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Old 08-23-2007, 05:17 PM   #1
melodicly OP
Joined: Aug 2007
Location: New Orleans, LA
Oddometer: 37
f650gs vs vstrom abs again

Hey guys, I put this in the regional forum, but figured I would drop it here too. Want a bike for mostly commuting in New Orleans where the roads are TERRIBLE! It is not uncommon to see 10 car sized holes on a three mile ride, so I need something that can handle it if I do accidentaly hit one. I do a lot of long distance too and that is why I am not really looking at the KLR. I do want ABS, upright seating and visibilty. So these bikes are pretty much the same price, but of course I lean towards the beemer. Why? I dunno, that's why I'm here hopin to learn from your vast wisdom and experience! I have to say the strom looks and feels top heavy to me compared to beemer, but maybe the twin makes an 8 hour drive more enjoyable. BMW probably has better ABS because they have been making longer, or maybe not. I dunno, lay it on me. Is the Rotax smooth at hwy speed? Is the Vstrom as flickable as the beemer? Which is more reliable and easier maintence? Which has a better resale? I would guess they are both pretty good for a new rider, but which has the durability for those small driveway drops or downtown drunk guy knocks the bike over while parked? How bout insurence on these bikes? Any difference between the two? Well u get the point. Thanks guys and gals for a very informative site. Sorry for the bad spelling habits too.
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Old 08-23-2007, 05:37 PM   #2
Joined: Aug 2006
Location: selden ny
Oddometer: 15
My wife has an 05 vstrom and I had the pleasure of putting 6000 miles on it this summer while yamaha had my fjr for 4 months to do a timing chain under warranty.I have to tell you,it's one of the best handling bikes I've ridden in a long time.The friggen thing is on rails.Had real bad buffeting at all speeds so I got the madstad adjustable windscreen mount and suzukis larger windscreen.both are a must have if you do any long distance.I dont think the wheels would hold up very well during pothole pinball though.I'm not sure but I think there are aftermarket spoke wheels available for the weestrom now.I did hit a few fire roads in upstate new york and she worked quite well.It has apretty comfy seat and great gas mileage.She will thrum along all day at 80-90 mph.I was really surprised by the overall performance of the 650.I traded the fjr and now have an 07 r1200gsa so I havent ridden the suzuki in a while.I rode a 650 dakar once for about 150 miles and if you do a fair amount of superslab riding I'd go with the vstrom.If your riding will be MOSTLY the commute within the pothole minefields I'd pick thr f650.Go to dealers and ride both if you can,thats the only way you can really decide.
Life is a matter of luck and the odds in favor of success are in no way enhaced by extreme caution!
07 r1200 gsa
05 650 weestrom
76 kz900(turbo)
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Old 08-23-2007, 06:33 PM   #3
melodicly OP
Joined: Aug 2007
Location: New Orleans, LA
Oddometer: 37
thanks alot....I have heard nothing but great things about the vstrom, but yeah most of my riding will be local roads with a trip every four months or so. I wonder, would the larger front wheel on the Dakar make a large differance with rough roads?
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Old 08-23-2007, 08:40 PM   #4
melodicly OP
Joined: Aug 2007
Location: New Orleans, LA
Oddometer: 37
where did it go?

edited: I didn't even realize this section existed!
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Old 08-23-2007, 08:59 PM   #5
Uncle Pollo
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Joined: Jun 2006
Location: Albuquerque, Neue Messico
Oddometer: 48,546

More slab (even in bad shape)= Strom

More trails = bmw
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Old 08-23-2007, 10:48 PM   #6
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Joined: May 2007
Location: Norman, OK
Oddometer: 311
Originally Posted by Don_Alejo
More slab (even in bad shape)= Strom

More trails = bmw

2006 DRZ400S
2006 KTM 250 SX-F
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Old 08-24-2007, 08:42 AM   #7
Boon Booni
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Joined: Aug 2003
Location: Richmond, Va
Oddometer: 13,912
Wee Strom has more power.

ABS is the same from bike to bike. I believe both bikes use bosch units so there's no advantage from one to the other.

Wee doesn't get as good a fuel economy.

F650 is lighter. Holds its fuel down lower, but it's battery up higher.
Battery terminals are difficult to get tightened down correctly, and lots of plastic to remove to get to the battery.
Regrease steering head bearings immediately.
Some sort of reoccuring water pump issue that I don't now much about.
Torx fasteners everywhere..

From riding with people on the 650GS, I'd say it's build quality is lower than that of the Strom. Seems to not handle the vibration, and shaking of off road as well. Lots of plastic bits go flying.

Both bikes will cruise on the interstate comfortably.

Both have a top speed over 100 mph. Strom is faster by a few mph. 105 vs 110.

IMHO, you get more bike for the money with the Strom.

What ever you do, don't get the crap BMW bags if you get the 650 GS. Rack is crap, and the bags really don't seem to take a fall over well at all.

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Old 08-24-2007, 08:50 AM   #8
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Joined: Oct 2005
Location: The West, etc.
Oddometer: 7,603
I doubt that you could go wrong with either bike. Like you, I went back and forth and then chose the 650 Strom. It may be the best bike I've ever owned for commuting and touring. My off-road skills are so modest that I've never been able to max out the strom there but I now ride on Colorado back roads quite a bit with a fair amount of confidence.
"When I was younger I was afraid I'd die riding now that I'm old and falling apart, I'm afraid I won't."
bwanacswan's dad
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