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2014 Suzuki DL1000 V-strom

Discussion in 'Touring' at netrider.net.au started by mjt57, Aug 24, 2014.

  1. Now that the latest incarnation of Suzuki's DL1000 has been around for a while, I would like to hear from owners (if there are any) about the bike.

    I ride a Blackbird, so, the idea of a naked bike with a more upright seating position appeals to me. But, I'd like to hear from owners as to how the new bike fares compared to the earlier models which are significantly different.

  2. Watching with interest.
  3. My brother went from an 09 busa with full system, pc5, quick shifter, to a brand new one of these with full luggage and crash bars. He loves it. Gets good economy too. I have an sv1000 and get ~7.5l per 100 commuting. He gets about 5.5
  4. I picked one up really recently (only put 500km on it so far), but happy to answer questions if you have any!
    I've moved up from the 2012 DL650, which didn't quite cut it for touring two-up with (a lot of) luggage.

    Impressions so far:
    Gearbox excellent. Clutch light and easy, not grabby at all.
    Engine a bit throbby up to 3000 rpm, but not in a bad way. Smooth at any speed you're likely to sustain.
    I'm still running it in, but there's lots of torque down low. Will have more of an opinion once i'm not(mostly) limiting it to lower revs.
    Seat a bit of a let down after the DL650 though; doesn't look as good, doesn't feel as good. Not bad though, just not as good.
    Handles nicely, doesn't feel heavy at all. Isn't as flickable as a sportier bike with a 17" front wheel, of course, but I was still finding it turning easily and tracking well through corners at speed.
    Suspension is definitely a good step up from the DL650. Feels a lot firmer at the moment, but that might just be because it's new; at least you can adjust compression/rebound damping as well as preload on this one. Seems to have much less dive under breaking, and the brakes seem more effective, but still progressive. (Side note: I hate the front brakes on my R1200R; they're really binary without much feel, although they are very effective at stopping in a hurry!)
    I clicked the suspension into slightly softer settings as it was a bit jarring on dirt tracks, but after that it's been fine. Handles fine on dirt roads with the stock Battlewings tyres. Haven't tried off-road.
    Stock exhaust is v.quiet until about 4000 rpm under a fair bit of throttle; then the twin sound appears, along with a lot of high gear whine.

    Stock luggage seemed way too small, so I went with some big Hepco & Becker cases, but the bike is wiiiiiiide with those fitted. (Whereas the factory luggage looks like it's very narrow. Depends on your needs, I guess.)

    Bike is reasonably priced at $15500 on-road (here in Vic at least) but expect the options to add up fast if you want a centre stand, bash plate, bars, heated grips, etc. Annoys me a bit that Suzuki don't ship SOME of those with the stock bike!
    • Like Like x 2
  5. I've only test ridden the DL1000 not owned it but coming from a Blackbird I would suggest looking at the Tiger Sport (not really a adv bike) or the Versys. The Versys is ugly but the engine is a beauty.

    I didn't click with the DL1000 at all, competent but just missing something for me. My review @ Next bike question
  6. Thanks for the replies, folks. It's appreciated.

    Dryfter, what are the stock tyres like on the road? They look like they're a dirt/tar compromise. I've not ridden any bike with such tyres so I'm totally unfamiliar with them.

    How wouldd you go with Pilot Roads, for example, instead of that type of tyre?
  7. Reply to Kalkadar:
    The Tiger Sport was on my list too, and the Versys, but I like having a bike that's fine on unsealed roads, and the v-stroms are better setup for that. Versys was just too damn ugly, too. The Tiger Sport is certainly sportier, but I actually liked the ergonomics of the v-strom more, and it also goes a bit further before you're looking for fuel.

    Reply to mjt57:
    Keeping in mind I've only put 500km on them so far -- the Bridgestone Battlewings tyres have been fine on dry roads, slightly wet roads, and dry compressed dirt roads. That's all they're really designed for, and with the emphasis on the sealed roads. They have gripped fine through corners and turn predictably, but I haven't exactly been scraping the pegs yet. From what I read from other riders, sounds like they'd let me, though.

    On my DL650, I replaced the stock tyres almost immediately because they really weren't very good. However the Battlewings seem good enough that I'll probably stick with them.. If I had to buy another set of tyres today, I'd look at the Scorpion Trails though.

    If you're purely sticking to sealed roads and want the best grip, then yeah, you can fit Pilot Roads. Probably give you a bit better wet handling, and slightly better dry handling, but dirt roads will be like riding on marbles.
    • Like Like x 3
  8. Great info. Thanks for the review.
  9. Dryfter, just read the review on the bike on my iPad (Cycle Torque app). I've got a couple of questions.

    1. How easy is it to replace the muffler with something lighter and perhaps with a better sound?
    2. The rack as fitted to the test bike, is this a standard OEM fit? I run a Ventura system on the Blackbird and would like to continue to do so. Just wondering if there's anything for the V-Strom, yet. I'll browse Ventura's site shortly to have a look, but if there are alternatives out there, I'm interested. I'm not a big fan of hard panniers or top boxes.
    3. Have you checked the accuracy of the instrumentation, yet? eg. compared speedo with a GPS, distance to empty (fuel range) and overall consumption?

  10. Re: query on Ventura, never mind. Just looked at the website and they have kits for the V-Strom. Sits over the existing rack plate doody-whatsits...
  11.  Top

  12. 1. Should be easy; the muffler can be detached from the pipe pretty close (so no cutting required) and I gather there are slip-on replacements available already. I'll probably get something myself sooner rather than later.

    2. bike comes standard with a rack; you can either purchase suzuki top-boxes to fit, or mount your own.. I have a givi topbox, and the universal givi rack just bolted on top of the factory rack.

    3. Not yet. I suspect measuring fuel consumption while the engine is still brand new and tight isn't that fair.. but from the limited fuel-ups I've done so far it seems about right on consumption.
  13. Finally (well, maybe not), underseat storage, what's it like?

    Oh, Marriotts Machinery in Leongatha have two V-Stroms on the floor and I can test ride another, I believe. I'll be going over there probably week after next to check them out.
  14. It's reasonable -- enough space there for, say, puncture emergency kit and a disc lock or small camera.

    I just got back from an all-day ride, and I am really loving the bike. (Although I reckon the seat could be better)
    As a bonus, it seems to be surprisingly fuel efficient - reported avg fuel use over the trip was 4.8L/100km, and when I refuelled part way, it seemed to match. And I wasn't going easy on the throttle. (On similar rides I would probably have hit low 4.x L/100Km on the DL650, or low 5.x with the R1200R, for comparisons sake; or mid 6.x on my VFR800 if I remember correctly)
  15. @dryfter@dryfter: How would you compare the VFR and the DL1000 other than position? For that matter the DL650 vs the DL1000.

    I didn't like my test ride of the DL1000 (other than position) primarily because of the engine but the VFR800 and DL650 are still on my list. I'd be interested in hearing the story behind your last few bikes (VFR to DL650 to DL1000). We have a similar taste in bikes (I like the R1200R although it's a little out of current price range).
  16. The VFR800 was good; faster, braked harder and handled a bit better than the DL650 I replaced it with. Used twice the fuel though, and the VTEC switch-over point was awful. It ran hot in summer, too. The DL650 was actually nicer to ride in most conditions, still had a lot of torque, and was more comfortable.

    It's harder to compare the VFR800 with the DL1000 though; there's been two bikes in between.Gut feeling is that the VFR would be a bit sportier, but need to be revved high, vs the DL1000 which has tonnes of torque down low (like the R1200R).

    The v-stroms are relatively sporty and fast through the corners for upright adventure bikes, but they're fundamentally *not* sports bikes and don't seem to be designed for high reving performance; instead, like the R1200R, there's just boatloads of torque lower down.

    That said, I've never been left behind by friends when riding. (In fact, have usually been leading)
    • Like Like x 3
  17. What didn't you like about the engine?
  18. And this would suit my riding style to a T. I look forward to checking it out.
  19. Sounds handy.
    I've got a Ventura rack system on the Blackbird. I'm tossing up whether to keep all the bits except for the rails when I sell it and get the basic kit for the DL. Depends on Ventura. They used to be a bit funny about how they sell their stuff.

    But the Ventura has a small tail bag which straps to a small "sports" rack, which has the room for wet weather gear, jumper, etc.. So, maybe underseat storage won't that critical.

    The seat in the photos seems to be very similar in shape to that of the Blackbird, which is hard as a rock. Maybe one of those gel seats might do the trick. There's a prominent brand but I can't recall its name. About $250 or so, I think.

    If my arithmetic is correct that would give you about 416km to dead empty. I'm guessing that there's a low fuel alert. In which case, how many litres are left when it's initiated? And how accurate does the fuel gauge appear to be?

    Speaking of fuel, what does the owners handbook recommend? Usually they have something like "RON9x or higher" (the B'Bird's is 91 or higher).