Having hired BMW enduro bikes I was looking for a cheaper alternative. I tried the Honda Valadero, looked at the Triumph Tiger but once I had once seen the V-strom for the first time I went for it. It only needed a very short test ride to confirm my initial good feeling about it. The V-strom has phantastic, honest, non discript (some may say boring) looks. It's symmetrical, (dials, headlamps, exhausts), non aggressive down to earth and supptle. Mine was fitted with the paniers which I ended up using much more than I thought I would. since bying it in June I covered 2.500 miles, with and without my girl, traveling, urban fun, mountain roads and even a little off road. The latter is the only area it can not match the BMW! Else it is much more comfy, easy to control, powerful enough and great fun. And the sound is again fitting the caracter: relaxed, understated yet powerful, underlining the great character of this bike. Let's hope durabilty on my 2 year old bike will never be an issue (until now I had zero troubles)
Highly recommended bike!!