Author Topic: 2018 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 - First impressions  (Read 246 times)

Online Langers

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2018 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 - First impressions
« on: August 27, 2020, 09:32:46 PM »
Julie and I rode to Border Village early August on the Honda and it was a great ride, doing Barunga Gap, staying at the Iron Knob pub, chatting with fellow m/c owners (but then caravan travellers) at Kimba, checking out Great Aus. Bight pullovers and viewing platforms to see heaps of whales, catching up with Glen and his mate at Border Village, staying at Fowlers Bay (more on that later), Elliston and their delicious KG whiting, the Birdsview highway to Lock, the brilliant road from Cleve to Mangalo and then onto Kimba, the Arid Lands Botanic Park at Pt Augusta, Horrocks Pass to Wilmington and then Germain Gorge and onto home. Great weather all the way, just missing very ordinary weather by about 12 hours.

This long intro is setting the scene for my decision to purchase a motorcycle that is more comfortable on dirt than the ST - and that wouldn't be hard - even the most ardent lover of ST1300's would have to agree, dirt is not their forte.

The road into Fowler's Bay is 10km bitumen and 13km very well maintained dirt. Going over the ST that night at Fowler's Bay indicated both fork seals had started weeping (bugger). The bike was skittish on the road and it was taken at very responsible speeds. Anyway, we got there, we got home and now I have some work to do and it's not the ST's fault, it wasn't built to be a chook chaser.

Enter the 2018 V-Strom 1000. I would have selected the 650 excepting Julie's keenness to go exploring across this wide brown land now that we are both retired and my weight loss goals are yet to be achieved.

What have I learnt so far?

* Full fairing bikes like the ST are so much warmer on the legs on these cooler days;
* The only plus for going back to chain drive is you have something to do on a cold wet winter's day;
* The improved power/weight ratio is noticeable and a bit of fun in the tight twistys of the Adelaide Hills
* Honda doesn't make the most uncomfortable motorcycle seat known to man;
* The Honda MCL peg extensions, if swapped left to right and vice versa, work very well on the V-Strom;
* The V-Strom gets better and better each time I take it out (that's a given with any new bike I suppose).

The Honda will stay - I took it for a spin yesterday and was stunned by the smooth power, comfort and rideability - I'm just amazed how much I have taken for granted just how good the Honda ST1300 is as a long distance touring machine.

 

 
« Last Edit: August 27, 2020, 09:35:56 PM by Langers »
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Offline Shiney

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Re: 2018 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 - First impressions
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2020, 07:07:41 AM »
 Awesome write up mate, thank you for the review, it is very informative.

 I always enjoy reading motorcycle comparisons from real riders not just people that ride a bike for a weekend.

Cheers
Shiney

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Re: 2018 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 - First impressions
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2020, 07:40:47 AM »
Hmmmm.....   Cold, uncomfortable seat, and back to cleaning a chain   vs   improved performance in the dirt.     Is Strom a keeper?   :think1
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Online Langers

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Re: 2018 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 - First impressions
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2020, 08:29:48 AM »
Cold is only a state of dress. If I'd worn the Dri-Riders or Motodry pants rather than jeans with kevlar I doubt I would have commented on the cold.
Uncomfortable seat - like many on this forum I too could purchase expensive modifications or replacements. At this stage an Airhawk is fine.
I can live with a chain and all that goes with it (which in my case includes a beer whilst cleaning), which isn't as much as it used to be in my younger days due to improved chain design and manufacturing.
There have been many unsealed roads I havent been prepared to explore on the ST over the years, so yes, at this stage the Strom is a keeper.
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Re: 2018 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 - First impressions
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2020, 08:43:23 AM »
Cold is only a state of dress. If I'd worn the Dri-Riders or Motodry pants rather than jeans with kevlar I doubt I would have commented on the cold.
Uncomfortable seat - like many on this forum I too could purchase expensive modifications or replacements. At this stage an Airhawk is fine.
I can live with a chain and all that goes with it (which in my case includes a beer whilst cleaning), which isn't as much as it used to be in my younger days due to improved chain design and manufacturing.
There have been many unsealed roads I havent been prepared to explore on the ST over the years, so yes, at this stage the Strom is a keeper.

Excellent !!   ++
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Re: 2018 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 - First impressions
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2020, 08:43:57 AM »
Hmmmm.....   Cold, uncomfortable seat, and back to cleaning a chain   vs   improved performance in the dirt.     Is Strom a keeper?   :think1

Is the beemer shaft, belt or chain driven?  I spray my chain every second friday afternoon or after a day of rain and left it settle overnight.  Remembering to do it is harder than actually doing it.

Many Versys forums mention the comfortableness of the stock seat but I personally have never noticed it.

I'll be the first to put my hand up and say I have never ridden an ST but I am happy with what I have.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

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Re: 2018 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 - First impressions
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2020, 08:47:50 AM »
Cold is only a state of dress. If I'd worn the Dri-Riders or Motodry pants rather than jeans with kevlar I doubt I would have commented on the cold.

I bought some Motordry winter gear before BR17.  Three layers was way to hot even in the middle of winter and I took a layer out.  It has never gone back in.


There have been many unsealed roads I havent been prepared to explore on the ST over the years, so yes, at this stage the Strom is a keeper.

My personal experience is a lot of unsealed roads I have travelled have been smoother than sealed ones.  Not all, but you never know if you don't go.

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Re: 2018 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 - First impressions
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2020, 08:55:46 AM »
The beemer is shaft drive. Having ridden Petes Beemer, I'd have to say it is pretty close to my vision of the ultimate long distance tourer. Being a boxer engine it is not as smooth as the ST but you'd  be hard pressed to find a smoother more balanced engine than Hondas V4. The cruise control, tpms, and all the other fruit that goes into the modern Beemer makes it an awesome beast.  But there in lies the rub. Price for all this modern technology makes the bike unattainable for many and the electronics makes it unservicable for all but a few - particularly on the road. But that is an issue for just about every new bike on the market today.
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Re: 2018 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 - First impressions
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2020, 08:58:17 AM »

Is the beemer shaft, belt or chain driven?

The Beemer is a shaft drive.  :clap   
My Yammie XJR1300 was chain drive, and I must say it was a pretty simple process to clean the chain.   I'd put it on te centrestand and run the chain through a rag soaked in kero,  dry it with a clean rag, and finally spray the inside surface of the chain with chain oil.    I seem to remember that I was getting around 40k from a chain and sprocket set.
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Re: 2018 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 - First impressions
« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2020, 09:47:09 AM »
I have considered the Vstrom as a possible ST replacement and thought a Scott Oiler would be a handy add on. As Bodø says warmth is just a matter of layers.
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Re: 2018 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 - First impressions
« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2020, 10:38:24 AM »
I will second the Scott oiler, I fitted one to my ZZR1100, it made the chain last much longer, and it was easier to clean, just wipe off the oil and grime.
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Re: 2018 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 - First impressions
« Reply #11 on: August 30, 2020, 08:55:28 PM »
Like many, I'm on the search for the eventual replacement for my aging ST. So far, nothing comes close in the sub-$20k price range. I liked the Yamaha MT09 Tracer GT except for the stock screen and seat. Yamaha offers an optional Touring Screen and a 'comfort' seat, which just says to me that the the standard seat and screen are 'sub-standard', and I concur. After test riding a few potential replacement contenders, 650 Verysys and 650 V Strom included, when I ride away on my 15 year old ST, I think I will stay with it until I loose confidence in my ability to hold her up while negotiating slow maneuver parking. I'm not really a LD rider but I do love the comfort of the ST for full day rides when I do have the pleasure of getting out. I'm sure 'necessity' will see me saying "Farewell" to my much loved ST1300 for a much lesser motorcycle in the future. 
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Re: 2018 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 - First impressions
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2020, 11:30:33 PM »
The Yamaha MT09 Tracer GT was my original 1st choice but there were few if any 2nd hand bikes out there as they have only recently come onto the market. At around $20K ride away new and the issues you mention Skip, the 2018 V-Strom 1000 was a savings I just couldn't walk away from. I suspect I'll regret lack of cruise control but if it becomes an issue there is always MC Cruise.
Throttling off and resultant instant engine braking requires some getting used to (particularly going into and coming out of corners and tootling around town). The ST does it but not to the degree of the V-Strom. Reading up on it, it seems a Booster Plug gives good results and is a fair savings on a Power Commander.
I sold the MT03 yesterday and figured I now had a nice bank of funds to seriously start farkling. Sadly the purchaser channeled the funds into Julies account and the likelihood of them being released for good and honourable farkling is very remote.

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Re: 2018 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 - First impressions
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2020, 11:33:19 PM »
If I had to buy an Adventure style bike, I reckon one of these would be right near the top of my list!
Always been a fan of V Twins & shaft drive.
Sue probably wouldn't approve though...



If I was going for something more road orientated, perhaps A Yammy FJR1300?
Not a huge fan of inline 4's but other than that it ticks most of the boxes...

 

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Re: 2018 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 - First impressions
« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2020, 11:41:34 PM »
I believe Moto Guzzi has been making electricians of motorcyclists since 1929  :grin The Italians make beautiful bikes, however they do have a reputation for focusing more on form than function.
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Re: 2018 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 - First impressions
« Reply #15 on: August 31, 2020, 12:28:25 AM »
I know where you're coming from but I think things have changed a bit since the old days, Mark!  :thumbs
Even I used to joke about Italian Electrics back in the day...lol.

Apparently pommy bikes don't even leak oil everywhere these days...wonders will never cease! :whistle

 

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Re: 2018 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 - First impressions
« Reply #16 on: August 31, 2020, 11:37:33 AM »
My mate with his Moto Guzzi Norge would probably disagree with this statement "I think things have changed a bit since the old days"

In this instance, the bike had to be flat topped home due to an electrical gremlin deep in its workings. It was not uncommon to be sitting on the side of the road while Rob had the seat off and was head down tweaking. He now has a Beemer R1200RT (and is having strife with the electronic suspension).

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Re: 2018 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 - First impressions
« Reply #17 on: August 31, 2020, 01:23:12 PM »
Cheers, Mark... :beer

I had a mate that wouldn't touch a Honda due to the issues with the VF V4's way back in the early 80's! :||||
Sometimes you just have to let things go...lol.

I guess it doesn't matter what the brand of bike, issues do happen...you only have to have a look at the list of recalls: https://tinyurl.com/y54g6se7 to see that...

Regarding the V85T Guzzi, I guess time will tell if it has more than it's fair share of "gremlins" compared to other bikes.
I know looks are very subjective, but I reckon the Guzzi is a bloody good looking bike compared to most other adventure bikes out there.

Anyways, at this stage I'd still consider one if I was in the market...and, of course, I had the cash...lol. :grin
 

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Re: 2018 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 - First impressions
« Reply #18 on: August 31, 2020, 01:34:45 PM »
Cheers, Mark... :beer

I had a mate that wouldn't touch a Honda due to the issues with the VF V4's way back in the early 80's! :||||
Sometimes you just have to let things go...lol.

I guess it doesn't matter what the brand of bike, issues do happen...you only have to have a look at the list of recalls: https://tinyurl.com/y54g6se7 to see that...

Regarding the V85T Guzzi, I guess time will tell if it has more than it's fair share of "gremlins" compared to other bikes.
I know looks are very subjective, but I reckon the Guzzi is a bloody good looking bike compared to most other adventure bikes out there.

Anyways, at this stage I'd still consider one if I was in the market...and, of course, I had the cash...lol. :grin

I believe Mr Honda designed the CX500EC & 650cc after visiting the MotoGuzzi factory in Italy?
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Re: 2018 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 - First impressions
« Reply #19 on: August 31, 2020, 02:29:24 PM »
I guess that may very well be true... :think1
Regardless, the CX engine certainly wasn't just a Guzzi clone...
 

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Re: 2018 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 - First impressions
« Reply #20 on: August 31, 2020, 02:37:58 PM »
Here's a review of the Suzuki V-Strom 1050 that was just posted up on Motorbike Writer... :thumbsup

https://motorbikewriter.com/is-the-suzuki-v-strom-1050xt-the-best-sport-tourer-around/
 

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Re: 2018 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 - First impressions
« Reply #21 on: August 31, 2020, 04:18:12 PM »
Don't get me wrong, Moto Guzzi is an iconic marque and I'd dearly love to own one. I have another mate who owns a Stelvio 1200 and that bike is a weapon, with its aftermarket exhaust it has a bark that makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

I lust after an MV Augusta Turismo Veloce 800 Lusso. Sadly it's either another lifetime or the lottery before I'll see one in the shed.
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Re: 2018 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 - First impressions
« Reply #22 on: August 31, 2020, 04:54:56 PM »
Here's a review of the Suzuki V-Strom 1050 that was just posted up on Motorbike Writer... :thumbsup

https://motorbikewriter.com/is-the-suzuki-v-strom-1050xt-the-best-sport-tourer-around/

I just seen one at Elite motorcycles Toowoomba
Looks very impressive
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Re: 2018 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 - First impressions
« Reply #23 on: September 01, 2020, 09:43:52 PM »
For those with chain driven bikes, you may find this of interest... :think1

https://www.mcnews.com.au/bmw-making-big-claims-for-new-maintenance-free-chain/
 
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