New vs. Used - new rider question - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 16 Old 05-07-2019, 09:30 AM Thread Starter
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New vs. Used - new rider question

Hi all,

Without turning this into a debate over the suitability of a V-Strom 650 as a starter bike, I would like to pick the brains of those more versed than myself in the Wee and riding in general. I'm currently completing my safety training, and will be picking up a bike once I've passed my closed track test. Given the physical size, reliability, and my preference for an Adv, the VStrom sits at the top of my list. I'm 6'3, 215lbs, athletic, and I've had quite a bit of off-road riding and snowmobile racing in my youth. In my mid 40's, with a family of 4, I'm now looking at sensible commuting and some weekend camping/fishing trips, which is something the V-Strom is certainly suitable for. I'm debating the following options:

I can get a pretty interesting deal on a brand new 2018 650XT in the white (which I love), with the racks, panniers, center stand, accessory bar, as well as an incentive plan from the dealership that includes AirMedi coverage, free oil changes while I own the bike, 5 year warranty (factory now anyway), and guaranteed blue-book buy-back if I trade the bike in there. That comes in at $9k all-in CAD.

Option 2 is 2008 650 with crash bars, skid plate, racks and 3 panniers, and center stand with sub 30,000 kms, in really good condition for less than $3k CAD.

I'm starting out, so the risk of dropping a brand new bike is real (particularly given I plan to go off road with it, which is why I'd install TRex bars and pate on it if I buy the new one). That said, the rider-aids on the new bike make it an interesting option for starting out (ABS/Traction)...and the warranty and incentives are pretty interesting.

Opinions are appreciated.

Last edited by B-Nads; 05-07-2019 at 11:30 AM.
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post #2 of 16 Old 05-07-2019, 10:26 AM
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I'd go the used route. Spend a season on it and then decide if you want to upgrade. If so there are good used deals on the newer bikes all the time, even better if they are already farkled.

My first strom ws an '07 DL650A. I put about 20K on it and wanted to go off pavement more, so I sold it to a buddy and bought a '15 DL650XT.....could not be happier.
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post #3 of 16 Old 05-07-2019, 10:37 AM
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B-nads -

Those dealer incentives sure are nice, butt my vote is for taking the $6k Cdn savings and using it to travel, ride, camp, fish, etc. while continuing to hone your riding skills.

I should think you could purchase a very nice tent, pad, waterproof bag, extras, and a complete set of very nice riding gear--including boots and helmet--while still having money to fund a couple of extended tours by motorcycle. Or you would have a nice maintenance account for new tires, chain & sprockets, wheel bearings, brakes, etc.

My '09 Wee has about 35k km now and I would not hesitate to ride cross-country. The only thing I think that could sway my opinion would be ABS but even that would not get me to pass up that much found money.

Good luck, whichever direction you choose!
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post #4 of 16 Old 05-07-2019, 10:49 AM
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I'm an off-road guy and new to the street. I went with a used 2007 650 with 33,000 mi. This way I saved money, and can now determine how much I love being able to commute into work on the bike, etc. Being a new rider also has it's learning curve, and as you pointed out is another good reason to go used.

I agree with the other points above, start out going used.
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post #5 of 16 Old 05-07-2019, 10:57 AM
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I agree with the others on the used. It has very low miles for an 11 year old motorcycle. One of the great selling points of v-stroms is the longevity, when properly maintained. Heck, they seem to even have longevity when not properly maintained. You could completely deck it out it the "most common" farkles for under $2000. If the farkles don't appeal to you, you are then really good to go. A five year warranty and free oil changes is appealing. However, comparing the $3,000 price to the $9,000 price, you could buy three of the older ones for the same price as the newer one. Think of how many oil changes and repairs could be made with that extra $6,000. Heck, you're in a position if you buy the old one to say, "oh no, it needs a new chain; I'll junk it and buy another for $3,000". Absurd? Yes. But it makes, what I think is, a good point.

Good luck with whatever decision you make. You won't regret it either way. Keep in mind, with the advice you are getting on initially buying used, is that it is much easier for anonymous posters on an internet forum to spend your money and the members here are not doing that.
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post #6 of 16 Old 05-07-2019, 11:02 AM
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@B-Nads ,
My 2˘ (2.6˘CDN Go with the '08. Your offroad experience will come back quickly, like returning to skating, and you'll likely as not find opportunities to put the crash bars & skid plate to use sooner rather than later. You'll like it for your commute as well, having the carrying capacity. For the cost of farkle-izing the '18, you get a whole farkled bike. Next year, you can get a left over '18 or '19 and maybe even as much or more for the '08 on trade; pretty good price for it before negotiatiating, IMO.
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post #7 of 16 Old 05-07-2019, 11:19 AM Thread Starter
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Appreciated, guys - thanks.

I have to admit it is the way I am leaning, and no small influence in it is my objective of eventually ending up on either a Tiger 800 or a F850GS (or a new Strom XT). I can buy the well-farkled '08 for $2500 cash and not be tied to a 5 year financing plan like I will on the new one. I'm an outdoor hiking/fishing/hunting nut, so that gear is already bought, and I'm buying my riding rig now (helmet, gloves, boots, jacket), so I'm not worried about the funding for those items as they are outside the bike purchase anyway. Budgeting for more riding, better rubber, etc is a great point though.

I'm going to check out the '08 tomorrow night in person, and if I like how everything looks and runs I'll give the seller a deposit and set up an inspection with the mechanic from my riding school.

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Last edited by B-Nads; 05-07-2019 at 11:29 AM.
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post #8 of 16 Old 05-09-2019, 07:51 AM Thread Starter
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Looks like some other lucky rider managed to swoop that '08 up before I could get a chance to go check it out...snoozin' and loosin' I guess.
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post #9 of 16 Old 05-09-2019, 02:02 PM
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Too bad. I'd recommend going used for your first bike, especially if you're already thinking about upgrading. If money's not an issue, great, but if you buy new and invest in a lot of farkling you'll take quite a hit when you sell it. Shouldn't be too hard to find another 'strom, or (gasp!) a Versys.
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post #10 of 16 Old 05-09-2019, 11:50 PM
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That was not the only v-strom out there. Unless you are desperate and need the bike now, just be patient and other deals will come up. Especially the further into the riding season the better the deals.

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