From what you said a V-Strom should fill the bill but you won't know if you like until you ride one. Since you've got the Nighthawk there is no rush to pick up a 'Strom so maybe you can find a cheap one now or in the Fall that doesn't need tires, brakes, chain, sprocket & etc. and ride it for 6-12 months with only gas/oil expenses and see if it is a good fit, sell it for what you paid and then hunt down a better V-Strom next year if you liked the rental.
Way back in 2014 I bought a 2007 Wee fixer-upper (not recommended) for $1500 and fixed it up and road it for four years then I sold it in April for $3000 (don't be fooled, net loss) and bought a 2014 Wee in red, which is the bike I really wanted.
That is an interesting idea, I guess at a certain point the depreciation curve on these flattens out and you could probably run one for a year without losing a lot of money. Kinda of like the nighthawk, too.
Welcome aboard, FT!
You mentioned comfort and looking at a Bandit 1250S. The B1250S has mega torque, an excellent machine, smooth in every way. But for me, the seat and handlebars were unbearable for distance. Maybe a Corbin seat and different bars I could have been fine with it.
But oh so different from a Vstrom! You have to ride one.
Yes I've read a lot of great things about the bandit's down low power delivery and being super smooth. I have also read about the seat and handlebars being an issue. Like you said I imagine a new seat would help and risers for the handlebar could probably straighten the riding position more, if needed. I don't think a little forward lean would be bad, except for those long trips where the pressure really starts to get on your wrists.
FarmTruck, last year I made the same switch you're considering. I replaced my '97 CB750 with a '16 DL650. I love the Glee (as the 12-16 650 is known around here).
The ergos while riding are surprisingly similar to the NH for someone my size (5'7"). I'm either on my toes or one-footing it when stopped on the Glee, which took me a little while to get used to. The peak power on the Glee is a little less than the NH, but peak torque is lower in the RPM band so it feels a little quicker than the NH. (That's assuming that my carb-tuning skills were enough to get peak power out of the NH.) I averaged around 37mpg on the NH, I average 49-50mpg on the Glee. That could also be related to my skills with the carbs though.
I miss some things about my NH, and I would have kept it if I had room for two bikes. It was far and away a prettier bike to look at than the Glee. I like the throttle response of the CV carbs better than the snappy onset of the fuel injection on the Glee, but I don't miss working on those carbs one little bit. Overall though, the Glee was a better choice for commuting which is about 90% of my riding these days, and a better choice for year-round riding.
I also considered the Tiger 800, Super Tenere, and KLR650 as replacements, but didn't get a chance to ride them. I managed to find a leftover new 2016 Glee in 2017 for a good price and jumped on it. I don't think you'll be disappointed with it as a NH replacement. Good luck with your search!
It's really interesting you made the same switch. I was a little concerned it would not be enough of a bump in power...but the power delivery of the Wee/Glee sounds more like my riding style.
I'm 5'10", so not too far off. Maybe I'd have a little more flat footed stopped position, which would be nice.
Glee? Is that due to something regarding the Gladius?
I'm with you on the carbs...it would take quite a bit for me to choose another carb bike next time around. I'm just done.
Welcome to the Forum.
I think the V STrom, either 650 or 1000, can really open up riding experiences. Both can be made to be stellar long distance bikes. Due to the ergonomics they have plenty of room and footpeg lowering kits are cheap and work perfectly. Seats are available that complete the "fit". You just cannot fix some bikes to fit for all day rides, and the NightHawk is one of those imo.
If you can afford the 2014 and up DL 1000 you will really like the power, brakes and suspension. Not a Bandit, but if you are wanting that extra power the 1000 has plenty.
I am really happy to see all the affordable aftermarket support for these bikes. Reminds me a bit of when I used to play around with a miata.
Unfortunately a newer 1000 would definitely be out of the price range. I don't NEED power, I am just more used to liter+ bikes so sometimes I wish had more power at my disposal, but we all know a 650 is still plenty fast enough to get you in trouble.
Thanks everyone for your comments!