My Test Ride of the 2018 Wee Strom 650 - Suzuki GSXS1000 Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 08-11-2017, 06:18 AM Thread Starter
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My Test Ride of the 2018 Wee Strom 650

To test for my Fellow Members and Myself on how the GSXS1000, 750 offerings compare to the new 2018 DL650, I had a lend of a Demo in base form (cosmetic differences and solid wheels).
The XL get's spoked heavier wheels.

The difference in spec to the GSXS's is obvious, but that Suzuki flavour of cheap parts which deliver 'more bang for the buck' is a common thread.
The engine here is the Euro 4 twin in high output. I have demo'ed the LAMS 35 kw Learner power restricted in the current SV650 and the two motors are quite different.

The higher output in the DL feels in a 'seat of pants' feel to be about twice, but the gearing may be different, but it is very torquey.
I could not say that about the 750; it felt a lot slower when in mid gear acceleration from 60 to 80 km/r. The wee strom gave a definite push back into the comfy seat.

Once again, there was ZERO snatch from both the SV650 / DL650 engine and the GSXS750.
The GSXS 1000 shares that dubious honour with the GSXR and DL1000 motor's (internet Forums) so the difference is what in common ? A servo exhaust valve for one.

The airbox induction sound is quite muted on the DL650, where the SV650 and the GSXS1000 are quite pronounced; the GSXS750 somewhere in the middle, I'd say.

The windscreen was better in wind deflection on the wee strom than the second generation just superseded.
The screen was set mid way in it's range with 10mm up or down the range, and didn't allow for a rake adjustment, so bring a few washers and try that as a fix.
Adjustment needed a 4 mm Allen Key, so I didn't have time to experiment for you, but the mid position was reasonable and if I ducked an inch, I was out of the wind.
I noted the excellent hand varied screen on the DL 1000 Strom has been junked for the same basic bolted in place screen that the GSXS1000 and DL 650 use.

The DL 650 suspension is really plush and well damped. It ate and spat out all the potholes and sunken man hole covers without complaint and there was no diving under the soft braking from the pads fitted. The usual complaint of this type of taller bike is that the pegs dig into your stretched legs when stopped.
The tyres were brand unscrubbed new, and greasy, and I didn't push my luck at all. The larger front tyre had a very pronounced gyro effect when turning corners.

The bike wanted to be ridden like a sports bike - weight applied via the knees to the tank to steady the turn. Go too slow into the turn and it felt a bit top heavy but not ready to flop.

The only drama was the gear occasionally dropping from second into neutral while coasting off power. Happened twice, and the gear was solidly footed into second.
The gearbox was delight to use though, better than the GSXS750 unit. I have found the GSXS1000 gearbox to be a bit notchy if off the power.
The spread of gears in the 1000 are too close together for such a torquey motor, and the 650 and 750 are more spread out which is what you want in commuter class bikes.

The left hand gray/ white rocker switch for the traction control has the same range of 0,1 -3. The toggling of the fuel options also shows the battery volts, that is different to the GSXS's.
As a side reflection, the DL is a better by far bike than the Honda CB500X, which reflects the big price difference. As a commuter, it's the suspension tune of the Suzuki that really stands out over the Honda's soft springs that bob about on braking.

I rode a DL1000 about 2 years ago, the just superseded model, and that bike was more of a jacked up road bike than this 650 is. The windscreen on that was fail for me at 30 km/r.

The riding triangle of the 650 was reasonably upright, but with enough arm bend, so that a sore back from holding that straight position won't happen and it would make it a good all day tourer.
The leg room was great for my 6' frame, and more generous than the two GSXS's as expected. A few times I had to stop on a sloping roadway, and that was a scare for me.
The side stand is a bit short, and the bike leans over when parked, so it's probably the SV650's side stand used again here.

Conclusion ;
Would I buy one : Yes.
Over the GSXS750: Only if I had both in the Garage, as they are different champions in their own field as regards to commuting to work and the real difference is that you can tour all day on the DL, but on the GSXS, you'll stop a lot more, windscreen excluded in this.

For the price of the DL650 Wee Strom and the GSXS750 somewhere near the same list price, it shows how much value Suzuki can muster with a continual evolution of the Old Bones under new clothes.

Rob.
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post #2 of 17 Old 08-11-2017, 09:52 AM
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The V Strom and Versys are both interesting bikes. I had a 650, but would get a 1000 next time.

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post #3 of 17 Old 08-11-2017, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slower and Slower View Post
To test for my Fellow Members and Myself on how the GSXS1000, 750 offerings compare to the new 2018 DL650, I had a lend of a Demo in base form (cosmetic differences and solid wheels).
The XL get's spoked heavier wheels.

The difference in spec to the GSXS's is obvious, but that Suzuki flavour of cheap parts which deliver 'more bang for the buck' is a common thread.
The engine here is the Euro 4 twin in high output. I have demo'ed the LAMS 35 kw Learner power restricted in the current SV650 and the two motors are quite different.

The higher output in the DL feels in a 'seat of pants' feel to be about twice, but the gearing may be different, but it is very torquey.
I could not say that about the 750; it felt a lot slower when in mid gear acceleration from 60 to 80 km/r. The wee strom gave a definite push back into the comfy seat.

Once again, there was ZERO snatch from both the SV650 / DL650 engine and the GSXS750.
The GSXS 1000 shares that dubious honour with the GSXR and DL1000 motor's (internet Forums) so the difference is what in common ? A servo exhaust valve for one.

The airbox induction sound is quite muted on the DL650, where the SV650 and the GSXS1000 are quite pronounced; the GSXS750 somewhere in the middle, I'd say.

The windscreen was better in wind deflection on the wee strom than the second generation just superseded.
The screen was set mid way in it's range with 10mm up or down the range, and didn't allow for a rake adjustment, so bring a few washers and try that as a fix.
Adjustment needed a 4 mm Allen Key, so I didn't have time to experiment for you, but the mid position was reasonable and if I ducked an inch, I was out of the wind.
I noted the excellent hand varied screen on the DL 1000 Strom has been junked for the same basic bolted in place screen that the GSXS1000 and DL 650 use.

The DL 650 suspension is really plush and well damped. It ate and spat out all the potholes and sunken man hole covers without complaint and there was no diving under the soft braking from the pads fitted. The usual complaint of this type of taller bike is that the pegs dig into your stretched legs when stopped.
The tyres were brand unscrubbed new, and greasy, and I didn't push my luck at all. The larger front tyre had a very pronounced gyro effect when turning corners.

The bike wanted to be ridden like a sports bike - weight applied via the knees to the tank to steady the turn. Go too slow into the turn and it felt a bit top heavy but not ready to flop.

The only drama was the gear occasionally dropping from second into neutral while coasting off power. Happened twice, and the gear was solidly footed into second.
The gearbox was delight to use though, better than the GSXS750 unit. I have found the GSXS1000 gearbox to be a bit notchy if off the power.
The spread of gears in the 1000 are too close together for such a torquey motor, and the 650 and 750 are more spread out which is what you want in commuter class bikes.

The left hand gray/ white rocker switch for the traction control has the same range of 0,1 -3. The toggling of the fuel options also shows the battery volts, that is different to the GSXS's.
As a side reflection, the DL is a better by far bike than the Honda CB500X, which reflects the big price difference. As a commuter, it's the suspension tune of the Suzuki that really stands out over the Honda's soft springs that bob about on braking.

I rode a DL1000 about 2 years ago, the just superseded model, and that bike was more of a jacked up road bike than this 650 is. The windscreen on that was fail for me at 30 km/r.

The riding triangle of the 650 was reasonably upright, but with enough arm bend, so that a sore back from holding that straight position won't happen and it would make it a good all day tourer.
The leg room was great for my 6' frame, and more generous than the two GSXS's as expected. A few times I had to stop on a sloping roadway, and that was a scare for me.
The side stand is a bit short, and the bike leans over when parked, so it's probably the SV650's side stand used again here.

Conclusion ;
Would I buy one : Yes.
Over the GSXS750: Only if I had both in the Garage, as they are different champions in their own field as regards to commuting to work and the real difference is that you can tour all day on the DL, but on the GSXS, you'll stop a lot more, windscreen excluded in this.

For the price of the DL650 Wee Strom and the GSXS750 somewhere near the same list price, it shows how much value Suzuki can muster with a continual evolution of the Old Bones under new clothes.

Rob.

Hi Rob,

Thanks for your time with all this info.

I do miss the V strom 650 at times (a great, great bike all around) if i had the room would still have one.
Also like the spokes for some off road, yet a bit heavy for my taste (prefer my heavily modified DR650/single track, etc).

The DL with standard non spoke is better for the street because always had my plug kit with small compressor.

Thanks again!
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post #4 of 17 Old 08-11-2017, 06:20 PM
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I just commented on another post before I saw this one Rob Sorry probably more related to this thread. Great review,
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Previous bikes
1982 YZ80J
1977 TS185
1981 XR500
1994 GSX750 Katana (Popup)
1981 GSX1100
1999 GSX750F
2008 GSX1400
Current bikes
2005 V-Strom 650 Blue
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post #5 of 17 Old 08-11-2017, 07:54 PM
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Hey Rob go and test ride the 1000 and let us know what you think... I've still got my 14 year old SV 1000 and love it, I understand the XT/V Strom has a more refined engine..?
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post #6 of 17 Old 08-12-2017, 06:38 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tonyt View Post
Hey Rob go and test ride the 1000 and let us know what you think... I've still got my 14 year old SV 1000 and love it, I understand the XT/V Strom has a more refined engine..?
Hi Tony,
Yes, the 1000cc motor is a gem. I had it in the SV1000 Naked, the S, the TLR & TLS. The prime reason for selling the SV1000 was the narrow tank at the knees. My legs used to rattle around the tank.
I can't say this about the new DL1000, the tank is very wedge shaped at the groin and I found that I liked it a lot in a previous test of the older DL1000 version.
With the Euro 3 tune, the DL1000 is a great bike engine wise. Full of grunt off idle, linear up to 4000 rpm, no snatch present (no Lady Rider/Pillion joke here ) and made such a lovely low pitched induction sound just like a good twin should do for the Rider if you can't have it from the exhaust.
Euro 4, has Suzuki making around 60 odd changes to this motor and the power has dropped some HP/torque I've read.
The old motor has a SET exhaust valve too as I remember, so I am expecting it to be now more closed than open in it's settings to give the cat more time to clean up the gases.

The past version DL is the new same bike but with a nip and tuck styling update, and the chassis should remain so stable on the road, a real tourer, great suspension, very confidence inspiring, and a worthy replacement for a SV1000 Lover. Spoked wheels could be a difference though as they are heavier.
The old SV1000 had a great motor in an average chassis - a DL1000 gives you both positives plus a dirt road bonus, But you just need longer legs or fit a lowering kit as it 50 mm higher than the 650, which is 50 mm more than the GSXS1000 (from memory). At 6', I had no trouble riding it on level land, but if your 5'5", your in trouble.

My GSXS1000N is now a memory; it has quickly been snapped up, and all because it was a R & Blk.
There's a colour for everyone in the GSXS1000 range, and my next GSXS will be Blue and Black in 750cc, but not for a while, that GSXS1000 takes a lot of time to forget how the good parts of it's character really are.
A demo ride on the V Strom 1000 is needed now to decide which Strom comes home, Captain Sensible 650 or the Arm Tugging, Pillion Tossing 1000.
Stay Tuned for an future 1000 update.

Rob.
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Last edited by Slower and Slower; 08-12-2017 at 05:11 PM.
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post #7 of 17 Old 08-15-2017, 03:36 AM Thread Starter
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Hey Rob go and test ride the 1000 and let us know what you think... I've still got my 14 year old SV 1000 and love it, I understand the XT/V Strom has a more refined engine..?
Hi Tony,
3 Dealers in my area, 1 had a thousand demo.

Fronted up today to be told 'Sold on Saturday, 4 days ago'.
The Sales Manager said they will not be likely to be given another by Suzuki and the new DL1000 is not selling all that well since it came onto our Au market some weeks back.

So it's all down to you Dear Tony to report back on the 1000 now.

I had a close look at the V Strom's XL's yellow rims and they appear to be anodised rather than painted. The black I am not sure about either.
Anodising is not that deep a coating, unlike paint, anodising in yellow has the bling effect in spades, but I'd worry about scratches from rocks or just changing tyres.
Black is easy to paint repair and looks cleaner even when filthy with road/chain grime.

I am more swung towards the White V Strom 1000 XL now, even though it's it a fair wack more than the 650cc.

I'm annoyed that the base 1000 we get is all black even with to an all black duck's beak, with some Gray plastic on the tank. OS get the white option, so looks like I will have to settle for a spoked wheel dearer XL or buy a base 650 in yellow with solid wheels that's 40% cheaper here than the 1000 XL. I'll be waiting till after Christmas anyway, for the prices to drop and Suzuki will fire sale then again with a few thousands of $ off as per their usual old stock from last year marketing.
Not good paying for top list price, just to see it depreciate down in a few months later, is there ?

This Dealer had the GSXS750 in Red/Black and Blue/ Black outside in the sun, and boy does that light Blue pump. It's a different shade to the GSXS1K Blue GP colour, a richer Blue.
After extensive sitting on the Strom's, the GSXS750 feels tiny in comparison, but the GSXS1000 feels just 'right sized' and familiar.

I asked if Australia is to get a GSXS1000 in either variant in White soon, like before the year's end, but this Dealer like my own, has no idea and Suzuki Reps don't tell these Dealer's all their secrets.

Rob.
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post #8 of 17 Old 08-15-2017, 11:14 AM
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Very quickly (since I'm at work)...I had a '13 DL650 and have a '14 DL1000, both great bikes. I would say go with the 650, unless you do a lot of 2-up, or touring with a lot of luggage on the interstates, or if you're just a big fellow and need the extra power. The 1000 is a little better in most all categories: power, suspension, brakes, cockpit roominess. But the initial cost is higher, uses premium and gets about 10mpg less, and costs more to insure. I've never had either bike off-road, so can't comment on that. If I hadn't sold the DL650 when I did, I was going to keep it and sell the DL1000, as the 650 makes a nice compliment to the GSX-S1000 where I can get my power fix.

BTW, new fork springs and oil in the 650 make the suspension nearly equal to the 1000.

Just one person's humble opinion, of course.
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--Gary

2016 GSX-S1000F, Red/Black
2014 V-Strom 1000
2012 DR650
2011 Burgman 400
2007 Honda Helix
2013 DL650 - Sold
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post #9 of 17 Old 08-15-2017, 10:01 PM
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Well, after making a big case for the DL650, I did a ride through the country backroads this evening on the DL1000 and have absolutely no regrets about keeping it over the 650. It is a pleasure to ride - handles well, has ample, smooth power delivery, a good suspension that soaks up bumps well, and good wind protection (with a Givi screen and some deflectors)...it puts a smile on my face every time. Bottom line is they're both great bikes, you just have to figure out what your priorities are. I think it was alluded to above, but if you're of a vertically challenged nature and like to flat-foot at stops, the 1000 will need some modifications. Stock it is pretty tall, but there is a shorter seat available and the suspension can be lowered some as well.

--Gary

2016 GSX-S1000F, Red/Black
2014 V-Strom 1000
2012 DR650
2011 Burgman 400
2007 Honda Helix
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post #10 of 17 Old 08-15-2017, 11:30 PM
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I'm surprised how many of us have owned Wee-Stroms. I had one back in 2005 and I loved it. Super smooth engine for a V and very nice power delivery. It was light enough that it was a treat in the twisties, but off-road... well... not really. I had stock tires and did a couple of adventure rides (gravel and dirt) that let me know it was really not meant for that kind of adventure. It was pretty good for long distance and it was comfortable for a sit-up position bike with decent wind protection (if you could solve the buffeting - I couldn't). It handled very well and was versatile. But the GSX-S1000F is by far better on every level for the kind of riding I do. I've also logged some miles on the V-Strom 1000 and it really wasn't my cup of tea. Too top heavy, too heavy overall and lot's of vibes. Keep in mind that was 2005 vintage so I'm sure things have improved.
Still... I just love my GSX-S1000F.
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