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  #1  
Old 25 Dec 2004
pif pif is offline
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dl 650 v-strom

Does anyone have experience long distance trips with the 650 v-strom?
Thanks for sharing tips.
Pif
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  #2  
Old 27 Dec 2004
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Hi,
I've got an 05 DL650. The longest trip I have taken is only about 1000 miles. I have owned many bikes over the last 40years and it is one of the very best for what it is built for. It handles gravel roads much better than I would have thought. It is great on any pavment. And it is comfy. A big tank at almost 6 gallons. It beats a BMW in my book hands down because it is about 100 pounds lighter and the motor is faster. I ride 2up most of the time. It may need a bash plate if you are going to get rough. It is not a single track bike, but neither is a Bmeer.

Bill
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  #3  
Old 29 Dec 2004
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Quite a few owners here:
http://www.advrider.com/forums/

who may be able to provide answers & advice.
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  #4  
Old 29 Dec 2004
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I don't know what your definition of a long trip is but..
I've been riding a wee strom for about 6 months now. The longest trip I've been on is a 2500 mile trip down thru Baja and back to Arizona. I find the bike performs great and the only complaint I have so far is that the bike sits too low for the kind of riding I like. I've added the SW Motech centerstand and skidplate which were essential but lowered the bike even more. I've managed to break the centerstand's lower spring mount and have bashed the skidplate too many times to count. Without the skidplate my exhaust would be trashed.

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  #5  
Old 31 Dec 2004
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Two more sources of info on the 650 V-Strom:

http://www.stromtrooper.com (forums)

http://motorcycleinfo.calsci.com/Vstrom.html (many links)

Based on limited experience (one ride), I would think the weestrom would be an excellent tourer, at least for one up riding. I'm considering buying one.

Hope this helps.

Mike
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  #6  
Old 5 Jan 2005
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I have a '04 DL650 and last summer's total was around 10.000km (well started the season with a 600cc Tenere so that's why low km's...). I've owned a dozen or so bikes in twenty years and must say 650 Strom is right there on top of the list.

Surprisingly strong engine for 650 and a lot lighter than a DL1000. Been touring one- and two-up - no problems at all (me 90kg, wife 55kg + 3 x hard bags). Footpeg-seat distance a bit too short even for a 175cm stump like me; cure is a DL1000 seat (same seat pan but 1" more padding), reupholstering old seat, or a new aftermarket seat (TopSaddlery, Corbin, Bagster etc.). Otherwise the ergonomics are perfectly relaxed. Suspension is OK (for the price that is) and adjustable. Fairing is perfect for touring, specially if added with a slightly bigger screen and handguards.

As Jota mentioned ground clearance is a bit of an issue but if really needed, suspension modifications are possible (I have raising links for that extra inch or so) but then again Strom isn't actually any off-roader but a roadster (gravel or paved - anything goes).

At the moment planning next spring's trip to Tunisia with the Strom. No Sahara rallying across dunes, I'm afraid, but at least the bike takes me through Europe to the borders of desert with 1st class comfort. Marvellous bike and bargain price!

Check my Strom sites at http://www.heikkil.com/strom/englheikki.htm

-heikki-

[This message has been edited by TenereHeikki (edited 04 January 2005).]

[This message has been edited by TenereHeikki (edited 04 January 2005).]
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Old 5 Jan 2005
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Heikki, would you have any concerns or worries about taking a DL 650 on a RTW trip, of which only about 1000 miles (in Siberia) would be unpaved?

I'm hoping to do that trip next summer, and am considering the 650 V-Strom.

Thanks for any info and advice.

Mike
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Old 5 Jan 2005
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Quote:
Originally posted by liketoride2:
Heikki, would you have any concerns or worries about taking a DL 650 on a RTW trip, of which only about 1000 miles (in Siberia) would be unpaved?
Roads are not the biggest problem (even though even Russian paved roads - not to mention their gravel roads - are not up to Western standards), but the availability of spare parts is. As 650 is a new design, it is loaded with electronics - everything goes fine as long as they work as intended but what happens if a "black box" breaks in the middle of Siberian tundra? Major problema t├ęcnico! Mind you, this is not only V-Strom's problem but concers virtually all new bikes with EFI etc. In TV series Long Way Round Ewan "Obi-Wan" McGregor and Charley Boorman made RTW through Siberia with R1150GS Adventures but they had the full backup of the factory (yeah, and even support vehicles...) in case electronics went berserk or something else happened so it didn't actually look like "ultimate two-man adventure"...

Personally I'd choose something older / simpler: airhead GS, Honda AfricaTwin / TransAlp (guess even the new ones are carburetted?), XT600/DR650/XL650/KLR650 or MZ 660. Probably Strom would function perfectly all the way but still a portion of healthy paranoia is needed.

-heikki-



[This message has been edited by TenereHeikki (edited 05 January 2005).]
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Old 5 Jan 2005
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Thanks for the advice, it's much appreciated and I shall very carefully consider it.

Mike
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  #10  
Old 5 Jan 2005
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Take the Strom...

They are very reliable, and if something does go wrong, you can just do what everyone else does, order it shipped in via Fedex/UPS, gets anywhere in the world in a week or so. No matter what bike you ride, they ALL break, and they all will need some parts shipped in - you can't carry OR fix EVERYTHING.

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  #11  
Old 5 Jan 2005
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Grant, thanks for your input also. Would you (or anyone else) have any comments regarding the 650 V-Strom vs the KLR 650 for the trip I described?

Thanks again.

Mike

[This message has been edited by liketoride2 (edited 05 January 2005).]
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Old 5 Jan 2005
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Quote:
Originally posted by liketoride2:
Grant, thanks for your input also. Would you (or anyone else) have any comments regarding the 650 V-Strom vs the KLR 650 for the trip I described?
Depends what you want; KLR gets you in rougher terrain but DL certainly gets you from point A to B with comfort and speed. DL seems almost a full-dressed tourer (in a good way, that is) when on the road - enough room for two and luggage, sufficient power / speed reserves and stable handling. For RTW trip with decent roads it'd be DL, for off-road / desert riding KLR.

My previous bike was a Yamaha XT600Z 3AJ Tenere (1 cyl & 47hp, basically like a KLR) but traded it for a DL650 just because needed more two-up carrying capacity, power and comfort for longer trips. Haven't regretted a single day.

It was all true what Grant said about getting practically all the parts you need via courier services, but remember also that a rural Russian version of fine mechanics still is a monkey wrench and small hammer - diagnosing electronic faults can be a major p.i.t.a.
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  #13  
Old 6 Jan 2005
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Quote:
Originally posted by liketoride2:
Grant, thanks for your input also. Would you (or anyone else) have any comments regarding the 650 V-Strom vs the KLR 650 for the trip I described?

Thanks again.

Mike

[This message has been edited by liketoride2 (edited 05 January 2005).]
A Brasilian I met rode across Russia on a 1,500cc Suzuki cruiser (which he couldn't pick up), including 3,000km of unpaved roads, so it would be a doddle on a V-Strom. The KLR is an awesome bike, great almost anywhere, but if your heart says "V-Strom" and you aren't going hardcore - off-tarmac is not off-road - go with the Suzuki.

Have fun,
James
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  #14  
Old 19 Jan 2005
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ive ridden about 24000 kms on my dl650 around europe. during this time i have gotten to love this bike more and more. on long trips its simply impeccable: no vibrations, adequate wind protection, good seating position. the large fuel tank assures you great range so long as you ride conservatively. the bike is light an deasy to handle, and the engine is a peach with lots of power distributed well throughout the rev range. on tarmac it's a great bike indeed. problems arise when taken off-tarmac where even the least challenging tracks can become tricky affairs. if you intend to do that sort of riding you will have to consider changing your tires as the factory ones are intended for road use only. the engine, oil radiator and exhaust are also very exposed on the 650 (the dl1000 has han extra piece of body which covers these parts) so a good skid-plate is a must.if you wanna know anything else send an email and ill help as best i can.

take care
luca
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  #15  
Old 22 Jan 2005
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I own a DL-1000. This is my third bike, Xt600E, Transalp 98 and now DL 1000. have done 14k on it. Ihad it on asphalt gravel and some mud/sand paths.
For asphalt it is great, will haul 2 people as much luggage as you can get on it (I have build my own aluminum boxes) long distance at any speed. I have changed the front windscreen to a bigger screen (givi) and thats practicaly all you need.
For gravel and bas roads you need to get adequate tires. Standart tires will go OK but they are ment for asphalt. In fact my next set of tires will be more offroad oriented possibly Continental TK series.
Also a warning that DL-1000 is very powerfull and for dirt riding you have to be carefull with that.
Early 2002 models clutch basket case problems which Suzuki has mostly changed under warranty. Basically if you have a vibration and rattling at 3500 rpm this is what you hve. It will not break but it will annoy you.

Overall I am very happy with this bike. And looking at the numbers of DL-650 sold it surely is getting quite popular around.

[This message has been edited by Burak Cedatas (edited 21 January 2005).]
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