Considering Replacing GS550 - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
V-Curious A place for those that are thinking about buying a V-Strom to ask V-Strom owners questions

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post #1 of 8 Old 02-17-2017, 02:32 PM Thread Starter
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Considering Replacing GS550

Been searching and poking around the forums, figured someone might have shared my particular situation and could offer some insight.

Me:
6'7", ~160lbs, poor low back, but good knees and very comfortable riding gear
NW Oregonian

My current ride:
My 2nd bike, which I've put quite a few miles on, '78 GS550, pretty bone stock other than a nice seat and a tank-bag. It's seen mostly on-road commuting and short trips but maybe 20% off road/gravel/trails. No windshield, no faring, pretty bone stock standard. I've rebuilt almost everything (clutch, final drive, front forks, fuel system, carbs, electrical) so it's in fairly well maintained (although not sparkly clean) state.

My qualms:
-Bike has never broke ~30mpg even with very gentle riding. Not sure if it's been jetted or bored out by a PO.
-1st gear not low enough to maneuver the 4-banger around much offroad (this is an engine that likes to spin)
-6th is about right with a standard sprocket for commuting (used to have overdrive, 1st gear takeoffs on hills doubled up were rough).
-Has notorious vibration >6KRPM, which is anything over a 70mph cruise...known GS trait
-No windscreen/deflector kinda blows at highway speeds for someone who has to sit up straight
-Need more storage

My likes:
-Bulletproof
-Seat is very comfortable, but is clearly aftermarket custom by a PO
-Even at 6'7" I barely touch the ground
-Easy to work on (I do my own wrenching)
-Very smooth at 6K RPM and below
-Disk brakes


Thoughts:
My main pushes for replacement are a bit more distance comfort and the hopeful ability to run more than 100mi before I'm on reserve. Looking at a later 2013ish 650 v-strom, ideally with some storage (like the adventure model apparently comes with).

Considering my current (fully operational but fairly stock) GS, do folks think I will be able to knock a few things off my qualm list by doing an upgrade? If nothing else, a >100mi range on a tank of fuel would help me be able to use the bike for more than 2-trips to/fro work and/or a really careful jaunt up Mt Hood, etc. My concerns with the upgrade are maintaining reasonable seat comfort (willing to accept that I may have to have a custom seat made) and not loose my ability to cruise at 70mph without sitting on a thumper or a screamer (at those speeds). I've ridden a new-ish KLR and while I find them very capable, I'm not sure I would enjoy it dealing with commuter traffic which includes freeway driving (stop/go/hard-braking/etc.).

I've poking around my local circles to see if anyone has one I can test ride to see if we mesh. I love my GS but even if I found the (expensive) larger Katana tank for it, I'm still going to be taxed to hit 150mi+ range. I keep finding myself not riding as much as I want to because every time I leave or arrive I have to hit a gas station or gas-can.

What should I expect on price? I see a lot of the ADV models running around 5500-6K with high-teens/low-20's currently. I'm not looking for a collectors quality bike...I plan on using the hell out of it.

Thanks for reading my ramblings.

-Brandon
1978 Zuk GS550
Milwaukie, OR
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post #2 of 8 Old 02-18-2017, 12:17 AM
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The 650 is very good option, that is the opinion of many people here. You will get 200 Miles to a tank quite easily being that u r under 200 lbs. You have long legs at 6'7'' but if you felt really cramped there are tall seat options and peg lowering kits available. This is a sit up kind of bike. I am willing to bet you will be comfortable on it if you like that gs550 but only you can decide. Find a local dealer that has one and sit on it, that is a start. If it feels right, find one to test ride. Even if you are getting a Gen 2, the Gen 1 is similar enough to test ride and get a feel for the differences.

IMHO, you will own one if you get a test ride. I test rode several bikes and ended up here.

You will find several test ride results in this thread starting on this page.

considering-weestrom
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There are 10 types of people, those who know binary and those who don't.

What I ride now:
2013 Honda GoldWing (The Lady)
2014 V-strom 650 (The Mistress)
Previously: 07 Ultra Classic, 95 Softail, 80 gs450l
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post #3 of 8 Old 02-20-2017, 04:27 PM
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FYI - I went to craigslist and did a search for some bikes and there are a few around you both Gen1 and Gen2. Just realize there are few different searches you need to do to find them. (dl650, dl650a, vstrom, v-strom) Try all these. I saw a couple at dealers, they generally let you test ride a used bike without a hassle.

Good luck.

_______________________________________________________________________________
There are 10 types of people, those who know binary and those who don't.

What I ride now:
2013 Honda GoldWing (The Lady)
2014 V-strom 650 (The Mistress)
Previously: 07 Ultra Classic, 95 Softail, 80 gs450l
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post #4 of 8 Old 02-20-2017, 04:36 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vinnyvavoom View Post
FYI - I went to craigslist and did a search for some bikes and there are a few around you both Gen1 and Gen2. Just realize there are few different searches you need to do to find them. (dl650, dl650a, vstrom, v-strom) Try all these. I saw a couple at dealers, they generally let you test ride a used bike without a hassle.

Good luck.
Thanks for the replies so far. I've continued pawing through the forums while it's soaking outside.

Definitely been watching the local ads and drooling. The sellers seasons will be upon us soon but gotta wait for the tax-man before I can do anything but ride and clean my GS :-)

Looking at differences between gen1 and gen2. Prices are not THAT different in the used market, mostly just up to styling and upgrades over the years?

Thanks!

-Brandon
1978 Suzuki GS550
Milwaukie, OR
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post #5 of 8 Old 02-20-2017, 05:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon314159 View Post
Thanks for the replies so far. I've continued pawing through the forums while it's soaking outside.

Definitely been watching the local ads and drooling. The sellers seasons will be upon us soon but gotta wait for the tax-man before I can do anything but ride and clean my GS :-)

Looking at differences between gen1 and gen2. Prices are not THAT different in the used market, mostly just up to styling and upgrades over the years?

Thanks!
I think the biggest difference is stock suspension setup, fuel economy and 18lbs less Gen2 isn't that different just incrementally better bike.

Other things to look for Adventure package has crash bars, racks, Motech cases and MSA Vario windshield. XT adds spoked wheels, handguards and lower plastic cowling.
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post #6 of 8 Old 02-20-2017, 08:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyclopathic View Post
I think the biggest difference is stock suspension setup, fuel economy and 18lbs less Gen2 isn't that different just incrementally better bike.

Other things to look for Adventure package has crash bars, racks, Motech cases and MSA Vario windshield. XT adds spoked wheels, handguards and lower plastic cowling.
Cyclopathic is right on here. Gen2 is just a little better in a few ways than the Gen2 with a slightly different riding position. Here is a website that simulates MC ergos:
Motorcycle Ergonomics
If you cant get your hands on a Gen2 but are able to test ride a Gen1 and like it, you will like the Gen2. Of course, if you do not like the Gen1 at all, you probably will feel the same about Gen2.

_______________________________________________________________________________
There are 10 types of people, those who know binary and those who don't.

What I ride now:
2013 Honda GoldWing (The Lady)
2014 V-strom 650 (The Mistress)
Previously: 07 Ultra Classic, 95 Softail, 80 gs450l
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post #7 of 8 Old 02-20-2017, 08:25 PM Thread Starter
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I was playing with that website (ergonomics) comparing apples to apples. My GS has a tall seat on it so I'm guessing a little regarding height but getting a good idea.

I need to sit up almost perfectly straight as slouching or leaning forward lights my back on fire after about 20-30min. I also don't have any factory 'cushion' with my body type, so I'll definitely be playing with seats.

There is one around here (gen2) that seems to be missing only the crash bars (has aftermarket luggage, skid plate, grip heaters, guards, aftermarket windscreen). Price isn't great but I'm not in a rush.

Dealers around here only have DL1000's used. All their 650 stuff (gen2) is new.

The prices for gen2 are not far from gen1 (equipped) around here used...big bump up to new but not sure an equipped bike is worth almost twice used price for a year or two newer...esp if it's already had the factory recall/checks.

Thank you!

-Brandon
1978 Suzuki GS550
Milwaukie, OR
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post #8 of 8 Old 02-20-2017, 08:55 PM
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From what I understand the Gen2 fork springs about 10--20℅ stiffer and that addressed complains with mushy front.

Personally haven't ridden Gen1 but Gen2 has the best damping rod fork setup I have seen. Not to say it would not benefit from modifications but it was good enough to live with. All other damping rod bikes I had were modified in first couple thousand miles, not for performance for safety.

I did put Ricor Intiminators on Wee2 and it is a worthy upgrade, but this bike doesn't bag for it desperately. Gen1 most likely needs stiffer springs, with Sonics being a common go-to good luck.
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