Inspection & Bike advice - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 22 Old 09-12-2018, 01:31 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 56
Inspection & Bike advice

I'm looking for my first bike, and the V-strom is at the top of the list. My budget is quite low, so I'll be looking at older models.
1) Is there a checklist you recommend for inspecting a used bike from a private party?
2) Any input on the 2004 V? I am inquiring about one listed with 33K miles on it. Asking $2k.
I appreciate input and advice. I am taking my time. Taking my Motorcycle training course this weekend. Should have my license to ride in 2-3 weeks. I haven't seen a bike listed this low, so I don't want to miss an opportunity, but don't want a mistake either.
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post #2 of 22 Old 09-12-2018, 02:38 PM
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Kansas City Area
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I've been looking for a V-Strom for a while as well, so I just have some reference for you.

I'm in the Midwest. I had been planning on buying a 2008 V-Strom 650 with 40k miles asking around $2450. It looked like a great deal, but the pre-owned dealer was closed the only day I was available to test ride (Sunday). I was waiting for this coming Friday or Saturday to do so and hopefully buy it. But it got sold this morning.

The next nearest VStrom in my area is around $3500. So you have a slightly older year, slightly less miles, but the price is pretty cheap. I can't help a whole lot as to inspections. Obviously at these prices, theres a lot to look out for and make sure you don't get swindled. Signs of rust, battery condition, tires, etc.
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post #3 of 22 Old 09-12-2018, 02:45 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 56
Thanks for taking the time to share! There certainly is a lot of information on this site. Everyone seams more than happy to help and share advice via experience. I will try to do the same in return. Best of luck in your search! I am waiting to hear from the seller. He is traveling to/from a conference, so it sounds as though he is perhaps a professional, adult, with money for maintenance. Fingers crossed.
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post #4 of 22 Old 09-12-2018, 04:36 PM
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Kansas City Area
Posts: 16
Can I also ask what else is on your list of bikes you're looking at? We're both pretty much in the same price range. I've spent weeks researching reddit, this forum, any reviews I could find on general web searches. But I know I'm just scratching the surface.

I had also been looking at the Yamaha FZ6 line of bikes, as well as the Kawasaki Versys (and now I'll be kicked out... haha!).

The MSF course is great. I feel like I learned a lot. And a lot of stuff that people seem to miss when learning on their own. One thing my class didn't do a good job of was having a variable amount of bikes to try. They were all Honda rebel 250s and a couple Suzuki GZ250s, which was unfortunate.

But what about your gear? Gear can add up pretty quick I've found. Got a Scorpion EXO R420 helmet for a very good price, around $150, which comes with both DOT and SNELL2015 certifications. I hear the DOT certification is ancient and absolute crap, even though it's frequently the bare minimum most places state side. Despite better judgement (no longer lifetime guarantee), I also got a Sedici Alonso jacket from Cycle Gear for around $150. Again, this is all reference. I'm cheaping out on gear, but am trying to get as much value as possible. Just curious what you've come up with?
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post #5 of 22 Old 09-12-2018, 05:09 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 56
I'm not really looking at other bikes. I think this one is the right package. not sure I'll have the cash right away, and winter is approaching here in the mountains. I expect that riding the small bikes in the class with give me a feel for how i should start. If not the V-strom 650, then a little general bike for a few months, then the V-strom.
Relative to gear, I have a DOT helmet to start from my son. I would then get a nice jacket with armor, used if necessary. I am going to be using back roads when I finally get to ride, so slower speeds, low traffic and plenty of skill building practice. I'm going to be patient, and don't want bad gear that will sacrifice safety. That said, I'm not going to hit the highway or ride crazy off road obstacles at speed. i'm respecting the situation. I hope my cash flow doesn't hinder the beginning of the hobby. We'll see.
Many people have recommended I (all people) start with a general bike below a 500cc level. I'm not overestimating myself. I can't wait to see what I feel after the course.
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post #6 of 22 Old 09-12-2018, 05:30 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Kentucky
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My list is short. I buy from adult owners who keep the bike maintained, fixed with OEM parts and have a neat house and garage. There are too many roached bikes for sale and my 3 items eliminates the majority of them.

"If its not broke yet, it can still be fixed"
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post #7 of 22 Old 09-12-2018, 06:27 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for sharing. Sounds more than reasonable...and simple.
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post #8 of 22 Old 09-12-2018, 08:36 PM
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Location: Gatton, Queensland, Australia
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JP - do not scrimp on safety gear, especially while inexperienced.

That is when a fall is more likely. Protective boots of some sort, gloves (you always put your hands forward in a fall) a protective jacket and pants. Plus a helmet of course. Jeans will rip apart in a fall - even at moderate speeds.

Buy the best that you can afford. Protective gear needs to be factored into your budget.

And I agree with STcorndog - summing up the owner and his garage/home will tell you much about how the owner cares for his possessions.
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post #9 of 22 Old 09-12-2018, 09:43 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 56
Hi Brockie,
I agree with your advice 100%. If necessary I will buy lightly used gear, such as the jacket with armour. I have a DOT approved helmet, but will probably upgrade that. Boots and gloves are on the list. Waiting to get a bike first / at the same time.
All advice on this forum is insightful and honest. I appreciate that very much!
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post #10 of 22 Old 09-12-2018, 10:22 PM
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Location: Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
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For a slightly amusing take on some things to look out for have a look at this.
Tires over 4 years old will probably need replacing. Look for a well maintained bike. Chain slack, brake lining left, dings in rad, and dings in the chrome on the front forks. The rad fan probably wont come on on the bike from just idling, but let it idle away as you check over the bike and listen for odd noises.
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