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Old 13th August 2019, 13:31   #31
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Default Suzuki V-Strom 650XT : Adventure bike done just right

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Originally Posted by ranjitnair77 View Post

The biggest factor is the way the engine cylinder heads are positioned. The Tiger's cylinders are positioned way up there, right under the tank which makes it top heavy and gives the feeling of the bike tipping over at standstill or slow speeds and off-road situations, especially for shorter riders. The V-Strom's cylinder heads are positioned significantly lower in comparison which lowers the center of mass and makes it feel so much lighter.

You are absolutely right there. It is the top heaviness of the tiger that makes it a bit overwhelming at standstill. Speaking of which you should check out the KTM 790 adventure video by mototrek. Amazing bike and complete mid segment killer. They have lowered the CG and weight by lowering the fuel tank significantly. Does not look so great but apparently makes the bike feel super light.
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Old 13th August 2019, 13:39   #32
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Default Re: Suzuki V-Strom 650XT : Adventure bike done just right

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You are absolutely right there. It is the top heaviness of the tiger that makes it a bit overwhelming at standstill. Speaking of which you should check out the KTM 790 adventure video by mototrek. Amazing bike and complete mid segment killer. They have lowered the CG and weight by lowering the fuel tank significantly. Does not look so great but apparently makes the bike feel super light.
I absolutely love the way it looks... Way way over anything else sold on the market today. Yes, i am loaded on vitamin C not so much on M.

If that bike comes here at about 11 or 12, say a rational good bye to all the other bikes in that spectrum in india.

That said, my biggest issue with such big bikes has been the weight, and an unnecessary amount of power that atleast i only used about 35-40% of on average over a few years. And ofcourse the price of body parts if you try and get too adventurous.

Congrats ranjith, the vstrom would have been my choice as well three years back.
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Old 13th August 2019, 14:20   #33
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Default Re: Suzuki V-Strom 650XT : Adventure bike done just right

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Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post
Ranjit, out of curiosity, was there any reason as to why you didnt consider the Multistrada 950 / 1200 / 1260? I hear it can take you to the moon and back without worry. Well, you might have to worry about the desmo service that might make you bankrupt but other than that it seems to be a fantastic GS / Tiger challenger.
I felt that the 1260, like the Tiger Explorer, was just way too big and expensive for me. Plus I wanted a motorcycle that I could use as much as possible, not just for touring. Amazing machine but not for a guy of my size and needs.

I felt that the Tiger and the 950 were in the same segment. I have very good friends who have owned Tigers for a while now and I had access to a lot of great feedback on long term ownership. Plus I borrowed one for a month to try out. I knew exactly what owning a Tiger entailed.

Ducati was a bit of an unknown quantity. I had heard stories (anecdotal, not factual) about the expensive desmo service. And finally, Ducati did not give me a test drive. I visited the showroom and they wouldn't let me try any bike, let alone the 950. They had my number and I did follow up. I do get the occasional promotional message from them though

So it came down to the V-Strom and the Tiger 800.
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Old 13th August 2019, 16:55   #34
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Default Re: Suzuki V-Strom 650XT : Adventure bike done just right

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Originally Posted by ranjitnair77 View Post
Ducati was a bit of an unknown quantity. I had heard stories (anecdotal, not factual) about the expensive desmo service. And finally, Ducati did not give me a test drive. I visited the showroom and they wouldn't let me try any bike, let alone the 950. They had my number and I did follow up. I do get the occasional promotional message from them though
This is surprising! I had test-ridden the Multi 1260S last year.

The response from Ducati, Pune was splendid. They got the bike to my home at Kothrud and we went for a 40 km test-ride on the NH48 + city commute (Baner to Kothrud). The only negative was that the SA was riding pillion on that massive beast which resulted in added weight on a bike which I was riding for the first time.

However, it was an amazing experience to ride the machine and realize that it wasn't the right bike for my requirement.

As far as city riding goes, it's not built for that. The heat was unbearable in B2B traffic at signals. Also I didn't have any riding gear then, so was wearing jeans, which resulted into a full blast of the engine-heat. The engine was also noticeably gruff/vibrated a lot in Low power mode and wasn't as silky as the VStrom's. This isn't an apple-to-apple comparison though. Being a litre-class engine I could sense that it wasn't happy going slow (this observation was at 60-70 kph).

PS: the 1260S (and the 2019 950) both have an electronically adjustable rear suspension that reduces the pre-load with the touch of a button, which in-turn lowers the seat. It's a magical feature. My feet gave more love to the earth on the 1260S than they could do on the VStrom 650. Which is saying a lot about how versatile the 1260S is. I love the Multi 1260S and hope to bring one home some day when I'm done with Inline-4's.
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Old 13th August 2019, 20:01   #35
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Default Re: Suzuki V-Strom 650XT : Adventure bike done just right

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Originally Posted by neil.jericho View Post
Ranjit, out of curiosity, was there any reason as to why you didnt consider the Multistrada 950 / 1200 / 1260? I hear it can take you to the moon and back without worry. Well, you might have to worry about the desmo service that might make you bankrupt but other than that it seems to be a fantastic GS / Tiger challenger.
Ofcourse it can take you to the moon and back .... and in quite some style as well

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Originally Posted by ranjitnair77 View Post
And finally, Ducati did not give me a test drive. I visited the showroom and they wouldn't let me try any bike, let alone the 950.
That's really shocking. VST Ducati here in Bangalore gave a couple of my friends 100km+ test rides on the highway for the 1260S - without any riding pillion as well. SA was following on a 950 - and there were no speed restrictions or anything.

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Originally Posted by GoBlue View Post
As far as city riding goes, it's not built for that. The heat was unbearable in B2B traffic at signals. Also I didn't have any riding gear then, so was wearing jeans, which resulted into a full blast of the engine-heat. The engine was also noticeably gruff/vibrated a lot in Low power mode and wasn't as silky as the VStrom's. This isn't an apple-to-apple comparison though. Being a litre-class engine I could sense that it wasn't happy going slow (this observation was at 60-70 kph).
Well said - 1260S is not a city bike. The engine is quite gruff and vibey at low rpms and you feel the heat :-) Once you cross 2.5k rpm though - its another story - you have to be really in control of your right wrist to not do crazy speeds.
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Old 13th August 2019, 22:26   #36
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Default Re: Suzuki V-Strom 650XT : Adventure bike done just right

Congratulations!

Your review reminded me of the Versys in many ways - and I can totally relate to everything you say - the VStrom being a better bike in many ways compared to the now outdated Versys. Wish you a long happy ownership.

@Sukiwa: Looks like you are the powerhouse behind many brilliant ownership reports! Hats off!
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Old 14th August 2019, 16:15   #37
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Default Re: Suzuki V-Strom 650XT : Adventure bike done just right

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@Sukiwa: Looks like you are the powerhouse behind many brilliant ownership reports! Hats off!
Yes he is. Here's Sukiwa taking that perfect shot. Wet conditions, mud, crows and stray dogs be damned.

Suzuki V-Strom 650XT : Adventure bike done just right-img_5769.jpg
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