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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 16 Old 04-27-2017, 09:41 PM Thread Starter
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New here down sizing

Hello all. I am looking at the 650 for my next bike. I am 63yo. Two years ago I started riding again after a 25 year hiatus. I had a Triumph Bonneville (1971 new) in high school then a Honda 750 while at Ft. Bragg. After the military and college I had a couple of BMWs. I decided to get back into riding and on a whim got a CTX 700. That was a really fun bike. I really liked the DCT transmission. Light and easy to handle. Then at the end of last season on a whim I tried the new HD Milwaukee 8 Road King. Sad to say, I bought the beast. Now I have to admit it was a magnificent machine! The new engine is beautiful. The bike was great on the highway. But... It is a monster to move around. To be honest it is WAY to much bike for the type of riding I do. I mostly ride around on the back country roads here in New England. I very seldom hit the freeway.
So I bit the bullet and sold the HD with only 1400 miles on it. I thought about getting a used 1200rt but they are very rare with low mileage. So I started to look at the smaller bikes. For what I want I probably don't need the 1000cc bikes. I ride solo. I do do extended trips but seldom cover more than 400 miles a day since I also do photography and stop pretty often. I have no interest in true off road riding, but want to have the capability of riding on dirt roads. I like decent wind protection, but since I don't plan to spend a lot of time on the slabs I just want to keep it from beating me to death. So here I am. My search has narrowed down my choices to the Strom, Versys and NX700. All three seem to have excellent reputations for reliability. For me the V-STROM has outstanding after market support and a very good community which is important to me. I plan to hang around here and see what folks say about things like windshields and panniers.
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post #2 of 16 Old 04-27-2017, 10:26 PM
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See plenty of information on windscreens in the sticky threads for each bike model. Those are the only places windscreens can be discussed.

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 #3 of 16 Old 04-27-2017, 10:31 PM
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Hello and welcome from a fellow New Englander. I think you will like the Strom if you go that route. I started riding again after many years and was looking for a solid touring/commuting machine and settled on the DL650. Great bike so far.
I imagine the Vstrom would be similar to the Versys and the Honda NX700 (I've never ridden either) but with a smoother power plant than the Versys and somewhat more aftermarket accessories available than both of those bikes.
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2016 V-Strom DL650 (red) 'Sweetness'
2011 V-Strom DL650 (white)
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post #4 of 16 Old 04-27-2017, 11:52 PM
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I started on a Honda Nighthawk 550, went to a Kawasaki Concours ZG1000 and now have a 2012 V-Strom 650.

My Connie was a great bike, and it took me hither and yon with nary a problem. But, after owning it for nearly 5 years, I was ready for something smaller -- something easier to move around at slow speed; something I had at least a chance of keeping upright if it started to tip over in the driveway. I looked at pretty much the same mix of bikes you mention (by "NX700", I assume you mean the NC700X); I settled on the Wee for 2 main reasons:
1. After test-riding about 6 different models, the Wee felt the best to me.
2. Every person (no exaggeration) I've known that's owned multiple bikes, of which at least one was a V-Strom, told me the Strom was the best of the lot. Those that had sold them always regretted it. I call that high praise.

All that being said, there was 1 other bike that I really wanted to love -- the Honda NT700V. I call it the '3/4 Connie', as it had most of what I really liked about the Concours (wind/weather protection, hard bags, shaft drive, etc.), but in a slightly diminished size. I took one for a test ride and, even though some have complained of them being under-powered, I didn't think so. But ultimately, I just couldn't get over the looks of the bike; I felt the integrated hard bags made it look like a scooter/motorcycle hybrid. Basically, an updated version of the Pacific Coast 800. The more I looked at it, the more I hated it. Add to that the fact that the cheapest NT700Vs around here were going for about $1000-$1500 more than I paid for my Wee and it was no contest.

Good luck on the search!

If it's a good day to wash the bike, it's a better day to ride the bike.
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post #5 of 16 Old 04-28-2017, 01:32 AM
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Just get one and you won't be disappointed. And that's from the guy that have owned 10 of them (2Vee, 5 Wee and now on Wee2 #3).
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post #6 of 16 Old 04-28-2017, 08:14 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks All!
bajakirch: I agree about the Deauville (Honda) most reviews of the NC700X say it is solid but boring. I think Honda has the market cornered on boring. GW, Civic Accord... (I own a Civic) With a few exceptions (CBR, Rune!?). I liked the CTX700 I had a lot. Loved the DCT (Boring). The engine is a freak of nature from a mpg stand point. I constantly hit 70+mpg and it used regular!

Rick123:That is some endorsement! That kind of loyalty in this type of bike says a lot. I don't see Suzuki V-Strom as a "lifestyle loyalty" brand like HD or BMW. So it must have provided consistent value and fun to have gone through that many.

Hank122: You know exactly what I am looking for. A bike that will cruse Cape Anne and Rt112/116 in the Berkshires. And have the ability to hit the forest roads of Maine or the unpaved notch roads of VT and NH. Last fall I was leaf peeping around Lenox and would go by a nice spot and wanted to turn around to go get the the photo. I almost killed myself trying to muscle around the Road King or drop the thing. BTW where did you get your bike? How was the dealership?
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post #7 of 16 Old 04-28-2017, 08:54 AM
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If I was sticking to pavement only riding, I would buy another Road King. I put 350K miles on those bikes and have a serious love for them. However, the DL650 will do exactly what you described all while putting a smile on your face. They also don't cost an arm and a leg & even fully farkled don't come close in $ to other large ADV bikes. To make your transition even easier, consider buying slightly used but farkled.
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'15 DL650XT
"You do your own thing in your own time"
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post #8 of 16 Old 04-28-2017, 03:52 PM
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Hola, and welcome. Windshields are good for deflecting the wind and rain. Panniers are great for carrying things. Tank panniers are good for blocking the wind and rain from the legs but make the bike drink more gas.
Don't even think about asking about lubricants unless you read the stickies and google the subject and reading every entry for the last 13 years.
Actually what works for me is looking at the new posts and you will find almost every question you may have come up in conversation.
Even answers you didn't know you needed to know will be answered.
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post #9 of 16 Old 04-28-2017, 09:39 PM
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On a Vstrom forum, there will be some bias toward the Suzuki, I know I love mine. Before I bought the my Strom, I test rode several bikes and documented it. Sometimes another perspective is helpful. You can find results of those rides here: Considering a weestrom

The first test (dl650) is on page 6, page 9 has the versys 650 test and there are a few in between. It may be helpful, it may not, but another perspective to think about. I test rode an nc700x on page 7, if I was buying a cycle for commuting only, it would be in my garage.

Also, the Honda cb500 series of bikes are top notch and if you are considering a 300, you need to think about the cb500x. I did not get to ride one but my buddy picked one up and absolutely loves it.

Good luck!!
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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 #10 of 16 Old 04-28-2017, 10:42 PM
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Consider the stroms (and most other "adventure touring" bikes) to be any-road motorcycles. They do fine on dirt roads when the tires are chosen for the surface. They are great on bad pavement, and lots of fun on good pavement. The post-2012 650s and the post-2014 1000s have significant upgrades from the earlier versions. I'm on my 3rd, this one is a 2014 DL1000A, and I'm a happy rider. The 2017 DL1000A will have a couple of good upgrades over the '14-'16 models--if it ever gets here.

All that said, the Yamaha ZF07 and ZF09 seem like really interesting bikes for pavement.

"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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