Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Villa Ridge, MO
I go along with most people here (of course it is a vstrom forum) that the DL650 is a very good, if not excellent, do-it-all bike. Given that you have experience with tall bikes that have high COG's it is hard to imagine that you will go wrong with it. But even with the caveat that it is a VStrom forum, it seems that the vast majority of riders here either have r had several bikes in the past, or they have multiple bikes now. Thus I really do think you will get a pretty fair review of the good and the bad.
What I will say, is that like most people here I have gone through several bikes in the past and currently have 2; a 2006 DL650 and a Yamaha FJR1300A. But if I ever get to the point I can only have one motorcycle, it will be the VStrom. It is a true "Jack of all trades". You can tour, ride aggressively, do fire roads, gravel, and limited dirt (I am not a dirt rider except for occasionally and only for getting from one spot to another). Additionally it is NOT a gas guzzler. I get 48 - 53mpg.
When the one I have dies. I will get another. I have done multi 1,000+ mile trips on it with nary a problem. And even though I am mechanically impaired .. short of a valve check and adjustment, I can perform most maintenance on it.
They are simply fun, reliable, capable and have a large support network. And when your traveling through Wyoming, Nevada, North Dakota etc and you need something, it is nice to know that almost any m/c repair shop can work with you on it and either has the part, has a part that will fit, or can get the part very quickly.
The only thing I would do is get the ABS model if you can. You can always switch it off in gravel or dirt. It is really nice to have on tarmac though when a sudden 80mph problem appears. The ABS on the FJR1300 has saved my rear twice. I could have used it once on the VStrom. Not having it cost me a minor injury and some body work once.
Banks C[FONT=Comic Sans MS]:crying:[/FONT]
2006 DL650 Current Engine 15,625 Prior engine 67,426 when chain came off and bent valves
2005 Yamaha FJR1300A 68,000 miles and counting