have the DL1000. I thought you were asking about off road with the DL1000. Sorry, just my .02 about the bike.
Mike

Last edited by mikefryman; 06-29-2013 at 04:01 AM.
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post #9 of 45 Old 06-29-2013, 10:43 PM Thread Starter
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I really don't need any off road capability. I've got the KTM for that. It would be nice if it handled gravel and fire roads better than my Shadow, though.

I guess that I just need to test ride a 1000 and 650 and see how they feel. I'm sure the 650 would have enough power. Heck, my 1971 CB350 has enough power. It will commute and run 70 MPH without sweating too much. But, I ride for fun as much as for utility. Enough power for commuting isn't necessarily enough power for playing.

I do appreciate all the info. I'll certainly looking to the Wee as well as the Vee and see if either fit me.
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post #10 of 45 Old 06-30-2013, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
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Just found a 2003 DL1000 30 mins south of me.


11,000 miles and he's asking $3900. The bike looks stock and very clean.

I can't get down there until Friday - but if he still has it, I'm going to have a look.
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