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.