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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,

I am about to pull the trigger and buy my first bike. Almost have all my gear bought. I have been planning my entry into motorcycling methodically for the past few months. My question is out of all the bikes listed in the title which would be best for my needs?

I am 6ft(barefoot) 205. I want a bike that will be fun, I can grow into but will also allow me to take trips to neighboring states if I want to. I would want to get some twisty action, but also relax in the mountains for a day.

Also I work from home so my daily rides will be for entertainment. That being said I want a bike that is fun in the highways and decently comfortable. These all seem like cool bikes and there seems to be quite a bit of overlap. Do I get the 650s and out helibars on? Windscreen on naked? Say F it and start on a dad bike like the v Strom?

So many questions...detailed responses are greatly appreciated.
 

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I'd go with the Vstrom 650. It may not have the sexy (?) factor of the SV but it's just as practical --if not more-- and it's more comfortable for traveling.

P.S. Have you taken training yet?
 

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In the cycling world we would just say N+1
I was looking at the same three bikes when I made the decision to actively start riding more and to get a bike that make me want to. I chose the SV because my list didn't involve any sort of travel and it fit the bill perfectly. I have seen other post about doing some light touring on the SV but I don't think I'd ever be happy trying that.
If I were in your situation, and knowing what I know now I would take a hard look at the V-Strom 650XT. Same engine as the Gen3 but re-tuned for the application. Spoked 17"/19" should be plenty capable for exploring off pavement within the limits of the bikes travel and ground clearance. It just looks like a fun setup for the different types of riding you're talking about.
 

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Each bike serves it's own mission. Pick your bike based on your mission, not your size. If you want a performance bike you'll never be happy with anything less no matter how comfortable. Also, if you want a bike capable of offroading you'll only be frustrated owning a sportbike.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'd go with the Vstrom 650. It may not have the sexy (?) factor of the SV but it's just as practical --if not more-- and it's more comfortable for traveling.

P.S. Have you taken training yet?
Taking my training very soon. Taking the msf course and I plan on taking all the additional courses as well. I really like the latest generation v Strom in terms of looks and honestly is the bike I am leaning towards. But for some reason my insurance rate for a newer Strom is higher than an older sv650...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
In the cycling world we would just say N+1
I was looking at the same three bikes when I made the decision to actively start riding more and to get a bike that make me want to. I chose the SV because my list didn't involve any sort of travel and it fit the bill perfectly. I have seen other post about doing some light touring on the SV but I don't think I'd ever be happy trying that.
If I were in your situation, and knowing what I know now I would take a hard look at the V-Strom 650XT. Same engine as the Gen3 but re-tuned for the application. Spoked 17"/19" should be plenty capable for exploring off pavement within the limits of the bikes travel and ground clearance. It just looks like a fun setup for the different types of riding you're talking about.
That makes sense, I am somewhat afraid that the v Strom may not be fun enough, but then I fear the sv650 will not be comfortable enough. Granted I don't mind discomfort as I am a physically fit 27 year old. Now what about all these people I see touring Europe on a sv650. How much of a difference are we talking as far as cargo between bikes?

Me too. Here's a comparison:
https://womanrider.com/2017/09/2017-kawasaki-versys-650-lt-vs-2017-suzuki-v-strom-650-comparo-review/

At anything over 4000 rpm the Vstrom makes more torque and horsepower.
But the Versys has better luggage. Too close to call
Thanks for the article, I poured over it and fortunately I do prefer the latest gen v stroms over the versus.

Each bike serves it's own mission. Pick your bike based on your mission, not your size. If you want a performance bike you'll never be happy with anything less no matter how comfortable. Also, if you want a bike capable of offroading you'll only be frustrated owning a sportbike.
This makes sense. Honestly I guess I am looking for a jack of all trades bike. I hear the sv650 can tour, but the I hear the v Strom can also do twisty stuff. Guess I am trying to find how much each does each category well...I don't plan on doing multiday trips. Mainly daily rides with an occasional cross state trip few times a year. Can a sv650 handle this or is this more a v Strom thing?
 

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As for the N+1 argument, after a year I bought a used but well cared for F800GS so I feel like I've got both sides of the spectrum covered for what I 'want'. I'll probably keep the GS for the long haul because it's a great bike and I've got it sorted pretty well for my needs and wants. The SV ticks all the boxes for a 'fun' bike, but I could maybe see myself stepping up to a Street Triple R at some point, not so much for the power (though I wouldn't object), but for the added features and aides, and I just think it looks damn good, but I can't see myself doing that any time soon. Maybe 5-10 years?
 

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If you're new to motorcycling, any one of the bikes you listed will be more than fun enough. Consider that a V-Strom 650 with you on it has a power to weight ratio similar to a Mustang GT or Camaro SS, the SV would be a bit quicker

For that matter, I've watched a rider coach at a track day blast past folks on legit sportbikes, while she's riding a Strom (1000cc in this case, but still).
 

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I was in a similar quandary back in March. After writing off my 2006 SV650S, I looked long and hard at the 2012 - 2016 V-Strom compared with a Gen 3 SV. Eventually went with the Gen 3. It was a close call but I haven't regretted it. It's comfortable for me and is a blast for 300-mile days, but is also superbly nimble for town work.

Then again, the V-Strom will do all of that too. Both are excellent bikes, I don't think you'd regret either choice.
 

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Interestingly, I am researching the SFV650 "Gladius" but I own a 2012 DL650 "V-Strom Adventure."

First things first, I LOVE my DL650. It fit me very well as a first bike. I'm 6 feet tall and 190 lbs
There ergonomics are very comfortable for spending the entire day on it.
The 5 gallon fuel tank allows for long distance rides. I regularly get well over 200 miles per tank and I'm throttle heavy. It gets just shy of 50 MPG while doing 70+ on the highway.
Since mine is the "Adventure" edition, it came with hard aluminum panniers and a top case. Great for grocery store runs, multi-day trips with clothes and supplies, etc. I've transported car parts and tools and whatnot on it.
It handles dirt and gravel roads very nicely.

If you're in the Washington D.C. area, I'd gladly let you swing a leg over the saddle and take it around the block to see how she feels.



That being said, I recently had a track day on it.

The V-Strom is an on-off road motorcycle.
It's top heavy with a lot of ground clearance and a soft suspension.
I have Shinko 705 tires on it, which are an all-terrain tread.

I was totally out of my element in that environment.
I think my main handicap were those tires, especially in the rain.

Also when going offroad in deep mud or sand, it's quite a bit heaver than most dirtbikes like the Kawasaki KLR650 or the Suzuki DR650.

Still, I plan on doing a lot more track riding than offroading... Hence why I'm looking at researching the SFV650 "Gladius" as it's kinda in between the leaned over Sportbike SV650 posture and fully upright DL650 V-Strom posture.


Anyhow. I think as a first bike, the DL650 is a great bike. Even though it doesn't really excel at anything, it's a jack of all trades. I don't think you'll regret one.
 

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There are multiple versions for each of your choices, so be sure to compare apples to apples.
The website for Suzuki is laughable! It contains bikes in multiple categories.
An SFV650 costs $400 more than an SV650!?
The beefed-up "Standard" category includes the VanVan 200,
and three models with frame-mounted fairings. Laughable.

http://www.suzukicycles.com/Product Lines/Cycles.aspx
 

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Discussion Starter #13
If you're new to motorcycling, any one of the bikes you listed will be more than fun enough. Consider that a V-Strom 650 with you on it has a power to weight ratio similar to a Mustang GT or Camaro SS, the SV would be a bit quicker

For that matter, I've watched a rider coach at a track day blast past folks on legit sportbikes, while she's riding a Strom (1000cc in this case, but still).
That's good to know with the weight/power ratio. Your instructor sounds awesome lol. The thing I do like about the v Strom is that it is $250 less a year on insurance.

Interestingly, I am researching the SFV650 "Gladius" but I own a 2012 DL650 "V-Strom Adventure."

First things first, I LOVE my DL650. It fit me very well as a first bike. I'm 6 feet tall and 190 lbs
There ergonomics are very comfortable for spending the entire day on it.
The 5 gallon fuel tank allows for long distance rides. I regularly get well over 200 miles per tank and I'm throttle heavy. It gets just shy of 50 MPG while doing 70+ on the highway.
Since mine is the "Adventure" edition, it came with hard aluminum panniers and a top case. Great for grocery store runs, multi-day trips with clothes and supplies, etc. I've transported car parts and tools and whatnot on it.
It handles dirt and gravel roads very nicely.

If you're in the Washington D.C. area, I'd gladly let you swing a leg over the saddle and take it around the block to see how she feels.



That being said, I recently had a track day on it.

The V-Strom is an on-off road motorcycle.
It's top heavy with a lot of ground clearance and a soft suspension.
I have Shinko 705 tires on it, which are an all-terrain tread.

I was totally out of my element in that environment.
I think my main handicap were those tires, especially in the rain.

Also when going offroad in deep mud or sand, it's quite a bit heaver than most dirtbikes like the Kawasaki KLR650 or the Suzuki DR650.

Still, I plan on doing a lot more track riding than offroading... Hence why I'm looking at researching the SFV650 "Gladius" as it's kinda in between the leaned over Sportbike SV650 posture and fully upright DL650 V-Strom posture.


Anyhow. I think as a first bike, the DL650 is a great bike. Even though it doesn't really excel at anything, it's a jack of all trades. I don't think you'll regret one.
Thanks for the offer, alas I am in the state of Georgia. The dl650 screams efficient which I like. My question is what is he difference between getting cargo on a sv650 vs a dl650. Can the dl650 hold bigger cargo? I also enjoy that we are of similar height and weight. One thing I am worried is that the sv650 may not be as comfortable as I would like.

There are multiple versions for each of your choices, so be sure to compare apples to apples.
The website for Suzuki is laughable! It contains bikes in multiple categories.
An SFV650 costs $400 more than an SV650!?
The beefed-up "Standard" category includes the VanVan 200,
and three models with frame-mounted fairings. Laughable.

http://www.suzukicycles.com/Product Lines/Cycles.aspx
Interesting. Definitely leaning towards the N model for the more comfortable ergos. Also would any of you say that now or winter is the best time to buy? I see some bikes I like but I am afraid that another one won't show up in the next few months.
 

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Re: Sv650(S&N) vs V Strom vs Versys

A few years ago I was in a tough situation and I had to sell one of my bikes. Back then I owned a Vstrom and an SV. The choice was a no-brainer, the SV had to go. The Vstrom was just as fun and exciting as the SV but it also let me travel longer distances in absolute comfort and carry more junk with me everywhere I went.

Some years forward and I now have two more SVs. One that I use for the track, another one that I use to run errands in the city, and the Strom, which is still my bike of choice for traveling and for having fun in the mountains.

Sent from my SM-G970U using Tapatalk
 

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Thanks for the offer, alas I am in the state of Georgia. The dl650 screams efficient which I like. My question is what is he difference between getting cargo on a sv650 vs a dl650. Can the dl650 hold bigger cargo? I also enjoy that we are of similar height and weight. One thing I am worried is that the sv650 may not be as comfortable as I would like.
I've carried various cargo on my motorcycle that would usually be considered... Ill advised... to say the least.

A full propane tank for the grill. (Obviously because of explosive; I'd like to say the tank kept the tailgaters away, but it didn't.)

The front end panel for my Ford Excursion. (Not heavy because it's made of fiberglass reinforced plastic. But it was bulky and awkward.)

Various other tools and car parts. (Just because of the weight. It was essentially like having a passenger that didn't lean.)

A couple days worth of groceries. (Not because of weight or size, but because I had to make the trip quick. Raw meat and fresh vegetables in the sun don't stay good for long.)
 

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Here's a comparison of the luggage I attach to the SV (around 75 liters max) and the luggage I attach to the Vstrom (around 120 liters max):

 

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Discussion Starter #17
Here's a comparison of the luggage I attach to the SV (around 75 liters max) and the luggage I attach to the Vstrom (around 120 liters max):

Thanks, this is a useful comparison. So the V Strom almost gets twice as much space it seems. I am leaning towards the Strom, I made an appointment to go to the local Moto dealer so I can sit on the bike. I have a 32" inseam so if the wee Strom is to tall or unwieldy for my liking then I will default to the sv650. I do plan on driving to the mountains or doing 2 hour round trip drives on the weekends, so I take it the v Strom would be better at this? Kind of confusing because some people say the sv650 can tour well others say it doesn't...*shrug* What I do like about the sv650 is that it seems easier to work on as far as maintenance when compared to the wee.
 

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Here's a comparison of the luggage I attach to the SV (around 75 liters max) and the luggage I attach to the Vstrom (around 120 liters max):


Useful pics, thanks. That is a significant increase in capacity. I am leaning towards the wee as I plan on driving 2 hour round trip rides most weekends to get to the mountains and neighboring cities. I keep hearing the sv650 is also good for these types of trips but then some say it's not...I am guessing due to different rider sizes and shapes?

Good news is I will be sitting on both a v Strom and a sv650 this weekend. If the wee is too tall or unwieldy for me then I will go for sv650. One advantage I do see the sv having over the wee is that apparently the sv is very simple to work on.
 

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Hilarious about the propane tank. How are you people strapping all this stuff on anyway. I see some people have all kinds of camping gear and sleeping bags attached to heir bike and I always wonder how it stays on and doesn't fall of.
 

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Re: Sv650(S&N) vs V Strom vs Versys

...I do plan on driving to the mountains or doing 2 hour round trip drives on the weekends, so I take it the v Strom would be better at this?
The Vstrom can hold its own even on the most technical mountain roads. I have no problem keeping up with sport riders in the canyons.

This is my brother riding his Strom at the track on regular dual-sport Shinko tires.








...Kind of confusing because some people say the sv650 can tour well others say it doesn't...*shrug*.
Of course they do. But how many of them actually own both and can do an objective comparison?

Sure, you CAN tour on an SV just like you CAN tour on a Mazda Miata, but that does not mean it's the right tool for the job. You've seen the difference in luggage capacity, now take a look at the difference in seat size.








What I do like about the sv650 is that it seems easier to work on as far as maintenance when compared to the wee.
They share the same engine and they are both just as easy to work on. The only thing that could make the Strom a bit more complicated maintenance-wise is the fact that you have to remove a few plastics in order to access the radiator and lift the tank, but once you get the gist of it, it only takes a few minutes to remove them.
 
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