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650 V-Strom Overlanding 2up and loaded.

Discussion in 'Japanese polycylindered adventure bikes' started by Dragon88, Jul 19, 2020.

  1. Dragon88

    Dragon88 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2014
    Oddometer:
    79
    Hi Guys, would like to hear from anyone who has experience with long distance overlanding on the 650. I am seriously considering a downgrade from my current heavyweight 1200 which we have spent the last 6 years on traveling RTW to a middle weight bike and the V is ticking a lot of the right boxes. Loaded we are just over 200kg (450lbs).

    How did you find it? Handling while loaded, comfort, power enough to get the job done (speed limit rider)

    Power and speed are not my primary concerns so I have no interest in the bigger 1050 V (which is not imported into the country I live in anyway)

    Suspension and seat upgrades etc will be a must but any additional advice/tips would be much appreciated.
    #1
  2. Little Bike

    Little Bike Air/Clutz Sue Supporter

    Joined:
    May 13, 2012
    Oddometer:
    10,517
    Location:
    Temecula CA
    I don’t know about 2 up, but I’ve used my vstrom on several long trips, Southern California to the border of the Yukon an back last summer. It does great. Have you looked at the weight limit?
    #2
  3. Dragon88

    Dragon88 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2014
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    Yes of course mate. I am within spec.
    #3
  4. Kd70qc

    Kd70qc Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2016
    Oddometer:
    63
    Location:
    Alabama
    Stay under the weight limit and you will be fine if:

    - your pillion feels like she has enough room.
    - You get a seat that is comfortable for you and the pillion.
    - you are on decent roads (hard pack gravel is fine).
    - when you get in the mountains don’t be afraid to use the upper end of the rev range.

    I have 45k miles on my 2015 650XT and taken 3 trips over 3,000 miles (the last 7,300), and numerous shorter trips with a pillion and loaded at or near the 915lb maximum.

    If I was going to expect bad roads I would probably go with a DR650. The DL650 will take more skill on the same dirt roads, but be more pleasant at higher speeds. The Strom has a road bike geometry with a little extra suspension travel and ground clearance.

    Fully loaded at high speeds (80 mph/130 km/hr) or with a head wind expect mileage in the low 30 mpg, in general at 100 km/hr and under you will be in the 45+/- mpg range. Sorry, I don’t know what that is in liters per 100 km.

    Oh, and get a guglatech fuel filter. It is basically a bag with magnets around the opening. You insert it into your tank. It passes fuel but catches water and particulates. https://bestrestproducts.com/product-category/guglatech-fuel-and-air-filters/ In the U.S. They are from Italy I think.
    #4
  5. Jeffo

    Jeffo Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2014
    Oddometer:
    731
    Location:
    South West England
    If power and speed aren't your concern, then the Wee will do fine two up. The Wee is physically a big bike, as big as the Vee and probably the roomiest middleweight adventure bike i've had for two up.
    #5
    RedEX likes this.
  6. LexLeroy

    LexLeroy Socially Distant Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2011
    Oddometer:
    14,609
    Location:
    Lexington, KY
    Put some money into the suspension - front and rear springs at the very least.
    #6
    Argus16 and RedEX like this.
  7. Dragon88

    Dragon88 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2014
    Oddometer:
    79
    Thanks for the reply. For my usage a thumper is just not practical so the DR is not an option. The concern about off road is negated when 2up and loaded. Slow and steady is a better approach.

    Good tip on the mileage.

    Guglatech is a definite must and you are correct they are from Italy. Very worthwhile piece of kit.
    #7
  8. Dragon88

    Dragon88 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2014
    Oddometer:
    79

    Yes mate, my opinion as well. Compared to a Versys they are much roomier. Often in 3rd world countries you have either bad roads, bad traffic, bad conditions or all 3! Rarely have I really needed the power of a 1200 though of course it is awesome to have it on tap when you feel the need.
    #8
  9. PeterW

    PeterW Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    Oddometer:
    4,729
    Location:
    Gold Coast
    Suspension will benefit from moderate work. Mainly springing.

    And provided you don't expect the power of a 1200 you should be fine. I took my 100,000k's Gen 1 DL650 on a 2000k road trip, only 1up but well loaded and had no problems.
    #9
    RedEX and Kd70qc like this.
  10. bisbonian

    bisbonian Long timer

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,509
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    I hosted a couple from Romania a few years ago who were riding their DL650 2-up from Alaska to Ushuaia. They seemed to do just fine.
    #10
    Dragon88 likes this.
  11. Argus16

    Argus16 Long timer

    Joined:
    May 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,613
    Location:
    Vancouver Island
    Power is no problem with the DL650 2-up, under 120 kmh. The weak spot is the suspension. Good enough for a 500km week-end get away with the wife, but would definitely
    be uncomfortable for weeks-on-end.

    Oh, and lower the footpegs. $35 farkle makes a world of difference on the Gen2 DL
    #11
    RedEX likes this.
  12. Dragon88

    Dragon88 Adventurer

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    Dec 30, 2014
    Oddometer:
    79
    Thanks Argus.
    #12