Suzuki V-Strom 650 (DL650) Dual Sport Reviews (18)
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2006-10-23 2004 Suzuki V-Strom 650 (DL650) Dual Sport View Listings

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When riding home from trading my naked SV650 on the V-Strom, I wondered, what have I done? The noise and buffeting from the stock windscreen was terrible. The naked bike was much better. After installing a Cee Bailey tall windscreen, I love the bike. It is light, handles well, and has adequate power for my mostly-solo riding. I use the bike mostly for rides not longer than ~5 hours, and if I did longer rides, I might be looking for aftermarket seats. The seat is so-so. As with other vehicles, the gas mileage varies a lot on how you ride. At 50-55 in a nature preserve where I like to ride, I get near 60mpg. At 75-80 on the Interstate, it's closer to 40. I don't have a lot of miles on my V-Strom because it is one of four bikes I have, but it's one of my all-time favorites.
- Kit Gerhart, Cape Canaveral, Florida

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2005-12-16 2004 Suzuki V-Strom 650 (DL650) Dual Sport View Listings

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I purchased my '04 DL 650 in March of 2004. I rode it home while there was still snow on the ground. I have been riding motorcycles on and off since I got my first street bike in 1978. I have never bought a new motorcycle and purchased the v-strom because I liked the all around nature of the bike and had heard many good things about the SV 650 engine. In two seasons of riding in northern Wisconsin (season runs from early April to the beginning of November) I have put on 18000 trouble free miles. I really do like this bike a lot. It is the type of bike that just begs to be ridden; it is comfortable and with the large gas tank, you do not need to stop often for fuel. I have been averaging around 50 mpg. I took my first long motorcycle ride this past summer, 2200 miles in 5 days. I rode with a group of mostly cruiser type motorcycles, including a VTX1800. This bike shocked the guys I was riding with; they were surprised that the smallest displacement bike in the group was far from being the slowest bike. And when it came to the twisty roads, they where left in the dust. I added the factory Suzuki hard luggage to the bike, and other than the width of the bags, I really like them. They stay dry in the rain, and have a lot of room for everything I need. About the only issue I have with the bike is buffeting from the windshield at freeway speeds. This issue was mostly cured by the addition of a "Laminar Lip" installed on the stock windshield. Other additions to the bike have been a throttle lock and a seat pad from Aerostich. Future plans call for heated grips to deal with the chilly Wisconsin morning commutes. My only other complaint about the bike is that the engine makes a lot of mechanical noises, mostly clutch related. I have heard a couple others and they seem to sound the same, so I don't see this as a problem. I see this as one of the great bikes and if it was not for the funky look of the bike, I think there would be a lot more of them around. It does everything well, and is a lot of fun on the twisty roads.
- Ed Johnson, Lake Nebagamon, Wisconsin

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2005-11-27 2004 Suzuki V-Strom 650 (DL650) Dual Sport View Listings

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I have a 2005 "Wee" Strom. Recently had to have an ignition coil replaced under warranty. Otherwise, this is perhaps the best overall bike I have owned. In fact, I sold my 2004 Honda ST1300 after I bought the bike. It is light and extremely maneuverable. Not fast but very quick and balanced. Cruises on a long weekend tour at 80mph all day long yet carves winding roads well. I ride at high speeds, so 40mpg is about all I get. But you pay for your thrills. I really think that this is one bike everyone should consider. I also have an 1800 Gold Wing for when my wife goes along. But the Wee Strom is way more fun.
- Tom, Holtwood, Pennsylvania

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2005-11-16 2004 Suzuki V-Strom 650 (DL650) Dual Sport View Listings

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I had a '04 V-Strom, until a lady ran over it with her car in the parking lot, and the insurance totaled it. It was my first bike. I loved it. I wish I could get another, but my bike was like a bright blue, and the '05 comes in a dark blue, red or silver for '06. The bike looked like a Giant to me the first time I saw it. But it turned out to be the best bike for me. I did research on it for two months before I decided to buy it. All the reviews I read said it was a great starter bike. I'll never regret having it.
- Weasel, Amarillo, Texas

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2005-09-25 2004 Suzuki V-Strom 650 (DL650) Dual Sport View Listings

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Prior to the 650 VStrom, I have ridden a number of different motorcycles. This is the first motorcycle I have "owned". Prior to that, I've only borrowed from my dad. My riding experience has been on a Kawasaki KLR650, a Yamaha FZ1, a Kawasaki ZRX1100, a Kawasaki KE-100, a Yamaha XT350, and a Honda XL600. <br /> Every one of those motorcycles has their merits, but I personally feel that in 12 years of riding motorcycles, the DL650 is one of the nicest. It starts like a car. Just turn the key (wait for the gauges to sweep through their range of motion), and push the starter button. It starts every time, no fuss. In fact, there is no choke or "idle up" circuit as was the case on my brother's BMW 1150 GS. I have not ridden the 1000 variant of the Vstrom, but my understanding is that while it has more power, it gives up some in refinement. <br /> On the road, this bike is not like most 650s you've probably ridden. While it is no slouch on power, it does not demand to be revved to the redline to make it. Instead, it likes to tool around at 5000 RPM on the highway. At that speed, you're going a little under 70 mph indicated, with just the slightest buzz in the handgrips. The fuel injection is perfect. Twist the throttle, the bike goes with no complaints. Shut the throttle, the bike slows no backfires, no complaints. When you're cruising mildly down the road, the only way you know the engine is running is if you hunch down below the windscreen, which is quite effective, although someone does make a taller one. <br /> I have not taken this machine off the road, and I'm not sure I really want to. On my gravel driveway though, it is much more stable than say the Yamaha FZ1 I've ridden. This bike would be suitable for dirt roads that are adequately maintained. Beyond that, you probably need more off-road riding skill, or physical size and strength then either I or most other riders probably have to give. <br /> My only gripes with the bike include a hard to remove and reinstall seat (I'm getting better at it though), the deletion of the hand guards, and center stand, and the fact I don't get to spend more time riding it! Seriously, the hand guards are not a big deal- they weren't extremely expensive or difficult to install. But the center stand is a different story. I believe it was $200, and it was a pain in the butt to install. But it's worth it in the long run, especially if storage is tight for you. <br /> Other than that, it needs saddlebags, which I have yet to purchase. I don't believe they are offered from Suzuki, but somebody was offering them. Can't remember who though... <br /> Everything else is good. The seat is comfortable, riding position is relaxed. I just recently took it on a 100 mile ride, and had no issues with getting cramped, or buffeted by the wind.
- Craig, Wickenburg, Arizona

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2005-08-24 2004 Suzuki V-Strom 650 (DL650) Dual Sport View Listings

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Having not ridden regularly for over 25 years apart from the occassional squirt on a road bike, and some off road rides which don't really count! I spent a long time reviewing various bikes (BMW F650, Transalp, R1200GS, Multistrada etc etc) that fitted the sort of riding I want to do. In the end, the price/feature equation of the DL650 was too hard to leave. Here in Oz the bike sells for at least a $4K saving over any other machine in its class. The engine is sweet, with enough pull for a returned rider like me (what would I do with a sports bike anyway?!). It handles very well, and can be flipped from side to side with confidence. It feels much lighter than its stated dry weight of 192 kg, and slow manoevering is quite easy compared to other bikes I have ridden. As a tallish fellow, I found that I needed the screen as high as it will go, and its still not perfect. I shall try the anti-vacuum hole in the plastic if all else fails. I dont really want to spend any more money on a larger screen, and the one its got makes it look a bit ungainly anyway. So a larger one is not going to improve anything. Cant say too much about fuel consumption yet, but first impressions are that 400km from a tank (22l) is going to be feasible. One area that I am a little concerned about is the riding position...I still feel that I am leaning forward too much. Not as bad as a sports bike, but enough to give me a slight backache after 30 minutes riding. I have tried adjusting the bars, but it still doesnt feel right. I shall try some bar risers soon if I dont see an improvement. All in all, its a great bike for someone returning to 2 wheels, or for a new rider. The looks arent going to win any industrial design awards, but it goes well, handles beautifully and will cruise around 120 km/hr with ease. I havent ridden it off road yet, and will only do so on gravel tracks (no twisty stuff, its too heavy for me to do that), but I expect it to be a little twitchy and will need careful nursing to avoid nasty surprises on corners.
- Stuart, Melbourne, Australia

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2005-05-31 2004 Suzuki V-Strom 650 (DL650) Dual Sport View Listings

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I have been riding for more than 20 years. I started on a Honda XL100 and cannot count how many bikes I have owned over the years. The last bikes (2 in a row) were KLR650s. I almost bought a thrid one, but the VStrom got my attention and changed my perspective on what can be expected from a middleweight bike. The best thing about this bike is the riding position. It is the most comfortable bike I have experienced. Next comes the handling and braking. The VStrom has powerful brakes and feels so stable it is like the center of gravity is below ground level. It flows smoothly between turns and tolerates overbraking and downshifts in turns unbelievably well. It makes you confident. It is a great bike for beginners because it is very forgiving and raises your confidence about biking.
- Enduros in my Past Man, Daly City, California

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2004-12-10 2004 Suzuki V-Strom 650 (DL650) Dual Sport View Listings

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This is my 2nd bike. I previously owned a 2001 SV650S, which I really loved. Trading the SV wasn't easy but it just wasn't comfortable on long rides. My choices were a cruiser (too heavy), the Honda 599 (no windscreen) or the FZ6 (mixed reviews). In the end there was really no choice. I can now enjoy riding all day long, whereas the SV would force me to return home after a couple of hours. I think the V-Strom could be made a little more attractive with a one piece windscreen and an exhaust that does not require the heat shields. I'm currently looking for after market parts in this area with little success.
- Todd Collicutt, Saint John, New Brunswick

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2004-09-09 2004 Suzuki V-Strom 650 (DL650) Dual Sport View Listings

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Was originally going to buy an SV650S, but when my buddy told me to check out the V-Strom, he was right on the money. Seems to be pretty comfortable - my butt was a little sore at first, but once I got used to the seat, it's fine. I can ride for hours on it. Just wish the 650 had a little bit more punch to it (another 10HP or so would be great), but it really is a great little motor. I bought it mainly for cruising around solo and with my girlfriend, and the occasional touring trip. I think loaded down with another person will tax it a bit (the DL1000 is the preferred bike for touring with 2 people, but I'm too short for that one), but then again I won't need to be ripping through the backroads, so I'm sure it'll all balance out. It's a blast cruising through the backroads on this machine.....just glides from turn to turn with ease. I have noticed that the 1st to 2nd gear shift sometimes misses and goes into neutral instead of second, but other than that, it's been fine. Such a fun little bike....and those headlights are pretty bright too. I also wish the exhaust was a wee bit louder so I could hear the v-twin a bit more, but hopefully I'll rectify that soon enough.
- Dana R., Willimantic, Connecticut

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2004-07-30 2004 Suzuki V-Strom 650 (DL650) Dual Sport View Listings

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I got my V-Strom 650 one week ago and as I returned to read the reviews again, I find that all of you are great lovers of the V-Strom as much as I am. Two experiences I had, as others have mentioned in their reviews, were the numbness that comes quickly on the right hand gripping the throttle and the turbulant wind on my helmet. I've tried doing it without the gloves and it's better now, but will try further to confirm. The turbulant wind initially was unbearable at high speeds of 90km/h or more, but I have gotten used to it. I will get the mechanic to lower it this weekend.
- cs tay, Singapore

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2004-07-26 2004 Suzuki V-Strom 650 (DL650) Dual Sport View Listings

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This is my 7th bike in 10yrs of riding. For the money I don't believe there is a better bike out there that will do everything this bike will do. Just got back from a 660 mile trip in 2 days, the bike avg 48mpg, rode great on every road from 2 lanes to 80mph interstates. Suspension handles everything perfectly, engine is flawless, riding positon perfect, the only complaint I have is the seat, I love the seating position and short term comfort, but after 75 miles or so numb butt sets in. Not sure if it will get better in time or if I need to get a different seat. If it wasn't for the seat, the comfort of this bike is perfect. I have been thinking about a Honda ST1300 for a couple of years, and just couldn't spend that much money right now. I am so glad that I didn't, after reading the reviews on that bike. I look at it this way, this bike is simmilar in size just half the price. I would call it my middleweight sport tourer, and I am very satisfied. Yes, I would recommend this bike to anyone, unless you are short on the inseam.
- Joel, Huntington, Indiana

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2004-06-25 2004 Suzuki V-Strom 650 (DL650) Dual Sport View Listings

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OK, I have put over 300 miles on my bike so this isn't really a long term follow up but I wanted to provide some updates because I have received a few emails since my last post. The first thing I want to say is that the engine on this bike is tremendous. I feel like I have PLENTY of power to pull away at a moment's notice even at highway speeds 70, 80, 90 mph etc. The engine just keeps pulling and keep in mind I'm still breaking the bike in. This will improve as the engine breaks in further. Just turn the throttle and she takes off. Fuel tank size is great! I can go over 200 miles between refills and the fuel gauge is also great to have. Bike handles great for me and is VERY fun to ride. The only negatives I have thus far is that my throttle hand tends to get numb quickly on this bike, not sure why, but I am trying to loosen and adjust my grip. My opinion is that the grips are too small and need to be thicker. The other more annoying issue is that I can not find a comfortable position for the windscreen. In the low position I get hit with wind and in the higher positions I get too much turbulent air right on top of my helmet which makes riding loud and vibrates your helmet too much. It's ok between 60-70mph, but once you get over that you have to adjust your seating position to minimize the turbulence. This is a common V-Strom complaint. Some riders are not bothered by it, others change the windscreen entirely. It really depends on how tall you are. Yea, it bothers me but I still wouldn't trade the comfortable straight up seating position for anything else. Other "nice to havefeatures on the DL650 is the clock, hazard lights, and a conveniently placed button that lets you flash your high beams. All of this may seem trivial but it comes in handy. My overall experience thus far is still FANTASTIC and I highly recommend the DL650.
- Frank DiPalma, Montvale, New Jersey

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2004-05-31 2004 Suzuki V-Strom 650 (DL650) Dual Sport View Listings

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I own a BMW Cruiser (R1200), this is the only bike that I have had (other than a little Yamaha Scooter), I was in love with my BMW but was not happy with the fact that a cruiser is not for long trips. So I was looking for a sportier machine with "touring" capabilities. I found the V Strom in a couple of magazines and fell in love with it based on the looks (I do like it) and on the reviews. So I bought it, has 200 miles already and I can say that it is a very pleasant experience. This is the bike I like, and the one I am going to keep for a long time. I like the Blue color, altough was not sure if the black was a better option. However I really recomend it. Great Bike.
- Ricardo, Miami, Florida

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2004-05-09 2004 Suzuki V-Strom 650 (DL650) Dual Sport View Listings

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I'm back. Been riding my bike to work every day since purchase March 5. Now May 8 and just turned over 5200 miles with no new problems. Installed a Motech centerstand. Works great. Makes it so much easier to lube and adjust the chain. Also easier to see if there's oil in the thing. haven't noticed any usage yet. Rear tire is starting to look flat across the profile. I expect it will be shot by 10K. My next mod is probably going to be to the gearing. Makes me nervous (not enough not to do it) to cruise at 6000 to 6500 in 6th, that's 80 to 87 indicated. Would like to bring it down to about 5000 or 5500 at the same speeds. It has so much torque at those speeds that it could easily pull the taller gear. With a 4 year loan and it looks like about 30K a year I need it to last a lot of miles. I'm sure a taller gear would help. I enjoy my rides to and from work. Compared to those, weekend rides are boring. With traffic on the I5 and I405 getting worse every day it seems like, a motorcycle is the only way to go. The DL650 seems like it was designed for cutting through traffic.
- Chris Baker, Quartz Hill, California

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2004-04-28 2004 Suzuki V-Strom 650 (DL650) Dual Sport View Listings

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This is my 4th bike but my first "sporty/adventure touring" bike. I've loved it from day 1! It's quick, stable, and the ergonomics are great! If not for the seat, I would have given it a 5 in the comfort category as well. My better half says that it is comfy for her and she likes the extra room that the dl650 provides her. The bike handles very well in the twisties and is great on the highway too. Head and tail winds are no problem but you can feel it when a side wind hits you. At 414lbs, that is no surprise. (But you are on a motorcycle so what can you expect, right?) I got the black model and it's my opinion that it is better looking than the blue. However, if I were to pick again, I'm not so sure that I would go with the black because IT SCRATCHES SSOO EASILY! Wouldn't this bike look nice with a flat gray or flat black like on the 2003 919's? When I set out to buy a new motorcycle this year, it took me a long time to come to the realization that I love this class of bike! The upright riding position can't be beat. Nor can the sporty feel/look of these bikes. Since I was a kid, I've been in love with motorcycles and especially the naked bikes. BUT cruisers have always been what I ended up with. I am so happy that naked, or standard bikes are starting to earn a devoted following in the US, like so many European countries. Why the smaller displacements? Simple-price, size, insurance rates and their "commutability" (that's a new word) Anyway, I was considering the sv650, the 599, the FZ6 and the new aero (my girl liked the look of the aero). The reason why I went for the dl650 is because it is the better choice as far as "all purpose" goes. I'm happy with the hp/torque and my girl is happy with the room she gets. Although I love the look of the 599-it's technologically inferior. The fz6 seems like an incredible choice but my girl is taking a liking to the sport (as a passenger) and I just can't see her being very comfortable on the rear of the fz6. Likewise is the sv650. There is something about that bike that makes me want it but, again, it's not the best choice for a passenger! Good luck to everyone who is about to make the daunting decision of what motorcycle is best for them. Wait, I'll make it easy on you, BUY A VSTROM 650!
- John Doe, Everett, Massachusetts

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2004-03-23 2004 Suzuki V-Strom 650 (DL650) Dual Sport View Listings

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I just purchased this bike last week and what an experience. I sat on and rode at least 50 other bikes before coming across the V-Storm. As soon as I sat on this bike I knew it was the perfect bike for me. I was originally looking at cruisers but soon realized I needed something a little sportier. I've put on over 300 miles in a week and I can definitely say I wouldn't want any other motorcycle. My only wish is that there were more accessories available. Overall 2 thumbs up. Way to go Suzuki.
- mark brown, san diego, California

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2004-03-13 2004 Suzuki V-Strom 650 (DL650) Dual Sport View Listings

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I recently purchased the V-Strom 650 and found that everything I had read/researched about this machine was true. I've been riding some 40 years and I've ridden everything from dirt bikes, standards, sport, sport touring, touring, and full dresser cruisers. Throughout my riding experience my needs and wants have changed. I wanted something that would provide reasonable performance, good handling, good brakes, low maintenance, reasonably priced, dealer availability, and versatile. The V-Strom 650 provides me with all of this and more. Before you really get used to it's appearance, you have to ride this bike. The old saying "form follows function" comes to mind. This bike has plenty of get up and go; at 4500 RPM you're cruising along at 65 MPH in high gear. The bike is redlined at 10,500 RPM; you do the math. The windscreen when adjusted to the higher position provides very good protection. The instruments are easy to read and provide you will all the right information; dual trip meters are handy for touring. It shifts very smoothly and neutral is easy to find. Due to the fuel injection, cold starts are nothing, and there is no need to turn the fuel on and off. Handling is superb, stable, forgiving, and predictable. Brakes work great; if you can accelerate briskly, you need to be able to haul it down in a controlled hurry. There is virtually no vibration and the handlebars are in the right place; my hands are just resting on the grips. And the price is right to purchase and insurance is very reasonable. So what's wrong with this bike? Two things come to mind; the horn and the taillight. The horn is just like all the other bikes; it sounds embarrassing. And I can't even find the silly thing so I can install a real blaster. The taillight is just like most other bikes; there just isn't enough lighting on the rear end for my liking. Both of these issues are relatively easy to fix. The only other thing I can think of is the center stand is optional; again this is not a showstopper. Accessories from Suzuki are slow in coming. I wanted the center stand so ordered it, and Givi has the hardware and monkey bags in stock, which I ordered. This bike is ready to tour, play with the boys on the back roads, go to the grocery store, or explore an unpaved road. The more I look at it, the more I like its style. If you're looking for something that's a little different, has good performance, comfort, handling and low cost.... what more can you ask for?
- John Merrell, Brundidge, Alabama

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2004-03-08 2004 Suzuki V-Strom 650 (DL650) Dual Sport View Listings

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Here's my update from last week. In a wordWOW. Now 175 miles into this bike and I can't get enough time in the saddle. I'm inventing reasons to ride. Handling is exceptional if you're used to a cruiser, you're going to have a smile on your face that just won't stop. Seat is a bit hard, but aftermarket will take of that. Not sure I'd want to do a three or four hundred-mile trip in this saddle just yet, but it's still breaking in so it's hard to say. Otherwise, Suzuki has done just about everything right---and I haven't even been able to push it above 5000 RPM yet. Power is good in all gears and pick up off the line is excellent. Vibration is minimal-- good ergo's and instrumentation is simple to read. Would love a center stand (Suzuki says about two months). The adjustable windshield makes a huge difference. Over all, a high grin factor here. I'd recommend this bike highly.
- Mark, Parker, Colorado

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