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Review of the 2004 Suzuki V-Strom 650:
´04 V-Strom 650, 1 year in the saddle.
Author: russ taylor, 2005-05-07|
Ask any owner and you´ll hear what a great motorcycle the Vstrom 650 is.
I´ve been commuting daily on my Suzuki DL650 Vstrom for about 1 year now and I have few complaints, the main one being that it´s a tall bike. Or I´m short. Or something. Also Suzuki doesn´t provide a centre-stand but they can be had in the aftermarket. That´s the bad, now for the good.|
Powered by a liquid cooled V-twin engine, the DL650 is suprisingly smooth, the mirrors offer a clear vibration free view, the footpegs don´t vibrate discernably and the handgrips offer only the very slightest bit of buzz. Suzuki has done a great job of isolating engine vibration from the rider.
The engine has tons of torque and pulls strongly from about 3000 rpm up to about 9000 rpm. Acceleration builds very rapidly from about 5000rpm on. Redline is around 10.5k but I generally shift around 6k, as I´m the one paying for the gas. At 65 or 70 mph hour (indicated, I think my speedo is optimistic by about 5 mph) the engine is turning around 7k in top gear. I´ve had the bike up to 115 mph and it is very stable with no tendency to porpoise or hunt for a line. I´d run it up higher but traffic and road conditions where I live are just too restrictive for such shenanigans.
The saddle is comfortable, plush even. The parcel rack behind the saddle is very convenient with bungee catches on the bottom of the grab rail. The analog rpm and speed gauges are easy to read even in bright sunlight. Coolant temp and fuel gauges are LCD, neutral indicator is bright green and it has never shown me a false neutral. If the neutral indicator is lit, you´re coasting. The headlights are excellent and dark roads are well illuminated when riding at night.
The adjustable windscreen does a fair job of keeping me out of the airstream and it´s adjustable up or down with a screwdriver, so riders of varying heights will be able to dial it in as they choose. There are also after market screens available for tall folks.
The stock tires stick well and perform well on pavement, wet or dry. Suzuki bills this as an ´adventure-tourer´, indicating that it has a degree of off road ability. Perhaps on gravel or well maintained dirt roads, but I don´t think the tires will be suited to anything more demanding.
Transmission shifting is very positive, I had only a couple instances of the transmission getting caught between gears during the first 1000 miles of break-in. Rarely, if I shift out of gear and in to neutral while stopped, the transmission will not want to go back in to first gear when I´m ready to pull away. This is remedied by letting out the clutch and slightly revving the engine, pulling in the clutch and then shifting to first gear. Suzuki is not the only manufacturer that has this problem, I think it´s just part of motorcycling. The brakes are powerful and easy to modulate. A full on panic stop can be done with just two fingers. Clutch pull is firm but not overly so. My forearm does get a bit tired if I´m in gear and waiting for a long traffic signal change.
Rear suspension is adjustable but I haven´t needed to adjust it, it´s still on the factory setting.
That´s about all I can think of, if you get a chance to ride a Vstrom, I´m pretty sure you will like it. It´s a comfortable, capable machine and at Dollars 6500 dollars new it´s a bargain.
This review of the 2004 Suzuki V-Strom 650 was posted by a visitor on Bikez.com and does not necessarily reflect facts, truth or Bikez.com's opinions.
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