I've had my 2002 V-Strom 1000 since they first came out. It's still a good bike and I thought it was pretty nifty until I spent an backroad afternoon on an XC800.
How can an 800 be better than a 1000? Let me tell you the ways. My V-Strom is gutless until 4000 rpm., then it runs strong. The Triumph pulls smoothly at any speed right from idle.
The Triumph also has a responsive eagerness that even a well-broken-in, well-tuned stock 1000 Strom lacks. The 1000 is decently smooth for a 1000 twin. The Triumph is dead smooth period.
The 1000 Strom handles decently. It's in its element on backroad sweepers and a real pleasure but it is not quite as happy in the tight stuff.
It's still good; we're not talking about some pig cruiser here, but the Triumph has an agility, direct steering and a wonderful fluid tip in to the corners that the V-Strom lacks.
The Triumph feels like what it is; a whole generation newer and better. An uncorked dyno-tuned 1000 doesn't run as well as a stock Triumph XC800 - not even close. It's good vs. fanbloodytastic.
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