V-Strom Info wanted - BMW Luxury Touring Community
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post #1 of 12 Old Sep 14th, 2006, 9:10 pm Thread Starter
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Question V-Strom Info wanted

I would love to hear impressions of the 650 V-Strom. If you own one or have had experience driving one please reply!

Jim Andrews
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post #2 of 12 Old Sep 14th, 2006, 10:06 pm
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Originally Posted by JK75RT
I would love to hear impressions of the 650 V-Strom. If you own one or have had experience driving one please reply!
Don't own one but it's on my list of "next bike to get." Ran into a fellow out in Big Bend Nat'l Park on one last year. He had it outfitted with side cases, GPS and an MP3 player - said it was the best bike he'd ever owned and didn't see the need for another.

Dave Moore
Boerne, Texas
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post #3 of 12 Old Sep 14th, 2006, 10:15 pm
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I know 2 guys with 1000s. They love their bikes, but have both upgraded their suspension. They both thought the stock setup was rubbish.
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post #4 of 12 Old Sep 14th, 2006, 11:44 pm
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I'm a long-time fan of the TL1000 engine series, having owned both (highly modified) TL1000S and TL1000R, from which the SV1000 and V-Strom engines were derived. I'm currently converting a retired TL1000R race bike into a street bike.

Both tlzone.net and tlplanet.com have forums for the relatives in the engine family, including the V-strom, Bimota, SV650 and SV1000, Cagiva raptor, etc. but the V-strom activity is pretty low. My old boss Harry Gambol, the CEO of Trans-Union, had one and loved it.


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post #5 of 12 Old Sep 14th, 2006, 11:45 pm
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Hmmm, I hear there's v-strom specific forums too...sorry I can't hook you up.
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post #6 of 12 Old Sep 15th, 2006, 6:36 am
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Originally Posted by JK75RT
I would love to hear impressions of the 650 V-Strom. If you own one or have had experience driving one please reply!
there is a younger teacher around here, that goes everywhere on his 650 V Strom, he loves it says he has no need for anything more, he is a serious rider and has been all over the country riding that bike, heck right now he and his bride are in the alps riding for his honeymoon!

I know not personal experience but he had a choice to buy a V-strom or GS


'07 GS Adv (mine), '06 GS <(My brides)
(the only bmw's in the stable)
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post #7 of 12 Old Sep 15th, 2006, 7:53 am
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I test drove, and SERIOUSLY considered the DL650 before buying my GS.

My opinion was that it was a great bike, probably the best value for your dollar on the market. It has plenty of power for any type of riding I do. It is a great all-around bike, like the GS. Makes a good commuter, canyon carver, fire-road, touring machine. I think the GS is a bit more rugged for off road, but then again, neither were made for serious offroad.

My dislikes were:

1) The seat. I felt it was VERY uncomfortable. It would have to be replaced for me to put more than 100 miles at a time on her. Of course, This is a subject that you would need to see how it feels to you.

2) Wind noise/buffetting. Slightly worse than the GS, but not horrible.

3) It seemed like it would take more damage in a fall than the GS

Other than that, It was great. The GS just spoke to my soul more than the DL650, and I could afford it.

If you could get a comfy seat, I would think anyone would be happy on the DL650.

James Ranks
2008 BMW R1200RT 7200 miles
2005 BMW R1200GS 13000 miles (Sold)
2002 Yamaha FZ1 (Sold) 11000 miles
2002 BMW K1200LTC 29900 miles (Sold)
2002 Yamaha VSTAR-650 Silverado (Sold) 9100 miles
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post #8 of 12 Old Sep 15th, 2006, 8:48 am
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I had a 2002 1000 Strom. I never wanted a different seat, nor noticed the wind buffeting as many have since it's introduction. What I did want was an alternate position for my legs as the seat caused my knees to hurt after a couple huundred miles. The 650 and 100 0are built on same frames and seats I think, so that would be similar. My sheid was non-adjustable, so I can't say about wind protection.

Handling was awesome - the LT is a big pig in comparison - but two different bikes and I'm not as familiar with the LT as I was the Vstrom. I could lean the Vstrom til the passenger pegs dragged. Sweet bike. Wish I hadn't lost it in the crash. Loved the maneuverability of it and the tall height. Can look OVER many SUVs at stoplights.

Would really like to have a 650 to compliment the LT and for use as a "round towner". Awesome bikes, imo. If you have the opportunity, go for it. They are much cheaper than any other bike in that class. Not as much prestige as owning a BMW or triumph or whatever. But a practical bike in so many ways. Boy, I'm really missing my strom.

Bad points? Gotta buy your own luggage setup, be it suzi's or whoevers. Not as big as a full touring rig - not so good if you;re a big or tall guy and have a big or tall pillion with knee pains. Some coprners are cut to get the price down and it shows in the suspension and alternator output. Centerstand is optional.

Hope that helps
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post #9 of 12 Old Sep 15th, 2006, 9:41 am
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It's on my list for a test ride when I get a chance.
Their coming out with ABS sometime this fall.
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post #10 of 12 Old Sep 15th, 2006, 10:01 am
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A friend here at the office had for a while and really liked it. He changed the seat out with a Corbin, which he said was a lot better than the stock. The one thing he didn't like was the way it felt in crosswinds. He claimed the wind would just kick the front wheel out from under it.

Check out http://www.stromtrooper.com/ for all sorts of info on the bike.

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post #11 of 12 Old Sep 15th, 2006, 11:12 am
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I was an early Suzuki V-Strom Adventure Tourer advocate and own a purchased new 2003 DL1000, now with 20,000 Miles, a far more sophisticated and better MC than the 650 for various reasons I can detail later on if you are interested.
No Warranty issues at all, no problems and the Oct 2002 CycleWorld Mag considers it one of the best 10 production bikes ever produced, and has said so in succeeding years...

All MC's have their shortcomings and the only thing to speak of is the cheap uncomfortable seat and too short windsheld, both of which as very easy to fix as I did. My Factory Givi Style Luggage carries far more than my 05 LT does.

It makes 93 HP @ 461 lbs, 6 speed, burns regular gas, 5.8 gallons, adjustable forks, rear suspension and hydraulic clutch. Easy maintenance and only needs valve adjustment check @ 15K and often never adjusted after that from the high mileage records of many worldwide owners.

I would challenge most to keep up with me on your GT's etc on my stock DL1000 thru the curves.. It is the fastest , best handling bike I have ever owned in 33 years of daily riding more than 500+K miles.
I have surprized more than 1 club rider, Point and Shoot Busa kids and lots of Ducati guys. ** Last month I won the Field Events portion of the Wa State BMW rally against GS's, etc !

If I had to choose one bike to keep, It would be a hard decision as the LT as much as I love it might be the one to go down the road. The seat is more comfy than on my LT and overall a more practical everyday bike. Going for a long ride or on a trip of course I choose the LT with all the gadgets!!!
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47+ Yrs Daily Motorcycle Street riding for Therapy

2012 Victory Cross Country Tour
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2005 PearlBlue FJR1300 (Sold)
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post #12 of 12 Old Sep 15th, 2006, 12:16 pm
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Originally Posted by JK75RT
I would love to hear impressions of the 650 V-Strom. If you own one or have had experience driving one please reply!
I had an '04 DL1000 V-Strom for a while. Had it about four months, and put just shy of 10,000 miles on it. During that time I had some exposure to it's little brother, the DL650.

The 1000 has better front suspension (still poor), a LOT more mid range power, better seat, and handguards, and a much larger alternator (Important to me for heated gear use. As you can tell by the miles I put on it, I liked it, including several 1,000 mile days, but not with the stock seat.

The windscreen is awful on both, very noisy. Plan on changing it.

The front brake is pretty weak for paved road use, plenty strong offroad.

Crosswinds can be a challenge, they blow this bike all over the road.

Neither is really intended for off road use. Among other things, plastic and turn signals would likely take a lot of expensive damage in a tip over.

Neither comes with a center stand!

Known issues:
DL1000 - fueling issues off idle (jerky in metro riding), and clutch "chudder" in some (I never had a problem with this)
DL650 - Front forks are even worse than the DL1000! Seat padding is too thin.
Both models - Fuel pump failures (fairly common), secondary drive sprocket seal failure (not common, but costs an engine when it fails, as all the oil quickly escapes, onto the BACK TIRE!!!)

Reason I got rid of mine so quickly: I discovered that I just didn't feel comfortable without anti lock brakes.

Would I buy another, now that the '07 DL650 is coming with ABS? Not until they put it on the bigger bike. If I bought either, I'd budget enough money to replace both front and rear suspension with better, especially the front. The front end dive on braking is pretty nasty. I'm waiting for BMW to introduce a F800GS. If they don't do it soon, I may go for a R1200GSA instead, although I'm no fan of the boxer twin engine.

The DL650 seems to be a real bargain, but if you ride a lot, the corners they cut to make it so cheap really start to become an issue. Did I mention how much I hate the cheap suspension! The rear suspension is bad, the front is terrible! Buyer beware.


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