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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Could I get some constructive input in regards to where one bike would shine, or fall short, over the other? IMO, both bikes are well built and dependable. One isn't necessarily better than the other, because that depends on the person riding it and what type of riding they are doing. If a person such as myself was trying to decide between these two bikes what suggestions would you have for them?

I know these two bikes are like comparing apples to oranges, but I'm curious as to what issues I might not have thought of.

Sportster
Should hold the road better with the heavier weight and lower center of gravity
Mostly steel
Holds value better

V-Strom
Better dirt/gravel road bike
More luggage options
Larger fuel tank
Liquid-cooled
Better suspension
 

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Sportster- top heavy, slow handling, fair (at best) braking, value in this case shouldn't be a consideration.
Wee-Strom- Better than average handling for it's class, better braking in emergency situations and in the twisties, lighter, the ability to travel long distances in a single bound.

These two bike are absolutely apples and oranges. But when you break it down the Wee-Strom's ability to be an "everyday" bike should win the day.
 

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They don't make a lot of chrome accessories for V-Stroms. Or any other kind, really.

Maintenance is probably more for the 'Strom. Ken will wade in here shortly to correct me if I'm mistaken. The Sporty has hydraulic lifters, no 'coolant', and a belt drive. The Sporty has three oil reservoirs, though.

It goes back to the advice given earlier. What are you going to do with it? To follow the fruit analogy- are you going to make a pie, or juice? Apples are better in pies, oranges are better in juice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The bike will be my "everday" bike as it will be my only vehicle. My 250cc scooter is soon to be replaced. I thought I had my mind made up a month or so back, but my riding habits and financial circumstances have changed.

80% freeway/interstate and 20% inner-city. I live in a large city, so every trip has freeway time.
2-up 70% of the time
Weekend trips are usually 2-4 hrs. long and 2-up. Usually to go camping or to the coast.
Some back roads (bad asphalt, very rarely dirt)

I like the build quality, seat height, and weight of the sportster. Seemed to handle the wind, and held the road, better. The wee-strom wins out, in my case, in about every other category though. Plus it seems to be more versatile. Both are my (and my wifes) top two picks out of all that we sat on and the few we rode - V-Star, Shadow, Vulcan, Boulevard, Versys, Bandit, Sportster, V-Strom, and maybe a few others. Lost count.
 

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Ugly = Extra Insurance Protection

Trying to see the cup as half-full.:)

Being undecided sucks. I'll probably have to move on my gut instinct though. Tough when comparing two capable bikes.
My average wee-strom guy pays in the middle $300 annual range for insurance in GA. Many pay under $300. Although, the lifters are self-adjusting on the XL the wee-stroms ability to hold the tolerance level for the valves is great. You may spend money for valve checks at major services, but those services will be cheaper than the HD majors everytime.
 

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Price out a new seat on the wee strom today and order it up (corbin or sargent). Thats the weakest link on that bike. It will out handle and out run the sportie along with better wind protection and a higher more upright riding position. You'll see better on the slab higher up and be seen.
 

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Super Duper Mod Man
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Here is a quick primer for how to buy a motorcycle. You want either a Sportster or a V-Strom 650. Those are what you narrowed it down to. Now, go ride each one for as long as you can get away with, and then pick the one you really like. The hell with what anyone else says. They are both competent motorcycles that will do most of what you will ask of them. So go ride em and come back and tell us what you got. Use that advice for the rest of your life, and you will never buy a bad bike, because it will be the one you love.
 

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The Toad
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Having put 10s of thousands of miles on Sportsters and having spent a fair amount of time on my buddy's V-Strom I'm pretty sure I would take the V-Strom if I had to own only one motorcycle. Better to get both!

If you are going to do two-up touring then your wife will thank you if you get the Strom.
 

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My wife won't even get near the a sporty. Hell, she barely gets near the Kbike and it's comfortable. The Wee with a aftermarket seat is clearly the winner when riding with two. But if the wifey is not likely to go anywhere on a bike I think I would go with the XR1200 and call it a day. Screw fire roads.
 
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