Winter... Best time to contemplate buying a new bike.

Discussion in 'Land of the Rising Sun: ADV Bikes from Japan' started by dougwo, Nov 19, 2013.

  1. dougwo

    dougwo Adventurer

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    I currently ride a 2009 GS500F. I have been thinking about getting an adventure-ish bike for the past year or so. I'm planning on purchasing one next spring. My budget is around $6000. I have narrowed down to used 2012 DL650 or New CB500X. I ride 99% on-road, riding off-road is definitely something I'd like to try. I'm also planning on fitting full luggage for touring.
    What's a better deal assuming both cost about $6k to $6.5k? I would love to hear opinions from owners of both bikes.
    Thanks in advance!


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  2. soldierguy

    soldierguy Been here awhile

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    I'll start by repeating some advice I saw around here a while back: buy the one that makes your heart go pitter-patter. Motorcycles are about far more than spec sheets and data…they should be fun and enjoyable to you.

    Having said that...

    I'd say DL650. But I've never ridden the CB500X…just sat on one at a dealership. I own a '13 DL650, which I've…uh…added just a few farkles to (see my sig). The CB500X does weigh about 50 pounds less according to Honda and Suzuki data, but the Honda does feel a lot lighter…it carries its weight lower. That's a plus for the Honda.

    The Suzuki has ABS (a plus for me), tons of aftermarket support for luggage, etc, and it has a 19-inch front wheel which is better in the dirt than a 17-inch wheel. I like the gauges on the wee-strom…analog tach, digital speedo, gear indicator, outside temperature gauge, fuel gauge…it's all there.

    The downside to the Wee-strom (and probably the Honda too) is the suspension. It's adequate for most, but pack on the pounds and it gets squishy. I've definitely blown way past what Suzuki intended for the spring rates & shock valving, which is why I'm getting better stuff put on. If I hadn't added all the stuff to mine, I'd say the suspension was adequate, but I'd want a higher spring rate and more damping.

    But to rephrase what I said above…you're not buying a set of specs, you're buying a motorcycle. It should make you want to ride it, and smile when you do. Buy the one that does that for you.
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  3. dougwo

    dougwo Adventurer

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    Thanks for your input... Personally I think both bikes look great. But the fact that it's close to impossible to test ride in my area makes the decision making process harder.
    I guess I'm just waiting for someone to point out an advantage of one of them that really grabs my attention more than the other. Not necessarily a objective comparison... Because for the longest time I prefer the new V-Strom over the NC was because of the MPG display and the backlight of the display. lol.


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  4. soldierguy

    soldierguy Been here awhile

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    To me, the wee-strom is just a friendly, honest bike to ride. No pretenses at all. The engine is pretty smooth…no big bumps or hiccups in power from idle to redline. The handling is stable, the seat is ok…not great, but ok. It's one of those bikes that doesn't do anything particularly well, but it does everything reasonably well.
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  5. DCrider

    DCrider Live from THE Hill

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    my only input is if you are not sure if you will fully embrace the offroading then buy a much cheaper used DL and use the leftover $$ to set it up later the way you want or to buy other adv gear. You can get a great used DL for $3500-5000.
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  6. dougwo

    dougwo Adventurer

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    You guys seems to read my mind... I was going to ask about the older VStrom. I found quite a few wee around $4-5k with under 20k on them. With the money I save, I can get luggage, crash bars, and more.

    My question is... How much better is the new Wee? Is it $1000 better?

    Ugh! I do like the new gauges thou!


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  7. Butters

    Butters Kwyjibo

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    That's a pretty tough choice, but I don't think you can make a "wrong" decision with either one.

    Do you find the power of your current bike to be adequate? I know personally I would really want the extra power of the VStrom for road riding. Specs don't always tell the whole story, but the VStrom has a pretty significant advantage in HP and Torque numbers. But with that said, the Honda has been getting stellar reviews that seem to belie its specs.

    I would also think the VStrom is better offroad, but I'm not sure how aggressive you will be with a 500lb bike. Because of that, I personally would also consider the Versys.

    And speaking of specs not telling the whole story, there was a pretty interesting review somewhere about somebody on a NC700X being REALLY impressed with it's offroad ability how it keeps its weight low and they way it makes low end power.
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  8. dougwo

    dougwo Adventurer

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    Well, I find the power on my gs500f is adequate 80% of the time as long as I don't ride interstate or 2-up or want to carry luggage. Guess that's a really good point, getting another 500cc bike is not going to solve those problems. So Cb500x is off the list. When I said I may plan on going offroad, I meant mostly packed gravel/dirt roads, nothing crazy. So most bikes can handle that.

    I looked at the pre 2012 Vstrom and it reminded me why I never looked into getting one before... Personally I think it looks really top heavy. I think the newer design looks a lot better, a lot more proportional.

    I don't know what to think about the NC anymore. I really want to like it. It's a honda and like a poor man's Multistrada. But single disc, no ABS, low revving engine with only 50 hp, almost the same spec as my gs500!!! Might as well keep my old bike!? The NC is the only other bike on the list now... And it's pretty much comes down to $$$. I guess Uncle Sam would make the decision with my tax refund. Lol



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  9. elementalg20

    elementalg20 Been here awhile

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    I think for me personally if I could swing it I'd go with the new style DL650. The old one has become quite dated and was to me never a great looker anyhow. The new one is improved slightly nearly everywhere without really giving up much of anything(a touch of fuel volume).

    The Honda's seem to be nice bikes and maybe a test ride would open my eyes but the specs just aren't there for me personally.
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  10. whipit1k

    whipit1k Been here awhile

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    comparing a 12 DL650 to a honda 500X is pretty unfair to the honda. It is a nice bike, I am sure, but not in the same league
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  11. Matt fe2o3

    Matt fe2o3 Been here awhile

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    Oh the when, when of it all....

    My opinion is that plenty of deals are to be had all the time. Bikes and such especially between middle of February and middle of April. Couple reasons;

    1). The stuff is still there after yet another winter and weather starts to get good, aka stir-crazy sell,

    2). Bill have come in from Xmas and such and out with the old, the next payment is around the corner, plus taxes...

    3). The market starts to pre-flood. Importers are dumping old stock, positioning for the coming year and the following, plus points 1 and 2.

    Right now is IMHO one of the worst times to buy a bike from a value standpoint. Especially adventure bikes. That said, buy whatever floats your boat - whenever you want.
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  12. dougwo

    dougwo Adventurer

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    Matt, I totally agree with you. I'm waiting til Feb-March to buy a used one. I'm expecting more used bikes and lower price around that time of the year. Plus I'm expecting a half decent refund this year. Hopefully I'm right...


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  13. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    Vstrom suspension can be upgraded with Cogent DDC or Ricor Intiminator valves and a Richland Rich fork brace, plus a rear shock upgrade or rebuild.

    The 2012+ stroms are great updated bikes and do offer the ability to ride dirt is so desired. Great engine and they tour very well.

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  14. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    But you can often find a better priced used one now so still keep your eyes open. In the spring availability goes up but so do prices. Before holiday time many are looking to unload bikes fast for holiday $.
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  15. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    sorry don't agree at all.

    i've always found the most rock bottom price for a particular bike in the winter. for what ever reason (usually financial) bikes for sale in the winter are sold to move fast. not all are priced low, but there are always a few guys or dealers who need this thing gone NOW. most people understand that selling in winter means the buyer can't use his new bike and they price so it will sell and not sit around.

    in the spring everyone knows it's the start of the next season and people are buying. people price high and think if this guy isn't paying that price the next guy will. yes there is more out there to buy but most all want that prime price from an eager buyer.

    i sell bikes in the spring/early summer and buy in the fall/winter.
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  16. millesecond

    millesecond Adventurer

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    I saw someplace that Honda was bumping the NC700X to 750 for 2014, didn't have the horsepower/torque specs yet.
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  17. dougwo

    dougwo Adventurer

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    I just saw it on rideapart... Supposedly +5hp and +10pounds, taller gears, extra balancing shaft and a new exhaust. Hopefully they release the pricing soon so I can at least decide if I would wait for it or not.


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  18. dougwo

    dougwo Adventurer

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    I really like the look of the Versys but the low MPG... Not that I'm a tree hugger or anything but when you compare it with DL650, I can't help to wonder "40 MPG? that's the best Kawasaki can come up with?" Plus my reasoning to justify buying a new bike is that it is a transportation that can offset the ever increasing fuel price without driving a boring hybrid. And of course, I WANT a new bike.


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  19. dougwo

    dougwo Adventurer

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    Here's another question. One of the main reason I want a new bike is that during my last couple longish 500 miles trips, highway riding was torturing! The wind, the buffeting, my upper back and neck sore from fighting the wind... Is any one of the 3 bikes, CBX/NC/DL650, going to fix that problem?


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  20. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    with a madstad and upgraded shield a vstrom has great wind protection and no buffetting. seat concepts makes a great upgrade seat.
    http://www.madstad.com/s.nl/sc.7/category.5132/.f
    http://www.seatconcepts.com/products#!/~/product/category=1671358&id=16891444
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