VFR800 vs. DL650 - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 56 Old 02-16-2008, 07:53 PM Thread Starter
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VFR800 vs. DL650

Hey guys,

Since the snow has finally melted, I stopped by a local dealer today. I expected to only sit on some bikes, but instead, I ended up taking two test rides. The first was on a yellow '99 Tiger, the second was on a black '07 VFR. The Tiger was a lot of fun, peppy, but the engine needed to be tuned (surging). The VFR... oh man, where do I start? Coming from a cruiser, it was un-freakin'-believable. I loved the power, the handling, the brakes, everything except for the sporty seating position. My wrists started to hurt a bit, since I'm not used to riding bent over like that.

I have yet to take a test ride on a DL650, as there are no used ones around here. I have my deposit down on an '08 with ABS, but now I'm a bit torn. I would like to hear from previous or current VFR owners... does the Wee compare in power, handling and breaking to the Honda? I realize they're different bikes, for different purposes, and I plan on riding the DL before I actually buy it, but what can I expect?

I know everything is very subjective, but I hope I can get some useful feedback

Thanks!

2008 DL650 a.k.a. Road Warrior, member #16 of the Flat Black Club
2009 Aprilia Tuono 1000R a.k.a. Silver Thunder
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post #2 of 56 Old 02-16-2008, 08:07 PM
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No, they don't compare. I have both sitting side by side in my basement. The VFR has more power (110hp vs. 66 hp), a lower center of gravity, larger tires, larger brakes, etc. It's pretty obvious which one is faster and handles better.

The V-Strom, on the other hand, enters corners easier and is a bit more stable at slower speeds. The windscreen on the V-Strom is much, much more effective than the one on the VFR. I have a ZG Sport Touring screen on my VFR and still get far more wind than I do on the V-Strom. The more upright seating position is more comfortable in the long run as well. I've done a 350 mile day on the VFR and a 475 mile day on the V-Strom. I could have done more on either one, but as far as feeling "Tired" those two distances were comparable.

Your call. I enjoy them both for different reasons and I'm keeping both of them. Both of them are virtually maintenance free (change the oil, clean and lube the chain, and ride them) so you couldn't go wrong with either one.

These are, of course, my own personal impressions. There will be those who disagree and their opinions are just as valid as mine.

Scott Craig - Nashville, TN
Red '06 Suzuki DL650 - Red '07 Honda VFR800 - My Bike Page
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post #3 of 56 Old 02-16-2008, 09:40 PM
 
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I have both bikes as well and I see them as a perfect complement to each other. I agree with the comments above.

I bought my VFR in 99 to get something I could spend the whole day on vs. my CBR600. For me, a good day on it is 350 miles. I bought the Wee last year because I want to take some longer trips and wanted something I could spend a whole week on. The power of the Wee is not even comparable to the VFR.

For me what determines which bike rolls out of the garage is my frame of mind. When I'm on the VFR I ride much quicker, which is far less relaxing, but more exhilarating. When I want a nice, moderately paced ride, I go for the Wee. I think you need to decide how spirited you want to be when you ride. I think my growing instinct for self preservation lead me to buy the Wee.

Last edited by 2.5Bikes; 02-16-2008 at 09:42 PM.
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post #4 of 56 Old 02-16-2008, 10:21 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for all the replies so far, they're much appreciated. Up until today, I didn't think I wanted a fast bike. Granted, I've never ridden one, but my common sense and preservation instinct have always told me that fast means dead. But today, I felt power, speed and handling that just made me grin from ear to ear and feel alive. I knew I shouldn't have ridden that bike :rolleyes:

I already have a slow, heavy cruiser, for the scenic 2-up rides. I want a capable commuter that's also a fun bike. I'm positive that the Wee would (will?) be great for me, I just tasted power in the VFR that I suddenly want. I worry about buyer's regret if the DL doesn't put the same kind of grin on my face, you know what I mean?

2008 DL650 a.k.a. Road Warrior, member #16 of the Flat Black Club
2009 Aprilia Tuono 1000R a.k.a. Silver Thunder
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post #5 of 56 Old 02-16-2008, 10:50 PM
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The DL may not put the same kind of grin on your face, but it will put a grin there.

Someone asked me a couple of weeks ago whether I rode my V-Strom or VFR more. I realized that I honestly didn't know, but luckily I keep track of gas and could figure it out pretty easily. As of February 4 I have put 3,714 miles on my V-Strom and 3,685 miles on my VFR since August. They only have 30 miles difference. I couldn't tell you which I prefer, and as Shaun said I just decide which one to ride depending on how I feel and where I'm going.

A VFR isn't a CBR or a GSX/R or a Ninja but it does get up and go pretty well. The V-Strom will go places a VFR would fear to tread. They are different yet complement each other quite well. I can't tell you which you would like better, that's something only you can decide, but I can say that either one would be a good choice.

Scott Craig - Nashville, TN
Red '06 Suzuki DL650 - Red '07 Honda VFR800 - My Bike Page
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post #6 of 56 Old 02-17-2008, 01:18 AM
 
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this question rolls through my mind almost daily. i have a wee (which i love) and lust for the VFR incessantly.

i'm tall.

frye
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post #7 of 56 Old 02-17-2008, 01:44 AM Thread Starter
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I need to take a Wee for a test ride, that's the only way I'll answer these questions. When I write out my new bike needs on paper, "dirt abilities" are definitely on there. Yeah, it'd be great to twist the throttle on the highway and hang on for dear life, but I live out in the boonies... I want to explore some of these less-than-perfect roads... which is why the Wee seems so very right.

Maybe I should sell some blood and get both :mrgreen:

2008 DL650 a.k.a. Road Warrior, member #16 of the Flat Black Club
2009 Aprilia Tuono 1000R a.k.a. Silver Thunder
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post #8 of 56 Old 02-17-2008, 02:36 AM
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I have seen a couple of VFR's with bar risers, custom seats and bags, obviously set up for the long haul.
Have always loved the look and briefly considered one before I bought the Wee.




Previous bike...
2007 DL650 ABS, grip puppies, factory hand guards, backoff brake light modulator, givi rack with JCW 'side' cases, K&N air filter, swing arm spools...
Shopping for some new wheels now.
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post #9 of 56 Old 02-17-2008, 02:52 AM
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Awhile back when I was thinking about selling my DL1000 (in excellent tune), I was debating a VFR800 so I went and switched bikes with someone for a ride. What stands out: they are vastly different bikes but both very capable. My V-Strom 1000 had more power out of the hole but man the top end on the VFR is good. 80-100+ and hold on! The ergonomics on the VFR were not nearly as comfortable for me, but to many it is great and it can be made better. The VFR has superior brakes and high-speed stability, but the V-Strom turns in quicker and is more "flickable." Now that I have the V-Strom 650 I would say the difference in power is even more pronounced when compared to the VFR. However, I am satisfied with the 650's power. And look, it was enough to sway me to another V-Strom over the VFR. Though you get more wind on the VFR, I thought its wind management was great - better than the V-Strom because it's all very smooth, clean air. If I had my druthers, I would buy both.

How about selling the cruiser and picking up the VFR and the V-Strom? If you can test ride both, I would highly recommend it. BTW, offroad I find the 650 a bit more friendly than the 1000 because the 1000 has so much torque it just breaks loose.

-Brandon-
'04 DL650 K4
'03 KLR650 A17
Previous Bikes:
'02 DL1000 K2
'96 KLR650 A10
Moderator @ [url]www.klr650.net[/url]
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post #10 of 56 Old 02-17-2008, 07:05 AM
 
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I had a 2007 Silver VFR. I put removable saddlebag mounts on it that would hold Givi E41's. I bought it to tour with. It was not comfortable enough for me on the long hauls though...even with the bar risers that I installed. The VFR is an incredible bike. It was a hard decision to sell it, but I don't let things sit in the garage to get dusty.

I sold the VFR and bought a 2007 WeeStrom. I have over 12,000 very comfortable miles on my blue Wee. 1,500 of those miles were an IronButt BunBurner ride (1,500 miles in 36 hours). I'm planning an IBA BBGold (1,500 miles in 24 hours) for sometime in the next month.

I've owned cruisers, sport bikes, KLR's, sport touring bikes, and now the Wee. The Wee is far and away the most comfortable bike I've owned. Plus, it's a blast to farkle the Wee...there is a ton of aftermarket stuff available...the bike is easy to tinker with.

I loved all of the bikes I've owned. My older bones are very happy with the Wee at this point in my riding career.

Last edited by mad max; 02-17-2008 at 07:09 AM.
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