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2008 Suzuki V-Strom DL650

Engine 645cc V-Twin, four-stroke, water cooled, fuel-injected, DOHC, 66 hp
Transmission 6-speed, chain drive
Starting Electric
Fuel Capacity 5.8 gallons
Brakes Disc, Dual front and single back
Weight 480 lbs
Color Flat black
Miles 55600 (as of March 2016)
Tires Michelin Pilot Road 4

Modifications
Rox Riser, Pro Taper handlebar, Heated grips (brand unknown), Grip Puppies, Madstad adjustable windscreen bracket, Givi crashbars, Givi windscreen, Givi topcase, K&N air filter, Kaoko throttle lock, Steel skid plate, Two PowerLet outlets, Signal Dynamics Back Off brake light module (wigwag pattern)

My Thoughts On The Bike

The V-Strom is an adventure touring motorcycle that handles well and is very inexpensive to own. I bought mine used in October 2009 with 19,100 miles on it. It's what I would call a very neutral-feeling bike. By that I mean it doesn't have rip-your-ears-off horsepower to scare you when riding it, yet it handles well in the corners, and in general is a very forgiving platform. With good tires (like the Michelins I run) I can keep up with all but the most aggressive rider. If and when I do a suspension upgrade, the bike's handling will improve enough that my ability to hang with fast people in the corners will be better than it is now. Not that I race the bike, mind you, but it has decent enough horsepower to move it along smartly. It has a very good torque curve and that low end makes the bike very forgiving at low rpms.

When I bought the bike, there was a lot of people that labeled the bike a "dualsport". I thought of it that way too just the way it looks and is set up. Having taken the bike to Death Valley, I think I can safely say that while the bike is capable of being taken to rough places, I wouldn't classify it as a dualsport. You could stretch the description a bit by saying it's an adventure touring bike and that's how I describe it. A bike that is a 90/10 street/dirt mix. You can read my conclusions from that trip here.

I toured with the bike (see Bike Trips) a lot and loading it up with luggage doesn't mess too much with the bike's handling. I used Nelson-Rigg saddlebags - they hold a lot and have covers to protect from water when raining. I also used a roll-top waterproof bag made by Wolfman Luggage which has been one of the best purchases I've made. I try and leave the topcase mostly empty so it's available during the day to lock stuff away, shed a piece of clothing, store cameras, etc.


Current Motorcycles

Triumph Tiger 1050

Yamaha WR250R


Tom Clark
I'm Chief Technical Overlord for Behind The Gavel, living in Spokane, Washington. I also do a little development work on the side. And I love riding my bike all over the country with my friends.

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