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Testride Suzi V_strom comparo

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by FormerUser1, Nov 22, 2004.

  1. It finally happened.
    There's a 650K4 model trade-in at Stevo's in Ringwood with only 2900km on the clock and this morning was showtime after hmming and ahhing for the last few months of wanting to take out a 650 for a spin on some “real” roads.

    Both, the better half and I wanted to have a go and the sales guys were good, no pressure, all smiles.
    Rocked up on the Aprilia Pegaso 650 single and the 2003 DL1000, leaving the 1000 behind at the shop, since Goodie isn't too keen on riding it.

    I had the first stint, later we swapped bikes.
    First through some city and suburb-traffic and the 650 feels way lighter and easier to manoeuvre than it should (seeing that nearly everything looks/feels the same as my 1000). Then up the usual “test-stretch” of Mountain Hwy, tight and twisty for 10km.
    At the last red light on the bottom the visor goes up and I inform Goodie that I'll take it easy, just having signed a $1500 excess-agreement in case of damage.
    300 meters further and all is forgotten...the first bend is approached with caution, taking it just about upright, the next 2 are taken at "usual cruising speed"...and then the wraps are off, this is way too much fun to hold back any further.
    The dreaded-on-the-1000 OEM-Bridgestones work well on the 650.
    This thing is smooooth, ohhh so smooth. That SV650 mill is a sweet one, punch from 4000-8000rpm, when it's just not worth spinning the engine for more. The clutch is also way smoother (cable) than the hydraulic clutch of the 1000, easier to feather in carpark/traffic situations, not as touchy.

    Zipping through the bends just feeling the bike, I'm sure that corner-speed is higher than with the 1000, the thing is just sooo flickable, so nimble...deliberately taking an off-line entry, consequently running wide at the exit, it's incredibly easy to load the front, shift the weight, and pull her back into line, double-apexing the bend.
    The extra-weight of the 1000 would've been a wrestle, this is a joy.

    Since the frame is off the 1000, there is no question about the thing knotting itself up when pushed; same goes for the other item off the 1000...the brakes. Where as braided-lines are a welcome addition on the 1000, the 650 doesn't need them.

    The only glaring difference is the missing engine braking on the 650, kick down the gears and there's not much coming….
    At the start it was a bit upsetting since I'm used to it and even more so with the big-single Pegaso...which can bite quite easily with vicious compression-lockups.
    The DL650 just keeps rolling and needs a little nip-on-the-brakes.
    Oh so smooth, nearly vibration-free even if spun hard. Suzuki taking a few horsepower off-the-top of the SV650 engine and adding it to the midrange has produced an engine that suits the 650 brilliantly...tootling along in high gears at 2500rpm or making the baby sing, whatever is asked, it delivers without any complaints.

    Compared to the 1000:
    Lighter, easier to flick/handle. More forgiving if off-line. Good brakes/chassis. Way smoother in nearly all aspects than the 1000.
    Seemingly quicker through bends due to less bulk. Plenty of zip and usable power from 2500rpm to about 8k, running out of breath beyond that. Best range 4000-7500rpm. OEM tyres seem to suit the bike.
    Negatives? Should have a bashplate/ guard, the whole engine-front is exposed. Handguards missing (shame the guards from the 1000 don't fit). Due to the slightly lower seat the knee-angle is a touch more sharpish, quickly forgotten though, once things are underway.

    Compared to the Pegaso 650/ BMW F650 models…
    Most obvious is the lack of engine-braking. The singles nearly dive into the front-end when going off the throttle, not so the DL650.
    Engine is way smoother than the singles, vibrations are virtually non-exist in comparison. Due to it’s size/length/chassis-geometry the DL650 is less like a chookie than the singles, it rides more like a roadbike, seating position is less “balls-to-the-tank” (weight forward) than the shorter Aprilia/BMW. Corner-entries are not quite as “deep” as the singles can go before going off-the-gas, but “back-on-the-twister” is at nearly the same spot…with the same head-splitting-grin as on the singles.
    The “Baby-Strom” is way more relaxed, rides smoother, is better suited to touring and 2-up or lugging gear than the singles. Half the gearshifts are required to do the same work.

    The “little Strom” is ONE SWEET BIKE (despite it’s genetically hideous looks) and one capable performer when it comes to the real world. Curb-hopping, dirt-roads (which should also be easier than on the bulky 1000), good ergonomics and the on-demand lazy-to-quite-aggro performance-spread make it a hell of an allrounder.
    Ahhh…and more FUN than one can poke a stick at. In just about any mode.

    We both liked it. A LOT. After only a few minutes, Goodie started to get comfy with it, after the first break she
  2. Thanks for the review. This is one of the bikes on my test ride list in a couple of months.
  3. Good indepth review...keep em coming
  4. Check the "First Impressions" on the Moto Guzzi Breva 750 going up in a minute :))
  5. If you possibly can, get across to Stevos quick-smart for a ride on THAT bike. They're as rare as hen's teeth, there are NO demo's whatsoever (ever since it's release last year) and getting your hands on a pretty "fresh" one for a tester is a rarity. Just saw a msg on the DL-650 board, no Wee-Stroms anywhere in Qld, first K5 batch sold out, I know of one more in Adelaide, but that's it.
    Either Suz is keeping us short or....then again, the Yanks and Canadians have the same shortages by the sounds of it.