2014 DL650 test ride observations - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 21 Old 09-24-2014, 01:54 PM Thread Starter
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2014 DL650 test ride observations

Well, the dealer prepped a 2014 and I was able to take it out for about 15 miles today. I'm currently riding a 2008 ST1300A.

I'm 5'7", 30" inseam and weigh 145#. I was full ATGATT and it was sunny and 55. Here are my observations:

1. Nice sound. Idle was set at 1200... what's normal?
2. Nice riding position; firm seat; shifter inset a bit more than I'm used to
3. Nice torque and decent acceleration
4. Nowhere near the power of the ST1300 ( actually...duh)
5. Tons of wind/noise with shield in mid position. My ST1300 is a cockpit.
6. Harsh/stiff ride but well behaved
7. A bit buzzy and I kept it under about 5K
8. Felt very planted and handling felt very good (2 miles on tires). Better behavior than my ST1300 really.
9. I came to a stop in 3rd gear and 1 click of the gear shift only went to 2nd and stopped (blank display). I had to let the clutch out (it clunked into 2nd gear) and then had to repeat again to get to 1st. So, I couldn't just downshift at a stop from 3rd to 1st without pulling the clutch lever in/out a couple times. Very odd and annoying and I was able to duplicate it every time, so it will always do that. I've never had a bike do that before.
10. MUCH lighter than the ST1300; easier to move around (still tiptoe a bit)
11. Gonna require $1500 in "upgrades"
12. Price is $8200 OTD including all tax ($500)/title/prep, etc.

So, although it was a nice ride overall, is this a bike I can go into some debt for and happily ride 10's of thousands of miles on? I'm not sure yet. Properly farkled I'm sure the ride would be improved, but do I want to go there? My ST1300 owes me nothing; it's just gotten to be a big bike that I don't see the need for. I did sit on the Tiger and that felt very nice! (The adventure was way too tall, as is the Tenere) and more $$$ than I'm willing to spend.

So, I'm not sure whether I'll bite the bullet or not. The dealer is going to try and get a DL1000 for me to try as well. That's where I'm at right now...

Last edited by Outbackwack; 09-24-2014 at 01:58 PM.
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post #2 of 21 Old 09-24-2014, 02:35 PM
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Every bike I've ever had did #9. I'm surprised you found it odd. Constant mesh sequential gears normally need some movement. Maybe the bikes you've had got some movement from the hydraulic influence of a wet clutch. Shifting down to 1st before stopping isn't that difficult except in an emergency braking situation.

Pat- 2007 DL650A was ridden to all 48 contiguous states. I didn't quite make it to 17,000 miles on the 2012 DL650A.
Nicknames I use to lessen typing, Vee = 2002-2012 DL1000s. Vee2=2014-2016 DL1000s. Wee = 2004-2011 DL650s. Glee = 2012-2016 DL650s
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post #3 of 21 Old 09-24-2014, 03:26 PM
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1) 1200 rpm is normal.

3) Since you only went up to 5,000 rpm you didn't really get to feel what this motor is about. It is a lot more fun in the 5000 to 10,000 range than it is in the 1200 to 5000 range.

4) It will never be anything like a 4 cylinder! The ST1300 is a rocket.

5) It's different for everyone but Madstad Bracket and earplugs mean my Strom isn't worse than the ST1300 for noise.

6) Probably part of that is how the springs and shocks were set. But it is a much lighter bike and you do feel things more.

11) Why would you need $1,500 in upgrades? For most people something to reduce buffeting and a more comfy seat is about all that is needed.



I spent a week with my (then future) wife on the back riding in California and Arizona. We did about 2,000 miles on a rented ST1300. The ST1300 is a brilliant machine! Fast, effortless power and speed, great handling, wonderful for lane splitting, wheelies in second gear with just rolling on the throttle, fun! Even a California State Trooper thought it was fast (on route 66 West of Needles. ) Ultimately I couldn't wait to get back on my old 2006 DL650 (which had about 200,000 km on it at the time.) Nothing wrong with the ST just rather like the general purpose nature of the Strom.

..Tom

2006 DL650: 202,000 km 125,500 miles, Sold
2012 DL650 139,500+ km, 86,700+ miles. Sold
2015 DL1000 New July 2015 193,000+ km, 120,000 miles.

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post #4 of 21 Old 09-25-2014, 04:31 PM
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>>For most people something to reduce buffeting and a more comfy seat is about all that is needed<<

But we all know it's not necessarily about need! :-)
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post #5 of 21 Old 10-16-2014, 09:19 PM
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A few comments:

0 - If you are considering a second gen DL650, maybe don't drop $8200 OTD on a new bike and get a used one for a thou or more less. The current gen has only been out for 2+ years, a low mileage used bike should be obtainable with a little hunting.

1 - "Buzzy but you kept it under 5K" - were you riding an Adventure model (or one that otherwise had the Suzuki OEM crash bars installed)? I personally don't feel any "buzziness" at all until at least 7500 RPM (I have no crash bars). And really, the fun begins around 4000-4500 RPM if not higher.

The only buzziness I can think of under 5K (or anywhere near it) on this bike is the reported vibration from the OEM crash guards that come with the Adventure model. A simple thing to fix by all accounts.

2 - Less power / shielding from elements than the ST1300. Well, yeah. It's a mostly unfaired 650cc bike. But plenty for one-up riding. And the lack of fairing and higher road clearance is a nod to the potential for going off-road on this bike.

3 - What upgrades do you feel are "required" that will run $1500? Seriously, the only must-haves on this bike - unless you're adding more aftermarket fairing - would be a fork brace, center stand, top case and most likely, some kind of seat and windshield personalization. The seat upgrade could be as cheap as a Bead Rider or a Russell Day-Long saddle; except for the seat, which can go for a lot depending on what you choose to do, the fork brace, stand, top case and windshield upgrade shouldn't run you more than $500 all told.
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post #6 of 21 Old 10-17-2014, 11:49 PM
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You'll really like the 1000, but...it needs to be lowered for you. The suspension will be stiff until it is broken in and freed up. It needs to be adjusted to your preference. The touring windscreen it's a bit better than the standard screen, and the (worldwide out of stock) Givi Airflow is de-luxe.

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post #7 of 21 Old 10-18-2014, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
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This bike would essentially replace the ST1300 so it would need to be set up the same way for full 2-up touring, hence it would need full bags, power options for GPS, heated gear, aux. lights, etc. Speaking of which, will the DL1000 run heated gear for 2 people? I'm not sure of the power output without researching that aspect. Right now I think I'm leaning toward a low mileage 2014 DL1000 next fall when the 2016's are coming out (if they do). Thanks, gents!
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post #8 of 21 Old 10-18-2014, 12:43 PM
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Ample power from the new 1000.

"Older people who are reasonable, good-tempered, and gracious will bear aging well. Those who are mean-spirited and irritable will be unhappy at every period of their lives.

"Let each of use properly whatever strengths he has and strive to use them well. If he does this, he will never find himself lacking."

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post #9 of 21 Old 10-19-2014, 11:16 AM
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The 650 Strom motor won't replace the ST on the highway by a long shot - I have both. The Honda takes the edge in comfort, quality and power. The Strom is more of a lark in the canyons. (How old does 'lark' make me sound?lol) It's a great bike for cruising city streets or mountain roads at 55. What's your cup of tea?

Bill

64 Hon cub 50, 67 Hon trail 90, 68 Yam 180 twin, 66 Hon 305 dream, 71 Yam 175 enduro, 73 Yam tx500, 70 Hon sl100, 75 Hon xl250, 79 Yam sr500 , 95 Kaw en500, 98 Hon cb750, 02 Yam fz1, 06 Suz dl650, 07 Hon ST1300



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post #10 of 21 Old 10-19-2014, 11:47 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bill l View Post
The 650 Strom motor won't replace the ST on the highway by a long shot - What's your cup of tea? Bill
I want both aspects in 1 bike :-)

When I did my long ride last year I missed out on a lot of dirt roads out west because of wet conditions and the fact that the ST1300 loaded up for camping and 2-weeks of travel tips the scales at around 1000 pounds. Frankly, I'm getting too old to be hefting that much around. Now, when she's on the road she feels much lighter, but try backing it up in a parking lot... fugetaboutit!

The first time I sat on the DL650 I almost threw it over! I was still trying to right something 300 pounds heavier! At my age light and nimble is good... but I'd like to also be able to do a 800 mile ride if I want. My longest was 900 miles in 15 hours on the ST1300, only stopping for gas and food. And it felt good.

I suspect it will come down to the DL1000 and Super Tenere. The shaft drive on the S10 is a big plus for me, but it's also much bigger and heavier.
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