I've been riding for over 3 years (and that's a whole other story!!!!). My ride is a 250 cc scooter, from that "other" Japanese manufacturer. To be honest, I've loved it, and I love the excellent Honda dealership near my house.
I've been looking at other bikes for a long time, have always thought some day I'd move up to something with more power and a clutch. I've had the motorcycle safety course, and kept right up with the Harley and crotch rocket riders who sneered at my almost antique scooter. But, until now, I've never found a bike that seemed like it could do a variety of things well. I don't want some huge monstrosity, I don't like the seating arrangements on cruisers or sport bikes. I'm not out to impress anybody, outpace anyone, or scrape my knees on the ground on tight mountain turns. I ride, almost entirely alone, because I just love it. I commute to work (that's a topic all on its own, too), I run errands, and occasionally a shorter trip. The scooter is not something you do a lot of distance on, though it is fun and nimble in town traffic!
Yesterday, I fell in love. Scoping out web sites about the new 2004 Honda bikes - none of which meet my needs in any way, I came across info on the V-Strom 650. It was love at first sight! The more I read, the more excited I got! Okay, this will turn into a novel, so I'll try to get to the point here. I have so many questions I hardly know where to start!
1. I am a female rider - but I am tall (5'-10", with very long legs). Will this be a problem? It doesn't sound like a very tall bike. My scooter isn't, either, but it accommodates long legs easily. I read that optional seats will be availabe to raise the seat height, but none is yet shown anywhere.
2. Any ideas on the predicted reliability of the V-Strom 650? I do not work on bikes, and don't really want to. The little free time I get, I want to ride, not tinker! I'm spoiled, with an ancient, but bulletproof, scooter. I am fanatical about maintenance, but don't want a garage queen! I need durability AND dependability.
3. How long will it be before used bikes of this type become available? Will the typical rider of this type of bike take decent care of it, or will they dog it out? I live in a Navy town, and many sailors give their bikes a very hard time. How do the Suzukis do on depreciation? I'm hoping to move up on a very tight budget!
4. What kind of mods would be possible for carrying "stuff"? For commuting, I have to haul business attire, my lunch, various paperwork, etc. My current arrangement is a milk crate bungeed on the back rack of my scooter. But I'd really like dry storage, and additional security would be fantastic. I'd also like the option to possibly do some touring, or to use the bike for business travel, all without spending a fortune.
5. Does Suzuki have a Rider's Club? I've liked the Honda one, and have used the roadside assistance a couple of times. It's really good for those of us who are mechanically challenged.
I'm sorry this is so long, but I'm trying to get past my initial infatuation here, and get a few cold, hard facts to cool me down before I do something rash! I have looked so long, and was starting to think I'd never find something that I like, and that meets my needs! This is the most excited I've gotten about a bike in a long, long time! Thanks for any info anyone can provide!