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The V-Strom is...

  • Definitely

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  • an interesting work of machinery.

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  • not my cup of plastic.

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Ah, first post!



I've had my V-Strom for 5 weeks. Overall, I'm very happy with the bike. It reminds me all the world of my '98 Triumph Sprint. I have to agree about the turbulence at supral-legal highway speeds.



I had a chance last week to ride it back-to-back with a Capo Nord. The V-Strom has a much, much better engine, and it carries its weight much better.
 

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I've also had my V Strom for a few weeks and have found it to be a fantastic bike. I own 7 other bikes, from Duke to F41 and R1100R and it almost makes the other bikes redundant. A bike like the V Strom has to be a compromise of sorts but they have done a great job. Compared to the GS, Capo Nord etc the V Strom feels light and is much less work around the twisties. In fact a friend of mine who owns a GS is trading it in for the V Strom
 

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For once, a review that makes me feel like I understand what the bike is and what it does. Thanks, guys.



Would I like one? Well.. First, my experience has been that Suzukis tend to be the most for the money, though not necessarily "the most". (except durability - the second owner of my shaftie GSX1100G is still running strong, and it's well on its way to rolling over the odometer again)



And there are times when I sure wish my behemoth motor works (get it??) R1100GS, which REALLY IS the most in that particular category, weren't such a biggie. But, where I live there are potholes and frost heave in the pavement and sometimes no pavement at all, and the review leaves me the strong impression I'd have to nurse the V-Strom instead of just plowing through. But at 100 pounds lighter, it might not be that hard to keep it moving.
 

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I've had mine for 3 weeks, and I'm very happy with it. IMO, what's special about this bike is what a solid, overall package it is. I know that sounds boring, but a lot of people need an Accord or Camry, even though an S-2000 is faster, and an F-150 hauls more. It does everything quite well (except dirt- that's hype) and it's a hoot to drive, and it doesn't cost $15,000.



It's big, comfy and relaxed at the same time it's light, nimble and fast. A paradox? Yup.



I've got Givi racks ordered, a screen and centerstand as soon as I can find them, and plan to use it for light-touring as well as a fun, all-arounder. I'm guessing I'm not the only guy between 35 and 65 who wants something fun but sane.



Very accurate review. Keep up the good work.
 

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Heeheh works now! What attention to detail, what work ethic, what.......brown nosing by me.. interesting story. I always like the notes on how the fit is for different height riders (im a robust 6'7" sounds like this bike is "average" meaning good on many aspects, but not really excelling over the competition. Im in the market for some type of sport-tourer, but this one appears to be perfect...for someone other than myself.
 

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Re-tuning the TL

I agree with JB, I just don't understand why the Japanese manufacturers keep detuning, sorry tuning for torque, their motors when they put them in different bikes. One of the bikes I own is a Tl1000s and there is no way I would have thought that it needed to be re-tuned for more bottom end! Of course lowering the gearing a tad helped, but heck, if I could increase the bottom end (via gearing) just by slinging on a smaller sprocket why couldn't Suzuki just do this for the V-Strom and keep the 115hp motor? The only downside would have been a top end of "only" 140-ish mph....
 

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I think a bike like this would be pretty neat to own, though I can't justify the expense... at least not with 4 other bikes already.



The only thing I'd wonder about is the durability of those rims when confronted with plowing through pot-holes.



Is this the first 'A.T.' (adventure-touring) bike to have mag-type rims?... is there a historical context to compare to?



I always heard 'classic' spoked wheels absorb shocks and bumps and that is why they are on dirt-going machines. Has 'zooky finally solved the mag-wheel durability issue?



Your beemer has spoked wheels, right?... no problems I would suspect (that a spoke-wrench couldn't fix anyway).



-James

 

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Motorcycles and Tennis Shoes....

It's finally happening, first I watched tennis shoes develope until they were so specialized that you had to own a different pair for everything that you did. So the normal person "should" have a pair for running, one for walking, one for dress, one for...., well you name it and you could find a specialized pair for whatever you wanted to do. Now I see the tennis shoe manufacturers are starting to come back to , ahem, cross-trainers, or one shoe that does it all. MMMM, what a concept.

Is it my imagination or do I see the same trend in motorcycling. We went from one bike does it all...remember the Triumph 650..Bonneville, scrambler, tourers of the 60's?

Most manufacturers had a single engine that was implemented in a variety of ways. OK, maybe they were not great for every implementation, but they worked!

I am also not saying that I want to wrestle around a 550 pound dirt bike around either, just making an observation. But I have to give Suzuki kudos for this one.

Give me back my Jack Purcell Bumpers though....
 

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Suzuki almost had my $8900 clams. but then I read about the re-tuning, or shall it be called de-tuning. Why take an excellent performer TL1000 motor and scale it back for sport-tourer enduro adventure riding? This bike is highway bound, no Paris-Dakars with all that plastic on board. So why not keep it highway tuned? So instead I plunked down my hard earned shellfish for a 2001 Hayabusa. Another great all-rounder, of sorts, and this one has a top end of over 185mph :)

Although Suzuki customer service sucks, thats a different story. DON"T EVER BUY SUZUKI!

ride safe
 

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Yet another "Adventure Tourer" than can't handle a fire trail. *yawn*



Yet another engine "retuned" - lets be honest... it's not been retuned, it's been castrated. Do a dyno run on a TL-R and the V-Strom back to back, and lay them over each other. I'd bet good money that there's no or virtually no difference in the bottom end or middle of the power curve, just a lack in the top on the V-Strom. It really drives me up a wall when they do this.



Remember what MO said about the dyno chart of the FZ-1 vs. the R1? I do. Near identical until the FZ-1 ran out of steam, then the R1 kept building power to a much higher peak.



Ok rant over, sorry...
 

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More Cycle SUVs???

Excellent Article by Burns. I agree with minime comments. This must be a European thing cause I don't get it. I bike that looks kind of like a Dual Purpose bike but isn't really. Maybe it's for folks who want to appear adventerous but not really. Ducati is building something like it right? If I really wanted a real Cycle SUV I would buy Kawasaki

KLR 650 or better yet a BMW 1150GS. But at least they are keeping the nice twin engine around. Two bad Suzuki doesn't build a SV 1000 (996cc L-twin) or really get serious about using it to build a WSB contender i.e. revamp the TL1000R but Suzuki is probably just waiting for the rules to change so they can use a 1000 inline 4.
 

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You know, I don't know that much about engines, but isn't the V-Strom the highest MPG bike Suzuki makes with the TL1000 engine?



I might suggest that Suzuki's changes for the V-Strom were to give the bike greater range, not lower HP.



My Triumph Sprint ST still has it beat though, more HP, more MPG(barely) and it already has hard bags. :)



 

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Yup, after my experience as an unwitting beta tester for the 1997 TL1000s ( 2 computers, 2 gas tanks, leaking clutch, 2 failed rear dampers, BROKEN FRAME!!!! and no, it had never even been dropped) and the miserable excuse they pass off for customer service, I would never buy Suzuki again.
 

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I've had mine for about a month and have 700 miles on it. Besides dodging late season snow storms, I've had some great riding on it.



I can't find much to complain about. The bike does everything well and many things exceptionaly well. I get lots of compliments on the looks from strangers.



The handing is superb, super stable at all speeds ( 120 so far ). The engine, even de-tuned is plenty strong for this bike. Two up riding is a pleasure and the engine does not seem to notice the passenger.



Perhaps because my last bike was an 81 CB900F, my standards are abit lower than those who are used to newer bikes. Still, I could not be happier with it. Suzuki has made the "Multi Strada" for the masses and raised the bar for the standard class.



Erik in MN
 
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