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post #1 of 21 Old 05-26-2010, 04:36 PM Thread Starter
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Question Planning to buy soon - have some questions.

Ok - so I'm in the market for a bike, and after having done a lot of research over the last year or so (mostly online, but I've been to a couple bike-shows and sat on one of almost everything) I've pretty much decided on a V-Strom. My riding is going to consist of driving to work and back on good-weather days (mostly freeway for me) and one-day or multi-day highway rides - not much city/traffic riding though I'm sure some is inevitable, little or no off-road - I'll take a gravel road if I have to to get where I'm going, but none of my friends bikes is suited for 'adventure'-riding, and I've got a 2000 Honda CR250R for when I wanna play in the dirt. Basically - I'm planning to use it as a sport-tourer, more tour than sport.

On to my questions...

The first obvious one that has been asked 1000000 times - 650 or 1000? I'm leaning much more towards the 1000 - yes it is my first street bike, no I'm not worried at all about controlling the power. If you can get a two-stroke motocross bike started from 1/2 way up a steep hill without flipping over or spinning out, then you can handle a clutch well enough to handle anything else imho. (I've been riding dirt-bikes since I was in grade 2 on a 50-cc with 3 gears and no clutch, and riding two-strokes with narrow power-bands for the majority of that). I'm more interested in the extra stability of the 1000 on the highway, and the power for passing. The price-difference doesn't matter so much (enough for either is set-aside already), worrying about fuel-consumption in a toy is silly (gotta pay if you wanna play) - I'd get a scooter to drive to work if that bothered me. I also have access to my wife's CBR125 for practising on - but honestly I think the dirt-bike is closer to the V-Strom than that tiny CBR is.

Second question concerns which edition of the bike to get - the basic or touring. AKA should I get the Suzuki bags with the bike or get the basic bike and aftermarket bags. My original plan was to go with the suzuki bags, but the more I read the more problems I encounter and now I'm leaning more towards the base bike and some aftermarket parts.

And final question.... whether to wait for the 2011 line-up to arrive. There's practically no information at all available about it, except that there might be something released in mid-June. Any information at all (even rumors) would be helpful in this area - eg. if there's a reasonably good chance that the 2011 will be available before end of june and will be adding abs then I'd wait.
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post #2 of 21 Old 05-26-2010, 05:04 PM
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if it were me....

A couple of years ago after lurking the site, I went with the 650 over the 1k. I wanted a sport-tour bike, with bags and center stand. After reading about some of the issues with the 1k, and knowing I have a 120 mile round trip to work, I wanted a bike that would run smoothly, without having any issues. The 650 has been great for me. My bike came with the OEM bags, they are ok for daily commuting, if I could have found a bike with different bags, I would have gone a different route. The good thing about a VStrom either way you go, you can find the farkles you need to make the bike yours! Good Luck!

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post #3 of 21 Old 05-26-2010, 07:53 PM
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Thumbs up

1- Don't get over confident in your ability to ride, the 1000 can bite and the 650 has the performance ability of bikes in the 800/1000cc bracket.
My Wee is only marginally slower than my R1150GS was (less than 0.5 of a second from 0 to 100kph/62mph)

2- Dealer luggage here in Oz. is supplied by Givi, mine have water leak and locking issues so from my experience I would say buy aftermarket (plenty of threads/feedback on this forum to help you decide what suits you best).

3- Don't know about waiting for the next model release, I bought mine in Sept.09 straight off the showroom floor.

My Wee with ABS is the best all round bike I have owned (bike #15) and does everything perfectly for my needs.
I do a 75km commute to work and back, I ride day and weekend rides, I do one or two interstate/multi state rides per year that are usually ten to fourteen days on the road.
The rides include highway, back roads, twisties, mountain and dirt roads but no serious off road/trail rides (yet :lol: ).

The Wee has less maintenance/tuning issues than the Vee and is a smoother ride (yes I did ride a Vee before buying a Wee).

With either the Wee or the Vee you will be buying a bike that will never "just sit in the garage", I bet you will ride it more than anything else you own.
Just as a guide to which one to get, the Wee out sells the Vee by something like 15 to 1, stats like that must tell you something

Enjoy whatever one you choose unk:

Ock. in Oz

I ride naked and unafraid.

Windsor (near enough)
NSW
Australia

Last edited by ockerstrom; 05-26-2010 at 08:02 PM.
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post #4 of 21 Old 05-31-2010, 09:36 PM
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You're thinking correctly. The throttle response you feel when you nail the throttle on your CR250R is much more similar to the 1000. The 650 is more of a gradual building.

Usually I would not tell someone to start riding with a 1000, but your dirt bike experience will serve you well. Most skills translate well to the street. The huge one that doesn't is locking up your back wheel on the pavement. That common situation in the dirt can launch you over the bike in a high-side on the hard top. Look into that one and understand it, it's important.

The 1000 is tall which will feel pretty natural to a dirt biker. If you like hammering the throttle on your MX bike you should get the 1000. The 650 takes off and builds speed more like a gentle trail bike, not a MX bike. The 1000 will feel more familiar to you, but it can be pretty gentle if you want it to be (while building street skills).

No need to wait for another model year. Suzuki doesn't change them. Just get one and start seeing how much fun the road can be.

Good luck.


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post #5 of 21 Old 05-31-2010, 09:54 PM
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Either will work great. The 650 is great out of the box, you may have to tinker with your your 1000 (ie remap). Based on your needs I would say get the 650 but sounds to me like you've already fixated on big engine=better.

FYI the fuel economy of the 650 matters because of the range not because of saving on gas. The extra range of the Wee has tangible benefits for sport-touring.

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Last edited by eye.surgeon; 05-31-2010 at 10:14 PM.
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post #6 of 21 Old 05-31-2010, 10:05 PM
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Remapping is not a definite. My 2006 was fine out of the box. I eventually put in a PCIII because someone sold it to me cheap. Some bikes need it most don't.

The "issues" some refer to with the Vee are way over blown. Outside of a throttle body sync (TBS) most 1000s need nothing at all. I do a TBS two or three times a year. Each one takes me about 3 to 5 minutes.

Extra maintenance and running issues are not a reason to avoid the big Strom. No one hates working on bikes more than me. The 1000 is a nice low maintenance bike.


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post #7 of 21 Old 06-01-2010, 12:04 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the responses so far. I'm pretty confident now that the DL1000 base edition is the bike for me, and I'll be shopping for some hard-luggage and a few other bits (centerstand at least, likely not too much till I ride it a while and see how it feels) shortly after the purchase. The cash is in the bank now, except that I can't use it for a few more days till the cheque clears. BTW - any ideas on what the wholesale price of a 2010 DL1000 is? Should I be able to negotiate much off (or get some free accessories) if I walk in offering to pay cash right there?


Overall - its that way-more-than-I-need performance that I want to be able to use from time to time thats pushing me towards the 1000. My dad's a fair bit bigger guy than me and he rented a DL650 for a week a few years back to tour around in Germany with and he'd rather see me on the smaller bike. But I'm really used to having more power than I should, and I know its gonna bother me every time I twist the throttle if I don't have the 1000. For reference, I also drive a 2008 STI (which soon will only be for rainy days/winter). It's not that I'm a crazy driver, and I rarely use most/all of the power available to me in the car or my CR250 - but there's always those odd times where you just need some good acceleration to put an evil grin on.

As to potential issues - I'm not that worried. That was one of the original reasons that I was also considering the 650 (that, and ABS were the two main attractions to the 650). But as my research got more detailed (looking at the specifics of the bikes, not just 650 vs 1000) it really looks like Suzuki has ironed most of those issues out over the years. There are a few complaints out there (nothing is perfect), but the quantity of people with issues with 08+ 1000's is just a fraction of the earlier years, and the 06/07's don't seem too bad overall. I don't expect any issues with a 2010 model, and if I do have any I'll have warranty. I was a little concerned about it being a bigger/heavier/taller bike at first - but it seems to me as though they're the same size (small seat-high difference due to different seat only?) and within 10% weight difference.

As to the few other points brought up in the thread - I do appreciate it all. I'll look into the "locking back wheel can launch you over" issue - that seems non-intuitive to me (friction at the rear should pull the bike back/straight) but is worth investigating. And the range issue is something I considered briefly, but then realized that the 1000 will still have more range than the majority of my friends and therefore its a non-issue. I'm very familiar with range issues - I've got an auxiliary fuel tank on my CR250 and also sometimes pack a liter or two of extra fuel in my backpack if I'm going for a long trail ride with the 4-strokers. Range is important - but much less so if you're one of the longer-range bikes in the group, and I'm gonna be on the other side of the pack on the street vs dirt.
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post #8 of 21 Old 06-01-2010, 02:12 PM
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COVA,
the Vee (1000) has a hydraulic clutch and is off or on. Feathering is not possible AND throttle reaponse at low speeds and low gears is herky-jerky.

Somtimes it sucks not being in the loop. HUH??[FONT="Comic Sans MS"][SIZE="2"][COLOR="Olive"][/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
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post #9 of 21 Old 06-01-2010, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cova View Post
But I'm really used to having more power than I should, and I know its gonna bother me every time I twist the throttle if I don't have the 1000. For reference, I also drive a 2008 STI (which soon will only be for rainy days/winter). It's not that I'm a crazy driver, and I rarely use most/all of the power available to me in the car or my CR250 - but there's always those odd times where you just need some good acceleration to put an evil grin on.
You sound like you have the same type of personality disorder that afflicts me. My old dirt bike was a KTM 525cc, my motocross ATV is a 700cc, and my bike is a 1000. I want a lot of response when I decide to hammer the throttle. Anything short of that will disappoint. You'll be very happy on the big Strom. Some day you'll want more, and when you do just change the sprockets and the bike will impress the hell out of you all over again.

Regarding the locking the back wheel this article is a good one. In fact, as a dirt biker there are many great articles in the Safety Tips section that I read through and learned a lot about the difference between how I think as a dirt guy and what I need to think on the street. I highly recommend spending some time clicking around.

I was amused by your need for an evil grin. This is my standard description of the big Strom: The 1000 is a grit your teeth and nail the throttle kind of bike. You just want to slam that sucker into the twisties and grin like an ax murdering giddy little school girl. It's joyously evil, and I love it.

You're going to be happy with your choice. Let us know how it goes.


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post #10 of 21 Old 06-01-2010, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
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I actually stopped by a dealer that's close to where I work today at lunch - sat on a 650 and 1000 again (I've sat on both quite a few times now). The purpose was just to refresh my memories about the weight difference, height difference, and to start the research on which dealers have what kind of stock right now. As for the weight/height - I realized I actually can't get both feet flat on the ground on either bike (its very close on the 650), but that doesn't really bother me - I can't get both feet flat on my dirt-bike either, and on the dirt-bike its far more likely I'll be on terrain requiring careful planning of where my feet will go when I stop. And going back and forth between both bikes (and being used to a ~200 lb dirt-bike) they both feel equally heavy. So with no advantage/disadvantage to either there I'm yet another step closer to having a 1000 of my own.

Which brings me to the new issue I discovered - the dealer I went to only had SE's with the suzuki luggage in stock (they had 2 reds and 1 black in stock). And talking to the sales guy it sounds like very few if any base-model 1000's are around. I might end up with the suzuki luggage whether I like it or not. Oh well - if thats the case then I'll just make do with it as long as I can, and that gives me time to check out the options more instead of having to buy aftermarket stuff with the bike. But there's more dealers to check before I get to that point.

And I've seen that quote of yours around a couple times before Dirt_Dad - it gave me a good laugh the first time.

Dorzok: Are you trying to imply that the "on/off-ness" of the clutch is due to it being hydraulic? Are your hydraulic brakes "on/off" too? I think if it was impossible to feather the clutch on the vee that I'd have seen 1000 threads about it like the 1000 threads about clutch-chudder, or the 1000 threads about throttle-body-sync. I am aware that the engine has a reputation for being jerky/not-smooth/whatever you want to call it, and I am prepared to deal with that. I can't imagine it being any harder to control than an older 2-stroke motocross engine with a power-band 10-rpm's wide. I'm sure there will be a learning curve, but I'm prepared to deal with it, and my left-hand has the clutch-experience/muscle-memory required for it.
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