650 Vstrom; my humble opinion.

Hope this works. Video is to follow. Great Sunday afternoon. Sun, bike, boobs...whoops, meant to say wife! Wandered into beautiful Vancouver BC to Cycle BC to pick up the 2012 650 VStrom for a couple hours of entertainment. I don't ride 2 up often as Crazy Cat is more of a driver than a rider but it was nice to have her along as the extra weight, and might I add minimal weight,(28 years of wedded bliss has improved my english) which would help test this little steed just a 'wee' more. Never been on a Strom of any size and have read many good things about them. I will have some two wheeled wonder in the yard this spring and what better way to test out the field than renting.

The bike feels a lot bigger than it's 650 cc's but certainly not cumbersome. I was surprised by this bike through out the day. It felt a lot like a large dirt bike. I did find the seating position somewhat tight for my 6' frame. Did two 45 minute rides and nothing fell asleep but I would immediately put on adjustable foot pegs and highway pegs on the crash bars. Had to stretch to reach the handlebars so a short riser system would also be on the menu. Seating would be great for a shorter person but you'll need arms like an orangutan! Having said that the seat was much softer than my last butt cradler. Why do so many good motorcycles come with seats of iron? Not so with this little girl and it was appreciated. A small amount of vibration from the handlebars so better add new and improved grips to my cart. I have spent the last 3 seasons on an 1100 Shadow Tourer, taking it as far as Las Vegas and this was night to day. The Shadow had the best handle bar vibration I have ever experienced. At 110 kmh there was none. Yah, so this mild buzzing although not a game changer, it would garner my attention. Lovely clutch, transmission and engine. It was very responsive and would pull away from my old cruiser from zero to way up there. Seemed to be as good on fuel as most of you have stated. I was totally impressed with how the wee one pulled. At 4500 rpm we were doing 140 kmh,(80+ mph) and that's no where near the 10,000 rpm red line. I really had a lot of fun on this machine and it felt nimble yet with more than adequate power and enough weight to keep your tires pasted to the tarmac. Wind buffeting was light but I am spoiled somewhat coming from living behind a large windshield. Again, present but not a deal breaker.

They put the Givi luggage on for me but luggage to me is like buying underwear. Get the right color and something that fits your intentions. Overall, I absolutely put this bike at the top of my short list. Sure I would like to try the GS's and maybe the 1000 Vstrom. The next bike I try will have to be some kind of a phenom as this 650 Vstrom will be hard to beat in every category, especially the wallet, and it's fun. I loved getting on the the bike and within minutes I was whooping it up and having a good time. And isn't that what it's really all about?