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V-Strom, Opinions?

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Old 07-15-2012, 07:44 PM   #1
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V-Strom, Opinions?

Hey, I'm probably a year or three away from having the extra $$ to buy a motorcycle but I'm trying to narrow down my options. My Brother owns a Kawasaki KLR650 and he loves it and he is the main reason why I want to get a bike. I like the versatility of the KLR and the ability to go just about anywhere but I am not set on a KLR.....I am really wanting a nice touring bike but the off road ability is very appealing. so my main choices right now are a KLR650, a BMW R1200GSA or the smaller one, and a Suzuki V-Strom 1000 which I think is my favorite, more power than the KLR and not as expensive as the BWM. What is everyone's opinion of these and are there others that I should be looking at?
I know there is the KTM option but I've heard they are expensive. My budget would be about 5-7K.
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Old 07-15-2012, 07:56 PM   #2
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The KLR is a pig of a dual sport.

All dual sports are a compromise, but the KLR excels at nothing, and does very little that a dual-sport needs to do "well".

V-Strom is less "rugged" but a MUCH better bike for the highway and mild trails (fire/logging roads).

At the other end, I'd get a DRZ450 over a KLR if I wanted something more capable off road and less suited for the highway.
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Old 07-15-2012, 08:25 PM   #3
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Thanks, I'd probably prefer something that does well on the highway mostly as it would be my daily driver for the 6 month riding season which is why I wouldn't mind the V-Strom, I'm just not sure if these are my only options but from what I gather the Suzuki is ideal...
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Old 07-15-2012, 08:33 PM   #4
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V-Strom is a well established design, been around for at least 7 years, and parts are readily available.

The BMW is another good option, but now you're getting into more costly maintenance, and parts availability can be a problem.
Parts are a big enough problem on the road for anything other than Harley, but you've got a better chance of finding parts for a Suzuki/Kawi/Honda/Yamaha than a BMW (or KTM).
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Old 07-15-2012, 09:13 PM   #5
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How are the bikes as far as rider comfort? I'm 6'2", my bro has 3 inches on me and he fits the KLR perfectly, he almost makes it look small. Is the V-Strom comfortable for long rides? how about the others?
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Old 07-16-2012, 07:48 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DigB View Post
Hey, I'm probably a year or three away from having the extra $$ to buy a motorcycle but I'm trying to narrow down my options. My Brother owns a Kawasaki KLR650 and he loves it and he is the main reason why I want to get a bike. I like the versatility of the KLR and the ability to go just about anywhere but I am not set on a KLR.....I am really wanting a nice touring bike but the off road ability is very appealing. so my main choices right now are a KLR650, a BMW R1200GSA or the smaller one, and a Suzuki V-Strom 1000 which I think is my favorite, more power than the KLR and not as expensive as the BWM. What is everyone's opinion of these and are there others that I should be looking at?
I know there is the KTM option but I've heard they are expensive. My budget would be about 5-7K.
With a budget of 5-7K, I think a R1200GSA will probably be hard to find. It is a great tourer though and easy to service. If you have the talent, will go through some pretty rough stuff with a set of TKC80 tires.

The KLR is not going to be a very good tourer when compared to the V-Strom. If you want a little more gravel road ability than the big V-Strom has, then take a good look at the 650 Wee-Strom. It has plenty of power for touring, better fuel range and is easier to ride off pavement.

The big KTM 950/990 (also expensive) is the dirtiest of all the big dualsport bikes and is serious fun to ride off pavement, but it's not as comfortable as the V-Strom or GS on pavement and is much more labour intensive to service.

I would suggest that for your budget, the 650 Wee-Strom would be a great bike. The suspension is just ok on the V-Stroms but they are affordable and proven to be very reliable machines.
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Old 07-16-2012, 07:50 AM   #7
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Old 07-16-2012, 08:05 AM   #8
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At your height, you might be able to find an XR600 or 650 also. Those things are built like tanks (at least they used to be).

For overall ride comfort, the BMW will be hard to beat, their GS series bikes are sweet machines. I also doubt you'll find a decent one within your budget unless it's got 80k miles on it.

Otherwise, I agree with what Rich said. I used to have a Yamaha XT350 and it was a nice little bike. It was small enough and had good power off road but struggled at higher speeds on road. It would go 70 MPH maxed out (meaning you wouldn't want to hold it there for long). 55 - 60 MPH was about the highest speed you'd really want to hold for any length of time with the little bike.
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