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Suzuki V-Strom 650 (DL650) reviews

4.8
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Reliability
4.9
Overall quality
4.8
Performance
4.7
Comfort
4.2

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19 ratings and reviews

Voted most helpful review

Bob Wiseman

Florida

Reviewed on 2022-04-22

Motorcycle reviewed2004 Suzuki V-Strom 650 (DL650)

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5.0
The Suzuki Vstrom DL650 is probably one of the best all around motorcycle built. It does everything well and is bullet proof reliable. Easy to ride, very agile, can cruise smoothly all day at 80 mph, handles very well in the twisties, interstate, backroads, and dirt roads. I have ridden two 650 Vstroms over 50,000 miles throughout the U.S. and Mexico multiple times. Taahe can be ridden like a sport bike or used like a pack horse. They don't feel heavy. The weight is low. Driven at speeds under 50 mph and get 60-80 mpg. The average mpg is always about 52 mpg. A good rider can keep up with any average sport bike rider in the tight mountain twisties, They are equally adept on rough roads in third world countries. In over 50,000 miles, I have never experienced any type of malfunction. The are just plain fun, versatile, and easy to ride bikes.
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
5.0
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Voted most helpful review

Kit Gerhart

Cape Canaveral, Florida

Reviewed on 2006-10-23

Motorcycle reviewed2004 Suzuki V-Strom 650 (DL650)

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5.0
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.
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
2.0
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Voted most helpful review

Ed Johnson

Lake Nebagamon, Wisconsin

Reviewed on 2005-12-16

Motorcycle reviewed2004 Suzuki V-Strom 650 (DL650)

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5.0
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.
Reliability
5.0
Quality
4.0
Performance
4.0
Comfort
4.0
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Voted most helpful review

Tom

Holtwood, Pennsylvania

Reviewed on 2005-11-27

Motorcycle reviewed2004 Suzuki V-Strom 650 (DL650)

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4.0
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.
Reliability
4.0
Quality
4.0
Performance
4.0
Comfort
4.0
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Voted most helpful review

Weasel

Amarillo, Texas

Reviewed on 2005-11-16

Motorcycle reviewed2004 Suzuki V-Strom 650 (DL650)

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5.0
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.
Reliability
4.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
5.0
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Voted most helpful review

Craig

Wickenburg, Arizona

Reviewed on 2005-09-25

Motorcycle reviewed2004 Suzuki V-Strom 650 (DL650)

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5.0
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.
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
5.0
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Voted most helpful review

Stuart

Melbourne, Australia

Reviewed on 2005-08-24

Motorcycle reviewed2004 Suzuki V-Strom 650 (DL650)

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4.0
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.
Reliability
5.0
Quality
4.0
Performance
4.0
Comfort
3.0
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Voted most helpful review

Enduros in my Past Man

Daly City, California

Reviewed on 2005-05-31

Motorcycle reviewed2004 Suzuki V-Strom 650 (DL650)

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5.0
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.
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
4.0
Comfort
5.0
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Voted most helpful review

Todd Collicutt

Saint John, New Brunswick

Reviewed on 2004-12-10

Motorcycle reviewed2004 Suzuki V-Strom 650 (DL650)

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4.0
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.
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
4.0
Comfort
5.0
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Voted most helpful review

Dana R.

Willimantic, Connecticut

Reviewed on 2004-09-09

Motorcycle reviewed2004 Suzuki V-Strom 650 (DL650)

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5.0
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.
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
5.0
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