Is the DL650 V-Strom a good Real First Bike? - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 87 Old 10-07-2010, 12:08 PM Thread Starter
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Is the DL650 V-Strom a good Real First Bike?

I have been riding ATVs (4 wheelers) for a few years now, and decided I want to get a nice street bike, well, dual sport kinda bike.
Me and a buddy plan to get an old used Honda Rebel 250 to learn on, and get our license with, and ride it for at least 4 months.
Then we plan on buying our first real bikes. I am strongly leaning toward the DL650, it seems to be everything I am wanting. Something I can ride to work daily, go on longer weekend rides, or maybe even several day rides. Something that can be setup to haul some gear, etc. Something that is good on poor paved roads with potholes, etc. I dont plan on taking if OFF road, but it could see some dirt and gravel roads, as I live in West Virginia, lots of hills and winding back roads.

My main concern is, since I am new to all this, will i be ok with the DL650?
After learning to ride on a Honda Rebel 250 for a few months, will I be biting off more than I can chew with the DL650? On average, compared to other bikes, how easy or hard is it to ride?
BTW, I am 5'-11" 190 lbs.

Thanks alot for the advice.
~John
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post #2 of 87 Old 10-07-2010, 12:33 PM
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Skip the Rebel and go straight to the 650. Take the safety foundation class where they teach on 250's to get you licencse. My first bike was a virago 750 and it was actually easier IMO than the small 250 they used in my class. The wee strom is so easy to ride, it wont be a handfull to learn on, yet it will let you grow as much as you want into the bike.

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post #3 of 87 Old 10-07-2010, 12:46 PM
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The Wee will fit you perfectly, and yes, it's a VERY newb friendly choice.

Will echo above though....take a course first, invaluable.
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post #4 of 87 Old 10-07-2010, 12:58 PM Thread Starter
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I still need to look into it more, but yes there are training courses here, that are different than just going to the DMV and taking the test.
They are $250 to $300 for about 4 days. But I have heard that if you pass them, you dont even have to take the DMV test. Plus I am sure I will learn more there than the DMV.
We hope to get something like the Rebel 250 soon, get our permits and start practicing.
(another reason for the Rebel is that it may be used as my buddies wife's first bike)

Sounds like the DL650 is going to be a good choice for me then, but keep the comments and opinions coming guys.
Any tips, or things I would be aware of or watch out for would be great.
~John
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post #5 of 87 Old 10-07-2010, 01:13 PM
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I still need to look into it more, but yes there are training courses here, that are different than just going to the DMV and taking the test.
They are $250 to $300 for about 4 days. But I have heard that if you pass them, you dont even have to take the DMV test. Plus I am sure I will learn more there than the DMV.
That's dirt cheap....in BC, Canada, the costs for a full course, which typically consist of 1 night theory, 4 days in a parking lot (closed course), and 2 days in traffic, cost about $750....this is the norm.

That said, it's a small price to pay for the knowledge and skills gained, I feel it should be mandatory for new riders.


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Sounds like the DL650 is going to be a good choice for me then, but keep the comments and opinions coming guys.
Any tips, or things I would be aware of or watch out for would be great.
~John
There's really not much else to say, I mean...it's a great all around bike, reliable, comfy, capable, efficient, cheap to insure, can be found for decent prices, and has a strong following when time comes to sell.

You really can't go wrong, assuming you like the bike in the first place, which you do.
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post #6 of 87 Old 10-07-2010, 01:45 PM
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I like a small, dual purpose bike that can provide some dirt riding time for a beginner. The falls don't hurt as much and the experience of sliding a tire is educational. I think a beginner is best served by getting a year of experience before getting a V-Strom.

Pat- 2007 DL650A was ridden to all 48 contiguous states. I didn't quite make it to 17,000 miles on the 2012 DL650A.
Nicknames I use to lessen typing, Vee = 2002-2012 DL1000s. Vee2=2014-2016 DL1000s. Wee = 2004-2011 DL650s. Glee = 2012-2016 DL650s
See https://www.stromtrooper.com/general-...nicknames.html

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post #7 of 87 Old 10-07-2010, 02:26 PM
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It was (is) my first bike

The wee is a great bike. I have found it forgiving, but powerful and all I could ask. My only complaint is that I don't want to get rid of it to try another bike. I will probably keep it and add another when the time comes. I learned to ride on my Wee, after taking the riding course so it certainly is doable. That said I am large (6'4" 275lbs) and the bike doesn't seem heavy to me having nothing else to really compare it with (except the vee I have ridden a few times).

I do like Greywolf's advice of getting a smaller dual sport. I can't say I regret getting my wee when I did, because I don't, but I am looking for something smaller that I can tear up, drop, etc to get some dirt experience now. When I was looking I was shown the Strom and was blinded to other bikes so I wouldn't even have considered something less.

As for advice, when you are starting to ride (has anyone mentioned taking the safety course?) stay off the interstate. You'll learn faster staying to back roads with some twisties. My first few times out I took a short trip to a decent sized (empty) parking lot and practiced for 30-45 minutes. And in case no one has told you yet and you decide to ride before taking the course, please use the front brake while doing on-road riding.

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post #8 of 87 Old 10-07-2010, 02:36 PM
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My only concern is that they are tall and top heavy. that presents some differences but it can be lowered if needed, and time to adjust to the top heavy characteristics. A big tank is nice but does have an effect.

K4 DL650
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post #9 of 87 Old 10-07-2010, 02:51 PM Thread Starter
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When you guys say the DL650 is top heavy, I assume you mean compared to other style bikes? Like Harleys, lower pure street bikes?
Are the DL650s about the same as other "dual sports" ?
The bike will never really see pure offroad, it will be used on 90% pavement.
But it will see alot of potholes around here, some dirt/gravel roads.

~John
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post #10 of 87 Old 10-07-2010, 03:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by happypuppy View Post
My only concern is that they are tall and top heavy. that presents some differences but it can be lowered if needed, and time to adjust to the top heavy characteristics. A big tank is nice but does have an effect.
+1. I learned on a GS500F for a year (awesome beginner bike) and one of the first things I noticed while getting used to the DL650 was how top heavy it was. You definitely feel the high center of gravity on this bike. I think it would be wise to take a course to get your license and do what you were planning after that: stick with a 250 for a little while to really get comfortable and learn the basic skills before hopping on a strom. Something inexpensive, light, and flickable would do nicely.

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