V-Star 1100 Classic to V-Strom 650? - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 13 Old 07-10-2008, 03:43 PM Thread Starter
 
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V-Star 1100 Classic to V-Strom 650?

Hello everyone. Thought it was about time I stopped lurking and introduced myself since it appears I may be joining the V-Strom club soon. I'm 35 years old, and have been riding motorcycles since I was 5. Thanks to a wonderful father that put me on that first Honda Z-50, I've been able to share his love of motorcycles for most of my entire life. I don't get to ride as much lately as I'd like, but that will be changing soon as I shift priorities in the near future.

Anyway, I'm currently riding a 2006 V-Star 1100 Classic (http://emediadesigns.com/yamaha). I think I have determined however, that I'm not really a "cruiser" kind of guy. Coming from dirt bikes, I've never been super comfortable with the whole feet foward riding style, and really miss the ability to stand up and take some pressure off the 'ol cheeks every now and then on long rides. I've also found myself reluctant to ride if there is a hint of rain because sloshing that much chrome through the water on the road ends up taking an entire weekend to clean. I think I've decided I would rather have a "standard" motorcycle with better wind protection, more storage, and no CHROME!

I think the V-Strom may fit that mold, but just wanted to ask if any of you had made the same type of leap when getting your Strom? I realize the 650 won't have the low-end grunt of the 1100. Anything else I should be expecting? Another thing I have to consider is my height - I'm roughly 5' 7" with about a 29" inseam.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 13 Old 07-10-2008, 05:36 PM
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Same here

I too went away from a cruiser. Having nobody to help me shop for a bike I first landed on a cruiser, C50T to be exact. It was a good learner but I never really got comfortable on it.

I also felt compeled to keep it sparkly what with all that chrome (plastic or otherwise). I still have to admit though, it was a sharp looking ride.

My Son-in-law stumbled onto a sweet deal and bought a Wee-strom and we would take a couple of rides. Of course he has way more experience than I but he always just left me in the dust. And I had more juice than he.

Now I have the Vee and he still leaves me in the dust. I figure he just hasn't hit his limit yet. Though now I don't care much about polishing it, it just ride it.

Basically though, you will probably feel like the Wee is a rocket ship compared to the cruiser regardless of the displacement. The RPM range is higher and gearing is longer so you won't feel topped out as often. It does run and handle better when you keep the RPM's up though vs. the cruiser.

As for height, I'm 5'6" and 29" inseam and can't flat foot my Vee, which was tricky at first. Both the Wee and the Vee are tall'ish. Now I just stop with the left foot down and I'm all good. I did lower the bike 3/4" too which added to more foot on the ground but still no flat foot. It just takes a little time to get used to the weight as the center of gravity is higher than the cruiser but take it slow, it's a completely different ride. In fact I got the big grin for the first time when riding the Vee and that was after a year of riding the cruiser.

I have a much better view of the road, better control over the bike in the twisties and simply enjoy the ride that much more.

As an added note, I was in Hawaii 2 weeks ago where I rented a Kawasaki Vulcan 900 which was much like my old cruiser. It felt pretty much the same and even though I had a great time riding over half the island of Maui, I kept thinking 'I wish I had my Vee, this would be just incredible'.

My .02... PT

So I went up to him and said, "Only a coward would hit a woman. Why don't you hit a man?" And that's all I remember.
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post #3 of 13 Old 07-10-2008, 05:53 PM Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the detailed info, Pondthing! So you're my height and have the Vee rather than the Wee? I looked at a Vee a few weeks back at a local dealer, and it looked amazingly tall for a street bike - more along the lines of the off-road motorcycles. That does make me feel better, as I understand the Wee is about an inch shorter than the Vee. Being this short and growing up on dirt bikes you kind of get used to the "lean to the left" routine when stopping.

Any regrets? I have to admit I like the look of a cruiser a bit more than the Strom, but it seems to me that the Strom is function over form, and the cruiser is the opposite.

I have an opportunity to sell my V-Star for close to the cost of a new Wee OTD. My main problem is that I cannot find a Wee local for me to look at and sit on. I've called every dealer within a 200 mile radius, and although I found a few Vee's, I've not found anyone w/ the 650 in stock. Apparently, these bikes are getting rather popular!
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post #4 of 13 Old 07-10-2008, 06:23 PM
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No regrets

I can honestly say that I have one regret and that is that it took buying the cruiser to find out that I'm not that kind of rider.

Don't get me wrong, I thought it was a great looking bike but I kept having to polish it to keep it looking that way. The mileage was better than the Vee but I can live with that. It was a Suzuki so it was totally reliable. Plenty of upsides to that bike and lots of farkles to add to make it more comfortable but like you said, it was more form than function.

The Vee (or Wee), on the other hand, is all function and it's form is unlike any other. I feel like I stand out in a crowd instead of blending in. And not knocking the Harley guys, but plenty of them would accuse me of being a 'wanna-be'. I sure don't get that any more...

I also love the luggage options on this bike. Lockable and detachable. I couldn't stop at a store on the way home from work on the cruiser without having to carry everything into the store with me, nothing was lockable.

Both the Vee and the Wee are basically the same height. It's just that the Wee has a slightly lower seat but I bought the Vee with the Wee seat so it's the same height. The Vee is desireable for those that do a lot of highway miles and 2 up touring, not that the Wee isn't but it seems more stable for passing trucks and high wind situations.

Around here you would find the same issue in stores, no 650's especially ABS but 1 Vee, maybe 2. The 650, really, is a powerhouse ride and they're flying off the shelves, as it were...

PT

So I went up to him and said, "Only a coward would hit a woman. Why don't you hit a man?" And that's all I remember.
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post #5 of 13 Old 07-11-2008, 05:58 AM
 
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The Wee sounds like it may be the right bike for you. My wife had an 1100 star and went to the DL650, she loves it and has put way more miles on the Wee then she ever did on the star. I was a die hard HD guy myself, never disrespected a person for what they rode, but once I started riding the Wee I found I really liked that bike better. Long story short I sold my Harley. Most of my riding buddies are Harley owners and I've got nothing but respect from them when it comes to the Wee. Some of them mistook it for a BMW the first time I rode up on it. They were all pretty envious on our last trip when I was getting 58 mpgs compared to some of their's 38 mpgs.
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post #6 of 13 Old 07-12-2008, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by bsumpter View Post
Hello everyone. Thought it was about time I stopped lurking and introduced myself since it appears I may be joining the V-Strom club soon. I'm 35 years old, and have been riding motorcycles since I was 5. Thanks to a wonderful father that put me on that first Honda Z-50, I've been able to share his love of motorcycles for most of my entire life. I don't get to ride as much lately as I'd like, but that will be changing soon as I shift priorities in the near future.

Anyway, I'm currently riding a 2006 V-Star 1100 Classic (http://emediadesigns.com/yamaha). I think I have determined however, that I'm not really a "cruiser" kind of guy. Coming from dirt bikes, I've never been super comfortable with the whole feet foward riding style, and really miss the ability to stand up and take some pressure off the 'ol cheeks every now and then on long rides. I've also found myself reluctant to ride if there is a hint of rain because sloshing that much chrome through the water on the road ends up taking an entire weekend to clean. I think I've decided I would rather have a "standard" motorcycle with better wind protection, more storage, and no CHROME!

I think the V-Strom may fit that mold, but just wanted to ask if any of you had made the same type of leap when getting your Strom? I realize the 650 won't have the low-end grunt of the 1100. Anything else I should be expecting? Another thing I have to consider is my height - I'm roughly 5' 7" with about a 29" inseam.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
I'm now three weeks into a used '05 Wee after almost a year on a Honda 750 Shadow Spirit. I came back to riding after a twenty year hiatus and, at the time, a cruiser seemed suitable. It's a great commuting cruiser but I soon realized going around corners was more important to me than looks, sound or riding position. My mechanic used to race in Argentina and told me to look at dual-sports for commuting and that comment led me to the Wee.

I'm 5'11" with a 30" inseam and I'm still getting used to this top heavy beast but it is a great bike.
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post #7 of 13 Old 07-13-2008, 08:37 AM
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I too am coming off of a cruiser when I bought my 08 Wee. I had a 2003 Volusia that I rode for 5 years when I decided to go to something a little more adapt at touring. After a couple of weekend trips, my wife unexpectedly really got into motorcycle trips. We ended up making longer and longer trips and were having a blast. I bought a 07 Harley Electra Glide Ultra and find it a great multiple-day bike for touring. After a year with the Ultra, though, I missed something a little smaller for just tooling around and after riding a buddy's Vee I started looking at the Stroms as a second bike and decided on a Wee.

I mention all this because of two up riding on a Wee . . . my wife hates it. After putting some luggage on the Wee I thought I'd give it a try for a two up day ride. I made it a couple of miles from the house when my wife asked me to turn around and take her back home. Frankly, I wasn't all that impressed with using it for extended two up riding either. Apparently, a lot of folks do significant touring on a Wee, but if you're thinking about doing it take a hard look at it first.

Now the up side, I love my Wee and now I don't have to worry about sharing it. I've done some one up multiple day trips and it's been great, but when the wife comes along I pull out my beloved Harley.

As for cleaning the Wee, I guess I've polished so much chrome through the years that I'm still pretty picky about having a clean bike. I wash up the Wee after every ride, it just don't take as long as a chromed out cruiser.

2014 HD Electra Glide Ultra Classic
2008 Suzuki DL650 V-Strom (Flat Black Member #18 )
2007 HD Electra Glide Ultra Classic
2003 Suzuki Volusia
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post #8 of 13 Old 07-13-2008, 02:07 PM Thread Starter
 
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Location: Greeneville, TN
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Thanks for all the great information!!!

Yesterday I drove about an hour to one of the dealers that had the Vee in stock. As mentioned no one seems to have the Wee in stock, but I just wanted to look the bike over and have a sit on one to see how it would fit. The Vee is just a smidge too tall for comfort, so I hope that the lower seat on the Wee would make it all better.

One thing from this thread that has grabbed my attention is the two-up comments from Faulkner. I will be doing some two-up riding as my wife hasn't been through her MSF course yet. Hopefully that will happen sometime this year but for now she will be riding pillion. She actually doesn't like riding on the V-Star. The lack of a back rest and distance from me makes her a little uncomfortable. She liked the look and size of the Vee pillion accommodations better, but of course we've not actually ridden one yet.

May I ask what your wife disliked about the Strom experience?
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post #9 of 13 Old 07-15-2008, 06:29 PM
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I came from a Yamaha Road Star Warrior and have never looked back.

My wife refused to ride pillion on the Vee until I got some sort of back rest, it just made her very uncomfortable to not have that safety net. I bought a trunk and stuck it on there and she's fine with it, it's more a mental thing than anything else.

I still miss the huge torque of the Warrior but I hated cleaning the thing. I think I've washed the Vee twice since I bought it almost 10 months ago.

Go hang a salami I'm a lasagna hog

[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
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post #10 of 13 Old 07-19-2008, 04:28 PM
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VStar to BMW to Wee

I'll add my 2 cents (OK, maybe 3). I had the same V-Star 1100 (Silverado) and loved it but just as you folks said, it was a bit sluggish, did not enjoy the forward controls (floor boards were nice though!) and the cleaning was non stop. I also noticed a migration toward a "cruiser crowd" style and never felt that it fit me or I fit it -- leather, chrome and more chrome, loud pipes. I love the looks of it all -- don't get me wrong. I still find myself drooling when one I see one parked.

From the V-Star, I decided to try something quieter, more powerful, upright riding position, sport and touring combination. Short verion is that I found a very good deal on a BMW R1200 RT, loaded with 400 miles. I flew from NY to Springfield, bought the bike and rode it 900 miles home -- alternately smiling and gritting my teeth the whole way. It's a tall bike (I am 5'10" with a 31 in inseam), top heavy compared to the Star, totally different sound and feel (quiet, smooth, instant and never ending power, very comfortable, tons of storage and no chrome!). I loved it and still do -- 10,000 miles in one year of ownership. It is an amazing, high tech, precision machine.

Enter the Wee. My bike was in the shop for a month (says more about the shop than the bike) and I was antsy. Read a bunch of Beemer threads about the perfect 2nd bike. Seemed the Wee was named more often than any other. Did my homework on this site and others. Got a great deal on an 07 last January. I LOVE this bike. It's very quick, relatively quiet, great seating position (my legs are a bit cramped after about 75 miles), is extremely agile, great gas mileage (50+), large tank and has no chrome! It is an absolute hoot. I hope on it 2 to 1 over the Beemer when I have someplace close to home to go.

The down sides are few and fixable. Stock seat is a bugger (aren't they all?), pillion seat is average (my wife likes it better than the BMW Sargent seat but she has only gone 20 miles so far), needs a back rest for the pillion (easy to get), no storage to speak of, there is not much protection from the elements (get a madstat for the screen). The seat height might be an issue but there are threads around here about lowering options.

When I see what I paid for a new Wee compared to what else is out there, I think it is the best bike there is for the money, hands down.

I am looking for a new seat and maybe some highway pegs and I am good to go coast to coast -- it's an amazing bike. You won't regret it.
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