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Old 11-12-2012, 12:38 PM   #1
amk OP
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Jun 2007
Oddometer: 496
What bike is better or equal to a V-Strom 650?

That is winter here in Alberta, Canada. About 20 cm. of snow, temperature is fluctuating around -10C, the bike (DL650 K7) is parked till after the snow melts, April, next year. There is a lot of time for useless thinking and mind bending exercises.
Here is an example:
What bike is better or equal to a V-Strom 650?
Comparison’s criteria are:
  • More than 1 pot
  • Upright relaxed sitting position
  • Curb mass 220 kg or less
  • Comparable reliability, no “known issues”
  • Some wind protection
  • Central stand is available
  • 400 km. range or more
  • Runs on standard
  • 5 l/100 km or better
  • Price is equal, OK, may be 10% more

A bike has to meet all criteria simultaneously.

It might be not from current production lines, but has to be readily available. For example Honda transalp is rare and old in Canada, like 20 years old, so it is out.

f800, triumph 800 and the like, versys do not meet the criteria above.

Honda NC700 is excluded due to its strange design and pervert nature.

Does that belong to Jo momma?
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Old 11-12-2012, 03:12 PM   #2
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Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Lee's Summit (KC) MO
Oddometer: 345
The only possible option left I can think of is a (04-06?) Triumph Tiger 955i. It may require premium though. The Versys is pretty close.
For all the reasons you listed is why the 'Strom is so popular. I think it may be the best value around. I almost traded mine in on an '05 Tiger, but couldn't bring myself to do it.

07 DL650, blue
07 DRZ400, also blue for sale
11 TU250X, not blue
09 WR250R, do these come in any color other than blue?
former rides:98 KLR650, 01 SV650 (another blue bike),89 KLR650, 92 Bandit 400
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Old 11-12-2012, 03:46 PM   #3
Joined: May 2009
Location: Sunny California
Oddometer: 5,031
Originally Posted by amk View Post
Does that belong to Jo momma?
Maybe. It's your definition of better. What bike is better? Every single one, just by setting different parameters. Which meets the criteria you have set? No idea and I don't care because the DL650 rides like crap compared to my Tiger ...

But, I can at least try: the new 500cc series from Honda looks promising. The F700GS isn't too far off in price. Some used bikes are interesting. Depends on your taste.

Other than that: a used Honda Civic is probably closest. But that could be more exciting, so be careful ...

Okay, jokes aside, the DL650 is a great bike, I had a 2006 for a while, but to me it plain doesn't hold a candle in riding experience to most of the other bikes in the same class. It's also 2k or more cheaper. So, get a newer V-Strom for your taste and important features and be happy with it.
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Old 11-12-2012, 05:00 PM   #4
Joined: Apr 2007
Location: NoCAL
Oddometer: 28
Well, I own both a 2006 Wee Strom and a 2011 Triumph 800 XC.
Wee is a great bike.....The Triumph is just a better great bike. Suspension is the biggest difference.
Seat is much better on the Triumph.
Gas mileage is better on the Wee.
Love the V twin off the line. After that, the Triumph again wins.
Wee is too low for me. Both seat and ground clearance. (I'm 5'10")
I can sit on the XC and have both feet touch the ground but it has much better ground clearance.
Both are great pavement runners. The Triumph 800XC is much better once the pavement ends.
Triumph is a better Adventure bike, IMO
It all depends on what you are going to do with the bike.
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:48 PM   #5
Ride more worry less
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Joined: Sep 2007
Location: Jackson, MS
Oddometer: 5,853
Take 10% of the price of a wee and put in into the suspension and you'll have a bike that's about 20% better.
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Old 11-12-2012, 08:03 PM   #6
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Now low fat!
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When we leave a place a part of it goes with us and a part of us remains
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Old 11-12-2012, 09:36 PM   #7
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Joined: Sep 2005
Location: Nature Coast, Florida
Oddometer: 2,582
I was looking at getting a wee until this popped up....

It's an '05, I've got less than $5 grand in it, it's an awesome bike that's been a hoot to ride.

Almost bought a new Tiger in '05, but got a GS instead, so the Tiger remained on my motorcycle bucket list. Now that it's checked off, I'm glad I got the GS then, but happy with the Tiger now considering my circumstances.

Unlike you (if I wasn't 6'4" 330lbs) I'd be all over that new Honda 700x. Although I'd have to take a hard look at a Scrambler too, and, and, and...

It's a great time to be in the market for a motorcycle, new or used...
If you're gonna dish it out make sure it tastes good.

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Old 11-13-2012, 12:00 AM   #8
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Joined: May 2008
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Oddometer: 4,434
Easy (except the 10% more bit maybe):

2012 Wee ABS.

I own a DL650 2007, and the new one. Both are good bikes for my use (touring, twisties, city, tarmac mostly) but the new one has definitely improved in many small but noticeable areas. And it uses less fuel.

Pecha72 screwed with this post 11-13-2012 at 01:36 AM
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:17 AM   #9
amk OP
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Joined: Jun 2007
Oddometer: 496
Originally Posted by Pecha72 View Post
Easy (except the 10% more bit maybe):

2012 Wee ABS.
Yes, I aware of that. I meant something other than DL650, old or new. I have tried the new one - it is different but still the same.

I finally taught myself to skid into a corner on a car tire, so getting a new model will mean I pay for ABS which job is to prevent me doing that. Besides, I am not sure what is uglier, my oil cooler underneath or the hoses mess at the same place on a new one.
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Old 11-13-2012, 12:44 PM   #10
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Joined: Jun 2005
Location: Western Canada
Oddometer: 3,017

Pretty well every Adventure Bike is better than the VStrom/WeeStrom except in price. VStroms are budget bikes that work great overall but arn't in the same catagory performancewise. A good bang for the buck till you try some of the others.
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Old 11-13-2012, 07:35 PM   #11
Thrifty not cheap
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Joined: May 2009
Location: Elizabethtown, PA
Oddometer: 1,246
Interesting responses. I just bought a 2004 Wee 3 days ago. I really thought I wanted a Tiger 955i. Rode one. Nice bike, but something about it just didn't gel for me. I wasn't comfortable with it. Rode the Wee and loved it in the first mile. Triumph was smoother and more powerful but I felt I would have to adapt to it whereas the Suzuki just felt right. You can read all the specs, opinions, etc until you're as nutty as I was but until you throw a leg over one you really can't make a intelligent decision.
'08 Triumph Bonneville T100, '04 Suzuki DL650 'Strom
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Old 11-13-2012, 10:13 PM   #12
not fragile
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Old 11-14-2012, 12:55 AM   #13
Fully Loaded
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Joined: Oct 2008
Location: Brisbane Australia
Oddometer: 647
proven reliability and no known issue and cheap on-going maintenance cost - that's its trump card

- it's not just a cheap bike -

2012 model is a much better in the suspension department without being great.
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Old 11-14-2012, 01:16 AM   #14
Beastly Adventurer
Joined: Nov 2005
Location: Gold Coast
Oddometer: 2,794
Originally Posted by RED CAT View Post
Pretty well every Adventure Bike is better than the VStrom/WeeStrom except in price. VStroms are budget bikes that work great overall but arn't in the same catagory performancewise. A good bang for the buck till you try some of the others.
It's a very well engineered bike that can cope with dirt roads.

If I was told to pick a bike that I had to ride around Oz with no support, it'd be the DL 650 - 'performance' don't amount to shit if you are 200km from nowhere and it doesn't run.

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Old 11-14-2012, 04:53 AM   #15
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Joined: May 2008
Location: The Monroe Republic, NC
Oddometer: 871
Ultimately, it all gets back to your needs -- how you plan to use the bike, your budget, your ability to handle more/less weight, etc. When I bought my V-Strom, I had a list of requirements based on my needs. Water cooling so that it would remain cool while sitting in summer traffic, not too heavy so that it would work well in a daily commuting environment, comfortable enough for long trips, ability to add hard luggage, fuel injected so that it would provide trouble-free starting in the winter, wheel sizes that would allow adventure touring tires for dirt/gravel fire road riding and cost was a factor. (I have three children that all expected to get a college education.) To date, I have ridden my 2006 over 77,000 trouble free miles, both on tarmac and dirt/gravel fire roads -- including one stretch of 70 miles of dirt roads through the mountains in Montana. Have maintained a regular schedule of oil changes, air filter, tire replacement, chains/sprockets and have had the valve adjustment checked every 15,000 miles (they have never had to be adjusted). The only problems I have experienced was a hairline crack in the rear spark plug cap that caused it to miss a little after washing the bike and the reset button on the trip odometer quit working when the bike was new. Suzuki replaced the whole speedo/tach/odo housing under warranty when the bike had only 5,000 miles on the clocks. No other problems. I guess the most telling factor is that I've kept this bike longer and accumulated more miles on it than any other bike I've ever owned, including each of the four BMWs I owned before my V-Strom. It's a great bike!
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