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post #1 of 15 Old 08-24-2016, 06:13 PM Thread Starter
btadlock's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Evergreen CO
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Questions on the V-strom

I am looking to get an adventure bike, not new to bikes, have a couple dual-sports. (Kawasaki KDX 200 and KTM 520), but looking to get something to do some long distance travel. I began looking and have seen a few V-Stroms out there, but I know absolutely nothing about them. I have a passing knowledge of the BMW GS(A) line and the KTM 950/990/1190/1290 line, but until I stared looking around, never even heard of the V-Strom.
I am only in the market for used.
So, the first question, and apologize right up front if it is offensive, but why is the V-Strom such a bargain compared to the BMW and KTM? I realize the price premium that both those brands carry, (I am not going to reveal how little I paid for the KTM), but I am seeing comparable V-Stroms at third to half of the price of comparable BWM and about half the price of the KTM.
Having looking at and test ridden a couple, they appear solid, well made and with the right set of accessories, very capable ADV bikes.
I am focusing on the 1000 for myself, and the 650 for my wife. How is the 650 at highway speeds? I researched the KLR 650, but given the poor feedback about extended periods at interstate speeds, I have ruled it out. Our trip is in the initial planning stages, not intentionally choosing interstate travel as a major part, but there will be some.
Is the 650 a capable highway cruiser? Any issues with overheating or oil consumption at 65+ MPH?
Are there any know issues/problems that I need to be aware of when looking at one?
Are there particular year models, for the 650 and 1k that are better built, equipped?
Year models to avoid?
Thanks for your response, hoping I did not offend. If these answer can be found in a particular forum or post, please just point me that a way.
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post #2 of 15 Old 08-24-2016, 06:33 PM
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I have a 2011 dl650 abs ,its my first V-Strom and I did a lot of research and test rides,and for me I decided on the 650 ,cruises highway speeds all day no problem ,as far as I know the one issue with them is no headlight relays ,you can look it up on this forum ,I installed relays on mine just to avoid a future problem,I have had no issues with mine so far 9k miles since I bought it used had 6k,I was going to get the 1000 because I had not ridden anything smaller since I was a kid ,I test rode a 1000 and when I returned to the dealer the salesman had a 650 out ,he convinced me to try it ,I had already tried several bikes around that size and was not to impressed needless to say I wound up getting a 650 and I dont regret it. Good luck.

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post #3 of 15 Old 08-24-2016, 07:28 PM
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Location: Kerrville, TX
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The 650 had a redesign in '12, and one thing that became standard was ABS. Pre '12, ABS is an option. There are great bargains to be had out there, including bikes with all the farkles already, saving you money doing it. I don't know much about the 1000, but I think it was redesigned in '14. The 650 is very capable of interstate travel, it will easily hold the spedo at 90, however with a drastic drop in fuel mileage. Will cruise 70-75 real easy, and get close to 50 doing that, depending on the load. I did a 3500 mile trip last Sept., the first day leaving Texas. The temp climbed to 105 for some time, never a problem overheating, the whole trip never using any oil. The return day was 600 miles of total interstate. While boring, it did the job nicely. Farkles are cheap and plentiful for the Vstrom, costing much less than the other brands. I got bar risers, along with other items, on the forum fleamarket here. Risers for the strom (what's to wear out?) were 35.00. For my BMW they were 230.00. I'm real happy with the Strom, it has lots of power and revs freely. Keep the revs above 5krpm and it provides lots of thrills too. The one thing you will most likely want for extended tours is a new seat, but there are great options for that also. The strom is not a heavy duty off road machine, but for dirt roads, creek crossings and the like it does real well. I ride often with GS guys, both 700 and 800, and I have no problems keeping with them. The F800GS is more capable off road, I think the Strom compares more with the 700GS, but at a lot less money. Oh, and the Strom can be lowered for around 50 bucks, with simple dog bones, if that's a need for your wife. Compare that to the cost of lowering a beemer. I'm not trying to knock the beemers, I own a F800GT also, it fills different needs than the strom, but the cost of ownership into that line is indeed more. Good Luck with whatever you get! Happy Trails....
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post #4 of 15 Old 08-27-2016, 02:49 AM
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Mississauga, ON
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I'm on my V Strom #8. First 2xVee (1000 first gen.) Then 5xWee (first gen. 650) and now on my first Wee2 (second gen. 650). Never any single problem. No oil consumption at all and no overheating. I don't know which 1000 you after but ride 650 before you pull the trigger on 1000 (specially that your wife is not going to be your passenger).
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Last edited by Rick123; 08-27-2016 at 11:31 PM.
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post #5 of 15 Old 08-27-2016, 03:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Rick123 View Post
....Never any single problem. No oil consumption at all and now overheating.....
Did you mean no overheating?

There are holes in the sky where the rain gets in,
and the holes are very small, that's why rain is thin.
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post #6 of 15 Old 08-27-2016, 04:06 AM
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Or, you know, now no overheating.


Some people are like clouds. When they go away it makes the day seem brighter.

2015 XT.
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post #7 of 15 Old 08-27-2016, 07:17 AM
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My wee has 115,000 km on it ....uses about a 1/2 pint of oil in 7,000 km - mostly out the breather. Will cruise all day at 75 mph ( faster if you want ) and get 400 km per tank at 60-65 mph.

I've never seen the temperature gauge even move except at warm up. Starts reliably...solid machine with tons of farkles available.
Suspension handles rough patches nicely.

They are tallish bikes and top heavy ...a challenge for 30" inseam or less but can be lowered.

I'm happy on it weeks on a tour. Without luggage it's reasonably light and nimble. The 650 can carry as much total weight as the 1000

You should seriously look at a CB500x for your wife as an alternative.

Ontario Canada rider staying in Cairns Australian Feb to May & Aug-Oct each year
Canada 2018 CB500x >2009 CBF1000 sold 10 Wee ABS sold 09 Burgman Exec sold 10 NT700v sold
Australia> 04 KLR650 93 ST1100 sold
Travel photos> Oz riding >
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post #8 of 15 Old 08-27-2016, 11:32 PM
Join Date: Feb 2010
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Originally Posted by Radish View Post
Or, you know, now no overheating.

Fixed now.
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post #9 of 15 Old 08-28-2016, 07:18 PM
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: South Jersey
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I bought a 2005 Wee Strom this past January and have put 4000 miles on it since I picked it up. The bike now has 32500 miles on it and doesn't use any appreciable oil. I noticed it was in the middle of the glass a few months back and topped it off. It hasn't dropped any thing noticeable in 2000 miles.

It is tall and can feel top heavy at times. I am 6 feet tall, and I couldn't find a place where the stock windscreen would let the air move around my helmet without beating me up, I put on a taller Givi screen with Madstad mounts and it is better.

With the stock mirror mounts, I could only see my shoulders; moved them out an inch and they work much better.

The Givi bags and trunk work well.

Obviously the Chain is something that needs some attention on a regular basis. I clean it and oil it before a long ride. I've been running regular gas and the bike seems to run well. Just put in a tank of mid-grade to see if it makes any difference. Normal riding 49 to 55 MPG all day highway riding. I can go 250 miles on a tank. When the gauge is flashing empty, and I am at 250 miles I have never put more then 5 gallons in the tank. They say it holds 5.8 gallons.

Even stuck in traffic on a hot day, I don't notice the temperature gage move.

On the whole, it has been what I expected from the bike. It still feels large to me, larger then my brothers Honda Shadow 1100.


Last edited by John David; 08-28-2016 at 07:47 PM.
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post #10 of 15 Old 08-28-2016, 07:57 PM
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There are some really nice used bikes out there for not a lot of money, and you can find them nicely outfitted. I just bought a Sargent Seat from a Guy in Delaware who had a beauty of a 2009 for sale fully loaded with 23000 miles and he was only asking $4800 for it. I was tempted to move to a newer bike.

I did get pretty sore on the stock seat after 3 days and 800 miles.

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