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2006 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 or 2005 Vulcan 1500 Classic?

20449 Views 36 Replies 29 Participants Last post by  34P
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I've put in 30K miles on the V-Strom. Very reliable bike, great motor, decent fire road explorer, decent track bike, decent tourer, decent peg scratcher.

The only real problem with it is I have a bunch of bikes that fit into one category really well, and this bike is a generalist. But with the Vulcan as your existing ride, you won't have that problem. The one thing it isn't is a cruiser.
I've got a BMW R1150R (2002), a Buell M2 Cyclone (2000), and a Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Nomad Fi (2000). I like to ride all of them.
I have an '03 Road King and an '05 650DL V-Strom. Just took the Harley from San Diego to Denver on an Iron Butt last weekend and earlier this Spring took the Wee-Strom from San Diego to Morro Bay on the coast and did that one 2 up. At this point, I couldn't bear to part with either one of them. The Road King "cruises in comfort" and the Wee-Strom is "just plain fun". They are each fantastic in their own respective talents.
Had a KZ1300 Naked. Loved it above 80.

Replaced it with a 1500 Drifter. Love it under 80.

Local law and my wife thank me for making the change.

Sure do miss my 1300 naked though!
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i own a V-Strom 650. great bike, comfortable, light, handles well. only complaint, its under-powered. if i had to do it over again, i would probably have gone with the DL1000. reports of being top-heavy and too-high seat pushed me towards the 650. but the lack of go when you twist the throttle is disappointing. that being said, i will probably keep the 650 for a long time since its an awesome commuter, and will probably buy a 600 sportbike in the next year or so.
KZ1300 was one of the coolest bikes I never owned.
Definitely the V-Strom. That Suzuki 996 cc twin engine has got to be one of the best engines ever. The torque of that engine never ceases to amaze me and the sounds it makes is pure heaven.
I spent 2 years and over 20,000 miles on a 2004 DL1000 and agree with a lot of the previous posters about it doing many things well, but like all bikes there are some negatives (top heavey,a handful in cross winds and the worst fuel injection mapping I've ever experienced on a bike) a pcIII and a good map will fix the latter, but the others are just side effects of a tall high profile design. I've also owned a cruiser (roadstar warrior) the two styles of bike are different enough that if you can swing it own both.

Thanks for all these great posts. I have just about convinced myself with no real logic whatsoever that the "best" thing to do is of course keep my Vulcan Classic and just buy the 06 V-Strom DL1000...

Everyone I know thinks I'm nuts of course - goin' through a midlife crisis - but I think my fellow riders here do understand!!

Thanks - any other thoughts bring em' on!

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Wow - so you have the 06 FJR 1300 and you prefer the V-Strom 650? I assumed the FJR was the end all --- is it an issue of weight and handling or something else?


Not crazy, because all of us here are. If you can swing it, as I said earlier, keep them both. You may still later want to add another bike to the stable-You never know! Enjoy it now! It's still less expensive than having several different types of cars to meet your desires and far more enjoyable (my opinion).
Don't know about the 1 liter strommer, but the 640 is like a Swiss Army Knife, able to do just about anything. Oh, I also ride a Harley. They are so different, but then I ain't always in the same mood either.
I agree with you about the injection mapping of the 996 cc L-twin as it comes from the factory. The SV1000 has similar hiccups. Fortunately, adjusting the throttle position sensor and fitting a smart timing retard eliminator, removes the drivability issues at lower rpms. I am assuming the same or similar fixes are available for the DL1000. But then, we shouldn't have to fix stuff like this and that is a frustration.
I agree that the V-Strom's injection isn't perfect, but compared to the three BMW GS's that I had previously, the injection is spot on. You want frustration and feelings of not getting what you paid for, you missed out on the ultimate of the above with the R1100 and R1150GS's! In 04 they finally corrected fuel injection problems that existed from 1995 until 2004. Surging, bucking, hunting, you name it. Officially BMW never admitted there was an issue at all. Their standard response was that it was rider error. It was really interesting to watch their PR when they corrected the non-problem with the twin plug engine in 04. Do PR departments really think that people buy into the crap they spoon out?
Just as a matter of follow up - because I started this thread...

I bought a 2006 Suzuki V-Strom DL1000 !

This bike is absolutely a blast to ride - working with my dealer to get the FI mapping just right but it is killer!

So now I have the Kawasaki 1500 Classic and the V-Strom - both great and both totally different!


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The FJR is a great bike. It is by far the best sport touring bike I have ridden. And I love it for what it does. My point about the V-Strom was that, "if I could only own one bike", I would keep the Suzuki because it does so many things well. It is kind of the Swiss Army Knife of motorcycles. The supprising thing is that even though it is so universal, it doesn't compromise anywhere. Granted the stock windscreen is junk (turbulence) and they are kind of ugly, but other than those issues I think it is a pretty good way to get a garage full of motorcycles for very little money.
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