How bored will I be on a Vstrom 1000?

May 2017
322
1
Philadelphia USA
So over the weekend I put the heated grips on my HS along with new Michelin Road 5 tires, had the odometer fixed and then I changed the oil.
Today I got geared up to ride to work, pulled the HS out of the garage, and was all excited to try out the new grips this 30 degrees morning and she refuses to start. The battery is brand new and cranking the engine vigorously but it won't fire. Now I'm late for an important meeting at work.

It seems anytime it goes below 32 degrees this bike is hard to start or just refuses altogether and I'm really tired of it.

While I was at the dealership waiting for odometer reset which cost me $800 with the tire change I saw a leftover Vstrom 1000XT from last year on sale for $11K. The salesman came and talked to me and convinced me to sit on it. It's very comfortable and feels much lighter than it actually is. The XT version has all the luggage and tubeless spoked rims and all the ADV protective guards and plates. Later on I did some review reading and learned that owners in cold climates never have trouble starting on cold mornings and generally have little trouble of any kind with the bike. Good reliability reported all around.

So I'm considering a trade-in. I'm weary of all the problems with the HS. But I'm worried that the big Suzuki isn't going to put smiles on my face like the HS does.
Any comments on the performance of the Vstrom?
 
Sep 2017
282
2
Lansing Mi
The vstom has a massive following following but in my opinion the adventure touring bike to have is the multistrada . From what I have researched they have a very exciting platform. That was the bike I set out to get but decided to run a hyper for a while first. Ducati Detroit says to look for one with the skyhook suspension when it's time to move on from the hyper. I will be looking at the 2016+ bikes.
 
Mar 2013
2,336
4
Naples, IT
Agree about Vstrom's popularity, but most of the ones I see or mingle with are the 650, i.e. "ZZZ-Strom" (this coming from a guy that rides one). They are mostly a newbie or first adventure/ touring bike. Certainly plenty of aftermarket kit to customize it to your needs. Don't think it will hold a candle to Strada's nimbleness or handling.

Mike, just honestly ask yourself what you don't like or wish you had from the Strada. That is how I know I'll end up with something I like. Personally, I think Multi's are a bit ugly, and I'm not ready for the fully shrouded max touring frame. The Multi has and does everything I want, just doesn't turn me on from the parking lot view.

I want more speed, ride all highway/ urban, love twins, and can't part with luggage. So, I either make a work bike and a play bike, or upgrade. I'm stuck with one bike for another 2 years. Despite all my struggles, I still love it and promised I wouldn't get rid of it. The environment I live and ride in is pretty ruff - no garage, awful streets, destructive winds, hail, etc - that I'd be stupid to get something nicer at this point.

My dream is a touring Diavel. KTM or BMW on the short list. I see myself turning my Strada into stripped weekend club bike or track bike. I'm just not good at sacrificing a sensible touring bike for my performance needs.
 
May 2017
322
1
Philadelphia USA
A big problem I have isn't even the bikes fault. It's the fact that the only Ducati dealership that didn't go out of business in my region is far away. Getting the bike serviced has become a real headache and it always needs service at the dealership because of computer related stuff. Odometer fritzed out, activating control for heated grips, disco lights etc.
And at this point I feel like these electronic issues have no end in sight.

Things that could be better on the bike itself is more storage and year-around reliability. I have to be able to rely on the bike all year including the dead of winter. As for the storage the bags it has are so stupidly shaped I can't fit most of what I need to carry. My work laptop has to go in a backpack. I shouldn't have to where a backpack all the time when I have luggage.
And I refuse to sink thousands into getting new aftermarket luggage for this bike.

What I'd like is a good commuting bike that's reliable, has more and closer options for getting service and the capabilities for occasional long distance rides. The HS is a fairly decent commuter but I don't dare take her long distance and practicality is low due to limited storage. Plus I'm getting paranoid of the thing developing more expensive electronics faults. This odometer problem forced me to ride with an expired inspection for half a year.
 
May 2017
322
1
Philadelphia USA
I should add the bike brands that are easiest for me to get service for. The big 4 Japanese brands, Moto Guzzi, Aprilia, BMW and HOG.
 
Mar 2013
2,336
4
Naples, IT
I disagree about luggage shape. They hold a full face helmet with my Sena sticking out perfectly. Many a better sport-touring bike will not hold a helmet. I have complaints about the luggage, but the fact they hold a helmet makes up for it. The wind has blown my bike over three times with the luggage attached and they never broke, dented or popped off. I rub cars in Naples traffic constantly and they get some minor scuffs but always stay on for the ride.

I use a very affordable and effective Oxford 30L dry bag on the back saddle. Fastened with some rock straps and so I can detach and sling if I roll heavy to work. I've fit 4 days of work trip (boots, uniforms, going out clothes, gym clothes, etc) with this config and didn't need to wear a backpack. I DO NOT like riding with a backpack. Could have been comfortable with a 50L but, don't use it enough to need more. I have plenty of larger weather proof luggage I could strap on the saddle, if needed.

If reliability is your concern, Honda or BMW would be the smart choice. Aprilia would be an expensive gamble. Harley is almost there for me but the peer pressure of having to go full HOG still dissuades me.

I've been riding in very low 30's and my bike doesn't seam to care. My theory is twin rumble and road vibes just shake things loose. I have certain things that need constant re-torque. Throw some occasional wheelies in there and shit just comes loose.

I wish they would make something between Multi and Hyper. Maybe the Street Fighter platform could work. I'm thinking like a Super Duke with capable touring. And they need to offer all the SP bits as a package. That's where they screwed up the most with the Strada. I would have certainly paid for the upgraded suspension.
 
Jul 2014
1,260
1
California
It took a long time for my friend to convince me to get a VStrom. They are just so ugly. It was intended to be my 'commuter' or 'beater' while the hyper was the 'fun' bike that i could cherish and keep nice and shiny. Well i quickly realized the vstrom was getting ridden 96% of the time and the hyper sat there. Not as fun as the Hyper - not even close. Even with lots of modifications, the power delivery just isn't fun. But it's a better engineered bike, and better all around. Keep in mind this was the 650. I rode a 1000 and didn't like it - too lumpy. I have not ridden the latest 1000 which is what you're talking about.

That said my hyper never had issues starting in cold but I only tested it down to about 40 degrees. You might have a problem with yours.
 
May 2017
322
1
Philadelphia USA
So practicality of the V won you over in the end?
Yeah they are sinfully ugly looking but from a more practical POV does that matter much?
I read some reviews of the 1000 where they mentioned that the powerband is rather nice with full torque from like 3000 up. Apparently it's not thrilling but it's a not without some fun factor. Though in one video the more fun they had the more drastically the fuel economy went down. But that is no surprise.

How did you like the way your V handles?
 
Jul 2014
1,260
1
California
Yeah, it's just so practical. Cheaper, easier to work on. I think it handles great and I've ridden all sorts of bikes. Sure it's not quite as flickable in some scenarios but the tradeoff is great stability and compliance on rough roads.

Take a good close look at the 650 vs the 1000. The 650 is not just a baby version, they are two very different bikes with different characters.

Have you thought about a used S1000XR? They are going for about 12k and combine practicality with sportiness. One of the best value bikes around IMO. And very reliable. Not cheap or simple to maintain though.
 
Mar 2013
2,336
4
Naples, IT
S1000XR...monster. My boss from a few years back had one and he was a little guy, like 5'7" and 150, tops. The bike was so big for him but he loved it. I rode it and it has everything we complain about: quick shift, cruise control, windscreen that works, mad friggin engine. Hard luggage looked good but was a little smaller than ours and I don't think it held a helmet. He had the full tech package which had their thumb operated selector wheel that was mainly for the factory GPS. It was trick but I would definitely be OK without it as long as I could manipulate all the driver aids and settings otherwise.

I've told Kuksul about my ride on it. We swapped bikes on a back country road. I gave it full beans and as I quick shifted into 3rd at 100 mph, the back tire gave a little chirp and the wheel moto-GP floated a couple inches for few seconds. I was very intoxicated with the motor and tech but it did feel big hopping on from the Strada. Big, but very solid and planted. Probably wouldn't point and shoot in urban environment like hours but would mop up on highway or track. Oh, had a center stand, which is my other must have on a touring bike.