Dead thread I guess??
The DR650 is a great bike and can be set up nicely for RTW (round the world) use. With a better seat, shield and panniers you could do pretty well on the bike. Many have. It's reliable and can handle off road better than the Vstrom
and can FLY on fire roads! Fun fun fun!
BUT.....for most folks doing RTW rides, you'll find they spend about 75% of their time on paved roads, and the other 25% are mainly dirt roads passable by trucks and buses. Not many go moto crossing when on a RTW adventure.
Even crossing the Sahara can be done mostly on Piste.
The Vstrom will have no problem on the worst paved roads and can handle most dirt roads if taken a bit more slowly and carefully.
No matter what you do to a DR it will never be the comfortable pack mule the Vstrom is. On even rough dirt roads the Strom does just fine. If things get really muddy, or you are in deep Sahara type sand, then the DR would be better. But in those conditions even the DR650 when fully loaded will be a handfull.
The Vstorm can make it just about anywhere, but it will get there a bit later
than the DR650 if its technical off road riding. If you slow down you can make it. With proper bash guards the Vstrom will survive being dropped over and over and radiators and cases remain in tact.
The luggage capacity is a key thing when going on the road for months or years at a time. Here the Vstrom is the clear winner. It carries a huge load easily with no worries of breaking rear sub frames or busting stuff from over loading. Its just SO much less stressful to travel on the Vstrom. I've toured on BOTH bikes. I love the DR, but would never trade my Vstrom for one on a long, RTW type ride.
Both are great bikes but the Vstrom will be the best RTW bike ever. Most folks just haven't discovered this fact yet The young Euro guys out there are very
conservative and stick to Africa Twins, Transalps, old XT's or BMW Dakars or
old air head GS's. The Vstrom has never even been on their radar.
In fact, the Vstrom is better, cheaper, tougher and will out last ALL the above bikes and out perform them all by a wide margin. Welcome to the 21st boys.
I've got near 50K on my '02 DL1000. Its been beat in Baja on four trips, been to Copper Canyon three times, all over Mexico, has been all over California on dirt and pavement. I've ridden the worst wash board imaginable for hours at
70 mph plus. Hit potholes so hard it bottomed both ends HARD! Done thousands of dirt miles. NO breakage, NO broken frames, motor mounts, footpegs, luggage racks (I have Su Motech) NO broken or cracked plastic, NO nuts and bolts falling out, NO broken wheels (dented, yes!) And the Vstrom has the best headlights on the planet.
Chains last 25,000 miles. Tires 15K. Valve adjust intervals are 15K miles but are irrelevant as the valves never move. The Vstrom loves the worst, most low octane gas on the planet, and can go 220 miles on a tank. The DL650 even further.
On one of several Baja trips. This type of road is best ridden at 60mph plus.