Opinion – The V701 is Great the Way She Is

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    I’ve had my 2020 V701 for one-year now and put >4,000 miles on it and despite some “learning of the bike”, it holds no shortage of fun and utility in more than just the “Urban Hooligan Bike” arena that some only seem to see it in. It’s really great at just more than the Urban Scene and as it is stock, I don’t see an overwhelming need to upgrade anything out of the gate performance-wise.

    Yes – this is a bike like no other, it is simply not comparable to other bikes and it stands in it’s own “special” category of motorcycle – I have yet to name this category but when bystanders are like “what kind of bike is that?” I still don’t quite know how to categorize it by traditional methods (i.e. sport bike, cafe racer, scrambler, etc.). It’s just different!

    I ride frequently to work (20 miles highway, streets, town setting) and it makes the commute so fun. It rides just fine in the rain with the OEM tires too. There are most likely better tires out there but the OEMs’ll do.

    I’ve ridden a whole dedicated week each last year and this year in the great roads of GA, SC, NC, TN, VA, WV and it is a blast in the twisties, straight-aways, off the starting line of red-lights, and for passing slow a-holes who don’t use the pull-offs on the country back roads to let others pass. I’ve averaged 200-300 “quality” mile days on the bike and honestly don’t feel the riding position is uncomfortable for the 8-10 hr riding days. (I’m 6’2″ and 205lbs btw).

    For these longer riding weeks, I’ve ridden 350 mile+ days ALL HIGHWAY (super troopers anyone?) to and from the riding destinations from the flat and less entertaining roads of east coast Georgia. The bike handles great on the highway and feels rock solid at a steady 80+ MPH. I sometimes crept up to 90MPH with the flow of traffic and still felt solid. For some reason, this being a naked style bike, the wind noise and wind blast I thought there’d be is easy to ride with. You feel like you’re almost flying riding the dang thing. I’m not saying it is the perfect highway bike, only saying that you aren’t limited by NOT doing a few long haul days if needed. It can do it!

    For many who have experienced waves of technical issues – that frankly just sucks and I wish that crap never happens to anyone. It is great that this forum exists so that we can all learn together and help each other out. But for me, other than learning some of the new features I’ve never experienced before coming from the premium-luxory-performance machine that a KLR650 is, I’ve grown into “knowing”  the machine and experimenting with many of the features (Quickshifter, ABS, MTC, Slipper Clutch, fuel gauge (lol), etc.).

    Other than adding some bike protection and luggage mounts, I’ve kept everything pretty much stock and am enthralled with the riding experience. For those who have “tuned the crap out of the bike” how can you describe it being any better and what mods do you see worth it? And for those who are thinking of getting a V701, just know that you will need to invest time in reading your manual, and practicing with some of the features and capabilities this bike has to offer.

    TL:DR- I like the V701 a lot after a year and it is a great machine at more than just urban riding.


    Have you been back to the dealer about the rear plate hanger potentially working the axle lose?  It didn’t get a recall like the leaking tank.  Also the throttle can be exchanged under warranty and the slave cylinder seal that gets replaced under warranty appears to be a little different to the stock one.

    I love my Vit.  Great bike for a squirt and a fun commute.  No way would I trust it on a journey though, plus it just seemed too compromised with the single cylinder.  I suppose that’s why I got the Vit and not the Svart.

    I think more than one bike is a good idea for me.  It’s 800km for me to visit my mum and dad in WA and I’m not doing that on the Vit.

    Also, riding in NSW out of Sydney and up past Newcastle the roads weren’t great.  Concrete sections with big cracks running diagonally across them on the M1 freeway.  I got railed at over 100km and just managed to regain control before going into traffic in the lane next to me.  Maybe that’s why adventure bikes and tourers have taller front wheels.  The Vits small front wheel makes for some nice tight turning though.


    Kit glad to read you love your 701 so much, I think most of us do. I certainly do so as well! and can’t get enough of riding her. I just hit 6,000+ miles yesterday after a business trip from San Diego to Mexico and back.

    Mine had the fuel tank replaced under warranty, slave cylinder has not yet been an issue but I did by the rekluse replacement for when it happens.

    I just replaced my rear tire with a Angel Gt II, and I am really liking it. It is designed with double compound rubber so the center lasts a lot longer than our stock battlax. The side ends of the tires uses the sticky rubber, so I feel exactly if not more confident than I did with the battlax.

    I did upgrade mine with the badwinners performance kit. I recommend it for its great value as you get all the mods you can basically make to the bike to unlock its full power, and it makes it sound so incredible. Waiting for their liquid crystal dashboard cluster as well, which should enhance the visuals quite a bit.

    Is the bike different with these performance upgrades?  You betcha, in full open throttle you need to hold on for dear life cuz it pulls hard! And when I got the bike stock I thought it pulled hard back then lol, now it’s like “oh shieeeet, don’t wanna forget to tighten my grip hard” hahah 😆

    Getting to 100 and crossing it with full open throttle is completely effortless, and it wants to keep going 🙃

    Cheers 🍻




    Good feedback on some of the tweks gents! I got mine from the dealer with the recalls applied at the time of purchase and haven’t returned for any more – i think I’ll give that a double check with them just to be safe.

    I’ve eyeballed the badwinners kit and it’s good to hear the awesome feedback on it. I guess I’ve never really explored the depths of modifications to improve performance and riding experience – I just gotta rationalize the price to benefits ratio in my mind. Was that this (https://badwinners.com/product/diy-701-vitpilen-performance-kit/)? I always they just had the “Stage” upgrades… I guess I really never saw that one until you mentioned it… thanks!


    NEO701 – thanks for the call on the slave cylinder. Just set up an appointment with service for this coming week.

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