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Thread: Tenere; V Strom; Opinions please!

  1. #1
    It's a way of life! oldnslow's Avatar
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    Question Tenere; V Strom; Opinions please!

    I know this is a BMW site, but lots of us have different bikes. I'm looking for unbiased reviews and opinions for the Yamaha Tenere and Suzuki V Strom, both the big ones and the little ones. I would just be served 'kool aid' at the sites for those bikes!

    Any body use them for two up touring? 650 or the 1000? Instead of touring, I should say 200 mile day trips.

    Thanks!

    (mods, please feel free to move this thread if need be)
    Mike Davis
    "Old n Slow" It's a way of life!
    1985 K100RT

    1998 R1100RT

  2. #2
    Mongrel Owner
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    Can't speak to the Tenere, but I enjoyed my big 'Strom, with the following reservations.
    The fuelling is not perfect, with a distinct stumble about 3500 rpm. Suzuki Canada supplied a revised ECU for me that partly fixed it, don't know if Suzuki U.S. would. Other than that, the engine is a joy.
    The bike is definitely built down to a price, but works well as long as you don't try anything worse than a gravel road, but then I'm no dirt bike rider. Riding two up is easy and comfortable, but you might want to look around for a factory gel seat.
    HTH,
    Tony

  3. #3
    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    There's no such thing as an unbiased review, but my two cents...

    I've bought three DL650's since 2005 and have somewhere north of 100K miles on them (total). The 650 outsells the 1000 by at least 3 to 1. The 1000 is up for redesign in 2014 and a concept bike has been making the rounds. The DL650 was redesigned for 2012, I've only done about 6k miles on mine this year (health issues), it is a nicer bike than the earlier versions.

    I've never felt the need for more power, can easily get in trouble with 65HP. I'm a big guy and usually pack 100 pounds of gear on a trip. My bike is close to GVW most of the time -- 919 pounds.

    Note to Tony: all the DL1K issues have a fix. They are well-documented on Stromtroopers and VSRI.
    Salty Fog Rally 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, AND LOOKING FORWARD TO 2014!

    -Tom (KA1TOX)

  4. #4
    Mongrel Owner
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    Thanks, Tommcgee

    but I sold the 'Strom and bought an R1150R, which is a very satisfying machine.
    Cheers,
    Tony

  5. #5
    Registered User GMassey's Avatar
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    My primary bike prior to my current RT was a DL1000 VStrom. A 2004 model, I purchased it in 2006 with less than 1,500 miles. I put almost 50,000 miles on it, including several multi-thousand mile trips. I had mine pretty dialed-in for me and had essentially built it into a poor man's GS. The biggest issue I had with the bike was the OEM suspension, which I later replaced with Racetech progressive front and rear. At that point it was a dream - both on the road over distance and on the gravel/packed dirt forest roads that we ride throughout the Pacific NW.

    So I am a big fan of the VStrom. As another poster noted, it doesn't begin to approach the degree of refinement that I have found in the Beemers, but it was a great bike. As I also have a KLR that I love, I decided to got with the RT as I was really looking for a better distance touring platform to replace the Vee. I wanted fairings, an adjustable windscreen, electronic cruise control, etc. It does all of that well and I am pleased with it. But if I could only have one bike... it would probably be a VStrom.
    Gerald Massey
    Brush Prairie, WA
    IBA# 57010
    '13 F700GS

  6. #6
    Registered User RINTY's Avatar
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    ...kool aid at the sites for those bikes...old'nslow
    Mike:

    Have a look at this thread in ADVrider, where the inmates complain about all manner of bikes:

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=842295
    Last edited by rinty; 12-02-2012 at 05:26 PM.
    Rinty

    "When you don't know where you're going, any road will get you there."

  7. #7
    Registered User lbarbee's Avatar
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    I too had a DL1000 before my 1200RT. I think we will all agree that would be an unfair comparison. I had fun in the Strom, but found it unbalanced. Way more power than suspension can handle. I personally found braking to be life threatening, the dive and unloading of the rear, made emergency stopping a gamble. Suspension upgrades did help some. My impression is that the DL650 is a little better. I know many strom fans, and they love them, but this was my experience.

    I sold it and picked up a Kawasaki versys as a second bike. Excellent handling, suspension and brakes. Much more nimble, and makes a decent sport tourer with bags added. It's seen several 5000 mile weeks.

    If I could only have one bike it would be my RT.

    If money is the issue, an 1150rt or 1150gs can be had for reasonable prices. Even at 50,000 miles, they run forever.
    Lynn
    2008 BMW R1200RT (most fun you can legally have)
    2002 BMW R1150RT
    2008 Kawasaki Versys

  8. #8
    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lbarbee View Post
    I too had a DL1000 before my 1200RT. I think we will all agree that would be an unfair comparison. I had fun in the Strom, but found it unbalanced. Way more power than suspension can handle. I personally found braking to be life threatening, the dive and unloading of the rear, made emergency stopping a gamble. Suspension upgrades did help some. My impression is that the DL650 is a little better. I know many strom fans, and they love them, but this was my experience.
    Most bikes are designed for 145 pound riders who are 5'6" and have a 37 inch inseam. Easy to fix the suspension on the DL bikes and if you don't like the brakes, 4 pot calipers from the Gixxers can be bolted up with a cheap bracket mod. All of this will cost you less than $1k -- stiffer fork springs (Racetech and Ricor valves also available), HyperPro rear shock, and the brake fix if you feel you need it, but once you get rid of the brake dive, the stockers work well.

    The DL's are a bargain, fun to ride, and great bikes -- the corners that were cut to make them inexpensive (primarily the underperforming suspension) is easy to fix. Sonic fork springs are <$100, HyperPro is $640, Ricor or Racetech Cartridge emulators for ~ $200, and for me, it's gotta have a Russell seat ~$600.
    Salty Fog Rally 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, AND LOOKING FORWARD TO 2014!

    -Tom (KA1TOX)

  9. #9
    Registered User lbarbee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommcgee View Post
    Most bikes are designed for 145 pound riders who are 5'6" and have a 37 inch inseam. Easy to fix the suspension on the DL bikes and if you don't like the brakes, 4 pot calipers from the Gixxers can be bolted up with a cheap bracket mod. All of this will cost you less than $1k -- stiffer fork springs (Racetech and Ricor valves also available), HyperPro rear shock, and the brake fix if you feel you need it, but once you get rid of the brake dive, the stockers work well.

    The DL's are a bargain, fun to ride, and great bikes -- the corners that were cut to make them inexpensive (primarily the underperforming suspension) is easy to fix. Sonic fork springs are <$100, HyperPro is $640, Ricor or Racetech Cartridge emulators for ~ $200, and for me, it's gotta have a Russell seat ~$600.
    All true. I assumed the OP was asking about a bike he could buy at a dealer. I can take any bike and rebuild it to meet my needs.
    Lynn
    2008 BMW R1200RT (most fun you can legally have)
    2002 BMW R1150RT
    2008 Kawasaki Versys

  10. #10
    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lbarbee View Post
    All true. I assumed the OP was asking about a bike he could buy at a dealer. I can take any bike and rebuild it to meet my needs.
    I've been thinking about adding an RT as a highway mile muncher. Do you ride like that?

    I prefer 2 lane blacktop or reasonably graded gravel, but sometimes you need to make time on the damn interstate.
    Salty Fog Rally 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, AND LOOKING FORWARD TO 2014!

    -Tom (KA1TOX)

  11. #11
    Rocky Bow BMW Riders #197 bogthebasher's Avatar
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    I had a 650 Wee Strom for a couple of years and put about 30K Km on it. To the OP's question I found it very dependable bike for short (one week) trips. I had Givi bags and top box for the longer rides. It was a really great commuter bike and I do miss having it for that. The windshield was a bit low on protection which was made a little better with a Madstad kit. The one thing I didn't like was that it was quit unstable in high wind conditions - especially with the top box on. However, for light touring and commuting it was a good buy. I sold it to a really nice guy that put more aggressive tires on it and rode it to Alaska and back - even sent me a post card.
    Ken
    [2008 R1200RT (Biarritz Blue) - Mine]
    [2007 R1200RT (Sand Biege) - Hers]

  12. #12
    Registered User lbarbee's Avatar
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    I try to avoid it. The RT is a compromise, but fits most of my riding preferences. What I like about it is that it is nimble in the twisties, but comfortable for a long slab ride if I have to. It is not a gold wing that's for sure.

    I am comfortable for 500 miles in a day, and almost all weather.

    It gives me the distance to get there, then the fun handling when I do.
    Lynn
    2008 BMW R1200RT (most fun you can legally have)
    2002 BMW R1150RT
    2008 Kawasaki Versys

  13. #13
    It's a way of life! oldnslow's Avatar
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    Let me clarify..I am interested in used bikes. Minor tweaks are no problem to me. My research from from the info I have got here so far has me leaning towards the 650 Strom.
    Mike Davis
    "Old n Slow" It's a way of life!
    1985 K100RT

    1998 R1100RT

  14. #14
    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldnslow View Post
    Let me clarify..I am interested in used bikes. Minor tweaks are no problem to me. My research from from the info I have got here so far has me leaning towards the 650 Strom.
    Mike, I also have a '95 K75 and given a choice, would take the DL650 every time. You should be able to find a good used one for relatively short money. I sold my '07 abs, with luggage, for $3500 in August. It cost me $7200 new in may 2007. It had 62k miles on it and I hated to see it go, despite having a new 2012 in the driveway. Best bike I ever owned, but the new one is growing on me. Some folks might be concerned with 62k miles on a bike, but I know several people who put well over 100k miles on theirs with no issues.

    Chains, sprockets, tires, and brake pads are the only wear items.
    Salty Fog Rally 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, AND LOOKING FORWARD TO 2014!

    -Tom (KA1TOX)

  15. #15
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    I recently tested a new 2012 Suzuki V-strom-the 650 bike & it was a sweet ride. For comparison I liked it a lot more than the 650 R65LS I used to own. I was on my 2003 R1150R when I tested & my bike is a far better touring bike but not to the point of ruling out the Suzuki for that purpose-just that mine has a better , meaning somewhat smoother ride. The Suzuki it more "tossable" yet holds the road well in the wind and decent vibs thru the bar/grips. I'm short & it takes rear links,front fork movement & seat messing to get it down to me. The Tenere is taller yet & def not the lighter bike as a Wee-strom, plus were talk mucho more $$$. You can buy a new wee for ~ $7500-7800,bare & a Tenere ~11500 bare new. For pavement I kinda lean toward the used R1200R or the new wee(much diff bikes based on my size & the bikes being far diff too but my choices none the less. The wee does have a bit of a bare bones mechanicals look but hardly diff in that way-appearance- than the Chinese engine assy BMW's putting out?
    FWIW, there is a 900+ page Tenere thread on ADV that tends toward being an insiders kinda thing but they will help you sometimes in between the other owner to owner fluff.

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