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Which Bike? Comments and Questions on what is the best bike for YOU, for YOUR trip. Note that we believe that ANY bike will do, so please remember that it's all down to PERSONAL OPINION. Technical Questions for all brands go in their own forum.
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  #1  
Old 14 Aug 2011
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DL 650 vstrom GT

I have just bought a 2010 DL 650 Vstrom GT and just though I would pass on my first thoughts...

I have ridden lots of Adventure type bikes and owned a few too, like the R1200 GS Adventure, Triumph Tiger 1050 etc.... I was never happy with them for some reason, couldn't touch the floor with both feet, too expensive, or too heavy on fuel..... his little strom seems just right, its good on fuel, not too expensive, comfy, nice riding position, so, out of the create, it seems a good bike.

The small 650 V-Twin pulls very well, right from the off up through the rev range with no flat spots. To me it felt like two bikes in one, I nice cruiser for pottering about on and taking in the scenery or, open it up a bit, and it responds well into the higher revs and pulls hard.... this shocked me a little as its only a 650 and wasn't expecting performance. Don't get me wrong, it's no racer, but in this class, very acceptable...

The brakes... mine has ABS so I cant answer from those without but, it feels very sure on light and heavy braking alike with a strong feeling of stopping power and didn't seems to dive too much like some other bikes I have ridden.

The handling is also impressive. This is a budget bike in this adventure class so I was thinking the handling won't be that good, again I was happily wrong. On slow cornering it feels very secure with a dab of rear brake to hold the line in the tight U turn type corners. I found myself at a local place where sports bike riders have a go and getting their knee down on some open round abouts, as I came into the roundabout I was following a black Kawasaki ZX6R, he threw himself into the corner and round he went with his knee down... he looked back to see where I was and I think I shocked him as I was still on his tail.. (I had the ball on the foot peg down).

The only down side I have found with the bike is the standard screen... I am lucky as mine came with the standard one and a high touring type...
The OEM screen is fine for anything under 60mph, over that I was feeling the buffet... I am 6 foot 2 inches tall so maybe that's why...
I'm not saying it's the best bike in the world for touring but my first thoughts are, I'm very impressed and look forward to riding I'm more soon.

anyway have a look at my bike, I like it a lot so far....






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  #2  
Old 14 Aug 2011
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I too have a 2010 DL650 and have had it from new. I wanted a bike that was a good allrounder as my last two bikes were sports tourers ( Honda Super Blackbird and Yamaha FJR1300 ) great bikes but not much fun on poor road surfaces. I was expecting that dropping half the engine size might be disappointing but for a 650 it does not dissapoint. I find it is a great allrounder . I've just returned from a trip from the UK to the Pyrenees it was great all the way down eating up the miles and happy to cruise easily between 80 and 90 mph. Once I got there it was fantastic on the mountain twisties , handles great !! On top of that I enjoyed taking it on some rough trails high in the mountains ,it just takes everything in it's stride. My only complaint is that it's 'pig ugly ' but after the way it's performed over last year and 7k miles it's really growing on me.
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  #3  
Old 14 Aug 2011
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My god, that's clean, even for you. Actually I quite like the colour. I think the fairing on these is ugly but there are days when I'd anally probe a hedgehog for better wind protection than I have.... ie, none. You see a lot of these about on the continent. In fact the rarest form of bike out here is sportsters, don't know why. You see them in Italy which is the one place where they probably shouldn't be allowed.
It's a good bike, I hope you finally bond with this one. What are you doing with the DR, I loved that bike but horses for courses. This one is probably ideal and a half for what I'm doing now, ie chauffering a moody Asian around europe between chocolate cake shops. I can't wait to see what you do with it, it's almost a shame it's all kitted as half the fun is doing it yourself. Any news on the GPS, did you go with the 660? I like the 500 but it feels very basic now and the update is very slow. Not dangerous slow but annoying. It's a shame we get so stitched up with bike gear, car units are far more advanced for less cash.
What about lights? Going with HID units? Lots of questions but I'm stranded in a hotel in Albi with a tired little asian. Nothing else to do....
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Old 14 Aug 2011
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Ha, pig ugly but can handle abuse... I think I dated her....
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  #5  
Old 14 Aug 2011
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Hi

I bought mine 3 years ago... K5 with 4 thou on the clock.. now its got 31 thou :-)

Not got the ABS... took it off road the other day (lowered the tyre pressures) and she handle it very well... so well were off together next year on a RWT

I too came from a 1500 Suzuki Intruder and I was very surprised at how responsive the 650 is.... good for cruising fully loaded at 70... with a canny bit of poke for overtaking

My next bike.. will be a DL650.. without a doubt

Cheers
Geordie aka Will
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  #6  
Old 14 Aug 2011
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I did take it up a bit of a dirt track today (where my uncle broke his arm) and i was suprised how smooth it felt, nothing to hard just a pitted gravel track.

HID.... hmmm not too sure yet, if i do it will only be in the spots...

lots of people saying its ugly, i really dont mind it, maybe after owning a GS Adventure anything is better looking. the fairing is good, does the job well, the hand guards do too, maybe a bit too well.

JTW00000000.... the DR750 is going to be sold, once i have changed the clutch, yes i know, it should have been done ages ago, well whatever... wanna buy it?
oh and i went for the 660... should have it in a few days
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Old 14 Aug 2011
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That's a shame. For anyone who doesn't know this *****, this DR750 is a near mint original bike and a beautiful thing to behold. It's a shame she never worked out for you, i thought you'd found "the one". If I didn't have investment in my own bike then you know, i would buy it off you. I think it would make a cracking ADV machine.
Back to the Strom, I know the track well. A good little confidence builder and easy meat for her. I would guess that is more or less what they had in mind for it when they were set up.
I think pig-ugly is a bit strong. It's got a typically Japanese over-exuberance in the headlight department which gives it a bug-eyes spiderman look. Anyway, ADV bikes are hardly beautiful to behold, practical often is not. Is this why Italian bikes never work?
Anyway... I'm glad you're happy... now for gods sake bond with it a bit and enjoy it.
As for 660. I don't know but my guess is that to get proper navigation like you do on your home turf you're going to have to download new maps. I'm doing fine with point to point route planning. Mostly the maps are wrong anyway.
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Old 14 Aug 2011
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heres my DR 750... will soon be for sale.




The 660 sat nav im getting comes with west europe city nav DVD for up load, so it will have all the places on it. i hope....
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  #9  
Old 14 Aug 2011
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I hope you don't live to regret this, that bike is not just gorgeous but it's something you've been wanting for a long time. Seriously, that's the best bike you've had in a long time with potential oozing out of every pore like the greasy face of a teenage frenchman.
Groovy about the GPS. Maybe mine has, I don't know. I just assumed it would work abroad like it does at home. My bad, I guess. City navigation would be handy, we struggle most in and out of towns.
Other toys are horns! Get them. I have the Stebel Magnum. Nice and loud but doesn't feel (or look) like quality. I'm not moaning for a tenner but maybe there is something even better. I'd swap all your bulbs for LEDs too, just so they don't burn out ever again. Cheap enough mod. Oh so much fun having a new bike to **** up.
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  #10  
Old 15 Aug 2011
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New DL650

Apart from the ugly aspect, which is in the eye of the beholder in any case, it is rare to hear a bad word said about this bike.
There is a new model due in the show rooms anytime now, so the "ugliness" may well be solved. As ever, the journalists see only improvements over this last model. Time will tell.
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Dave
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  #11  
Old 15 Aug 2011
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I always avoid new stuff, you lose too much money on it and there's bound to be problems with the first batch.
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Old 15 Aug 2011
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i have read a lot on the newer model, the engine is meant to be better but im happy with the one i have... i also prefure the look of the older one. mabe the new shape will look better in the flesh?. the fairing looks too small and is smaller so maybe not so good weather protection, and i dont like the clocks, its like the looked at the triumph and just coppied it... as i said at the moment, i prefure the older model.
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  #13  
Old 15 Aug 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdo1uk View Post
I have just bought a 2010 DL 650 Vstrom GT
Hey, I used to have one just like that (was a 2009-model, though, and we didn´t get the GT-model here, so had to buy the farkles separately!)... here on a 2-up trip to Sicily, in June 2010:

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  #14  
Old 15 Aug 2011
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great pic, nice bike and nice view....
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  #15  
Old 15 Aug 2011
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Dl 650

QUOTE=Jtw000;345745]Ha, pig ugly but can handle abuse... I think I dated her....[/QUOTE]

Good day Mate,

She might be pig ugly, but I am probably also one of them. Who decides, not me or you. Anyway not everyone needs to ride: a look at me, look at me, bike. Question of personality and character. Most offer the same riding excitements, that's when no one will watch or judge you.

Anyway, my V- Strom serves me well, and the money I save can be spend on booze and other enjoyments, and there are more than bikes.
Just keep looking for them and don't give up.

Cheers

Rusty Max
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