I had looked into a variety of bikes ranging from a Buell Blast to a Bandit, a Ninja and a KLM. None of those seemed to fit the bill. I once had a 1952 Norton 500 single. That bike could be used for just about anything from highway cruising to dirt bike trail riding. I wanted something similar. Not too big but with enough get up and go for highway use. Since I would primarily be using it to commute 50 Km to work, I also wanted something comfortable.

I ran into a friend at the gas pumps one day who was riding a V-Strom 1000. I had never heard of it but he seemed so enthusiastic about what it could do that I had to check it out. Much to my delight I found the V-Strom also came in a more user friendly size for me.

On a trip to the city I stopped at Riverside Yamaha/Suzuki and found they had a couple of Dl650ís in crates and one in the showroom on its way to a new owner. As soon as I sat on the one in the showroom I knew I had made my choice! The paperwork was done in about 15 minutes and then it was an agonising couple of days before they finished the dealer prep.

I picked up my new 2006 Red V-Strom 650 on a warm and beautiful sunny day June 24. I was a bit tentative getting the bike out of the dealer parking lot and then for the first while kept to quiet side streets while I got used to being on a bike again. The V-Strom felt great from the start though.It had been about 25 years since my last bike, a 650 Yamaha. They must be making cc's bigger now because the V-Strom certainly has way more power than that old Yamaha Next was the highway and the trip home.

I live in a (really)small village 250 Km north of Edmonton, Alberta in what is generally considered Northern Alberta, Canada. It is really central Alberta but... The highway cruising was a dream. Lots of power, a very smooth ride and not a cloud in the sky. I had forgotten what a joy the open road could be!

My trip home took me through farmland and into the Boreal forest via the scenic route through the Swan Hills. I got to check out the horn by warning off deer browsing the ditches. The route passes 3 Km from geographic centre of the Province. I stopped and had a photo taken by some folks who were loading up their ATVís.

From the Centre of Alberta the road climbs steadily past a very nice campground and up a couple of fairly steep hills towards the Town of Swan Hills and a high point of around 1,219 Metres (4,000ft). The 650 cruised up the hills with ease. After the summit it was down hill all the way home to Kinuso. I felt totally relaxed and wanting more.

I have been riding my V-Strom for less than a week now and have put on 850 Km enjoying every moment of it. Pavement, gravel, and open field, the DL650 seems to love it all. I have been trying every adjustment possible for the wind screen but still have not found one that suits me. The best for turbulence seems to be the lowest setting but it puts my face shield into the bug blast. The highest setting keeps my face clear but the turbulence while tolerable, is annoying. I ordered a windshield mount from http://madstad.com and will see if that helps. Other than that I will soon be getting a full set of leathers, a centre kickstand and some hard cases. The weather has been absolutely wonderful this week so it has been a joy getting out there. I may leave work early and find the long way home.


July 9 2006 2300 Kms
Road to well site, Swan Hills


July 23 3800 Km
At the beach, Spruce Point Park

It is winter here now.... I am not riding much. Duh....but did manage to put on over 10,000Km this season. More detailed report as it becomes available.

March 12, 2007 Winter does not show much sign of ever finishing. More snow today. I have been busy in the shop doing work on the V-Strom though. I have started a new Projects page for modifications and such.

Trip to BC July 2007

I left for a 4,912 KM trip through BC on July 14, 2007.

Check it out here

 

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First Trip June 24, 2006