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Old 12 Nov 2018
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V-strom 650 for passenger touring?

Hi, I'm considering buying V-strom 650 from year 2014 up. I hear it is reliable and comfortable machine. How it is with two people touring loaded with luggage? Me and my gf are around 160ish kg in gear, adding luggage puts weight near limit. Will rear suspension handle that? I hear that frame of Vstroms may crack under heavy weight. Do you know anything about that?

We will be touring on several trips europe, turkey, morocco.
If possible i'd like to stick at 650 and not getting 1000.

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Old 12 Nov 2018
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Location: Esperance, WA
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Very reliable machine, quality components. Fuel consumption is quite good (better than Africa Twin etc).

Biggest problem on the Strom is ground clearance. i'd say with the loads you described, the suspension will cope just fine, but make sure you fit a decent welded bashplate that can take a lot of knocks. The oil cooler and sump is very low and you will hit them on rocky roads, even speed humps.

I don't know about any specific frame issues with them. I've seen more RD07 Africa Twins and 800 Tigers with cracked frames than Stroms. And I've seen more touring Stroms than the previous two combined. I do know they have a tendency to shed bolts. So carry a few spare fasteners and some loctite. Specifically for the chain guard on the swingarm
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Old 13 Nov 2018
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160kg +luggage? don't even think about it. change rear spring and shock. also, put heavier springs in the forks.

the bike comes suspended for a 175lb rider with no extras. anything more and it's a wallowing pig.

the 650 and 1000 are just about identical in size, and most people report that the 650 has sufficient power for 2-up touring, though passing and head on winds will present a tad of a challenge, though still rideable.

650 is far better on fuel economy.
'07 DL1000 '08 DR650
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Old 13 Nov 2018
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Guatemala
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I bought a low mileage 09 for two up riding in Guatemala and parts of Mexico. I was really impressed with what this bike can do "all around".
I doesn't excell at anything and yet does everything quite well.
As mentioned earlier the aluminum bash plate is a MUST! The ground clearance is a known issue.
With two up and luggage I was often scraping over the speed bumps even at very slow speeds.
I think one of the best things I did was to order a heavier rear spring that was sized to the load.
When I preload now for my wife and luggage life is good. We "almost" never bottom out on the speed bumps any more while my friend riding solo behind us on the same bike is making all kinds of ugly noises.
It's a true value bike.
Good bang for the buck!
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Old 13 Nov 2018
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This year we have toured France Spain and Portugal on a 2014 v strom 1000, 2 up with all the camping gear, the 650 is very similar the riding position is brilliant 1up, 2up, and 2up with all the kit, the only problem was limited tank range 170-200 miles per full tank, but i dont think this will be an issue with the 650, we came from a Bmw 1150 gs adventure (worst bike ive ever had) i fitted mirror extenders £10 ebay, and a taller screen £70 ebay and a scott oiler, you could find a dealer and have a test ride 2 up to try it.
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Old 14 Nov 2018
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I have a 2014 DL650 which I like a lot, and my wife and I have taken several multi-thousand mile trips on it comfortably. (I weigh about 160 lb, she is 130 lb.) OEM suspension works for us, with higher tire pressures and a fork brace. We both know how to pack light.

As mentioned above the Vstrom is a very smooth, moderately powerful machine, capable of highway cruising, and passing, if one knows how to use the gearbox.

Heading north through Wyoming.....

Ground clearance is slim, and the unprotected oil filter and heat exchanger unit would make me nervous on anything but a well graded dirt road. For me it's too heavy to even consider harder dirt. I wouldn't worry about breaking the subframe, I've not heard of anyone having problems. In fact, you don't hear of many problems at all with it.

But.....it took an aftermarket seat (Sargent) and some bar backs with all new longer cables to make it comfortable for me. I found the reach across the tank to the bars to be awkward, and had trouble controlling the throttle because of that. All good now, but it took some cash to get it right.

Overall, a very reliable and steady mount. I now have 40,000 miles on mine.

Skeena River near Prince Rupert, BC.....

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Old 26 Nov 2018
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Posts: 231
Yes the bike can do it.

I traveled two up with 420+lbs of humans(its a guess as I am 240lbs and mrs wont tell me her weight ha ha!) + lots of luggage for 40k kms in South America and it wasn't a PanAm tour. Lots and lots of rough roads.

Make sure you do get the correct springs and raise the bike with QUALITY dog bone links. Invest in a good rear shock! (a Must!)

I would recommend you add welded gussets to your racks and also replace all of the rack and subframe bolts for 8.8 or 10.8 grade bolts and carry a few spares in case they break.

Yes ground clearance sucks but you can go pretty much anywhere with this bike if you don't mind slowing down in rough roads. Invest in a really good skid plate.

Check my Facebook timeline (look from October 2017 to October 2018) for some examples of where the bike can go.




Last edited by jfman; 26 Nov 2018 at 21:33.
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