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post #1 of 12 Old 01-30-2013, 01:30 PM Thread Starter
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Decisions, decisions

I've been riding for many years and have started on scooters to Triumph Bonneville in 1968 and increasing larger bikes over the years including many Suzuki "superbikes". I presently own a small 50cc scooter a Piaggio200cc scoot a 650KLR and a Goldwing. It just turns out that I am riding my KLR more than any other ride and it may be my most fun bike I have ever ridden. However I am looking to downsize from my touring Goldwing as my wife no longer rides with me and the newer 650 v strom is really enticing me bad. Is this smaller 650 adventure a good touring bike to ride over 500 mile days? Speeds will probably never exceed 80mph except passing. How far can you go before refueling at 50-70mph average?

Take care, Mike
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post #2 of 12 Old 01-30-2013, 02:17 PM
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I have a 2011 not a '12 so not everything may be applicable.

If its set up right its comfortable for a 500 mile day, at least as comfortable as any bike of such design is going to be.
In my case, set up means Rick Mayer seat (stock is awful imo), Rox bar risers, madstad windshield brackets and screen. I also use foam grip covers because I like a fuller grip and a slip on throttle rocker for long highway stretches. You won't mistake it for a Goldwing in wind managment or seat comfort but for what it is, its good.
I also just had the suspension upgraded on mine, haven't had time to really test it but it has to be a good thing as the stock stuff is so wimpy.
Mine has been getting around 55 mpg on extended highway cruising at a steady 65, one one spirited stretch with a lot of 75 and 80 my friend (who has an '05) and I dropped it down to just a bit over 40.
As an aside I did a few gps measured high speed runs with mine with the factory bags on. Essentially the bike is done pulling at 105mph, it has plenty of tach left but just not enough power to pull it. Given enough time it might slowly pick up a few more mph but I doubt too many. Not usually a concern but I found it interesting and thought I would share it.

Joe S.
'14 HD FLHR
'12 Concours
'11 DL650
'01 HD FXD
'09 HD XR1200
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post #3 of 12 Old 02-02-2013, 12:51 PM
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Yes, the Wee is capable of 500+ days. Many have done way more than 500 mile days. Comfort is kind of a personal thing; so far I have only replaced the Wee seat with a Vee seat. It's not perfect but I have done several 500+ days with it. And I'll probably change the handle bars this spring (whenever the snow starts to melt and the temperatures rise :mrgreen to something with less pull back. I also have grip puppies and a throttle lock.

Running solo and no side cases (top case only), I was averaging about 56 mpg. On a trip last fall fully loaded (side cases, top case, tank bag, and bag on pillion seat), I averaged 49 mpg; best tank was 54 and worst was 39 (though a single tank average isn't very accurate). When on the Interstate I was usually cruising 80-85 mph (indicated) and on the secondaries a much more relaxed 50-55 mph. I was quite happy with the Wee's performance.

YMMV

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post #4 of 12 Old 02-02-2013, 01:43 PM
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I need to change the seat and windscreen to be happy on long mileage days. Fuel economy is greatly dependent on speed and the amount of stuff added to the airstream. I've gotten a worst of 40mpg with full luggage and a big screen doing a real 75mph climbing into the Rockies. The best mileage is 62mpg doing 60-65mph with a sport screen and no luggage. When touring, I rarely do less than 600 miles in a day and 700-800 is more typical. The longest I've done was a bit over 1100 miles. Range has varied from slightly under 200 miles to over 300 miles without pushing the limits. All those were on a 2007 Wee.

I now have a 2012 Glee with a Russell seat which is way more comfortable than the Vee or Sargent seats I had on the Wee. Madstad brackets and screens on both bikes do a fine job. The Glee gets slightly better fuel economy but has a slightly shorter range due to a smaller tank. I haven't done a long trip yet due to heat cancelling planned trips. My longest day was 300 miles but it's more comfortable than the old bike due to a better seat and a slightly smoother engine.

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 #5 of 12 Old 02-02-2013, 01:48 PM
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a 650 is a 650 that is a 650

Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelcycle View Post
Is this smaller 650 adventure a good touring bike to ride over 500 mile days? Speeds will probably never exceed 80mph except passing. How far can you go before refueling at 50-70mph average?
i wouldnt like riding 500 mi. days on a 650. to small, to buzzie. the general rule of thumb is, 750cc or larger for touring bike.
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post #6 of 12 Old 02-02-2013, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRWalker View Post
i wouldnt like riding 500 mi. days on a 650. to small, to buzzie. the general rule of thumb is, 750cc or larger for touring bike.
You haven't done it. I have. I had 75,000 miles on the Wee and it was very easy to take long distances. It has a frame the same size as your 1000 and a smoother engine. Jim Winterer is an iron butt rider with over 100,000 miles on his Wee and has done 11,000 miles in 11 days on it. I put a good seat and screen on it and had to be be careful not to fall asleep when riding long days. Part of the equation is the rider to be sure. I've seen people write that it is buzzy but I have no idea how they can say that.

I preferred cross country touring on a CX500 Honda to an XS1100E Yamaha except in the summer when the Honda would cook my shins. My DL650 felt very much like my old R90S BMW except the Beemer had a better stock seat but a smaller frame. Horsepower and weight was nearly identical. 750cc is not a touring requirement by a long shot.

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 12 Old 02-02-2013, 02:41 PM
 
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Like the others I ride the DL650 for commuting but also have done several 700 to 1000 mile days. Longest was a Columbus to Jacksonville and back trip. I'm riding from Columbus to New Orleans to Jacksonville and back to Columbus next month (2700+miles). Very doable with more range than my bladder supports. I normally stop at around 200-225 miles for gas with 1 gallon remaining. My usual 50-52mpg drops to 48mpg when in the mountains at 70-75mph cruise. This is on a 2004 Wee with madstadt bracket and windshield and Sargent seat. Givi sidebags, a Coocase topcase, bags connection tankbag with power run into it for a 3 plug cigarette lighter and USB charger. I run power from there out to my smartphone in the Gps mount. Heated grips, bar riser, GPS mount. 16T front sprocket. With those farkles this thing just cruises along. Oh, bluetooth in my helmet for music helps too
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post #8 of 12 Old 02-02-2013, 09:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greywolf View Post
You haven't done it. I have.
i guess that explains why youre on your third 650 v-strom. :biggrinjester: j/k IMHO,700-1000 mile days on a 650 doesnt sound like very much fun. just say-n

Last edited by JRWalker; 02-02-2013 at 09:45 PM.
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post #9 of 12 Old 02-02-2013, 10:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRWalker View Post
i guess that explains why youre on your third 650 v-strom. :biggrinjester: j/k IMHO,700-1000 mile days on a 650 doesnt sound like very much fun. just say-n
I've done 500 mile days on a lot of different bikes including the DL650.
IMO how much fun it is depends on the kind of riding. If its higher speed highway riding I don't consider the 650 a fun bike either. It will do it no doubt of that, I just can't say I enjoy it in that environment.
I would not call it 'buzzy' but it definitely is 'busy'.
Now on the other hand if its back road riding, lots of corners and so on then it actually is fun to put in a long day on. Naturally the speeds are overall slower so its harder to pack 500 miles in on.
If it were a matter of setting out to do long days I have to say I'd rather ride my Tiger, FXD or Concours. If theres going to be rough backroads and dirt roads then that is what I have the wee strom for.

Joe S.
'14 HD FLHR
'12 Concours
'11 DL650
'01 HD FXD
'09 HD XR1200
'79 BMW R100
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post #10 of 12 Old 02-02-2013, 11:26 PM
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A note about Joe's post...the new '12 650 has a better stock suspension than the '04-'11.

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