ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Bikes > Beasts
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 11-04-2012, 01:41 PM   #1
MZ5 OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Jul 2011
Location: Arizona, USA
Oddometer: 102
How, speficially, is the Wee-Strom better off road than the NC700X, and why?

As the title says. I read relatively regularly that the DL650 is more capable off-road than the NC (or the Versys, too). What I don't read is anything specific as to how it is better, nor why.

I'm thinking _very_ hard about these bikes. I'm primarily commuting on my bike, and that's very unlikelyto change. I would like the utility of more dirt or gravel road capability than my CBR600 has. More suspension travel, and a little more suspension compliance, would be very helpful. Storage and storage-adding capability would be extremely helpful, too. More ground clearance would also really help with dirt roads & trails.

So ow, specifically, is a DL650 better off-road than an NC? Or a Versys for that matter, though fuel economy will likely keep me away from the Versys (I'm using Fuelly as my source of mpg figures). Basically, I don't want to get less than the 50 mpg I presently average commuting on the fwy.
MZ5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2012, 01:56 PM   #2
RaY YreKa
I Am the Mayor
 
RaY YreKa's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2007
Location: YreKa BaKery
Oddometer: 16,191
Wrong sub-forum (try Beasts).

Also, all of them will suck in dirt. The DL650 less so.

Better minds and riders than me will chip in, but that's about the long and short of it.
__________________
IBA #40578

shine on, you crazy emo diamond
RaY YreKa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2012, 02:02 PM   #3
MZ5 OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Jul 2011
Location: Arizona, USA
Oddometer: 102
Okay, thanks. I don't know how to move a post. When I get home I'll put a new post there, or something.
MZ5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2012, 02:10 PM   #4
DBrentMiller
Sojourn Chronicles
 
DBrentMiller's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2005
Location: Cincinnati, OH USA
Oddometer: 463
It really depends upon what you're going to do with the motorcycle. Gravel roads? Local or a long way from home with camping gear strapped on? I have put 57,000 miles on my 2008 V-Strom DL650. I have had absolutely no issues with the bike. Friday, I had the opportunity to look at the Honda NC700X, and what I saw was enough for me to say that bike is not in my future. Let me explain.

I ride my V-Strom a lot. With the Givi bags, it's like a little utility vehicle that I can run to the store for groceries. For the past three years, I have ridden more than driven my car. Since I have owned the V-Strom, I have managed to make some pretty long distance rides. This year, I strapped the camping gear on the bike and took off on several long trips. My Oregon Trail ride included some gravel in Kansas, Nebraska and Wyoming. My ride to North Carolina and the Horizons Unlimited gathering was asphalt or concrete all the way, but the bike was still loaded up with camping gear. And, with a 5.8 gallon tank and a 60 mpg fuel efficiency, I can get a long range between fuel ups.

So what did I see on the Honda? The fuel filler cap is under the pillion seat. You have to lift the seat to fill it with gas. If you have camping gear strapped across the seat, it all has to come off before you can add gas. I cannot fathom why a manufacturer would design something like that and then call it an adventure bike. If you're going to use it for commuting and local rides, that will probably never be a problem. But, if you're going to travel packed like a Moto Camper, a V-Strom will do you very well.

More specific to your question: The V-Strom is pretty good in gravel with the right tires. I run Metzeler Tourance, and I have been very happy with how they perform on the gravel and asphalt. If I were going to be doing more gravel, I would put on a set of Continental TKC 80s, which I will probably do if I ride the Continental Divide this year. On previous trips, I have run the Tourance on gravel in Arizona, Utah, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming and Colorado--not all in one ride, mind you, just in bits and pieces.

Hope this helps.

Brent
__________________

D. Brent Miller, writer, photographer, producer
www.DBrentMiller.com, Publisher of Sojourn Chronicles,
Sojourn Chronicles on Facebook
Currently riding a 2008 Suzuki V-Strom DL650, and 2014.5 Kawasaki KLR 650
DBrentMiller is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2012, 02:19 PM   #5
Garry
Old and In The Way
 
Garry's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2005
Location: Murrysville, PA
Oddometer: 1,212
Simple: 19" front wheel > 17" front wheel on unpaved surfaces. Rolls over stuff better and doesn't get sucked into sand/gravel as bad as the 17". 21" is even better off-road which is why all dirt bikes use them. Personally, I like the 19" for "all roads" (both paved and unpaved) riding.
__________________
2007 KTM 950 SM-R
2009 KTM 530 EXC
http://www.MotoRoads.net
Garry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2012, 02:23 PM   #6
kraven
Hegelian Scum
 
kraven's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2005
Location: Asheville NC
Oddometer: 4,785
They both suck off road.

The seat/filler on the NC is no big deal. Just pack smart.

The strom and NC are both just UJM's for the 2000's. They're not off road bikes, but they are cheap enough for some people to find value in throwing money at them til they are more so.
__________________
So there I was walking into a biker bar in Chattanooga with liberty spikes on my head and a drag queen beside me... - bcurvin
kraven is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2012, 02:28 PM   #7
eakins
Butler Maps
 
eakins's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2002
Location: Fort Collins, Colorado
Oddometer: 17,968
simple,
wheel size on the vstrom has it using BMW GS tires. there are lots of choices. because of this people saw it as a beast and the aftermarket follow with parts to support that.

if suzuki used 17" wheels front and rear years ago, the strom would not be considered a beast these days.
corporate decision on wheel size determined the fate of the strom way back in 2002 with the 1st 1000.
if Honda or Kawasaki went with 19" front wheels on the NC or the Versys those bike would also be a true beast.
__________________
Butler Maps - motorcycle maps for riders by riders -
Alaska
AZ map COBDR AZBDR IDBDR South East map
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=598717
Butler Maps website:
http://www.butlermaps.com
eakins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2012, 02:44 PM   #8
JerryH
Banned
 
Joined: Jul 2009
Location: Chandler, AZ
Oddometer: 5,069
The Strom has some degree of off road capability, the Honda has none, it is designed for street riding only. And while I would not exactly call the Strom pretty, IMO the NC700 is downright ugly. Doesn't look like a motorcycle at all. Looks more like some kind of plastic spaceship. And I believe you can get a centerstand for the Strom, but not for the Honda.
JerryH is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2012, 02:59 PM   #9
C-Stain
Beastly Adventurer
 
C-Stain's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2009
Location: Canoodia, eh?
Oddometer: 5,802
The Strom, depending on the degree of off road difficulty you plan to undertake and your skill is probably one of the best values and machines you'll find.

I ride a DL1000 and an F800. I've taken my Vee to almost every place that I've taken my 800. I rode my Vee around the Trans Lab, at speeds averaging 55-70 mph, have followed KLRs and 990 Adventure through quad trails and single track all without issue.

I ride with a guy who has a DL650. So far, he's followed me down every piece of quad trail, single track, fast fire road and has even played successfully in the sand and gravel pits.

The V-Strom with some minor modifications can be a capable dual sport in the hands of the right rider. It will never be a 690 Enduro or a WR250, but guaranteed, it will provide hours and hours of fun.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Gone View Post
C-Stain is wise.
C-Stain is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2012, 03:37 PM   #10
Ham
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Aug 2004
Oddometer: 309
Pretty much a pro DL group so far. So I will disagree. The key to the NC700 is the engine. Tires and such can easily be changed. Engines and top heavy characteristics....not so much. Build quality...not so much, though simply tightening the bolts after purchase can help a lot.

The Honda has a way better COG, always a weakeness on the DL. The engine is all torque and silky smooth. And its a Honda.

Put on a better seat, meatier tires, ignore the gas cap issue as a non problem to begin with and you have a tremendous adventure bike for 90% of the riders, the rest go with the Tigers and F800s.

If you post this kind of question on this forum you need the Honda, not the others.
Ham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2012, 05:42 PM   #11
MZ5 OP
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Jul 2011
Location: Arizona, USA
Oddometer: 102
Mods, thanks for moving the thread/question.

What I see here basically says (or at least this is what it's coming across as, to me) that the larger wheel diameter is why/how the 'Zuk is better off-road. Fair enough and thanks for being that specific.

Brent, I appreciate your perspective on the fuel filler location, and bike camping. I can see where that could be important. For my part, I still have reasonably young kids at home, so any camping will be with all of them, apart from perhaps a hunting trip(s). Even any of those will see my oldest with me probably sooner than later. What I foresee that meaning to me is that I'd have a passenger with me on the bike, if I took it, so I doubt that filler access will end up being a problem for me. Great thing to think of, though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ham View Post
Pretty much a pro DL group so far. So I will disagree. The key to the NC700 is the engine. Tires and such can easily be changed. Engines and top heavy characteristics....not so much. Build quality...not so much, though simply tightening the bolts after purchase can help a lot.

The Honda has a way better COG, always a weakeness on the DL. The engine is all torque and silky smooth. And its a Honda.

Put on a better seat, meatier tires, ignore the gas cap issue as a non problem to begin with and you have a tremendous adventure bike for 90% of the riders, the rest go with the Tigers and F800s.

If you post this kind of question on this forum you need the Honda, not the others.
Probably right. :) It seems like the better choice for me. I just had some Suzukis on the farm, and also when I was young, and they were universally BULLETPROOF, so in some ways I _want_ it to work best for me. ;)
MZ5 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2012, 07:06 PM   #12
RED CAT
Bumpy Backroader
 
RED CAT's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2005
Location: Western Canada
Oddometer: 2,878
Ones!

A scooter and the other a motorcycle. Take your pic.
RED CAT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2012, 07:08 PM   #13
dduelin
Oh boy that was close
 
Joined: Oct 2006
Location: Shaft City
Oddometer: 1,345
If you spend 95 or 98% of your riding on the street then 2 to 5% is off pavement. Would it be a better choice to buy a commuter bike that has a 19" front wheel for 2% of the time you ride on hard pack dirt or gravel? You answer that based on your needs. If you like to ride the twisties some of that 98% the 17" wheel will feel much better and the NC does handle great on the street. 19" wheels off road are no great thing - that's why real off road bikes have 21" ones. 19" wheels on the street are no great thing - that's why street bikes have 17" ones. I don't ride much off pavement now but my NCX has been in the woods on hard pack dirt and gravel starting the first weekend. I have alot of dirt experience and it isn't a problem but I make absolutely no claim that the NC is better off road. It isn't made for that. My serious trail riding days are over but it is nice to be able to take my NC700X down the occasional dirt road to see where it goes or to keep going when a paved road turns to hard pack or gravel. What many ADV riders do is just that and you don't need a real off road bike to do stuff like that. If you take it easy and know what you are doing you don't even need dual purpose tires.

As far as the fuel fill under the pillion I have found it a complete non-issue for the two trips I have taken my NC to the mountains. (2500 miles of the 7600 so far). My solution was to strap my camping gear dry bag across the seat with a set of Rok Straps, well not really a new solution as I have been doing this on my ST. Clip-clip the straps loose, set the bag on top of the top case, fill up, set bag on seat, clip-clip on and pull straps tight. It is just about the same as a strap-on tank bag.

Honda sells a centerstand as does at least one aftermarket supplier. I have the Honda one installed.

Good luck with your choice. Both are great bikes and will make you happy.

PS. When you ride the NC, people, riders and non riders alike will walk up and ask you about it. I have never ridden a Wee but I can't imagine that happens very often. Or ever.







__________________
Triumph Tiger 800
Honda ST1300
Honda CH80

Dave

dduelin screwed with this post 11-18-2012 at 06:34 PM
dduelin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2012, 08:01 PM   #14
oldenuf
Gnarly Adventurer
 
Joined: Mar 2010
Location: Port Angeles, WA
Oddometer: 447
NC700X owner

Why Honda calls the NC700X an "adventure" motorcycle seems to be a bit of a marketing thing. It's a street motorcycle, But so is the Suzuki. Sure the DL650 has a 19 inch front rim, Neither has sump protection, both are heavy and geared for highway. If you want to enjoy dual sport riding get one of the singles. The Japanese are the most reasonable and reliable.
Can you ride the NC700X down dirt roads? Probably, and like the Suzuki DL650 and other street motorcycles it will soon look like a used dirt bike.
oldenuf is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2012, 11:59 PM   #15
Pecha72
Beastly Adventurer
 
Joined: May 2008
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Oddometer: 3,812
the 19 inch front is a compromise for road and gravel. 17 inch front is 100% for street, and your tire selection for anything else but street may be very limited.

The DL's stock suspension isn't perfect, but at least it can do something outside tarmac. But the NC is not built for that at all. Both need some upgrades, but I still give the DL a small advantage here. Plus you can find crashbars, bashplates etc. much more readily available for the Suzuki.

The Honda is the economy king, very small consumption, but newest 2012 DL650 does get close to it, and it's got 6 more liters in the tank. And about 20hp more top-end on the engine. Not to say these bikes are about power, but the difference is notable, especially when you've got lots of stuff on board.

Don't get me wrong I like the NC, too. And they're both heavy pigs for any serious off-road.
Pecha72 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 04:55 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014