Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Technical, Bike forums > Which Bike?

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.
Contact Overland Solutions for all your custom modifications and setup for overland travel.

AMERICA’S PREMIER MANUFACTURER OF MOTORCYCLE SUSPENSION

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 17 Apr 2009
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 25
V-Strom 650?

At the moment I'm riding around on a Ducati Monster 695, it's probably not the best choice for me for doing any sort of distance on. I often find myself getting pins and needles and numb hands after short distances (often less than 50 miles) because of the way I've always got all my weight pushing forwards onto my wrists I'm guessing. I'm currently planning on doing a trip to Spain later this year and and even though I do love my bike for a quick spin on country roads I'm now seriously considering switching it as 3,000 miles of numb hands doesn't sound too appealing.

Can you guys recommend the V-Strom? My other half has just passed and was looking at one and I'm now rather interested myself, it seems to be good value for money and a lot of people recommend them, what do you think? Can you offer any alternatives? Bearing in mind I'd have an '07 Monster 695 with 5k miles on the clock to trade-in and a budget of £1k-2k max on top of that.

Thanks!
__________________
99 Adventures - It's about the things we do, the people we meet and the places we see.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 17 Apr 2009
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New Braunfels, Texas, USA
Posts: 14
Thumbs up on the Strom

Gary,

I used to ride a Kawasaki KLR 650 and found a similar phenomenon as you with your bike, numb hands and feet after long rides. The thumper simply buzzes you to death.

In 2006, I decided to bump it up a notch and look for a more comfortable dual-sport bike. I narrowed it down to to BMW GS vs. V-Strom. After reading a lot online, riding a GS 1200 and a Strom 650, comparing prices, comparing what people said about repairs (or the lack thereof), as well as maintenance costs, and chances of finding parts/service in Mexico and Central America, I opted for the Strom. My riding is a daily commute to work on busy urban highway death traps and an annual long trip to the West Texas desert or to Mexico (dirt roads mostly). One day a ride down to Panama I hope.

I happened across a used V-Strom 1000. I'd wanted the 650, but the 2002, Storm 1000 price was right and only had 4,700 miles on it. Although it took me about 3 months of commuting 45 miles one way to work to learn to control the beast, I've grown to love it. By control I mean it accelerates way faster than the KLR, is heavier, takes longer to stop, etc. simply because of its power and weight. I now have 37,000 miles on it and have only replaced the tires, chain, and head lamp. It's been down mile after mile of desert dirt roads fully loaded with camping gear...twice. And, a two-up, fully loaded trip from Texas to Colorado (to a HU event no doubt).

I've three riding buddies with the Wee-Strom (650) and we've traded bikes while out riding. I'd say the 650 is just as good as the 1000. Handles well, and they keep up with my 1000 just fine. In fact, when I wear this one out I'll probably look for a newer year model Strom 650 (much better gas mileage than the 1000 [54 mpg vs. my 33 mpg]).

Adventure Rider Motorcycle Forum has several threads comparing Stroms to other bikes. Don't take my word for it.

Good luck with the choice and the trip to Spain. I was there last summer, but with a rental car only. Wish I'd had a bike.

Scott
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 17 Apr 2009
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Somewhere west of Laramie...
Posts: 479
I've been over here in the US for seven months now, and still it amuses me to think of the DL650 (V-Strom) as any sort of dual-sport bike, but the Americans love 'em!

The engine is by all accounts a peach - and if you are used to the Ducati V-twin, you'll like the characteristics of the Suzuki 650 I'm sure, it's the same, but a bit smoother (and a touch more powerful).

It would clearly be a more suitable touring machine, but I just can't bare the styling - which coming from a Ducati, I imagine may well be a priority for you too?

Have you considered fitting a higher set of bars to your Monster? - I have the Renthal 6 inch Trials bars on mine - it give's a good two inches more rise, and a more gentle sweep - far more comfortable over distance, although the windblast at higher speeds still remains of course. Certainly when you get down to Spain you'll love having the Monster on those mountain roads!

That said, the 'Strom shows a pretty clean pear of heels too... and when you're on it, at least you're not looking at it...

xxx
__________________
JennyDakar.com
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 17 Apr 2009
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 25
walkstx, thanks for your story, it always helps to hear about other people's experiences!

JMo, indeed I absolutely LOVE the way the monster looks and sounds and I guess when I got it styling was definitely high on the list. The problem is that really I want two bikes, one that looks nice, sounds nice and is great for a weekend spin and one to ride to Spain (and hopefully much more). However, cost is an issue and unfortunately I can only have one! :P
__________________
99 Adventures - It's about the things we do, the people we meet and the places we see.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 17 Apr 2009
ozhanu's Avatar
Contributing Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: New Haven, CT
Posts: 797
i own a dl650 and love it. it is tough bike with smooth ride in highways and capable of doing light tracks. highly recommended..
__________________
ozhan u.
website under construction
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 17 Apr 2009
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Somewhere west of Laramie...
Posts: 479
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sgt Beardy View Post
JMo, indeed I absolutely LOVE the way the monster looks and sounds and I guess when I got it styling was definitely high on the list. The problem is that really I want two bikes, one that looks nice, sounds nice and is great for a weekend spin and one to ride to Spain (and hopefully much more). However, cost is an issue and unfortunately I can only have one! :P
If you were on the Monster forum, someone would pipe up "why not get a Multistrada?" - but that is even uglier! - just because it says Ducati on the tank... well, it ain't no Monster (actually, ironically it is more of a 'Monster' than the Monster itself?!)...

A Givi (or similar) screen and some soft bags would make the 695 bearable, but I know what you mean...

You'll appreciate the smoothness and power of the V-Strom on the road, but if you want to go dirt-road/trail riding, I'd really look at the new XT660Z Tenere - it's great value, and a great bike...

xxx
__________________
JennyDakar.com
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 18 Apr 2009
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 25
Well, I actually test rode a V-Strom today and... I did kinda like it! It took me a while to get used to a couple of things. The gearing seems very different to the monster, I find myself doing a lot more gear changes wheras the monster I normally sit on a gear for ages before finding the need to change. The riding position is great, very comfortable, no dead bum and best of all - no numb hands! I was suprised at how light it felt and how easy it was round the corners too, it'll easily get me to Spain!

So yeah, it's deffinately growing on me, but it'll still be a sad day when I trade the monster in for something so ugly!
__________________
99 Adventures - It's about the things we do, the people we meet and the places we see.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 19 Apr 2009
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Paide, Estonia
Posts: 349
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sgt Beardy View Post
...but it'll still be a sad day when I trade the monster in for something so ugly!


With a few rare exceptions, most practical things will not win any design contests and most things/designer goods that look really cool are not that practical in real world use. Front fender and fairing of V-Strom is good example -- these are practical yet quite ugly. If you see these short fenders on F800GS or KTM 990 Adventure or Triumph Scrambler then you see that these bikes want to look good at the expense of actual usability and this costs you wet stuff from your front wheel on your face.

Last edited by Rebaseonu; 19 Apr 2009 at 10:49.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 19 Apr 2009
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Helsinki
Posts: 1,592
If you can bear the looks, and the fact that its by no means a real offroad-nike, it is one hell of a tool for so many purposes. From town-riding to the twisties, to long trips 2-up fully loaded, there arent many bikes in 650 category, that can do all this comfortably.

Plus there seem to be very few known issues with this bike, that arent caused by misuse, so if kept well, its also one of the most troublefree machines around. And that engine from the SV sportsbike fits it like a glove, the delivery is very sweet. DL650 is real value for money, even if it looks a bit weird!
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 19 Apr 2009
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 25
I think I can bear the looks, I'd rather be comfortable than looking "cool". :P

My other half is actually looking at a V-Strom too and when we went to test ride, the dealer was saying he could do "a cracking deal" for buying two, I'm not entirely sure what that means yet though. We're set to take my Monster down next week for him to see it so I guess we find out then.

So, would you guys recommend new or second-hand? Also, if we did decide to buy new, do you have any idea what sort of price you can knock a dealer down to? I've always been a bit crap at that sort of thing, but we're really on a budget here so need to get them as low as we possibly can.

Thanks from two newbies!
__________________
99 Adventures - It's about the things we do, the people we meet and the places we see.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 3 May 2009
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: outside Toronto, Canada
Posts: 7
Do it.
Everybody who tries the DL650 loves it.
Stromtrooper.com - Powered by vBulletin

This site will give you loads of info, including a few UK riders. Watch for off -road videos, you may be surprised.

PS: It's not ugly
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 1 Jun 2009
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Edinburgh
Posts: 9
Yes

I have the original 2000 DL1000 (sadly in storage in Canada while I'm living in Scotland) and I love it. That said, it is a bit of a tractor around town, tall, and huge low-end torque, which mean massive engine breaking. Bottom line, it's difficult for someone of my relatively small frame (5'7", 160 lbs) to ride subtly at low speeds. But, give it some room to fly and it does just that!

I understand the DL650 motor is smoother than the DL1000, so that would only be good news. One gripe I have with the DL650 is that, AFAIK, aside from the seat (which is more cut down (and harder)) the two bikes are exactly the same size (obviously the 650 is lighter). If the 650 was actually a wee version of the DL1000 I would own one.

You may hear that the Strom isn't tough enough for off-road use. BAH! I say! Sure, it's not *as* tough as the BMW equivalent, but look at the price point. Put a good quality skid plate on there and off you go. I've heard tales of people mangling the cast wheels but I've hit some nasty holes at speed and haven't had a problem.

The stock tires my vintage of bike came with were notoriously poor off-road, especially in the mud (trail wing? or was it death wing?) so consider some better rubber.

I also went through all sorts of efforts to lower my bike, dropped the front in the triple-clamps a full inch (yes, that's a lot, and not recommended, although I never had a problem), then installed lowering links in the back and dropped front and back an additional 3/4 inch. Unfortunately when I then installed a certain high-end skid-plate kit (Suzuki V-Strom Motor Guards) the front fender wouldn't clear under breaking, meaning I couldn't steer under braking! What's my point to all of this? Even at 5'7", I eventually raised the bike back up (still down 1" in front for handling) and just got used to it, and it's fine.

I also installed barback risers to make the riding position more vertical/neutral for me: TwistedThrottle.com : Handlebar riser barbacks & top clamps (BMW, Ducati, Gas-Gas, Honda, Kawasaki, KTM LC4, MZ, Suzuki, Triumph, Yamaha) - pair, 1" rise & 1" pullback - LEH.00.039.152

One important thing to note. Since there are just those two huge pistons, it's KEY to ensure that the throttle bodies are synchronized. It's a fun project if you're handy, otherwise have them done. It can make all the difference.

Luck!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sgt Beardy View Post
At the moment I'm riding around on a Ducati Monster 695, it's probably not the best choice for me for doing any sort of distance on. I often find myself getting pins and needles and numb hands after short distances (often less than 50 miles) because of the way I've always got all my weight pushing forwards onto my wrists I'm guessing. I'm currently planning on doing a trip to Spain later this year and and even though I do love my bike for a quick spin on country roads I'm now seriously considering switching it as 3,000 miles of numb hands doesn't sound too appealing.

Can you guys recommend the V-Strom? My other half has just passed and was looking at one and I'm now rather interested myself, it seems to be good value for money and a lot of people recommend them, what do you think? Can you offer any alternatives? Bearing in mind I'd have an '07 Monster 695 with 5k miles on the clock to trade-in and a budget of £1k-2k max on top of that.

Thanks!
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 1 Jun 2009
Dodger's Avatar
Large Golden Member
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: BC, Canada
Posts: 1,097
''''Sure, it's not *as* tough as the BMW equivalent''''

You're right ,it's not as tough as the BMW equivalent - IT'S TOUGHER .

[ and more reliable ] .
__________________
Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light. - Spike Milligan
"When you come to a fork in the road ,take it ! When you come to a spoon in the road ,take that also ."
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
wee vs v strom 2up rtw Josh Which Bike? 31 27 Oct 2010 11:19
V-strom or TA Crusty Which Bike? 5 4 Sep 2007 23:37
wee strom abs Danquart Suzuki Tech 6 11 Jul 2007 12:03
wee strom abs ? mr moto Suzuki Tech 4 10 Mar 2007 22:52
v-strom ekaphoto Which Bike? 15 1 Dec 2003 12:23

 
 
 

NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!

Next HU Eventscalendar

See all events

 

Latvia to Australia, an inspirational 5 month journey full of unexpected adventures!

HU DVD Autumn Special!

Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!

Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).

The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers."Inspiring and hilarious!"

"I loved watching this DVD!"

"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."

"Wonderful entertainment!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.

 

Scottoiler automatic chain oilers. The most important accessory for your next motorcycle adventure!

Renedian Adventures

Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!


New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.


Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!




All times are GMT +1. The time now is 13:17.