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!
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.