About to pull the trigger... - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 8 Old 03-10-2008, 07:23 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 22
About to pull the trigger...


I'm about to pull the trigger and buy a 2008 DL650 later this week. I figure that before doing that it would be a good idea to ask some of the v-experts here if the bike is going to be a good fit for me...

I've only been riding for a year and a half, on a 1999 Honda Shadow. While the Shadow was truly the love of my life, it left me wanting a little more, both in power and more importantly in it's puny gas tank. I'm a 25 year old Coastie, currently in flight school, looking for a bike primarily as a commuter, and hopefully to take on some sweet weekend camping trips. Hopefully when I get more time I'd like to do some cross country rides. My concerns are: gas mileage, comfort, reliability, and of course smile factor.

After doing some research, I've narrowed it to the Yamaha FZ6 and Wee. I think I like the Wee better, because of it's torquer engine (really, who needs to do 150??) A couple of things are holding me back, so I was hoping for some advice:

-No dealer around here will allow test drives. This has me a little nervous.
-I'm 5-11, 150 lbs. On the showroom floor it was one of the most comfortable bikes I've ever sat on, but felt much bigger than the Honda Shadow. Does it feel like a giant Goldwing on the road?
-The FZ6 has about 30 more horsepower. I'm not real smart about what horsepower translates to what... will this bike put a smile on my face?
-Fit and finish of the FZ6 seemed just a little better. Any reliability issues? Any components seem cheap in the real world?

Thanks in advance for your input!!
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post #2 of 8 Old 03-11-2008, 12:05 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Northern New Mexico
Posts: 160
No reliability issues.
You will find the power delivery VERY satisfying.
The riding position of the Wee will be much better for commuting. Not just for comfort, but visibility.
The V-Strom will really expand your boundaries...gravel roads will now be your friend.

You're on a V-Strom forum, so you might imagine what response you will get. I honesly believe the Wee Strom is the better bike for what you have described.

2006 Wee Strom: GIVI crash bars, luggage brackets with E36N side cases, E45 top case with Amotostuff mounting assembly; Murph's fork brace; DV skid plate, radiator, oil cooler guard; Hepco & Becker center stand; Zuk gel seat, hanguards and tank bra; Oxford heated grips; Garmin 2610 GPS; Fenda Extenda; Blue Sea fuse box;

2003 Ducati Monster 800Si.e with a few mods.
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post #3 of 8 Old 03-11-2008, 01:03 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Riverside, CA
Posts: 165
I think the Wee-Strom is one of the best bikes you can get for commuting. It's comfortable, has very good range (I can go 250+ miles), it's the most reliable bike I've owned, has very smooth but accessible power that will squirt you through any situation. I'm also 5'11" and am 165 lbs. and find the bike to be a very manageable size. This bike rides much smaller than it is. I've ridden both smaller and larger bikes but the Wee really is an easy bike to acclimate to. Also, the commanding riding position is not only all-day comfortable, but gives you a great view over traffic. Again, reliability is one of this bike's strongest suits. It's more bulletproof than my very reliable KLRs and it's also easy to work on and maintain. While I like the FZ bikes, I really think the Wee will be plenty for you power-wise and holds a definite advantage in comfort.

'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 #4 of 8 Old 03-11-2008, 03:23 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Diamond Springs, CA
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Thumbs up Hope this helps

I happen to be an old enduro rider. Been riding since 1971. rode all types of bikes from honda 90 trails to harleys. I had spent 1 1/2 years researching what type of ride I wanted to have in my 50s and beyond. I have ridden 12 hour days on my dl650k7 and found it as comfortable as when I started. The power is enough that my wife and I ride 2-up most of the time in the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. I dropped the front gear from stock 15 tooth to 14 tooth for a little low end. At my age who wants 140 mph. I have put about 4000 miles on in 9 months and found that the more I ride the more I want to ride. It is for me, and seems to be for others, one of the best all-around rides produced sofar. If 0-60 in 3.8 seconds does not put that silly omg grin on your face nothing will. As for agility I can keep up with the kids and there Ninjas just fine. Like I said hope this helps. You have my blessing.
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post #5 of 8 Old 03-11-2008, 01:07 PM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 55
zuckermania, I've been very happy with the V-strom. My wife had owned one before that I hadn't ridden and when we bought the new one I rode it and have had a smile on my face ever since. The Strom is excellent on the road whether a short day or long day, did a Key West run in January with it. More comfortable for me then a sportbike. I actually have gotten to the point where I prefer my KLR and V-strom over my Harley.
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post #6 of 8 Old 03-12-2008, 03:39 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2008
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I currently ride a Suzuki SV650S, but my girlfriend rides a Yamaha FZ6. We ride for both commuting and medium to long trips (for us, medium is 150 miles, long would be 250 miles or more in a day).

That said, I've been toying with the idea of getting a vstrom, probably the DL-1000, but I've also ridden my girlfriends FZ6 and I honestly love the FZ6. If I were you I'd at least try to get a test ride on the FZ6 and hopefully the Vstrom to get a good comparison. They are going to ride very differently: the FZ6 is going to make you feel like a speeding bullet (i.e. it rides much more like a sportbike IMHO because of the inline 4 and extra HP). I haven't ridden a vstrom, but my SV650S has the same engine and I feel the DL-650 is probably way more practical, but depending on how you ride you may or may not miss that little 'edge' the extra HP of the FZ6 offers.

Lastly I feel like I should mention this. With the FZ6 you are going to get up to the speed limit and beyond using only 1st gear and maybe 2nd. But, with the SV650S (in my case) and I'll assume the vstrom DL-650 you'll be able to use 3rd and 4th and won't find yourself winding out the RPM's all the way, since you'll have the torque much lower in the RPM range.

Think real hard about your riding style and what experience you are wanting from your next bike.

Good Luck!
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post #7 of 8 Old 03-12-2008, 05:07 PM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Albion, Michigan
Posts: 21
I currently ride a shadow and I just rode a DL650 today for the first time. I'd say you'd be happier with the Wee-strom. It's a great step-up from the Honda in usable power, comfort, and touring ability. Enough to make it totally worth it, but not so much power that you'll kill yourself.

If you want to ride 0-80 get the Wee. If you want to cruise at 120, get the Yammie (or the DL1000).

Cheers, Dean
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post #8 of 8 Old 03-12-2008, 05:45 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 22

Thanks for the input! Given my aversion to riding over mach 5.4, I'm heading over to the Suzuki dealer tomorrow. I did some pricing around and will be using the cycle buy invoice price to make an offer... hopefully it'll save some $$$.
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