SV650N to DL650. Crazy?

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by EastBoundAndDown, Dec 16, 2012.

  1. EastBoundAndDown

    EastBoundAndDown DL650 TE310

    Aug 22, 2010
    NE Atlanta
    In a strange quandry. I am mostly content with my SV650, but I dont find it comfortable. I unfortunately end up riding my DR350 more for short pavement only rides, just becuase of the extra legroom and up and down seating position. I did ride the SV to Deals Gap and back, 2100MI in 6 days and loved it, and love how nimble the bike is, but I am now sitting at the computer alot since its winter. I end up researching bikes when I probably shouldn't. As much as I hate to list a bike for sale again, then hunt for anoher used bike, and visit the DMV again, I started looking recently. Bandit 1200/1250, unneccesary insurance, power and fuel consumption. FZ6, rode one, more comfortable, but an I-4 with no low end torque. Disliked the motor completely.

    Turns out they make the SV650 I have in a roomy, 2-up friendly, butt ugly, less is more package that everyone raves about. I am 6'1 190lbs, 32" inseam, 21 years old. I changed the stock SV bars for some risers and 1 1/8th MX bike bars, since I have a dirt bike background. More control and leverage, but still leaned over compared to the DS. Am I crazy for considering going to the DL650?

    Most of my riding is short day trips, with a 3-4 weekend trips per year, and a 1 week trip per year. I ride fairly often with my partner. She is 5'8 with long legs, so although she never complains for a second when we ride this bike, I feel quite uncomfortable. Not enough room.

    So, what? Raise the bars another inch, and buy lowered footpegs? I am a hooligan rider at heart, always popping wheelies on the SV, and will not hesitate to take the bike on dirt or gravel roads if I come across one, just at an easy pace. I just feel that I dont ride as much as I want to, and I never want to blame the bike for it, but I wonder if I'd be more apt to hop on and go if I had the DL650. Will it handle worse and be heavier? Sure, but half of the twisties around here have questionable pavement quality, so it would be a tossup anyhow.

    I am planning a trip to Deals Gap again this coming year, and instead of riding all the way, I am left with a desire to throw the bike in the truck and drive 1/2 down instead.

    Any input on all of this? Am I trying to have my cake and eat it too or is this valid? Am I too young to own a Strom? :lol3
  2. AviatorTroy

    AviatorTroy Long timer

    Oct 15, 2007
    Cincinnati OH/Stuart FL
    Storms are an icon. I have an SV, a 99, the first year for them. Many bikes have come and gone but that one is staying, it doesn't have a choice. You know it's fine to have more than one, right?
  3. stripple

    stripple Runnin' Hard

    Sep 19, 2009
    Muskrat Flats
    I had a Strom 1k for a bit. All in all, one of the best bikes on the road. Reliable, fast, comfortable, and can be bought for a song used. I bought one that was completely thrashed for next to nothing, fixed a few things and put a whole lot of miles on it. Sold it to a friend who has been riding/beating it a lot, and his experience has been trouble free as well. I miss it...

    The only drawback for me is it's looks. I hated it, but whatever. I bought something a lot more expensive that breaks a lot more and I miss my Strom.

    And, unnecessary power? What the heck is that? Does not compute. I don't know how any body ever buys the Suzuki Vtwin 650 if they've tried the 1000. The extra money in gas? The extra insurance? Well, you can't take it with ya. :freaky
    That power made me smile, and that is what it's all about...

    All that prudence and worriy about efficiency will disappear when you whack open the throttle. Live your life while you can. Isn't that why we ride motorcycles? :evil
  4. fragile_this_side_up

    fragile_this_side_up Long timer

    Dec 13, 2012
    Strasburg, VA
    i ride an SV650n and am thinking of adding a strom for commuter/long range trips.. it would be kind of strange to have two very similar bikes, but then again, spare parts! hahaa.
  5. buls4evr

    buls4evr No Marks....

    Sep 16, 2009
    Michissippi & Nuevo Mexico
    You would find a Vstrom (WeeStrom) a lot more comfy for long rides than an SV for sure. I have MX bars and risers on mine and it feels like a huge dirt bike, though it is not good for anything but solid dirt roads and rough pavement. It is very versatile, just pick a direction and go. They are not rocket fast but they will get you to go to jail speed. They have great ability to carry luggage and gear and like an SV as reliable as a stone axe.
  6. Cat0020

    Cat0020 El cheapo

    May 1, 2002
    NW of Philly, Hoboken, Brooklyn, Jamaica NY.
    Naked SV is about 80 lb. lighter, with similar if not the same engine output.
    Why would you spend more money for less power to weight ratio?

    I never enjoyed sitting upright for long distance/hours in the saddle.
    IMO, to be comfortable for long distance/hours of riding, you need a well supported riding position.
    Find a nice secure tank bag that you can lay against during the long hours of highway speed travels. If you're flexible enough, you may even rest your chin/helmet on the tankbag to relief your neck/shoulders.
  7. ph0rk

    ph0rk Doesn't Care

    Dec 17, 2009
    You can lie on a tank bag on a wee, too. And sit on the rear seat, and put your feet on the rear pegs, and stand for a few miles...
  8. Dirtysouth

    Dirtysouth Stud fee waived for noobs

    Jul 15, 2004

    I agree with this Cat. :D

    I also found the DL uncomfortable on long rides. The more upright sitting position hurt my lower back. I went across country and back on my SV650s, and found it was a lot more comfortable for the long haul.

    Having owned both a SV650s and the DL650, I prefered the SV. The DL will be more roomy than the SV, but that comes with a price. Performance wise, there is a chance that you will be underwhelmed coming off the SV. The SV out handles and out performs the DL in everyway. The only thing the DL offers over the SV out of the box, is more surface area to strap stuff to.

    Honestly, I'd keep the SV and set it up the way you want before dropping the coin on the DL650.
  9. bogey78

    bogey78 Been here awhile

    Dec 20, 2006
    North Alabama
    I loved my first gen SV650 and it got me back into riding after a long hiatus. I too did some longish trips and 500 mile day rides without much discomfort other than a little butt pain on the stock seat. I bought a DL650 after sitting on one at a group ride. The difference is apparent. Much more upright and all day long comfortable for me. I put about 12K trouble free miles on it and then sold it when money got tight. The only 2 things I didn't like about it was the height (not the bike's fault, I'm just vertically challenged) and the fact that it got sort of boring to me. I don't know how to explain it. It was the bike that should have been perfect for me. Cheap, big fuel range, fuel efficient, comfortable, extended aftermarket, etc etc etc. However, I always found myself wanting something different. I have owned several bikes since then and although I liked them all, none could do what the WeeStrom did with as much versatility. It was a good tourer, dirt road rider, weekend getaway, haul camping gear bike. It worked every time and was easy to own. It was just more boring than I wanted.

    If you want a DL650, get one. You won't regret it and if it gets boring, sell it and go onto something else. Consider a Versys also, I've never ridden one but it seems like it might be a perfect fit between a SV650N and a DL650.
  10. Hoodis

    Hoodis Been here awhile

    Jul 1, 2012
    East of Unifour
    I put about 20,000 miles on a 2003 SV1000s with Speigler bars over a couple of years and then put about 24,000 miles on a 2006 DL650 with a Corbin seat in one year. The DL was great on bumpy back roads and reasonably smooth gravel, but did not get me fired up very much. It was very comfortable for 6-8 hour rides.

    I currently have a 2007 DR650 and a 2009 M1100s. The DR is a blast as long as the roads are tight and loves the NC/SW Va mountains - particularly the unimproved "roads." The Monster is way more fun than the DL ever was on pavement and it currently has 29,000 miles on it.

    I am 6' 1" and my old knees tolerate(d) the SV and the Monster, but they weren't/aren't particularly happy about it. I don't plan to go back to a DL. Life is full of trade-offs.
  11. geoffh

    geoffh Adventurer

    Feb 6, 2011
    You could always try something that has both more HP and handling and hooligan aspects than an sv650 AND is more upright than a V-strom..

    Buy a KTm 950/990 SM/R!

    You just have to pay a premium (in overall cost, parts, reliability, etc... hah!). :rofl

  12. JerryH

    JerryH Banned

    Jul 4, 2009
    Chandler, AZ
    I have reached the point where if a bike is reasonably safe, comfort is everything. I can live without a lot of power and sportbike type handling. I had to give up a nearly new Ninja 500 because it was so uncomfortable it was no fun to ride. Anything much over 50 miles was downright painful. Besides scooters, the only streetbikes I have left is a 1500 Goldwing and a Kawasaki Vulcan 750, both extremely comfortable. The Goldwing is heavy, and not a great handler, but so what? It is all day comfortable. My main issue with it is the lousy mileage. The Vulcan is almost as comfortable, and gets almost twice the mileage. I also have an XT225 for off road riding, which for me means trail riding. Nothing crazy. I can ride on trails all day with a few breaks. I have never ridden a DL650, but have heard nothing but good things about them. I think the main comfort issue would be the seat. That's the problem I had with the KLR650. The SV hurts just to look at it. For me the bars are way to low, and the pegs are way to far back. I can no longer bent myself into a pretzel to ride a bike.
  13. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

    Apr 5, 2011
    Western Sierras
    I hate to do this, because I know it can be irritating for people to suggest something off topic, but your entire post was screaming "Aprilia Dorsoduro". 750 v-twin, similar seating position as my Honda XL600, and pure hooligan fun. My 5'11" wife says the back seat is fairly comfortable, but OEM seat is a bit hard. The only thing that doesn't fit is the 120 mile range, but you have abundant gas stations in your area, right? Mine (demo) cost $5800 with full warranty. You could probably get a V-strom cheaper. Although mine has been dead reliable, I would imagine the Suzuki is more reliable. I think you would really like it, though.

    Enough about that. I think you would miss the sportiness of the SV, based of what you've said. The Strom would be more versatile, comfortable, have more range, and luggage options. In other words, an SUV compared to your sporty Lexus. I just think you should test ride one before selling the SV.

    I also like the idea about leaning on a tank bag. That would be the simplest solution if it works for you. If that isn't enough, I would recommend taller handlebars before a taller riser.
  14. TrashCan

    TrashCan Scary Jerry

    Oct 5, 2005
    Louisville, Tn

    Height and weight have the most to do with comfort on a bike.
    I find the SV to be a very good fit for me.

  15. jon_l

    jon_l Long timer

    Feb 8, 2008
    Collingwood, Ontario
    The DL650 is a great bike, but I found it bland. Personally, I'd keep the SV650N, and adjust the ergos if needed.
  16. jesse v

    jesse v Motorcyclist

    Apr 16, 2011
    Sioux Falls, SD
    Fz1 ?
  17. McJamie


    Oct 3, 2009
    Courtice, Ontario, Canada
    I went through the exact same thing. I had an 04 SV and traded it for an 08 DL. Zero dissapointments. Yes the SV is quicker and lighter and better steeeing, but in the 4 seasons I had my DL, there wasn't anything or anyone that the bike couldn't keep up with. It did two up all day, no problem.
    I tried making changes to my SV first ( unsucessfully ), lower the pegs, taller bars, seat, tires, everything I could think of. It still wasn't what I wanted. The DL felt instantly at home as soon as I got on it.
  18. PachmanP

    PachmanP Long timer

    May 17, 2009
    Try a DL out of you can. They're good bikes, but they aren't really hooligan bikes... I have a DL I got because I wanted to tour on it. For regular local riding I'd probably get an SV.
  19. ArtCuisin

    ArtCuisin Adventurer

    Sep 20, 2011
    SV650N ergos NEVER come into play for me when on a sub-60mph apex corner twisty
    road. Even if I sit in one place and steer, the thing is so capable. If I want to work
    at it a bit, the thing is both crazy fast and so forgiving that I could never expect to
    find a replacement without doubling or tripling the used retail price.

    Looking to a two-up bike, you are in an entirely different category.
    Two-up, I would be going slow and focusing on comfort and a pleasurable
    shared experience. How about a touring scooter? :)

    Disclaimer: I have never ridden a Wee Strom, but I hear they are forgiving in the
    twisties, but at much lower limits than an SV650N. I could probably adapt if I
    absolutely needed one for two-up riiding. The mind can be flexible.

    I would absolutely buy the Wee before selling the N. After some evaluation,
    you will know which one to sell. I'm sure you could easily re-sell the Wee.
    N prices are crazy low so good luck selling that--and maybe that is a good
    reason to keep it TOO.

    In the end, it is hard to lose with either bike. I am a longtime Suzuki fan.
  20. Ohio_Danimal

    Ohio_Danimal Midlife Crisis Man

    Dec 20, 2009
    Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio (The Crooked River)
    Not crazy...I had a somewhat similar desire for change after putting over 20,000 on my naked SV650

    How she used to look:

    I wanted more wind protection. I wanted more legroom. I wanted luggage after three seasons using soft bags. I really didn't want to sacrifice the incredible road manners the SV had, even though I have ridder several WeeStroms and found them comfy.
    I wanted a touring oriented SV!

    How she ended up:


    Legroom was solved with taller saddle and lower pegs. 3-1/2" rise clipons solved the reach. Taller windscreen and full fairing reduced the wear and tear from wind buffeting on a long day. Givi clone luggage solved the cargo issue.

    And I will say, there isn't anywhere a Weestrom can go that I cannot go.

    Converting the SV this way isn't as expensive as you think, as all your stock parts have demand, and labor is free right? If you're not in a hurry, you can piece together all the full fairing bits over time very cheaply (I did...took a full season to accumulate it all)

    My bike is approaching 140,000 miles now. It's a wonderful motor, no matter what form of bike you decide.

    Good luck!