Suzuki DL 650 VStrom (2009)

April 30, 2012 -

May 4, 2012- Manhattan Exchange Bar - Schenectady


How I got this bike.

  This bike was acquired through yet another trade in April 2012.   I had listed the 2003 Kawasaki ZZR1200 for sale or trade on Craigslist.  I was able to work out some other trade deals; two for ZRX1200's.  One, a 2001 from Rochester with 30k miles, I turned down in favor of one from Newburgh with less miles and a 2005.  But that deal fell through.  Then there was a third offer of a trade for a 2002 VStrom 1000 with 35k miles in Plattsburgh for a bike with full luggage and extras and seeming to be in fine condition.

  I had arranged to meet mid-way, in Chestertown, when an email offer for this DL650 bike came along.  We made the new deal the same day, and met in a Saugerties parking lot on a damp evening for the trade.  I had a great ride back 60 miles on the Thruway, not caring if it rained because I liked the bike immediately. We met again the next night to trade license plates back and I got the stock seat, original windshield and exhaust system.

  Only 5,100 miles, some extras, and in excellent condition.

  First impressions: Light, comfortable, excellent upper body wind protection.  Reduced wind noise or turbulence with the adjustable windscreen.  Hand protectors work well.  Very tractable power and excellent feel of the motor.  Increased lower leg wind.  Extremely pleasant bike to ride, though it's taller than the ZZR1200 or any street bike I have ever owned.

Americade - June  2012


  This bike has become my go-to bike.  I bought a mounting plate ($81) to put the Givi bag on the rear rack and can now swap bags with the Honda Blackbird.  Ended the season with 7,000 miles.

    This was, again, my bike of choice this season.  I started riding it the last week of March.  New Dunlop tire installed April 26, 2013 with an inspection at 7,250 miles.  Oil changed at 8,487 mi.  Old school throttle lock installed for $34. Speedo shows 9,643 miles by the end of Nov.
   I used this bike for some adventure and off-road jaunts.  My friend Mike recorded the trips on his GPS.  The track files can be viewed in Google Earth to show our route and additional information; speed, elevation, road grade and stopped times.

Tennantville Road - Nov. 1, 2013 North of Sacadaga Reservoir



  This has been the first bike on the road in the spring, and the last one to be ridden in the fall.   Odometer reads 9,650 late April for the first ride (4/22).  Ride to Mennetto's in Clifton Park for Indian motorcycles demo rides on April 25th.

  Oil changed at 11,481 before ride to Manchester Vt. New tire put on the front.

  End of season miles 12,800. Battery out Nov. 14.  Givi Tank guards installed Dec. 26th, 2014.  Simple and sturdy and just like what's on the Vstrom 1000.

Sander's Preserve - Glenville 2012



   Oil changed at 14,175 mi.  (June 13, 2016).  Ridden several times to Partridge Run area in southwest Albany county.  Ridden on both paved and dirt roads to explore  portions of the Long Path that go through it.

Partridge Run Kiosk

Greenville Cemetery



  Runs perfectly from the first day the battery is put in.  At Partridge Run, I find some dirt roads to ride, hike the Long Path and then cool off in a lake afterwards.

  Oil and filter changed (KN138) Oct. 23 at 16,732 miles.  End of season, battery out at 16,780 miles, Nov.7.

Partridge Run - Tubbs Pond Sept. 2017


  Battery in May 3rd.  This bike is particularly pleasant and easy to ride compared to the Blackbird, VRod and Sportster that I'd ridden days earlier.  On a 90 degree Friday ride in Early May I swapped bikes with Dave's Triumph 800 Adventure bike and while that 2012, low-miles bike is a joy to ride on twisty roads, the Vstrom is nearly as perfect for all-around use. 16,780 miles to start the season. 

  17,500 on Aug.23, 2018 after a super ride and hike to Huyck Preserve, southwestern Albany County.  End of season at 17,550 mi. 


  First ride is on April 22nd.  It's the third bike to get fired up so far this season, after the 2004 VRod and the 1989 Honda Hawk.

  Front tire needs replacement but the brakes are fine. (EBC brand FA231 right, FA229 left and FA174 rear). 

Front Tire 110/80 R19

Bridgestone Battle Wing BW 501        $154

Rear Tire 150/70 R17

  • Installed at 17,700 mi. May 29, 2019 (10k miles on old tire)
  • Bridgestone Battle Wing BW 502        $181

  Definite improvement, softer ride @34 psi (rear).

Pepacton Reservoir Aug. 1, 2019


  Aug. 1 - 3:  475 mile ride through the Catskills to Wilkes-Barre PA for the first night.  The ride was all on secondary roads including a stretch of Rt. 97 from Barryville to Port Jervis NY (the Eagle's Nest) on the 2nd day and then on to Monticello.  Back via Java Love Coffee Roasting Co. (White Lake), Neversink Resevoir, Claryville and county rt. 47 (Frost Valley Road)to Big Indian and rt. 30. 

  Oil changed Aug. 7 at 18,830 miles.  Full synthetic 10-40.  (NAPA filter 1359).

  Battery out Nov. 5.  19,152 miles.

  First outing for this bike this season is March 9th.  72 F. Ride to Schoharie and Middleburgh, then back on Huntersland Road and County Rt. 10 and then Albany 353 through Rensellaerville.  110 mile ride.

  June 4th ride (160 mi.) with Tim C to Speculator via 309 (Gloversville), 112 (Benson Road) west to Caroga Lake and then north on Rt. 10 and Rt. 8. Some off-road riding on Elm Lake Road and then Gilmantown Rd. (7.7 mi.) to Wells (20,025 mi.).
Gilmantown Road Wells NY

Elm Lake Road - Speculator June 4, 2020
  Oil and filter changed Oct. 26 at 20,875 miles.  NAPA filter 1359, semi-synthetic 20-50, 2,300 cc.

  Battery out Nov.13th. 20,976 miles. (~1,550 miles for the year).

   Battery in on April 10th for the first ride.  Chain adjusted Aug. 16th at 22,000 mi.

   A Garmin Zumo 350 LM GPS purchased for this bike.  It's very similar to the the model on the Vstrom 1000.  It has less features than the 390 LM but I won't have to swap units between bikes since this comes with another mounting kit.

   Battery out at 22,429 mi.  (1,500 mi. for the year).

  Battery in at 22,429 mi.  April 22nd. 

  Oil and filter (20-50 KN138) changed May 24th, 23,058 mi.  2400 cc. Non-synthetic.

Youngs Road - Aug. 2022


   First ride is April 9.

   Oil and filter changed Aug. 20 24,470 mi.  20-50 KN 138 (non-synthetic)

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Edited Aug. 22, 2023