2011 Suzuki V-Strom DL650 from Canada

Summary:

Cheap to buy/run and very durable

Faults:

I had upgraded to stator/crank sensor; two years later the crank sensor let go so I reinstalled the original parts. A little over a year after the original stator stopped working, I replaced the stator with a different upgrade. I must say that I had added a 1500 watt stereo and was charging my laptop and phone with the bike when traveling and touring in Europe for six months.

Wheel bearings let go when on a trip up to Tuktoyaktuk, Northwest Territories in Northern Canada, but I suspect that it was because I had never changed the bearing and the road from Inuvik to Tuk I was travelling through over a foot of mud in many spots.

General Comments:

When I bought the bike it had an upgraded Sargents Seat and windscreen. So I can't attest to the functionality of the original parts. I can say it is a tough bike because I had an accident at 90-110 Kms and went over the handle bars. Luckily I escaped with minor injuries but pretzeled the forks. I ordered new tubs from China plus other minor parts from Ebay and put the bike back on the road with a little road rash for about 500 C$.

I did upgrade the windshield to a Givi Airflow which I am very happy with (a great investment). I am now travelling through Eastern Europe for 7 months and now in Turkey on my way to Kazakstan with that same bike with no issues other than normal wear parts.

With the bike, myself and gear we weigh 1000 lbs. The bike handles it without any issues. Most times I don't even downshift to pass, just time my passing.

I had been running a 16T front sprocket which worked very well. After almost 3 years running with this setup, I found that since I'm travelling so heavy I've returned to the original 15T because it's easier to handle the bike at slow speeds, off road and on the steep streets/roads in Europe.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 21st February, 2020

2008 Suzuki V-Strom DL650 from United States of America

Summary:

Usable, generous, problem-free, and exciting

General Comments:

The Suzuki V-Strom is the motorcycle for those who actually like to ride motorcycles rather than just keep them in the garage. Many claim that the bike is not sexy and not exciting enough. I would somewhat agree with the former, but definitely not with the latter. The motor is bulletproof and powerful enough for anything that any sane person would like to do. It does well on the highway (especially with an exchanged 16 T front sprocket) and has ample pulling power from low RPM. While the fairing may not be sexy, it is absolutely useful and well thought out. The V-Strom is a long-term love affair.

There are ample aftermarket options that anyone can use to customize and personalize the bike. Add a set of panniers (The Givi line offers excellent options) and your possibilities broaden from day rides and overnights to year long expeditions. I've found the bike no worse on fire and rougher dirt roads here in Colorado than any other street-oriented bike, but this one can be trail ready with a few of the before mentioned options, especially a skid plate. Anything that the V-Strom cannot do, and you are probably looking at dirt-oriented bikes such as the KLR or motocross.

If you want a motorcycle that is usable, generous, problem-free, and will serve you for many years, I can highly recommend the V-Strom.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th August, 2015

2007 Suzuki V-Strom DL650 from Australia

Summary:

An honest, reliable commuter and tourer that is often, sadly, underrated

Faults:

Very fine coolant leak from radiator/hose join at high speed. Not uncommon, apparently; simply needs re-tightening. This cured it.

Other than that, no faults or defects.

General Comments:

Extremely pleasant all-rounder with surprisingly good handling.

Power is more than adequate to the bike's purpose and design... even two-up with panniers and top box loaded.

Ergonomics I find particularly good; especially bars/pegs/backside triangle. Unlike others, I don't find the seat any worse than most. The position saves a lot of weight being dropped onto my wrists, which is a blessing.

I added a bashplate, taller screen, engine guards and headlight protector. The bike was then taken across the Nullarbor from Perth to Melbourne and shipped to Tasmania for a fortnight's touring, before riding back. It performed flawlessly.

If I have a criticism, it's just that the bike (and exhaust note) lack a little... "character" -- it just gets up and does things; no fuss, no protest. Gotta love that.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th April, 2010

27th May 2014, 16:05

Hi. My email is: bwardley@telus.net. I have the answer to your 'exhaust note' problem. It costs nothing but an hour's labour and gets you a bit more power. Drop me an email and I'll dig out the details. Cheers, Bob.