Used 2012+ vs 2011- DL650 - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 13 Old 04-20-2017, 09:44 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Grafton, MA
Posts: 49
Used 2012+ vs 2011- DL650

Yes, another of these threads :rolleyes:
I've searched and found tons of threads comparing the two models of these bikes, but most of them were started in the 2012-2013 timeframe comparing "used 2011- vs new 2012+".

Now that the 2012+ have been out for a while and accumulating some miles, what's the general consensus on differences, maintenance, etc?
I know the advertised differences between the models - improved engine, suspension, seat - but I'm looking for daily use feedback.
Any gremlins that are coming to the surface or little issues that pop up on the newer bikes?

I had my heart set on a 2012-2014 model year bike (new style but w/o the beak)... but recently I've started 2nd guessing myself on that, entirely due to price.
The thing is that I'm a bigger guy, 6' 240lbs, so I know that even if I get a newer model with the 'better' suspension, I'll need to upgrade anyway.

Frankly 95% of my riding will be on-road and my goal will be to get the bike set up for spirited street riding more than trail riding (though not to push the suspension too far towards performance that it kills comfort). Stiffer springs, RT emulators, etc.
So this is where I'd be most interested in hearing any differences - do the newer bikes have any geometry changes that cause them to handle/behave better? Or are the improvements entirely due to improved springs/damping?

Aesthetically I definitely prefer the newer model years but form follows function in my book so I can get over the looks if the older models can hold their own against the new ones after swapping out seat, suspension, etc. The newer bikes seem to fetch a $1500-$3000 premium over the older ones which would go a long way to paying for the suspension upgrades and such. At this point I'm still leaning towards a 2012+ but it's a 60/40 split so not leaning too heavily one way or the other.

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post #2 of 13 Old 04-20-2017, 10:57 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2016
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Ive owned both body styles now... (actually 7 total... 3 DL1Ks & 4 650s)
The biggest diff between 1st gen & 2nd is the tank size... 5.8 vs 5.3 gal
My 04 & 06 Wees routinely got 48-50 mpg on smaller roads with lots of throttle movement....
The 011 got 50-55 mpg in the same riding....& the current 012 gets the same

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post #3 of 13 Old 04-20-2017, 12:42 PM
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I have owned both as well. The 2011 and earlier are very, very similar. Beyond some engine refinement when the dual plug heads came out and the option of ABS they are all but identical.

While the later few years of DL 650 first generation got better fuel mileage, it seems the 2012 and up do slightly better. Just about enough to make up for the smaller tank! Maintenance is about the same as far as cost, difficulty, price. The 2012 and up has a MUCH nicer engine imo. Not more power so much as a LOT better fueling and midrange power. It is happy pulling in the 2500 and up range, running around town in 2nd and 3rd gear at 3000 rpm. The earlier versions were not so happy doing that. You don't have the exposed oil cooler in front of the engine on the newer models. The instrument panel is much better in my opinion. Looks are better, if that matters. Resale value may be something to consider. The only real issue with the newer ones is the stator, which is on recall and that should fix that issue. Most of us have not had and probably wouldn't have an issue with the stator that came with them.

I'll leave with just this about the suspension. They are just about equal, meaning not very good. Brakes are exactly the same, unless you have a non ABS first generation, and like the suspension not very good by todays standards.
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'12 DL 650 '14 BMW R 1200 RT

WERKS modified clutch baskets for DL and SV 1000's.
The BEST in chudder control, noise control, and lasting durability! AVAILABLE HERE:

Have questions about the clutch in your DL or SV 1000? E-mail Terry [email protected]
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post #4 of 13 Old 04-20-2017, 12:50 PM
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Location: Evanston IL USA
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I had a slightly different experience. The 2008-2011 had the same stator problems as the Glee, but no recall for a free stator. The Glee is a slightly better bike stock than the Wee, a little more power, a little lighter, a little better suspension and brakes, a little better seat etc.. I got slightly better fuel economy on the Glee, but not enough to get quite the same range as the Wee.
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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

Please vote in the poll on what Strom(s) you have at
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post #5 of 13 Old 04-20-2017, 01:05 PM
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Location: East Tennessee
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If you really fancy the 12+ then keep shopping around a bit on a used one, there are some great deals to be had since the 17's are hitting the showrooms. The extra $1500 a few years down the road will not be felt much at all.

'15 DL650XT
"You do your own thing in your own time"
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post #6 of 13 Old 04-20-2017, 01:24 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Grafton, MA
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Thanks for the feedback - based on what I've read I think I'll aim for a 2012+ unless I find a killer deal on an older one.
I think the biggest point I hadn't considered was that the newer bikes may have the same top end power but have more usable power in the middle of the rev range.
Found a super low mile '14 adventure at a good price that I'm trying to make a move on this weekend - just waiting for the seller to reply now. Fingers crossed!
Thanks again!
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post #7 of 13 Old 04-21-2017, 02:38 AM
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Location: Mississauga, ON
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I've owned both body styles too. 8 in total. 5 Wee and now on 3rd Wee2. (that's beside 2 Vee). Go for Wee2 and don't even look back. All together much nicer package and better ride. The price difference is not that big at all if you look around.
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post #8 of 13 Old 06-20-2017, 07:18 PM
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Location: Phoenix, AZ
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Thanks for the tips. This is a bit older of a thread, but exactly what I have been thinking about. I too am finding great pricing on 2011 models that enjoy ABS, but still are that weird year prior to the model change. So from an age stand-point 2011 isn't much different from 2012, but there definitely is a gap in pricing. I agree the 2012+ looks better and as noted above enjoys some general enhancements. If I find a well-maintained 2011 and it is priced a good amount lower, it may be tough to pass up. Still, resale pricing is an issue. Down the road it still may be easier to sell a bike that is only one generation old versus two. I appreciate any other thoughts folks have on the differences of the two (or even if there is much difference between the model years of the wee2/glee). At this point the 2017s are slow in coming to the market. So I don't think the second generation is doing too bad from a resale standpoint, but that may change in another year or two, especially if folks find that third generation to be significantly better (and not just cosmetically). So far I have heard good things, and Suzuki is doing well with the related SV650.

14 Suzuki DL650A/V-Strom
09 Suzuki Boulevard C50 "Green Hornet" (sold)
85 and 96 Honda Magna 750 (sold)
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post #9 of 13 Old 06-22-2017, 03:18 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Grafton, MA
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I wound up buying a 2013 Wee2. Never got a chance to test ride an older model but I can tell you that I love the 2013.
Already have 1,000 miles on it and barely rode for the first 3 weeks of ownership due to rain and business travel - just can't get enough. Only problem is that when I get to work I just want to leave and ride more.

I don't know what your budget & schedule is, but if you can wait on buying a bike there are some pretty good deals to be had... you just have to keep a close eye on craigslist or other ad sites (motorcycle trader, etc) and move fast when a deal pops up. I got a killer deal on mine (at least I think I did) with low miles and most of the basic farkles already done but I had to shop around for a few months to get it... if I was in a rush I would have probably ended up on an older model to save some cash, but I'm glad I decided to wait.
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post #10 of 13 Old 06-23-2017, 01:10 AM
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I never consider re sale when buying a bike, I will always lose my ass anyway due to all the upgrades I install. A motorcycle is a terrible terrible investment, actually they are wonderful money pits.

BRIAN "GO Buckeyes, GO Wildcats"!

2015 DL650 XT "Hector"

1997 Honda Valkyrie 1500 custom “Dolores”

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