We welcome to our shed a Suzuki DL1000 V Strom. Over the years I have had many motorbikes. I’m not loyal to only one brand, I’ll ride any decent bike, and some not so decent. My first bike was a 125 Honda, it was old even when I got it, but on the positive side, it was a bike. I had a series of off road bikes, then the big day came when I would have a real road bike. This was an 850 Norton Commando. This Norton taught me many things about life on a motorcycle. The most important being that when the Norton stops leaking oil, the leaks are not fixed, the damn thing has just run out of oil.
So, we decided that it was time for the next bike to move into our shed. Naturally we would have loved to have been able to buy a new Harley Davidson Road King, but we just simply can’t afford that. I’ve even taken a few for test rides (I’m a confirmed lover of the things), and decided that it is definitely the bike we want if we ever win the lottery. So, it was time to sit down and decide what type of bike was going to be our next purchase, as it had to meet some very specific needs.
Firstly, it had to be in the larger bike class, as we wanted something solid and dependable, it was going to be traveling reasonable distances each day, on a lot of high speed highway. As it is to be used in all weather conditions we really wanted a bike that was fitted with either a top box, panniers, or both. For the same reason we also wanted a bike with some type of screen or small fairing. Beth is currently working at Yes Please Filipino Restaurant at Woolloongabba. It is approximately 38 Kilometers from our home to the restaurant, a round trip of 76 Kilometers most evenings when I pick her up from work. The Bike is also to be used to get me to and from work, which is a round trip of about 25 Kilometers. As you can see, we are traveling just over 100 Kilometers each day in all types of weather conditions, just to get the two of us to work each day.
The search began. We were checking out bikes at dealerships, looking at them to see which types fitted our requirements. We were then checking out reviews online, and comparing them all with some of the bikes that were for sale online. From all our research we developed a short list of potential models that would fit our needs. We just had to find one for sale that was at least partially fitted with some or all of the accessories that we were wanting. As it turned out, I went to a dealership to have a look at a bike that I found online only to learn that it had been sold prior to my arrival at the dealership. This DL1000 V Strom was literally parked next to the bike that I had intended on testing. I had a good look at it and realised that it too fulfilled all of our requirements. A test ride was duly taken, it passed with flying colours. A deal was done.
This of course led to the challenge that we had to get some protective gear for Beth. Just the simple things like crash helmets, jackets and gloves. The nice boots will come later when cash is available, until that time her work boots will be fine for double duty as motorbike boots. The staff at the store were most helpful and even gave us a bit of a discount as we were purchasing two jackets at the same time as all the other items.
Beth has no problem at all with the idea of being on a motorbike. Being from the Philippines, motorbikes are used there as everyday transport solutions. They are regularly seen with three or more passengers on a bike, usually also carrying some household items at the same time. Bikes are also used in the same way that the western world uses a taxi. You literally hire the bike with the rider to take you where you need to go, in the same way that we take a taxi. The idea of sitting on a bike presented no problem at all to Beth. The height of the big V Strom was initially a little overwhelming for her, but she quickly overcame that challenge.
So, what is it like to ride? Very good if I’m honest. Obviously, it is totally different from the Harley Davidson Road King that we desire, but it is a very different style of motorcycle. It is more similar to the BMW R1200 GS series of bikes to ride. Not quite in the same class as the BMW, but also a fraction of the price of that lovely piece of German engineering. Incidentally, the BMW was another bike that was on our possible short list, however none could be found available in our price range. They are also a mighty fine motorcycle, just not exactly affordable for us at this point in time. I have test ridden several of these masterpieces, they are quite simply amazing. However, they are approximately three times the cost of the Humble Suzuki V Strom, I do not think that they are almost three times a better machine. At this point in time the Suzuki V Strom is the perfect bike for us, because it meets our current needs. I might also add that with the aftermarket exhaust system on that lovely V twin engine, it just sounds bloody awesome.