NEALSMO
NEALSMO UberDork
10/31/17 1:21 p.m.

Can partially blame GRM, but really my Dad and brother have been avid riders all my life.  Rode motocross for about 17 years but gave it up due to multiple injuries.  Didn't get too interested in street riding because of the danger of other idiots on the road and to be honest, SWMBO wouldn't get on board either.  Flash forward a decade later and decided i should at least have my MC license because I occasionally hop on a bike when my family gets a new toy and wanted to be legal.

 

Got my permit last September and License this past March.  Luckily my dad and brother have multiple bikes so I was able to join them on rides to get some seat time.  Usually it meant I was tagging behind their street bikes while I was riding a DRZ400 or KLR650.  Both capable and fun bikes, but those motors get left behind when riding with a Concourse 1400, FJ09, or Aprilia Tuono. Got the itch.  Got approval from wifey.  Now it's time to shopdevil

 

After seeing the thread on here about the TDM850 I went straight to craigslist and found one locally.  I like the upright position and practical use of ADV bikes, so figured it was cheap way to get a bike that was comfortable.  Unfortunately the local example was a rodent and not worth buying.  My dad had a V-Strom DL1000 years ago and liked it, was just too tall for him so he sold it.  Multiple mentions on here about the Stroms also peaked my interest.  Review after review had high regards for them.  The "swiss army knife" of bikes was the consensus.  So the hunt began.

 

Couple weeks ago I found this bike about 80 miles away.  2005 V-Strom DL650, or Wee-Strom as they are affectionately known. 42,700 miles on the odo. Had most of the important farkles already installed-center stand, crash bars, skid plate, windscreen, and fork brace.

 

$2500 later it was loaded in my truck and heading home.

 

Time for some detailing, adjusting, and upgrades.

The rear fender had been cut, which I don't mind, but no attempt was made to have a working license light.  Nothing $7 LEDs from amazon can't fix.

         

 

Now the front needs some more lighting...

 

$20 lights and an $8 relay/harness kit from amazon later

I'm more interested in being seen, than seeing more, but LEDs improve both.  The bright white light is WAY more noticeable in mirrors and it makes street signs pop at night.

 

Along the lines of being seen and also a cool detail IMHO- reflective wheel decals

 

Unfortunately one of the previous owners cut the seat down and lowered the front forks.  Forks are an easy fix.

 

Loosen a few bolts and done

 

Luckily my dad still has his Corbin seat from his 1000, so that will be installed shortly to give my knees some more room while riding.  Have no problem going flat foot as is (5'11" with 32" inseam), so I can handle a little more height.

 

First real ride last weekend to Palomar Mountain here in San Diego County.  Met up with my dad and brother (2016 FJ-09 and 2007 Aprilia Factory Tuono) at the neighborhood restaurant and pie shop in Santa Ysabel before heading to the mountain.  This is THE place to ride around here, so it gets a bit crowded at times. Unfortunately the main road on Palomar is pretty berkeleyed, so can't get too aggressive on the corners.  Did find the footpegs on a few corners, so ADV bikes can hustle in the twisties too.

Noticed the front brakes went from wooden to grabby intermittently during the ride.  That got a little scary a few times diving in to corners.  Was just a simple disassembly, cleaning, and lubing of the front brake lever. Went ahead and cleaned and lubed front calipers anf flushed the fluid for good measure too.

 

Just like every other used toy I have a long list of wants and needs.  My poor racecar just got pushed back on the priority and interest list some more, but she'll be OK on the backburner for a while.  She's taken enough of my time and money over the years to not get jealous.

 

 

Nick Comstock
Nick Comstock MegaDork
10/31/17 1:40 p.m.

Looks like a good deal to me. I almost bought a fully farkled wee prior to riding my FJ-09. It fit me like a glove, the most comfortable riding position I have found. Ultimately the power of the fj was too alluring and it won out. I certainly would have been happy with the wee though.

NEALSMO
NEALSMO UberDork
10/31/17 1:47 p.m.

In reply to Nick Comstock :

Rode an FJ last year.  That's an amazing bike for sure. Impressive what they can get out of an 850 triple.

  Just out of my budget, plus I figured I would keep the power down for my first bike.

NEALSMO
NEALSMO UberDork
10/31/17 1:49 p.m.

Of course as I was writing the original post I got a text from my dad.  Friend of his that he just rode with on Sunday was killed last night.  DUI driver ran a red arrow and plowed him down.

 

Damnitsad

81cpcamaro
81cpcamaro Dork
10/31/17 2:16 p.m.

Nice bike you found, good price too. I too am considering a V-strom 650 in addition to my 750 Katana. Katana is fun but not as comfortable on long rides, shoulders and hands bother me too much. Plus it would allow me to explore dirt roads and other areas, places the Katana has no business going.

Edit: Sorry to hear about the friend. Sucks that it happened. Stuff like that worries me when I am riding, you just never know what can happen.

Bobcougarzillameister
Bobcougarzillameister MegaDork
10/31/17 3:06 p.m.
NEALSMO said:

In reply to Nick Comstock :

Rode an FJ last year.  That's an amazing bike for sure. Impressive what they can get out of an 850 triple.

  Just out of my budget, plus I figured I would keep the power down for my first bike.

I would have preferred the FJ over my FZ but pricing was too good for mine. So, if you think the FJ is awesome, imagine what it's like with 80 less lbs

Nice. The Wee has a fantastic reputation for jack-of-all-trades riding. It vastly outsells the 1000 because it's 90% of the function without all the weight so you bought the right one ;)

I play silly tag games with a guy here in PA that over 100k on his Wee with only maintenance and a few niggling little issues. The clutch went once I think. They must be pretty stout because he rides it like he is trying to kill it at all times. Claims when it goes he will buy another.

Sorry to hear about your dad's friend. That sucks.

One comment on your aux lights - they make it so oncoming cars can't see your turn signals. Maybe rig them to go out or blink along when the blinker comes on.

Ride well, shiny side up and all that :)

 

 

 

 

 

wheelsmithy
wheelsmithy Dork
10/31/17 7:28 p.m.

I had the same bike. Same color, year, etc. I loved it, but went down a rabbit hole of project bikes. Excellent bike if you just want to RIDE. Also, you stole that. They hold value incredibly well.

 

RIP to your friend. Hell of a way to go too soon.

 

ddavidv
ddavidv PowerDork
11/1/17 6:06 a.m.

I had a Wee the same color. Nice smooth machine, very capable. I never liked the styling though and didn't like how portly it felt on gravel (not a concern if you don't ride gravel). Good all-round machine and plenty of power for a 650.

I've since moved on to a Tiger 800. More power, better looks, more character and not as ponderous-feeling on dirt.

So many choices out there its hard to stick with just one.

Nick Comstock
Nick Comstock MegaDork
11/1/17 9:12 a.m.

Everybody has to make their own decision on wether it's worth the risk. I've made my peace with my own mortality long ago. I will not live in fear of dying. 

My condolences on your loss.

Bobcougarzillameister
Bobcougarzillameister MegaDork
11/1/17 9:58 a.m.
Nick Comstock said:

Everybody has to make their own decision on wether it's worth the risk. I've made my peace with my own mortality long ago. I will not live in fear of dying. 

My condolences on your loss.

This. 

NEALSMO
NEALSMO UberDork
11/1/17 10:25 a.m.

In reply to ddavidv :

I would love a Tiger or BMW GS.  Just riding the Strom on the street tells me it isn't very capable on the dirt.  I mainly like it for the ADV riding position for comfort, but I do plan on checking out some well groomed fire roads just because it can.

 

Most likely I will replace the 90/10 tires for touring tires when needed.  I still have access to the KLR650 or DRZ400 if I want to do some off roading nearby.

ddavidv
ddavidv PowerDork
11/2/17 6:51 a.m.

BMW and Triumph are worlds apart. I did not gravitate to Triumphs out of some blind loyalty to the crown. In fact, I did not like an older 955i Tiger when I went shopping for what became the Wee Strom purchase.

But I've tried multiple BMWs and haven't cared for a single one. Completely different character. Everyone's tastes are different and the popularity of them certainly doesn't mean I'm right in my disdain for them. But you really have to try before you buy when its other-than-Japanese.

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