Suzuki plays an important role in the dual-sport category, like always before, with the V-Strom 1000 model. A bike designed for all kinds of roads and all kinds of riders, this is without a doubt a benchmark in matters of versatility and comfort with many secrets yet to be unveiled by every rider individually. Furthermore, Suzuki also offers the V-Strom 1000SE Touring, which raises the bike’s long haul credentials.
The 2010 Suzuki V-Strom isn’t the result of intensive revising neither in the technical nor design category as the model has had its fair share of upgrades during the years. That resulted into a mighty liquid-cooled 996cc 90-degree V-twin, DOHC 8-valve engine that is both reliable and capable to deliver the best of power and torque either you’re finding your way through tight traffic, cruise down the highway or decide to go your own way off the road. Fuel injected and mated to a six-speed transmission, the torquey engine rarely begs for gear downshifts and the rush seems never ending.
Most chassis pieces are made out of aluminum for high resistance and light weight. The twin-spar frame, swingarm and rims make for ease of riding and proper exploiting of the engine and tranny and also set the base for those great ergonomics that are a V-Strom characteristic.
Suzuki used the TL1000S engine to power the 2002 DL1000 V-Strom, an all new motorcycle for the time. Taking the best of all worlds, the new bike’s fuel-injection system feeding the 996cc V-twin motor was derived from the GSX-R series and brought a big contribution to the 98 hp at 7,500 rpm and 104 Nm at 6,500 rpm that were developed by the very first production model.
But the Japanese manufacturer didn’t rest on its laurels and added fork preload adjusters and increased the alternator’s output to 400 watts. Also, the 2003 model year featured a new slave cylinder dust cover.
The 2004 Suzuki DL 1000 V-Strom received minor, but stylish modifications that improved life on board. It now featured a 50mm height adjustable windshield, new instruments with larger speedometer and tachometer as well as a new LCD displaying fuel level, engine temperature, odometer, tripmeters and clock. The engine undercover was slightly modified in order to increase ground clearance and the handguard was also redesigned.
Starting 2005, the frame was black painted as well as the rear frame covers. The headlight now turned off during starting for less demand on the battery.
The 2007 model year saw new clear turn signal lenses and new swingarm pivot covers.
In 2008, the Blue color scheme was replaced by the Red one, which was to be ousted from the 2009 model year.
Unlike its smaller sibling, the V-Strom 650, which competes with the Honda Transalp and the Kawasaki KLR 650, the biggest V-Strom finds its competitor an ocean away. By its name, BMW R 1200 GS, the machine is a greater alternative for riders seeking the possibility of going on a variety of roads and even around the globe.
The Beemer is powered by the notorious 1170cc air and oil cooled Boxer twin-cylinder engine that is not only an awesome torque provider (85 lb/ft at 5,750 rpm) and delivers slightly more power (105 hp at 7,500 rpm), but it is recommended by its incredibly powerful background (it was first designed in 1923).
But, with a high-end price, the BMW R 1200 GS shows why the Suzuki is sometimes not even considered worthy of this fight, but we thought that it is worth writing this heading in order to make it easier for you to take a decision depending on the price you are willing to pay for adventure.
Stylistically, the V-Strom is a combination between the different categories that inspired designers when they created it. So the bike has the elements of a sport-tourer (half fairing with integrated multi-reflector lights, adjustable screen, upright riding position, the V engine configuration) as well as characters and details generally found on enduro motorcycles (6.5 inches of ground clearance, engine protective shield, high-mounted stainless steel exhaust and hand guards).
The bike manages to meet the best of both worlds and still looks aggressive and tempting despite not being built for those purposes. Like on a veritable enduro motorcycle, the mirrors are mounted on the handlebars. The seat is flat and spacious, giving a clue on the mile-soaking abilities of the Suzuki V-Strom.
What I believe that would have made the difference in 2010 is a pair of spoke wheels, perfect for both on and off-road riding, but Suzuki stays true to the cast aluminum wheels that aren’t as efficient when the going gets tough.
Also, the Black color scheme carries on to 2010, but now it isn’t the only one available for this model as Suzuki considers Red as an appropriate color for both the standard and the Special Edition Touring model too.
"The great news is that the DL1000 is the perfect machine for simply riding short or great distances on real-life, i.e. bumpy roads. Suspension travel and absorbency are key parameters here, and I had not yet ridden a light touring bike that felt as comfortable as this one, either for a run to the A&P or to Shannonville to see the races." – moto123
"There’s surprising power even as low as 3000 rpm; it’ll pull wheelies at 1500 rpm in first gear just like-you guessed it-the TL1000S. Keep the bike between 5000 and 7000 rpm in the higher gears and you’re really moving, and like any recent Suzuki, the fuel injection is flawless-no surging or hiccups were experienced at any time." – motorcyclistonline
“The Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom’s wide, high bars and low pegs have you adopting a sit up and beg posture that makes comfortable sense in the long run. The suspension is plush to soak the bumps and ruts of British roads easing your ride.That plush suspension can mean the Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom wallows a little, but only if you tackle twisties in the way you would on a more dedicated sportsbike.” – MCN
Dreadfully cheaper than a BMW R 1200 GS (just under $15K), the Suzuki V-Strom 1000 comes with a starting price of little under $10K, showing that buying an adventure riding motorcycle doesn’t necessarily have to make a hole in your pocket.
Now that you’ve read about our great appreciation for the V-Strom’s combined characteristics, but, most importantly, if you were already planning on buying one, the only thing for you remaining to do is to draw a straight line on the map and simply follow it. I haven’t done that, so if there are any volunteers, let me know.
Engine and Transmission
- Engine: 996 cc (60.8 cu. in), 4-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, 90?-degree V-twin
- Bore Stroke: 98.0 mm (3.858 in) x 66.0 mm (2.598 in)
- Compression Ratio: 11.3 : 1
- Fuel System: Fuel injection
- Lubrication: Wet sump
- Ignition: Electronic ignition (Transistorized)
- Transmission: 6-speed constant mesh
- Final Drive: RK525 SMOZ7, 112 links
Chassis and Dimensions
- Suspension Front: Telescopic, coil spring, oil damped
- Suspension Rear: Link type, coil spring, oil damped
- Brakes Front: Disc brake, twin
- Brakes Rear: Disc brake
- Tires Front: 110/80 R19 M/C 59H, tubeless
- Tires Rear: 150/70 R17 M/C 69H, tubeless
- Overall Length: 2295 mm (90.4 in)
- Overall Width: 910 mm (35.8 in)
- Overall Height: 1395 mm (54.9 in)
- Seat Height: 840 mm (33.1 in)
- Ground Clearance: 165 mm (6.5 in)
- Wheelbase: 1535 mm (60.4 in)
- Curb Weight: 238 kg (525 lbs) / 252 kg (555 lbs) - SE Touring model
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 22 L (5.8/4.8 US/Imp gal)
Features & Benefits
- The V-Strom 1000SE features 2 locking, side mounted hard bags and matching top bag which allow ample storage and are easily removable.
- Liquid-cooled 996cc, 90 degree V-twin, DOHC 8-valve, engine - tuned for strong low & mid-range torque
- Electronic fuel injection features the Suzuki Dual Throttle Valve System (SDTV) - maintains optimum air velocity in the intake tract for smooth low-to-mid rpm throttle response and improved engine torque
- Auto Fast Idling System (AFIS), automatically sets throttle valve opening during cold engine starts by monitoring coolant temperature
- Digital ignition system provides optimum ignition timing with separate maps for each cylinder
- Semi-gear driven valve system simplifies maintenance and minimizes cam sprocket size and engine height for optimum engine placement
- Lightweight shim-under-bucket valve system operates 36mm intake and 33mm exhaust valves, plus valve timing with emphasis on low-rpm power
- SCEM (Suzuki Composite Electro-chemical Material) plated cylinders minimize cylinder size and improve heat dissipation
- Wide-ratio 6-speed transmission with 6th gear over-drive and wide-diameter hydraulic clutch for a light pull at the clutch lever
- High-efficiency liquid cooling system for optimum engine operating temperature - includes compact oil cooler
- Lightweight magnesium valve covers, ignition cover, and sound-deadening plastic outer clutch cover
- High-mounted stainless steel exhaust system with aluminum mufflers tuned to enhance engine torque output
- PAIR - air injection system reduces CO and HC emissions - California model equipped with catalyst in exhaust to further reduce emissions
- Black-painted frame and swingarm for stylish appearance
- Sport-styled front fairing for wind protection, plus large comfortable seat, engine guard, and hand guards - fairing includes large multi-reflector 60/55W headlights
- Height-adjustable windshield for increased wind protection and comfort - can be adjusted to three positions in a 50mm vertical range
- Easy-to-read instruments with large speedometer and tach dials, plus LCD display for fuel level, engine temperature, odometer, tripmeters and clock
- Standard hand guards designed for maximum wind protection
- Engine undercover shaped for ample ground clearance and sleek appearance
- Large rear luggage rack with rubber-padded platform to help keep bags and luggage in place
- Aluminum twin-spar frame and aluminum swingarm are lightweight, compact and rigid - bolt-on sub-frame simplifies maintenance
- Cartridge-style 43mm front fork with adjustable preload provides 6.3 inches of wheel travel for a comfortable ride
- Link-type rear suspension features a piggyback-style shock absorber with adjustable rebound damping and a knob-operated hydraulic preload adjuster - 6.3 inches of wheel travel
- Dual front disc brakes with large 310mm rotors and twin-piston calipers, plus single-disc rear brake with 260mm rotor and single-piston caliper
- Lightweight cast aluminum wheels - F: 2.50 x 19 with 110/80R-19 radial tire, R: 4.0 x 17 with 150/70R-17 rear tire
- Large 5.8 gallon fuel tank for long-range operation