I have had 2 new DL1000's (2003 + 2007) and love them. I would not get the 650 as the 1000 is significantly better and a more sophisticated and elegant creature. It is dual exhaust, has idle adjustment, 35 more HP, hydraulic clutch, better swing arm, etc, etc for the $2000 difference.
The 650 is for the cheap(er) version. I want the most V-strom I could get.
*The cheap guys who say the 650 handles better are lying and don't have th extra 2K they want to spend on the bike.. I have yet to have a 650 keep up with me on either a mountain road, the freeway or on the dirt. The only guys who outride me are other faster DL1000 rider, which are far and few.
PS. On the FREEWAY the 650 will be [email protected]
5500 RPM while the 1000 is just loping along @ 3500 RPM and both have a 6th gear overdrive.
You can change the forward cog to change the gear ratio on the 650 to make it fwy compatable, but why not just get the 1000 and have the power and horsepower in the first place??
MY S/O says they DL1000 is more comfortable for the passenger than either the HD Ultra dresser, Goldwing or our FJR.
I have not had any problems, NOT 1 warranty gripe with either bike.
I had 23000 miles on the 03 when someone made me an offer on it after I won the Field game events at the 06 State BMW rally and new bike lust kicked in for the FJR1300 which we still have.
Since selling my 05 LT now that I live on a long gravel road out in the country and my S/O rides the FJR I bought a new 07 in September and with only 2 bags of gas thru the tank took off on our 2300+ mile ride down to Sea Ranch Ca via lonely back roads thru Oregon to the 1/101 and had a blast.
With my new NationalCycle Windshield I have as much quiet and upper body protection as I had on the LT. I am quite amazed with the bike.
Fuel Mileage is not nearly as good as the LT with only averaging 42-46 mpg but boy is it fun!! No drive shaft failures, no clutch failures, no Halo key failures, no nonsense with any recalcitrant high tech maintenance issues.
No need to do valve adjustments until 25,000 miles, change the oil every 5k and NGK Hi-tech spark plugs every 25K along with the air filter and you are good to go. The bike is bullett proof and while I have had the valves checked they never needed adjustment.
I do miss ABS and that is the only thing this bike needs. The stock seat works fine. The seat is far better than the LT seat and my legs are much more relaxed and not bent backwards like on the LT. Under seat storage is ample enough to carry all my tools and
an air compressor. I never needed to even adjust the (real tubular) handlebars
as they fit just right. The windshield is all I needed and I installed my Garmin 2610 GPS hardwired into the system and a set of Heated grips and I did 3000+ miles the first month of ownership. The bike is great for the price & for the no worry reliability and very light maintenance requirments.