All I can say is the sales rep suggested I use the paddle shifter in manual. I told him why bother with a DCT then, I may as well go to the manual shifter. I will say the DCT handles much better on my friend's Goldlwing he let me test ride. I did ride a Pan America which was an interesting ride and had quite a bit of get up an go. I have yet to find a V-Strom to test out. Interestingly enough, I have had three people I personally know swear by the V-Strom. Well, the hunt is still on for me.DCT owner, here.
There are numerous modes available, including manual. The DCT defaults to a fairly economical mode that changes gears silly-early. You can change to other modes that, happily, feel more "right" about when they shift.
I know the DCT isn't everybody's cup of tea, but it's really a darned good system overall.