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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.
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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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Location: Albuquerque, Neue Messico
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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
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Originally Posted by Don_Alejo
More slab (even in bad shape)= Strom

More trails = bmw

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Old 08-24-2007, 08:42 AM   #7
Boon Booni
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Joined: Aug 2003
Location: Richmond, Va
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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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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."
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Old 08-24-2007, 11:29 AM   #9
Joe 40 ouncer
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Joined: Apr 2005
Location: North Slope of the Flint Hills
Oddometer: 15,440
Now that the Versys is available, it might be worth a look too. I've got no complaints about my Wee-Strom. There's lots of folks around here that do 500+ mile days on KLRs, and the new one is especially nice (and cheap). Price of admission on the BMW is steep, but their owners love them. Good choices all.
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Old 08-25-2007, 07:20 AM   #10
pass the catnip
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Location: 日本
Oddometer: 9,491
I've got a GS. It gets amazing gas mileage, is really nimble, has great throttle response and is a lot of fun to ride on back roads, both sealed and unsealed. I haven't ridden a wee so I can't say much about it other than I sat on one and it seemed physically much bigger than the bmw. Try both of them and decide after that.
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Old 08-25-2007, 11:13 AM   #11
RaY YreKa
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Location: Carried Forth
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I do 600 miles of urban riding on a 650gs (per month) and I really do think it's ideal. Our UK roads vary from passable to downright dangerous. I like that the GS is light, punches very well out of corners in the 5000rpm range, holds a line with great stability, and returns very good mpg. Since it's easy to max out the engine you can have great fun finding the limits of the bike.

As others have said, the Wee is probably a better long-distance machine in terms of bhp and comfort. If you do big days in the saddle of a GS you probably need an aftermarket seat and screen.

Fwiw I think I'd appreciate a DL650 from a fit-for-purpose angle, but I doubt I'd enjoy it in quite the same way as the GS.

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Old 08-26-2007, 02:39 AM   #12
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Joined: Nov 2005
Location: Gold Coast
Oddometer: 2,793
I used to own one of the older carbed F650's.

The DL's finish is about as good as that was - i.e. better than the newer 650GS's.

The cast wheels on the DL are pretty tough, you'd be bending rims on either bike at about the same point. The spoked wheel MIGHT be cheaper to repair, but check it before you let that make the decision for you. I pretty much ignore urban potholes and "speed control measures" on the DL - BUT - if the roads are as nasty as you say, budget $300 for heavier springs for the DL.

On road the DL is better than the F, except on really slow tight corners. The speed difference is more than stated above - the DL gets up to 100mph + speeds pretty quickly, the F won't. (Quite a lot more passing power).

Off road, the F was a bit more nimble, the DL far less effort - note I'm talking nasty dirt roads here, not single track.

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Old 08-26-2007, 06:52 AM   #13
pass the catnip
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Location: 日本
Oddometer: 9,491
I bought my 2004 GS with 14,000 miles on it. The finish is impressive. No corrosion on any of the aluminum bits or painted metal parts (wheels, motor, frame) and the bodywork's paint is still in excellent condition. I've owned a few Suzukis (three Bandits, Burgman 650) and have to say that I wasn't too impressed with the finish on any of them, especially the paint, which seemed thin and easy to scratch.
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Old 08-27-2007, 12:03 AM   #14
melodicly OP
Joined: Aug 2007
Location: New Orleans, LA
Oddometer: 37
thanks everybody. very informative as usual....I think I am gonna have to go Vstrom, but I do like the light nimble feeling the GS offers, but I just think I would be more interested in long trips on the dl. Thanks again
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Old 08-27-2007, 06:17 PM   #15
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Joined: Dec 2006
Location: Central PA
Oddometer: 33
I ride a K7 DL650 Vstrom. My wife rides a K7 f650gs. First off I can honestly say both are great bikes! I have 12000 mile on mine since April and my wife has 3000 on hers since July. The beemer wins in the fuel economy department regularly getting 10MPH better the the Wee. 60 MPH Vs 70MPH. On our last trip she averaged 79MPH. The Wee delivers the power to the rear wheel a little more aggressively and in my humble opinion feels more solid when running in the high 70s to mid 80s. This is not to say the Beemer is scary at these speeds it is just the Wee has more wind protection and more weight. My wife's bike feels a bit small to my 5'9" 220lb frame. It is the lowered model but with your feet on the pegs the ride should be the same. Her bike seems to like the dirt a little better but now that I replaced the trailwings with Torrance's the Wee seems better also. The beemer was $1500 more and this is were I think the Wee wins.
Less money! The beemer commands more attention where ever we go and as she so eloquently puts it is "One Sweet Ride". Which ever bike you choose you will be happy with but the Wee may keep you happy longer due to the more powerful "big bike" feel. Also little things like 2 trip odometers, a fuel guage and more powerful headlights help tip the scales toward the Wee. I hope this helps just be aware if my wife was the one writing this the scales may tip more towards the little BMW . As a final thougt I sat on a Versus and although it was a nice bike it did not temp me away from either of the bikes we now own.
Good luck, Jeff
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