Suzuki doesn’t miss a year from impressing its consumers with the middleweight V-Strom model, so the bike is not only present in the 2010 lineup, but comes in three different versions: the V-Strom 650, V-Strom 650 ABS and V-Strom 650 SEA ABS Touring all get their general characteristics from their bigger siblings, the V-Strom 1000 models so there’s plenty to expect in all possible matters.
To begin with the recipe behind the standard Suzuki V-Strom 650, we must say the bike was created to satisfy as many riding demands as possible and implicit address to a very large category of riders. And things ended up staying the same in practice as they did in theory.
The SV 650 V-twin engine proves very efficient both at highway cruising, city commuting and off-road riding, while the light chassis makes it master of winding roads, be them paved or not.
With the same remarkable features, a 2010 Suzuki V-Strom 650 model practically sells itself: the liquid-cooled 645cc 90-degree twin, DOHC 8-valve now has dual spark plug heads for greater fuel economy and environmental friendliness as well as Suzuki composite electrochemical plated cylinder ensuring years of enjoying the low-rpm grunt that this engine loves to deliver.
2010 Suzuki V-Strom 650 ABS
As on all modern bikes, the frame is made out of aluminum as well as the swingarm. No wonder we’re starting to talk about suspensions as the preload-adjustable 43mm forks and rebound-adjustable link-type rear unit work together to deliver the best of feedback out where things get messy and still provide confidence when cruising down the highway.
Also, the cast aluminum wheels vote for pavement and with an upright riding position and height adjustable screen, the only problem a future V-Strom 650 owner will be facing is which way to go right after choosing a model. Apart from the standard one, Suzuki also offers an ABS model, which is obviously fitted with an antilock braking system and the very special V-Strom 650 SEA ABS Touring, which is packed with side mounted hard bags and matching top bag and craves for the open road.
The Honda XL700V Transalp is a nightmare for the Suzuki as it is a totally reinvented motorcycle powered by a fuel-injected liquid-cooled, 680.2cc, SOHC, 52-degree V-twin engine that not only has been around for decades, but stands for performance that is unmatched in both environments in which the V-Strom is a blast.
Actually, the Transalp is the bike that created this category and now it is back to claim its share of the market. Potent and reliable, the engine is mated to a five-speed tranny and there is also an ABS model available. The Transalp is also more adequate for adventure riding as it has spoked wheels and a 177mm ground clearance, so it is one of the few Japanese choices for those who plan to go around the world.
Kawasaki also enters this competition with the KLR 650 model. Similar to the V-Strom in many aspects such as ergonomics, wind protection and versatility and to the Transalp by having a five-speed gearbox, spoked wheels and massive bodywork, but being only backed up by a carbureted 651cc DOHC, four-valve single-cylinder engine, this bike does it all at a fairly smaller level than the V-Strom, not to mention the Transalp.
2010 Suzuki V-Strom 650 ABS
At a first glance, it is nothing wrong even with comparing the Suzuki V-Strom 650 with the Yamaha FZ6 as the bikes share a lot one with the other. For starters, V-Strom’s bodywork is pretty sleek considering the category in which you find it and those cast aluminum three-spoke wheels tend to position it more on the streets rather than off them, but that’s until the 165mm of ground clearance intervene. Also, the seat is low enough even for average-sized female riders (820mm) and the handlebars are at quick reach, allowing an upright riding position. This is where the 50mm manually height-adjustable windscreen makes an entry and gives a clue on the bike’s cruiser-like riding conditions. But the rest of the front end has nothing to do with a cruiser as the dominating headlights are integrated into a narrow fairing, giving that nice sporty look that tends us to position it right next to the FZ6.
That very same fairing hugs the upper sides of the V-Strom body, blending in perfectly with the 5.8 gallons tank, which looks like a wall in relation to the low seat, but that’s how things are on do-it-all bikes. The Black or Orange (standard V-Strom 650), Black, White, Orange (V-Strom 650 ABS and V-Strom 650SEA ABS Touring) paint schemes enhance that sporty look.
At the back, the stainless steel exhaust is positioned high on the right side of the rider without disturbing the passenger and there’s also a top case support for those long weekend rides.
"The retuned SV650 engine is the Suzuki DL650 V-Strom’s strongest feature. Tweaked for more midrange, boy it delivers. Peak torque kicks in at 7600rpm but anywhere between 4-9000rpm will have you grinning like a maniac. The Suzuki DL650 V-Strom offers smooth, fuel-injected power delivery and a top speed of around 125mph… Fantastic." – MCN
"Transmission is typical Suzuki, smooth and precise with no missed shifts. Fuel injection from the SV is perfect, providing precise response without being abrupt and improving drivability over the older, carbureted SVs. Fuel mileage was also very good, with a low of 46 mpg and a high of 51 mpg, all while not really trying to go the speed limit." – motorcycledaily
"Although the DL650 isn’t as nimble as the high and wide bars suggest, it can be hustled through twisties at a quick rate. It steers slower than the SV in part because of the tall front wheel/tire, but also because it shares the frame, fork, wheels and brakes with the 996cc DL." – motorcycle-usa
"In the twisty stuff, or on dirt, gravel and other unimproved roads, the DL650 V-Strom is even better than I expected it to be. It changes direction effortlessly, while maintaining good stability and inspiring a feeling of confidence. I was afraid that it might be a little flighty or twitchy, but even after riding the thing like a loon, my fears turned out to be entirely unfounded." – motorcycle
Inspired by the Transalp, the middleweight V-Strom manages to occupy a decent second place in its category as it is a cheap, fuel-efficient (51 mpg) mean of transportation during the week and great fun during weekends as it also has a thing or two for adventure. The way it is styled sits as testimony of the things it is capable of and that means pretty much a little bit of all you can imagine.