I like to visit motorcycle dealerships and kick tires. What is out there that catches my eye? Is there a possible new and/or different bike in my future?
Not many bikes really catch my eye. I guess I am looking for something that fits my personality and riding style. That’s why I happened upon the Suzuki V-Strom 650 back in 2007. With it, I learned that “less is more.” It is a very capable bike, and I should know, I have owned three V-Strom 650s. A 2008, 2015 and my current ride, a 2017.
I have put nearly 100,000 miles on these three bikes and have ridden to all 48 states on the 2008 and 2015. Why did I buy the second and then the third? I really like this bike. It is smooth, economical, can do it all, easy on the maintenance, and great MPG. I cannot imagine the next generation being any better than the one I have now, but that has been the case for each.
Two Kawasaki KLRs caught my eye. They are great dual sport bikes, but not like the V-Strom. I owned a Suzuki SV 650 for a while. It was a great little roadster, but it was not a V-Strom. Even the V-Strom 1000 … a V-Strom itself … is not like the little 650.
I have swapped bikes with friends for short rides. I always want my V-Strom back. I have test rode several Moto Guzzis. I think the Guzzi is pure Italian sexy. But, I did not like the Guzzis enough to buy one. The V9 Roamer has come the closest, and may still be that one bike. I have come to believe that I am more in love with the idea of a Moto Guzzi than actually owning one.
I’ve tested Triumphs, but not interested. The new Kawasaki W-800 now coming to the USA really caught my interest, but … it’s not a V-Strom. Nope to Harley-Davidson and BMW. No Honda has caught my eye. The little Italian bike manufacturer, SWM, looks very interesting with that 600cc dual sport. KTMs are too tall, but the new 390 Adventure looks very interesting. But ….
And so it goes. Nothing can compare to the V-Strom 650, which is probably why it is so popular, and why former owners of the 650 say that is the one bike they wish they still had.
And that, my friends, is the one thing I dislike about the V-Strom 650. It is such a great bike, nothing compares to it. Owning one keeps you from finding another bike that is as good or better. Nothing compares. Perhaps I should buy a second 650 so that I can have a spare.
See you on the highway.