It was a beautiful Spring weekend and I rode 330 miles (210 Saturday, 120 Sunday) to take advantage of the weather. Saturday was a convoluted route up the Clackamas River to Ripplebrook, down to Stayton for lunch, over to Silver Falls State Park, then back home to Sandy.

Sunday was up the Clackamas yet again, this time past Ripplebrook up NF46 to where I got stopped by snow on the road several miles past Austin Hot Springs (at the junction with 4660 if you care).

There were a lot of bikes out and a fair share of slow cars. Saturday I saw a funeral procession going by in the other direction, heading from Colton to Estacada, for a young fireman that died.

One thing I realized over the weekend is that the Suzuki V-Strom is a truly versatile and capable bike. I’ve harped on this topic before but it’s true. The Strom doesn’t excel at any one thing — it’s not as off-road capable as a KTM Aventure nor as fast as a Yamaha R1 — but it can perform the same kind of function that both bikes provide. It’s excellence is its versatility.

I am strongly considering getting a 600 cc in-line four sport bike, not because I feel the need to go faster in a straight line or around corners — I already carve up the twisties fast enough on my V-Strom, thank you very much. A 600 sport bike provides a much more immediate experience with the road. It’s more intense.

But in the meantime, if you need a one-bike-does-it-all solution, the V-Strom is an outstanding choice. There are some other bikes that probably equal the Suzuki in capability and versatility, such as the Ducati Multistrada and the new Triumph 1200 Adventure, but they can’t do it for the low purchase and maintenance cost of the Suzuki.

When it comes to getting your bang for the buck in a single motorcycle, never underestimate the Suzuki V-Strom.