THE RIDE VER­DICT

“We’d be in­clined to go for the best early one we could find”

RiDE (UK) - - Used Bikes -

IF YOU RE­ALLY wanted a GS, then this is prob­a­bly not go­ing to tick all your boxes. But if you re­ally wanted a hugely prac­ti­cal daily ride with just as much real-world abil­ity as a GS but with­out the in­flated price tag, it’s pretty much spot on. You can pick up a squeaky­clean, fairly low-mileage 2014 V-strom with lug­gage for less than six grand – for that money you’d be do­ing well to find a ten-year-old GS with min­i­mal toys. Most rid­ers will find a V-strom is ac­tu­ally a bet­ter bike for daily use any­way – it’s bet­ter in traf­fic, es­pe­cially fil­ter­ing, with bet­ter low-speed sta­bil­ity and lower run­ning costs. It’s likely to be more re­li­able too. Look at the var­i­ous V-strom fo­rums and you won’t find much men­tion of se­ri­ous faults and fail­ures — the same can’t be said of BMW fo­rums though...

The real-world dif­fer­ences be­tween a 2014 and a 2017 ver­sion are so small (the corner­ing ABS is nice but not a deal-breaker if you don’t have it) that we’d be in­clined to go for the best early one we could find and spend any­thing left over on some sen­si­ble up­grades. And we’d prob­a­bly avoid the XT ver­sion un­less you re­ally, re­ally like clean­ing — those spoked wheels are a bug­ger to keep nice...

The V-strom is a su­perb all-rounder — ur­ban, ru­ral or off-road — it han­dles them all

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