After my Sherpa lost an argument with the side of a car, I was bikeless and sore but had a pocket full of insurance payout :) Well OK maybe only half a pocket full, but the important thing is that despite my love for the little Sherpa I also had a long standing desire to own something bigger from the adventure / dualsport category. My dream bike is an F800GS, but my top two contenders were the venerable KLR-650 and the DL-650 V-Strom. Despite being a long time Kawasaki fan, the ‘Wee Strom’s’ reputation was legendary and the more I read the forums, the more it grew on me.

Then I took lessons on a GS-500 to get my open class license and was astounded by how quick you can stop a road oriented bike with the proper technique. Since the Sherpa was quite dirt oriented and never really never felt good under brakes (downright squirrely sometimes), that helped cement the decision. The V-Strom is considerably more road oriented than the KLR-650 so V-Strom it is!

I was trying to figure out whether to look for a bargain on the 2011 or go for the brand new 2012. A quick visit to the dealer revealed I’d entered the market 1 week after the bike was released in Australia – and there was only one left available on the floor with no ETA on the backorder. Well that was a red rag to a bull wasn’t it! So that’s how I came to own a new 2012 DL-650 V-Strom with ABS.

The idea is to kit it out for touring and rack up the miles doing some camping trips with Kristy on the back. Hopefully this list of upgrades and accessories (farkles) will keep growing: