Thinking of getting a V-strom... advice? - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 29 Old 07-26-2011, 04:47 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Alexandria, VA
Posts: 75
Thinking of getting a V-strom... advice?

Hello Everyone,
I have been riding for about 7 years and mostly on vintage and antique bikes. Lately, I have gotten into riding longer distances and camping trips, and I think it is time for a new bike to feed my long distance/adventure touring appetite.

For the last two years I have been piling the miles (10k/yr) on my 1972 R75/5 toaster, which is a wonderful bike, and has been extremely dependable, but I have noticed the following limitations:

1. Poor performance in high altitudes and temperatures
2. I come close to exceeding the GWTR with my weight 210 lbs, and my Gal's weight (100 +/-... I don't ask), so camping needs to be light.
3. Very expensive to replace certain cosmetic parts (pristine toaster tank), I would never forgive myself if wrecked the bike.
4. Limited cargo space while maintaining vintage looks
5. Limited dirt road ability
6. Poor fuel range (200 miles +/-)

In light of these issues, I have decided to supplement my collection of older bikes with something newer. I have heard rave reviews of the Vstrom since they came out.

Do you think that it is the right bike for me? If so, should I get a DL650 or a DL1000? Given my 2-up camping desires, I am leaning towards a DL1000.

I am going to be in the market for a used Strom either way, and my price range is <5k. What should I look for in terms of accessories? I know I want crash bars and bags, but which ones? What else?

Thanks Everyone!

Mike Potter

My current ride:
Bike Pr0n - Mike's 1972 R75/5 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
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post #2 of 29 Old 07-26-2011, 05:02 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Alexandria, VA
Posts: 75
For reference, I am 6'3" so I don't anticipate the height of the bike being an issue for me.
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post #3 of 29 Old 07-27-2011, 05:33 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: central KY
Posts: 424
300 plus gear. Nothing special except the CB and Russell Day Long. I prefer the DL1000.
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post #4 of 29 Old 07-27-2011, 08:48 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Southern NH
Posts: 722
I've been simply blown away by the fuel range on my new-to-me DL650. Consistently getting over 250 miles when the little gas pump thingie starts blinking. Only managed to get the bottom bar to blink once, indicating I could get a lot further.

300/tank seems entirely doable. I call that fantastic range!
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post #5 of 29 Old 07-27-2011, 09:40 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Alexandria, VA
Posts: 75
300 plus gear. Nothing special except the CB and Russell Day Long.
Is CB the windscreen? Cee Bailey?
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post #6 of 29 Old 07-27-2011, 09:42 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Washington, the state
Posts: 7,437
The general consensus is that the 650 is a better bike in all respects except max power. If you'll be riding heavy, uphill, at max load, and high speed, you might feel a need for the 1000. And, only the 650 has ABS brakes on some years.

All the crash bars are OK. Altrider seem to be the pick of the litter. Pat Walsh Designs are a lesser known brand that are very good. Luggage -- your choice.

Other things -- you'll want to upgrade the front and rear springs to suit your loaded weight. Sasquatch does an excellent job of modifying the shock for better damping. The stock windscreen and seat are horrible. Upgrades are available for front brakes...better pads, different calipers, different master cylinder, depending on year. Richland Rick's foot peg lowering kit works well. His fork brace is very good, plus he has other good stuff.

"Older people who are reasonable, good-tempered, and gracious will bear aging well. Those who are mean-spirited and irritable will be unhappy at every period of their lives.

"Let each of use properly whatever strengths he has and strive to use them well. If he does this, he will never find himself lacking."

Marcus Tullius Cicero
44 B.C.
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post #7 of 29 Old 07-27-2011, 01:08 PM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Windsor,Nova Scotia, Canada
Posts: 102
I have loaded my 6'4 frame and my girlfriend on my 650 with hard bags and trunk...never had to get off and push
I'd stay clear of the stock bags though. They are a bit flimsy and the clamshell style opening is a pain in the a**.
Great bike, 52,000 kms on my 07 with nothing but brakes, tires (ditch the stock Trailwings after they wear out) etc.
Ride it for a while and see what mods you might guys improvement is anothers guys waste of money. ie. I have the dreaded stock seat, and it works just fine for me.

07 DL650
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post #8 of 29 Old 07-27-2011, 01:58 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Braintree, Massachusetts
Posts: 8,025
The DL650 has a dozen more HP than your R75/5, fuel injection, and is ignition mapped. In other words, it'll give you a lot more oomph. The DL1000 works too, but isn't going to give you the kind of fuel range you're getting now.

The DL650's GVWR is 925 pounds, the beemer is 880 pounds. The two bikes weigh about the same.

-Tom (DL650AL2) (KA1TOX) (E-I-E-I-O)

This message and images are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
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post #9 of 29 Old 07-27-2011, 02:58 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Alexandria, VA
Posts: 75
It would be nice to have a fuel gage in the middle of nowhere!
I figure the DL650 to have between 50 and 75 lbs higher capacity, which goes a long way in camping gear. I also am much more worried about overloading my BMW as it is 40 years old.

I know the forum might tend to be bias towards V-Stroms, but are there other bikes that I should consider? Most of the other bikes people rave about on ADVrider are much more expensive, keeping in mind my 5k budget.

Was it hard to get used to the top-heavy feeling?
The /5 feels very lightweight at low speeds due to the boxer engine.
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post #10 of 29 Old 07-27-2011, 03:14 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Surrey BC
Posts: 1,215
I had, near as I can figure, almost 700 lbs of people gear and Camping stuff on the DL1000 on my camping trip.... I run a darkside rear tire with a 1400LB load capacity.....

I am 6'4" over 250 lbs before gear, the wife about 1/2 that plus gear.... She uses one side bag for her clothes... might as well have been filled with cement she had so much in it.... you can see by the pics the load i had on there..... low speed steering was gross, high speed it felt like a lumber wagon... but we did over 2500KM's in 8 days all over BC....

I am pretty sure this load would have killed a 650.....
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Last edited by gryphon51; 07-27-2011 at 03:27 PM.
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