Saturday, June 14, 2014

2014 DL1000 compared with Bandit 1250

A friend has a 2 day old DL1000 V Strom coloured black.  He brought it round for me to fit Oxford Sports heated grips for him.  The dealers quoted NZD$600 for the OEM ones, which is simply outrageous, so Oxfords fitted the bill nicely, and were wired with a relay powered by tapping into the 12V socket on the dash.  All good there.

I used to own a K7 DL650 and have ridden the earlier 1000s, so had familiarity with the style of bike.

A brief ride revealed a quite tall seat.  I am 183 cm and easily flat foot my Bandit, but it was a challenge to move the bike by using my feet (no, not the Flintstones - turning the bike in my yard).  A nice, neutral and upright sitting position, much like the earlier Stroms.  Wide bars and the same levers as the Bandit.  A simple instrument cluster and a nice touch was ambient air temperature as well as traction control (which I didn't get to try other than change the settings).

Build quality was good.  A lot of plastic, but easy to replace if needed.  A very comfortable and supportive seat.  Upside down forks with lots of adjustment and what looks like radial brakes from the GSXR1000.  Braking power and feel was simply superb.  A lot better than the Bandit.  Power and acceleration was good for this sort of bike.  The Bandit (with Stage 2) feels faster and smoother, but the V twin feel is nice and the bike is powerful. The low end vibes feel more like the smoother 650 than the old thou.  Nice handling and good leverage through the bars.  No buffeting via the adjustable screen, a huge improvement from the older Stroms. Still more a road bike than a true adventure bike.  Very exposed header and oil filter and not something you'd want to tip over.

Would I buy one?  Yes once the price comes down on low mileage examples.  I like the look and it is comfortable, and the braking and traction control make a nice overall package.  Still too expensive, though.  $19K and a new Bandit can be bought for under $13K and set up with full luggage.  It is a significantly better bike than the old model thou.  

I enjoyed it but my Bandit is running so perfectly it would take something rather special to drag me away!

Tokico radial brakes and ABS.  Great power and feel

Adjustable screen and stacked headlights

Simple and clear gauges.  The 12V socket is a nice touch

Huge exhaust can gives a muted burble.  A Yoshi would help!

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