Vstrom question?

Discussion in 'Land of the Rising Sun: ADV Bikes from Japan' started by Keithert, Apr 22, 2013.

  1. Keithert

    Keithert Been here awhile

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    I see that the Suzuki V-Strom is a popular bike here. From it's appearance it doesn't look more offroad worthy than other standard style bikes. What makes it good for offroad duty? Please forgive my ignorance.
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  2. squish

    squish Out of the office.

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    Simply put it's about Dakar ready as a Honda CRV is Camel Trophy ready.


    It's mostly a styling excersize. But as a real world machine, for most ROADS paved or unpaved but groomed
    It's great.
    Not unlike the Rav4, CRV, Outbacks.
    #2
  3. CanadianTiger

    CanadianTiger Adventurer

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    It's not that good for off road duty really, but some will venture there anyway... It's real allure is that it is cheap to buy, cheap to run and stone dead reliable...
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  4. Deliverator

    Deliverator not a replicant

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    From Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weestrom :
    "The V-Strom 650 was named one of the "ten best" bikes under $10,000 by Motorcyclist (USA) magazine, October, 2007—beating out, among many others, the V-Strom 1000. In a September 2006 article, Cycle World magazine wrote "the DL650 may just be the most shockingly competent machine in the world today."<sup id="cite_ref-cycle_world_2006_12-0" class="reference">[12]</sup> A 2004 article from MotorcycleUSA.com said "it was hard to imagine another machine with a competitive versatility-per-dollar ratio."<sup id="cite_ref-motorcycle_usa_8-1" class="reference">[8]</sup> Twice consecutively, the DL650 has earned the title "Alpenkoenig", winning German Motorrad magazine's trans-alp multi-bike test in 2005 and 2006.<sup id="cite_ref-Motorrad_Online_13-0" class="reference">[13]</sup>

    "At the DL650's launch, noted motorcycle journalist Kevin Ash said "taking everything into account - price, comfort, fuel range, general ability, you could argue it was the bike of the year,"<sup id="cite_ref-ashonbikes_14-0" class="reference">[14]</sup> adding, "there's something honest and solid about the V-Strom."<sup id="cite_ref-ashonbikes_14-1" class="reference">[14]</sup> Having ridden a DL650 as his daily rider, in 2005 Ash called it the "best bike you can buy."<sup id="cite_ref-ashtelegraph_2-2" class="reference">[2]</sup> Ash complemented the bike's comfort, fuel range, engine and handling, faulting its brakes and corrosion resistance<sup id="cite_ref-ashtelegraph_2-3" class="reference">[2]</sup> — and further describing the bike as "perhaps the ultimate all-round machine." At the launch of the revised 2012 model, Ash noted that the previous generation, which could be very vulnerable to corrosion, had "been left behind, especially by direct rival, the Kawasaki Versys."<sup id="cite_ref-ashonbikes2_15-0" class="reference">[15]</sup> After the release of the 2012 model, Ash placed the Vstrom ahead of the Versys.<sup id="cite_ref-ashonbikes2_15-1" class="reference">[15]</sup>"

    Maybe a poor man's GS

    #4
  5. browneye

    browneye PIN IT & BANG GEARS

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    It's not.
    It isn't.
    It's okay.

    A better question would be, "I ride (explain the type of riding you do) would a v-strom be a good bike for that?"


    I had a new DL1000 in 2002.
    #5
  6. PeterW

    PeterW Long timer

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    It doesn't look offroad capable but the 19" front wheel makes it more bearable on dirt roads than a sports bike with a 17".
    With some suspension work it's quite good on dirt roads.

    If you want a real dirt bike, a DL isn't it, but if you just want to go exploring and it looks like there's a road there, not necessarilly a sealed one, it's fairly good.

    One of the more reliable bikes of it's type, one of the least expensive - and unless you have an unlimitted budget, taking a bike you can afford to damage down a dirt road is a lot easier than taking one that was a stretch financially. So, personally I think I've had more fun on DL's than I would have had on the more expensive equivalents because of the big 'don't give a damn' factor.

    Pete
    #6
  7. mrxinpa

    mrxinpa Just Get Out and Ride !!!

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    As an owner of an 02DL1000 I can tell you from personnel experience this is not a "dirt bike" by any exaggeration of the facts. As others have posted it has some good attributes that make it more suitable for off road riding than a normal sport bike.

    There's a hole aftermarket developed specifically for Stroms to adapt it to the off road segment. Yet most people know that if you truly want to start taking a Strom off road your need to rework front & rear suspension and add lots of protection to the bike.. It still weighs over 400+lbs.

    We all like to see just how off road capable our bikes can be. For me the Strom is my cheap mans GS. Not even in the same league as say a 950 super Enduro or HP2.

    But yea. I've said it before and will stand by my word "I'll take my Strom any where a GS Will Go"! And. For a lot less money!
    #7
  8. Keithert

    Keithert Been here awhile

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    What made me ask the question was reading of some people planning trips to Mexico on a V-Strom. I may have even read of someone using one for the TAT.
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  9. browneye

    browneye PIN IT & BANG GEARS

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    For baja offroad, 650 or smaller dirtbikes are the norm. Unless you're riding the hiway.

    For cross-continent the strom is fine, again, mostly hiway work.

    Anyone that rode one on the TAT is going to come back and say, "never again". The bike is a beast offroad.

    I have a Tiger XC, and even though it has more suspension and a 21" front, it's still a f'ing beast. Dirt roads are fine, but trails are for real dirtbikes.

    Even some of the places they CAN go doesn't mean it's fun. And the cost factor is there. My XC is stoopid expensive if you dump it and tear shit up. I'm too old to dump bikes. They stay up on two wheels....ALWAYS. :lol3
    #9
  10. Gillus

    Gillus High Desert Rat

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    +1, Pete nailed it. The 19" front is huge as they roll easier. Suspension upgrades will transform a DL (like a lot of other bikes as well) to a very good ADV bike from a wannabe that gets the job done adequately.
    #10
  11. Zapp22

    Zapp22 ZAPP - Tejas

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    look, we've all been through this a zillion times.
    the weestrom [not the v-strom] is a better bike off-pavement than most of us are off-pavement as pilots.
    but the surface one rides it over has to be relatively tame - if you ride it on perpendicular washboard with big edges, its painful.

    i can curb-hop with a DR650 and no drama. I cannot curb-hop the dl without drama.

    Uphill, if you have some dirty skills, it can be a very surprisingly competent goat. Downhill in the loose stuff, I do not have the skills to be 'relaxed' :eek1
    #11
  12. Ixxioixxl

    Ixxioixxl Adventurer

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    I got a 2012 V-Strom 650 last spring and put ~8500 miles on last year in the Midwest. It's my first bike so I don't have a good comparison but out of the box it was kinda rough sometimes even on poorly maintained dirt roads. At 5'7" it was hard to touch the ground though stopped in squishy stuff so that might have had part to do with it. But, after I got some of those Heidenau K60s, skid plate(Yanns, not that plastic junk),crash bars, and lowered it 3/4" toward the end of the season I was going on tame ATV trails up north okay. I wouldn't consider it a great bike for trails though, it is heavy as hell compared to a little 200 dirt bike. Really good for touring around where you will end up on dirt roads/forest roads/crappy washed out river roads/ect. and still want to have full luggage set including camping/fishing stuff with you 300 miles from home. The new tires really changed the bike a ton, I'm taking turns on dirt much faster and having more fun. No regrets on the V-Strom for me :1drink
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  13. MariusD

    MariusD Been here awhile

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    I have a '12 vstrom and have no offroad experience. I can't say that it gives me the warm and fussies when I take it off pavement for even a very short time. I'm sure a tire with knobbies would help, but I just wouldn't chose this bike if I were planning on a lot of off road. You want the drz400 :wink:
    #13
  14. Schlug

    Schlug JockeyfullofBourbon

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    put something on and stay in that position.
    So well put:
    /Thread closed


    As one who has had to beat a V-Strom wheel back into shape so it would hold air, I can attest that they are fine on gravel roads, not so good on trails. The 1000 I owned had a crap suspension and the 650 is even worse.

    Go find a Dakar or a Sertao or a Husky Terra or something with 50 or so HP if you want to try and do 100's of miles a day and still ride a trail or two.
    #14
  15. Ockrocket

    Ockrocket Long timer

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    For all you who think a Wee-Strom can't go off road or do a RTW trip.....try googling "travellingstrom".

    Richard is a forum member here and on Stromtrooper [and on almost every other bike forum on the web it seems :huh ].

    He is an Aussie who regularly travels the world on the Wee, and not just the easy bits.

    You will find everything from his own TravellingStrom web page to forum posts and youtube videos.

    The Stroms are more capable than many realise. :deal
    #15
  16. Schlug

    Schlug JockeyfullofBourbon

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    put something on and stay in that position.
    People have done more on a 1962 Harley Davidson (see RTWDoug)
    doesn't mean it's a good dirt bike, does it?


    I took my DL1000 all sorts of crazy places.
    Doesn't mean it was either easy or smart.


    I just rode my F650 Dakar 5,300 miles (8833 kms) in 10 days.
    Doesn't make it a good touring bike.

    I have hit a square edge of a ditch with a V-Strom wheel (on a buddy's 650 when we swapped bikes) and mangled it so bad that it wouldn't hold air. We pounded it back into shape with a rock. and it was hot. Like, Western Desert (your Western Desert) hot. And I was hung over like three outlaws.

    And I got to buy him a new wheel.

    If anything, this forum shows us that nearly any bike can go nearly anywhere. But there are certainly better and worse bikes for the job.

    Just sayin'
    #16
  17. bleedgrn

    bleedgrn Adventurer

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    It is hard to have a bike that will do it all well, without maybe spending $20K on a well farkled KTM, but the Strom is good for most everyday riders. I own a 12 DL650 and plan to ride down many dirt fire roads and some ATV trails, but I would never dream of riding this bike on a motocross track, or the equivalent. I was riding out near MOAB a few weeks ago ( in a truck and some on a mountain bike) thinking if my strom could do these trails? A friend on the trip has the same bike and we agree, we would not bring them out to trash it in the back country. Instead, bring out a WR250 or even a DRZ 400 and have someone drive a support vehicle to carry all the gear. It will lighten you up to play.
    #17
  18. Kommando

    Kommando Long timer

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    It's not "good" for offroad duty, but it's a little better than most streetbikes.

    - 19" front wheel instead of a smaller diameter.
    - A little more suspension travel than most.
    - A little more clearance than most.
    - A real skid can be mounted easily.
    - Crashbars can be mounted.
    - The exhaust exits a bit higher, which is better for fording.
    - Tuned for more mid-range than screaming.
    - Bars that accept real handguards.
    - Tires available in DOT knobby sizes.
    #18
  19. Pecha72

    Pecha72 Long timer

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    No, it´s not meant for proper off-road. Get a lighter bike for that sort of thing. Any kind of road, no matter how small or poor condition, the V-Strom can usually do, even though its not always the best tool for that job, just a tiny bit better than a streetbike and more easily farkable for that. But on the other hand, it can also cruise comfortably on the big roads, even two-up, and be your everyday commuter. Those are areas, where most “off-road capable” bikes fall a bit short.
    #19
  20. robert110411

    robert110411 Been here awhile

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    Off Road Worthy?

    I don't know about all that. here's what I do know.

    Last year I bought a 2012 DL 1000 new off the showroom floor for $8499. I traded an 08 GSX 650F. Current rides, E-Glide Classic and Dl 1000.

    Here's why I bought the V-Strom. More and more my rides were "To Places" as opposed to just rides. more and more I would find myself on back roads or facing two miles of gravel road to get to where I wanted to be.

    On the GSX I could make it down a gravel road if I had to. It wasn't fun but I could.

    With my V, I don't go looking for offroad but if I need to cover a few miles of gravel road? No big deal. Need to ride a few miles down a dirt road or old railroad bed? No big deal.

    it still weighs 500 pounds. it's still a little top heavy when the tank is full. The 19" wheel isn't perfect.

    On the other hand? A few miles of dirt road to get over the mountain? No big deal. 100 Miles of slab? No big deal. twisty back roads? No big deal.
    #20