Is The Suzuki DR Big Making a Comeback?
Insider Knowledge Or Wishful Thinking – The 2020 Suzuki DR Bigby Allyn Hinton, on
The motorcycle interwebz are buzzing with the latest rumor that Suzuki is bringing back the DR Big. Spanish trailridersmag.com started the buzz with the report that Suzuki is basing the DR Big, to be released as a 2020, on the V-Strom 1000. Is it insider knowledge or wishful thinking in an attempt to speak it into being?
The DR 800 S Big could become the DR 1000 Big
This new ride is supposed to carry the same 1,037 cc powerplant as the V-Strom 1000 to make the jump into the top end, rally-style market.
Back in 1988, Suzuki released a bike that would launch a sub-genre; the DR750S “Big,” an off-road focused but dual-surface capable adventure bike/dual sport. It proved itself on the Paris-to-Dakar Rally and enjoyed a full-production run up into ’97 with limited production through Y2K. Why does it matter today? Well, rumor has it that Suzuki is going to revive its DR Big line with an all-new ride that is meant to supplement the street-wise V-Strom range with an off-road bias. Sure, Suzuki has a new DR650S to fill out the midrange, but this new ride is supposed to carry the same 1,037 cc powerplant as the V-Strom 1000 to make the jump into the top end, rally-style market.
Trail Riders magazine — the very one that got this rumor going — says you can expect Suzuki to use the V-Strom’s twin-spar frame, and while the choice of materials is as yet undetermined, I’m thinking it’ll be aluminum just like the V-Strom. Notice a pattern developing yet? The preponderance of opinions indicate that, unlike its little brother the DR650S, the new “Big” model will carry some electronic wizardry. This may include such delightfulness as a switchable – maybe even corner sensitive – ABS and traction control, plus a rider-mode feature that will let you dial in the power delivery to suit the conditions and change the tune when you go to switch from the black to the brown. That’s especially important since, if it has the same tuning as the V-Strom, you can look forward to 100 ponies and 76 pound-feet of torque. Maybe. Or, maybe not, we just don’t know for sure yet.
The DR 1000 Big fills a conspicuous hole in Suzuki’s lineup
It would put Suzuki in a position to compete with its foes both foreign and domestic in one of the most famous and grueling races in the world.
It makes sense that this particular rumor is coming out of Spain. The Paris-Dakar Rally passes right by their neck of the woods, and where better to test a bike that will surely square off against the likes of Honda, BMW, Triumph, KTM, and Ducati on that very race. If true, it puts Suzuki in a position to compete with its foes both foreign and domestic in one of the most famous and grueling races in the world, plus it fills a conspicuous hole in Suzuki’s lineup.
The DR800S of the late ’80s to late ’90s – arguably the godfather of dual-sports – managed to reach a top speed of 105 mph, and I expect the new twin-cylinder mill will do at least that much, even if that’s probably way too fast for safe off-road work. It’s hard to say whether it’s a dirt-focused adventure bike or a dual-sport on steroids, but it looks like we’ll know if it’s real or wishful thinking for sure once we get into the 2019-2020 show season. Unless we have confirmation beforehand, I’ll be watching Suzuki’s booth at EICMA 2019.
Suzuki DR Big
See our look at the Suzuki DR Big.
Suzuki V-Strom 1000 & 1000XT
Read our review of the Suzuki V-Strom 1000 & 1000XT.
See our review of the Suzuki DR650S,
Read more Suzuki news.