Help out a prospective Vstrom owner looking for advices - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 35 Old 09-03-2017, 08:26 PM Thread Starter
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Thumbs up Help out a prospective Vstrom owner looking for advices

Dear Stromtroopers,
I am considering purchasing a Vstrom 1000 and I would like to hear your opinion!
First a little bit about myself: I'm a PhD student living in Southern California, grew up in Italy riding Aprilia crotch rockets. A couple years ago while travelling through Arizona I bought a 1977 KZ400, a UJM was pretty much all I could afford on a grad student salary so I bought it. I have been working on it ever since and even though I am pretty happy with the results I am growing tired of spending all my time wrenching and not riding. Also I now realize that a straight twin 400 from the 70's is not the best bike to deal with high-speed freeway riding here in SoCal.
Recently I decided that I really need a bike I can trust for any kind of riding, and I need this bike to be cheap given my limited budget. The Vstrom caught my attention because it seems an extremely capable bike, reliable, and probably under-appreciated in the used motorcycle market (good luck purchasing a UJM, a Ducati or a Triumph in the hipster driven market here in SoCal!)

So here is the summary:
  • I need a bike that I can commute everyday with, 10 minutes of freeway riding.
  • Good for weekend getaways where I might right 2 up with my girlfriend (Sequoia, Joshua Tree, Pacific Coast Highway!).
  • Capable of light offroading to go bike-camping.
  • Reliable enough so that I can just deal with regular maintenance and NOT spend all my time fixing stuff as I am doing with the 70s KZ (I am a pretty capable mechanic, I can fabricate, machine stuff too but I am TIRED of fixing things).
  • Able to take me on a Pacific Northwest trip that I am planning to take after my graduation.
  • CHEAP. I think my budget's upper limit right now would be $3500, but the cheaper the better.

I think that a 2004-2005 Vstrom DL1000 fits pretty well these requirements, but I am looking forward to hearing from you. Don't be shy and feel free to mention other bikes if you think they happen to fit the description, but my understanding is that the Vstrom is a pretty compelling candidate when you consider the '' bang for the buck'' factor. I would also be happy to know what mileage range I should be looking for and what known problems I should be aware of.

Thank you SO much!
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post #2 of 35 Old 09-03-2017, 08:43 PM
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Are you married to the idea of a DL1000? The DL650 will do the stuff you're asking for, and will do it cheaper. MPG for the 650 is going to be in the 50's, which will be better than the DL1000, plus the 650 will run on 87 octane fuel. The 650 will cruise along just fine at 75-80 mph, though your mileage is likely to drop into the mid to high 40's (which will still be better than the DL1000). The 650 is lighter than the 1000, which may be a factor for you since you're coming off a KZ400.

I put a lot of two-up miles on my 650 before I traded it; it's a very nice two-up touring platform. My passenger and I took multi-state trips on my 650, with a load of gear, with no issues.
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post #3 of 35 Old 09-03-2017, 08:50 PM
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For what you are saying, just get 650. cheaper to buy, lower running cost (better on gas) and maintenance cost. lower insurance cost and no mechanical issues. also much easier and cheaper to get farkles if you need them (either new or used).
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post #4 of 35 Old 09-04-2017, 12:22 AM
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If you hunt around you might even find a decent WEE (DL650 1st gen) with ABS and all the add ones that you likely want.

The 1st gen DL1000 has more power but has fuelling issues and under practical conditions won't serve you any better than the WEE for what you want it for. I put 35k on mine and we were all over the US and Canada :-).

There are may more WEE's out there than VEE's so also likely more choice.
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post #5 of 35 Old 09-04-2017, 03:38 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RCinNC View Post
Are you married to the idea of a DL1000? The DL650 will do the stuff you're asking for, and will do it cheaper. MPG for the 650 is going to be in the 50's, which will be better than the DL1000, plus the 650 will run on 87 octane fuel. The 650 will cruise along just fine at 75-80 mph, though your mileage is likely to drop into the mid to high 40's (which will still be better than the DL1000). The 650 is lighter than the 1000, which may be a factor for you since you're coming off a KZ400.

I put a lot of two-up miles on my 650 before I traded it; it's a very nice two-up touring platform. My passenger and I took multi-state trips on my 650, with a load of gear, with no issues.
I'm used to riding pretty fast bikes (yeah disregard the KZ I have now ) so I thought that the 1000 was going to be a better choice for comfortable 2 up riding and having enough power to cruise along around here where 80-85 mph is not uncommon... but of course your real-life experience matters! I will take a look at the market and get back to you guys.
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post #6 of 35 Old 09-04-2017, 08:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chikosneff View Post
I'm used to riding pretty fast bikes (yeah disregard the KZ I have now ) so I thought that the 1000 was going to be a better choice for comfortable 2 up riding and having enough power to cruise along around here where 80-85 mph is not uncommon... but of course your real-life experience matters! I will take a look at the market and get back to you guys.
I have owned 2 DL650s and 2 DL1000s; so, I do really like both models.

The DL650 is (by no means) a turtle; but, the power of the DL1000 adds a little more fun and can stretch your arms a bit. As for cruising 80-85, I would take the V all day long. The V will feel more planted, at speed, and still has plenty of passing power. Personally, I like to cruise on the highway where the engine is not working hard. I just feel more relaxed, especially on the Interstate highways. The extra oomph of the V is also appreciated for accelerating to a safer riding position or away from trouble.

Moving on to the wee, one aspect I really love about the DL650 is the tank range. At 50+ mpg, you have around 250-275 mi. between fill-ups. The V will only get in the high 30s to low 40s mpg. I have taken the wee on some long trips and really have zero complaints and I weigh 270 lbs. As far as power goes, the wee is no slouch and really wakes up at 6k revs.

For your cruising preference 80+ mph and 2-up riding, I think the Big V fits the bill. And, if you like the extra power for passing or just for fun, that is another reason to go with the V.
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post #7 of 35 Old 09-04-2017, 08:28 AM
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Well you can kiss the BMW off of the list.

"Reliable enough so that I can just deal with regular maintenance and NOT spend all my time fixing stuff as I am doing with the 70s KZ (I am a pretty capable mechanic, I can fabricate, machine stuff too but I am TIRED of fixing things)."

That's a pretty tight budget - even for a good used Strom. With another $1-2k you might be able to pick up a Gen 2 650 - like a 2013 with some miles on it. Otherwise, Gen 1 650.

https://www.cycletrader.com/listing/...ABS-5000011919

https://www.cycletrader.com/listing/...-ABS-122985726
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Last edited by SECoda; 09-04-2017 at 08:41 AM.
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post #8 of 35 Old 09-04-2017, 09:00 AM
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Like my 650 Wee fine and rode 1000 and 650 before buy.Have owned more fast four sport bikes than any thing but so old now don't miss them as much as first few years I stopped buying the fastest thing out every new buy.
The 1000 IMO is a bit better if doing a LOT of 80mph and more freeway but the 650 is not shy about doing it as long as you want.Mine with 58,000 see 100 or more all most every time out if solo.
May be its just where I am at but the older 1000 Stroms seem to go for less than the 650 here. They feel about the same to me but the 650 will lug down way better in high gear and not rowing the gear box all the time in tight cruves. Both great bikes and the 1000 when they went to two into one like the 650 feels much better than the old 1000 to me,more like a big 650 if that makes sense? Either one should do you fine.
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post #9 of 35 Old 09-04-2017, 10:20 AM
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The 650 is a much sweeter engine than the 1000. The 1000 is more vibes and in general less refined. Obviously the 1000 has more power and especially the 2nd generation (2014 onwards) 1000 has a lot of low rev torque. Given your budget I would look for a later 1st gen 650.

If you think you need more than 60-ish HP then go for the 1000 and make sure the fuelling has been sorted out and ideally the suspension and front brakes have been upgraded.
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post #10 of 35 Old 09-04-2017, 10:32 AM
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If your graduate degree is an MBA instead of Art History I would wait a few months and pick up exactly what you want. :-)
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