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Old 08-02-2009, 06:07 AM   #91
garandman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobbySands
i have both a GS and a [DL1000] V-Strom, along with a plated XR400 and a bit of time on a KTM 950.
the Strom is not worth a good spit on a trail. of note
//
DL1000. Duh. You hate yours - we get it.

According to the 2005 and 2006 Motorradfahrer comparison, the 1200GS has a whopping 0.4" additional ground clearance compared to the winning DL650. So just fill the tank enough to go as far as the 1200.

The 1200GS is an "Around the world bike" if you have a Land Rover following you and BMW to replace the bike when you break the rear subframe and then fry the electronics welding it. But it's nice to see you like something. And it means you have friends, who you will definitely need if you ever drop your 1200GS on a trail.

What you don't see is a bunch of DL650 owners whose biggest adventure is a ride to the dealer for service, a latte', and some new clothing......
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garandman screwed with this post 08-02-2009 at 07:25 AM
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Old 08-02-2009, 09:36 AM   #92
Flying Monkey
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I bought a Strom with the plan of exploring the dirt roads in Florida and maybe doing some longer trips.

Took it off the paved road once. The handling in the dirt was so poor that I never tried it again.

On the pavement, there are other bikes in my stable that simply work much better.

Had the Strom for 1 1/2 years, and got tired of walking around it to get to my other bikes. Got a good offer, and it found a new home.

Just my two cents!
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Old 08-02-2009, 09:45 AM   #93
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Or not carrying enough speed (momentum).

Quote:
Originally Posted by garandman

Too heavy for soft sand, though.

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Old 08-02-2009, 09:30 PM   #94
mtwillyman
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Wee is a great all arounder

Better men then I can ride the Wee really off road. Ha Ha! For one up touring and gravel roads, I love it. All the bickering over whether the Strom is dirt worthy is pretty funny. People with way more bucks then me trash R1200GS's every day offroad. A DRZ 400S makes more sense when trail riding. I view my Wee as a great all around motorsicle. YMMV. Peace.
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Old 08-04-2009, 10:05 AM   #95
Schlug
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garandman
DL1000. Duh. You hate yours - we get it.

According to the 2005 and 2006 Motorradfahrer comparison, the 1200GS has a whopping 0.4" additional ground clearance compared to the winning DL650. So just fill the tank enough to go as far as the 1200.

The 1200GS is an "Around the world bike" if you have a Land Rover following you and BMW to replace the bike when you break the rear subframe and then fry the electronics welding it. But it's nice to see you like something. And it means you have friends, who you will definitely need if you ever drop your 1200GS on a trail.

What you don't see is a bunch of DL650 owners whose biggest adventure is a ride to the dealer for service, a latte', and some new clothing......
i don't hate my V-Strom (that i still own, by the bye) but, i am able to make a unique comparison seeing as many 'pundits' here have had one or the other. while they can talk about their bike all they can do is quote magazine reviews or DVD's regarding the other.

i'll correct a couple of items, though.

i have an 1150, not a 1200. the ground clearance on my Strom is nowhere near that of my GS. don't make me pull both out and take pictures, because i will. more importantly, it's not what the solely the ground clearance that's at issue, but what happens once the clearance has been exceeded. on the Strom, you smash your exhaust header flat like pancake or crumple your aftermarket bash plate. on the 1150 you run against a smooth double bash plate (included) and if you add a additional plate, you run along your smooth cat/collector guard which bolts to the (included with the bike) centrestand.

i've never ridden the little Wee. i'm sure it's a great bike for commuting, what-have-you. i pass one near my house that goes to and from work every day. the owner has one 'long' trip (3 hours up north) and a few trips to the shops on it.

the larger point, if you can drop your Strom defense for a bit, is that neither of these bikes is a dirt bike. i do say the Strom is even more removed from it (cast wheels-- stop right there) but these are adventure bikes and nothing more.

there is a class of true dual sports and those would be the KTM 990/950
the KLR650, the DR650, the XR650, the BMW F800GS, the BMW F650GS, perhaps one or two others. these bikes can eat up loads of street miles and still ride a trail without killing the rider (like my 1150 tries to do to me) or be left stranded with bashed exhaust or bent wheel.

if we narrow it down to this group, then we can more clearly begin to discuss the give-and-take concessions of each.
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Old 08-04-2009, 10:59 AM   #96
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I put 27,000 miles on 05 Vstrom. Spent about$1500 on suspension upgrades. Did it help? yes... but it is not a KLR or XR and it damn sure aint the R1200GSA I ride now!!! AND YES I ride my GSA on single track!
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Old 08-04-2009, 09:33 PM   #97
amk
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I will sign under every world which bashes Wee or Vee off road performance. Unmodified, it has very cheap suspension, does not withstand a slightest tip over without damage to body, lights, or controls, and generally has very lousy low speed performance. Many like its motor, why I wonder, it does not have any noticeable torque below 3500 rpm.

In its defense I say it is very comfortable long distance scoot. Without seat or windshield mods I run 900 km in one day without any prior preparation/test/set up. I have no objections to run another 900, or whatever amount of kilometers the next day.
It is absolutely reliable. There are some odd failures reported, but in mass people just ride it, leaving all fears for expensive repairs/maintenance for other brands.

There are very cheap and easy to do mods which lighten all its shortcomings a bit. Cut a coil off springs – increase springs rate. Enlarge the damping holes – compression damping is improved. 20 bucks aftermarket blinkers – no risk to damage them in a crash. Slightly pre-loosen control levers without balls – no need to carry on a spare. A bolt in predrilled shift lever – no risk to break it. A flapper under the front fender – no oil filter/oil cooler bombarded.

And it is cheap. A true better alternative – ktm 990 or 1200Gs are 2 to 3 times more. All other alternatives do have their big weak points, and are really not so much better in performance while still quite a bit more expensive.
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Old 08-05-2009, 06:12 AM   #98
Stromin'Nroman
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Dual sport?

As long as those sports are paved road riding and non-paved road riding.

It's like an ostrich in sand, a pig in mud and a Hummel figurine in the air.

Sure, an expert rider can wring some impressive stuff out of any bike but most people are somewhat less that "expert".

It is a great all-around bike that would leave the sportbikes behind when the pavement ends, leave the true dual-sprots behind when the highway becons and hang pretty well with the sport-tourers. (It also bar hops with the cruisers, but appears to be equipped with repulsion ray for members of the female gender.)

This can be said of several other pricier bikes but compromises have to be made for cost. For the DL these compromises are made in the brakes and suspension.

If you're going to have just one bike, it's a great bike to have. I'd replace it tomorrow with a DRZ400 and FJR1300 if I could afford it.

I think Suzuki would be smart to separate the lines more so that the 650 was more off-road worthy and the 1000 was more of a Sport-Tourer.
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Old 08-05-2009, 08:29 AM   #99
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Only one point I'd argue and that is the slow speed handling. I think the Wee is fabulous at slow speed manouvres on pavement (on gravel roads I have very little skill so won't comment on that aspect) I can come to a complete legal stop and not put my feet down, even with my lady on the back. I have demonstrated the slow speed section, of the Canada Safety Council Gearing Up program, on my Wee and the students (and instructors here in Alberta) were amazed. I firmly believe if you get good at the slow speed stuff the higher speed stuff comes easier What I miss most about teaching is the regular refreshing of the "basic" skills you teach to n00bs and many riders forget

Quote:
Originally Posted by amk
I will sign under every world which bashes Wee or Vee off road performance. Unmodified, it has very cheap suspension, does not withstand a slightest tip over without damage to body, lights, or controls, and generally has very lousy low speed performance. Many like its motor, why I wonder, it does not have any noticeable torque below 3500 rpm.

In its defense I say it is very comfortable long distance scoot. Without seat or windshield mods I run 900 km in one day without any prior preparation/test/set up. I have no objections to run another 900, or whatever amount of kilometers the next day.
It is absolutely reliable. There are some odd failures reported, but in mass people just ride it, leaving all fears for expensive repairs/maintenance for other brands.

There are very cheap and easy to do mods which lighten all its shortcomings a bit. Cut a coil off springs – increase springs rate. Enlarge the damping holes – compression damping is improved. 20 bucks aftermarket blinkers – no risk to damage them in a crash. Slightly pre-loosen control levers without balls – no need to carry on a spare. A bolt in predrilled shift lever – no risk to break it. A flapper under the front fender – no oil filter/oil cooler bombarded.

And it is cheap. A true better alternative – ktm 990 or 1200Gs are 2 to 3 times more. All other alternatives do have their big weak points, and are really not so much better in performance while still quite a bit more expensive.
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Old 08-05-2009, 09:10 AM   #100
jallen
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Bickering aside, I appreciate this thread- very educational! I find myself wandering on the "dual-sport" spectrum trying to figure out where I fall, and reading this thread really helps seeing the pros and cons of the different bikes..


Thanks!


As you can see from my sig-line I'm split between both ends of the spectrum ;-)
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Old 08-05-2009, 09:44 AM   #101
Ducman69
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Lots of great info here, and as long as the name doesn't set unreal expectations then its not a biggie.

To me, dual-sport just means a bike that wasn't built exclusively for either on or off-road performance. How street or dirt oriented that bias is is something you research within that broad category.

Considering the low cost of ownership (fuel, insurance, purchase price, maintenance), great reliability, and multi-tool like nature of the Strom, its not too hard to understand why many people are big fans of them, but everyone has their own tastes and preferences. The way I figure it, as long as the bike is putting a big stupid grin on my face, its 100% purpose built right for me, heh!
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Old 08-05-2009, 10:36 AM   #102
Voluhzia
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"Dual-Sport" is not about a bike, but about a person riding it. So, Suzuki website mistakenly called V-Strom a dual-sport. Dual-sport name came to dirt bikes that can leagally ride on roads (headlight etc...). V-Strom is an Adventure bike that is capable of everything. Ride when it rides, push it when it does not, same as any other heavy bike from this category. The difference between a dirt bike and adventure bike is that you don't need a trailer to get to your destination, ride thousand of miles to it and back.

...my 2 cents.
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Old 08-05-2009, 10:59 AM   #103
TheMule
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobbySands
there is a class of true dual sports and those would be the KTM 990/950
the KLR650, the DR650, the XR650, the BMW F800GS, the BMW F650GS, perhaps one or two others.
Oh Man you forgot the TW!!!

V-Strom is a great bike.........

They're all great bikes, ride what you've got where you want (as long as its legal of course ).

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Old 08-05-2009, 02:57 PM   #104
DrDale
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Voluhzia
"Dual-Sport" is not about a bike, but about a person riding it. So, Suzuki website mistakenly called V-Strom a dual-sport. Dual-sport name came to dirt bikes that can leagally ride on roads (headlight etc...). V-Strom is an Adventure bike that is capable of everything. Ride when it rides, push it when it does not, same as any other heavy bike from this category. The difference between a dirt bike and adventure bike is that you don't need a trailer to get to your destination, ride thousand of miles to it and back.

...my 2 cents.
I think you hit the nail right on the head! My riding buddy JWRobertson (an adv inmate who hangs out over on Orange Crush) attended a Great Lakes Dual Sport event last year. Everybody but him had trailered their dual sport bikes up the the event. I was up for another ride and had my Honda CRF-250X. Jerry had ridden from home and back and the D/S ride on his KTM 990 Adventure. So...IMHO a dual sport bike is either ridden locally, or hauled to an event or ride. An Adventure bike is ridden to and from home for a multi-day event. So...a multitude of bikes could fall into either catagory depending on the use and intent of the owner.

BTW, JWRobertson and I recently completed a 5,000 mile adventure from Michigan to Newfoundland and Labrador. Over 600 miles of very rough dirt and gravel roads.
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Old 08-05-2009, 09:06 PM   #105
Big_John
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As others have said, the term Dual-Sport is very broad and I think this read is very accurate from Wikipedia.

"Terms such as dual sport, enduro and adventure bike are marketing descriptions, not strict definitions of weight and power. For example, the lightest DualSport offered by Suzuki Motor Corporation in 2008 weighs about 250 pounds and has a small single-cylinder engine with barely enough power for highway use. The heaviest DualSport offered by Suzuki Motor Corporation in 2008 weighs about 460 pounds and has a large two-cylinder engine with plenty of power for long freeway trips. Accordingly, it is necessary to refer to the manufacturers specifications for a particular model to learn more about its intended use.
There are four ways of creating dual sports. Some manufacturers add street-legal equipment to existing off-road motorcycles. These bikes are usually light and powerful, at the expense of shorter service life and higher maintenance. This approach is currently taken by European manufacturers such as KTM and Husqvarna. Other manufacturers start with a clean sheet of paper and design a new model designed for a specific combination of dirt and street use. These motorcycles are usually heavier and more durable than the models derived from off-road motorcycles. This approach is currently taken by BMW, Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha and Kawasaki. Several manufacturers modify street motorcycles to make them more dirt worthy. These bikes are usually more at home on pavement. Finally, owners add street-legal equipment to off-road bikes. However, some states only license motorcycles that meet emissions requirements.
Dual sports may be grouped by weight and intended purpose. Lightweight dual sports weigh about 250 to three hundred pounds. They have high fenders and ground clearance plus long travel suspension and are usually shod with aggressive dirt oriented tires known as “knobbies”. Lightweights are closest to pure dirt bikes and are most at home on rough trails and two-track roads with occasional forays onto pavement.
Middleweight dual sports weigh more than 300 pounds up to about 350 pounds. They usually have less suspension travel and ground clearance than lightweights and are often shod with tires that offer a compromise between dirt and pavement performance. Middleweights are most at home on smooth trails, graded dirt roads and pavement.
Heavyweight dual sports weigh over 350 pounds. They are designed primarily for riders who want to travel long distances on pavement with occasional forays onto dirt roads. They are usually shod with smoother tires that perform better on pavement. These motorcycles are also called adventure bikes by some manufacturers.
It should be noted that these types are only approximate and new models that split the boundaries and offer different combinations of features appear each year. However, the laws of momentum and inertia always favor lighter dual sports for tight, rough trails. Heavier dual sports that emphasize rider comfort and the capacity to carry luggage are better choices for long highway trips.
Dual sports, by definition, are compromises - giving up some dirt performance to be ridden on the street and some street performance to be ridden in the dirt. The merits of a particular model can only be judged relative to the owner’s intended mix of dirt and street riding. Although aficionados may argue the merits of different models, all agree that versatile dual sports are desirable alternatives to more specialized motorcycles that can only be ridden in one environment."



With all that said, I am a firm believer that the Strom is a Dual-Sport bike, leaning heavily to the Adventure Bike catagory. Heck, with a few changes and some fancy farkles, the Strom can be equipped to be pretty darn rugged and can go many, many places......Adventuring around.









Although.....notice......I call myself MTNAdventureRider......NOT, MTNDualSportRider.

.
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