Touring, Commuting, Or Just For Fun

Suzuki adds to its V-Strom 650 family with the new-for-2019 V-Strom 650XT Touring. The “Touring” builds on the proven 650 XT platform even as it borrows its looks from elsewhere in the V-Strom lineup. Power comes from a 645 cc V-twin, and the Touring comes with a host of safety features to help you keep it dirty-side down and between the appropriate lines. Comfort was a front-burner topic as well, as evidenced by the vented windshield and handguards that come with the stock equipment package, so this new variant can definitely pull double duty as a light tourbike or a dandy commuter.

  • 2019 Suzuki V-Strom 650XT Touring
  • Year:
    2019
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V-Twin
  • Displacement:
    645 cc
  • Top Speed:
    115 (est) mph
  • Price:
    9999
  • Price:

2019 Suzuki V-Strom 650XT Touring Design

2019 Suzuki V-Strom 650XT Touring
- image 819204
Nothing says 'tour-capable' to an American buyer quite like stock saddlebags, and these hard-side panniers fit the bill quite nicely.

The Touring leads the way with a narrow bird’s-beak fairing that couples with the ample, 5.3-gallon fuel tank hump to create the well-established adventure-bike profile. In order to keep the entry narrow and drag to a minimum, the halogen headlights are stacked in a common recess that dominates the visage. Down between the blackout fork sliders is a proper fender, so you don’t have to rely on the dubious coverage of the high-mount beak to control your forward fling.

Up top, an adjustable windshield punches a minimal hole in the wind for the rider’s torso with a vented design that minimizes turbulence and the much-dreaded head-buffet effect. The factory missed an opportunity to clean up the front end by sticking the front turn signals in with the mirrors or the handguards; almost anything would be better than the standoff-style LED clusters, really. A bash plate completes the forward protection from its spot at the turn of the cradle below the radiator that nearly disappears behind the partial upper cowl.

Though it starts out rather narrow, the fairing flares out toward the back to form a decent pocket, but then it narrows down once more to meet the frame and seat at a skinny waist that leaves you with a straight shot from hip to ground. That last will come in handy for riders with shorter inseams, especially since the seat rides at 32.9 inches off the ground. The p-pad comes complete with a set of large J.C. handles and fold-up footpegs.

I gotta’ give Suzuki credit; nothing says tour-capable to an American buyer quite like stock saddlebags, and these hard-side panniers fit the bill quite nicely, plus they’re of the quick-connect variety, which makes them convenient and easy to deal with. A stock luggage rack finishes off the storage possibilities above an LED taillight and incandescent turn signals that ride on a short mudguard extension along with the plate.

2019 Suzuki V-Strom 650XT Touring Chassis

2019 Suzuki V-Strom 650XT Touring
- image 819205
A wheelbase even longer than the V-Strom 1000 gives better straight-line stability.

Lightweight aluminum is the material of choice for the twin-spar frame and yoke-style swingarm. The steering head is set at 25.4-degrees with 4.21 inches of trail, and it will traverse through 40-degrees to each side for easy parking-lot maneuvers. Even the blackout rims are aluminum, though they’re laced to the hub with polished stainless-steel spokes for a bit of bling.

Rwu front forks run with a 43 mm inner fork-tube diameter and blackout sliders, plus it rocks an adjustable spring-preload feature for a little bit of tuneability. Out back, the link-type suspension relies on a coil-over monoshock to take care of business with a hand-operated spring-preload feature alongside adjustable rebound damping to finish off the ride-quality goodies. Tubeless hoops line the composite rims with a 110/80-19 up front opposite a 150/70-17 to round out the rolling chassis.

ABS protection is part of the stock package. It oversees the operation of the dual, two-piston Tokico anchors biting the 310 mm front discs and the single-pot Nissin caliper that binds a 260 mm disc out back. Touring weight measures in at 514 pounds, wet, with the hard panniers installed, so that’s some solid brake hardware that should be ample for nearly any kind of riding and load. The Touring comes ready to receive the heated grips and seats from the accessories catalog.

Suspension, Front: Telescopic, coil spring, oil damped
Suspension, Rear: Link type, single shock, coil spring, oil damped
Brakes, Front: Tokico, 2-piston calipers, twin disc, ABS-equipped
Brakes, Rear: Nissin, 1-piston, single disc, ABS-equipped
Tire, Front: 110/80R19 M/C (59V), tubeless
Tire, Rear: 150/70R17 M/C (69V), tubeless

2019 Suzuki V-Strom 650XT Touring Drivetrain

2019 Suzuki V-Strom 650XT Touring
- image 819309
The transmission rocks a sporty ratio for acceleration through the first five gears, but makes the sixth gear very tall indeed for comfortable interstate cruising.

Suzuki borrowed from its SV650 program for the beating heart. The 645 cc, liquid-cooled mill runs in a 90-degree V-twin configuration with an 81 mm bore and 62.6 mm stroke. Compression is in the midrange at 11.2-to-1, and both the pistons and the cylinders were treated with friction-reducing materials that minimize mechanical losses (drag) yet allow for efficient heat transfer.

Dual over-head cams time the four-valve heads that come with twin spark plugs in each combustion chamber for positive flame-front propagation. Induction control falls to the dual 39 mm throttle bodies and ten-hole injector nozzles with emissions control courtesy of the exhaust-gas probes and catalytic converter in the 2-into-1 exhaust system.

The engine-control electronics come off the top shelf, and it starts with Suzuki’s proprietary Dual Throttle Valve induction control that has servo-controlled butterfly valves that help smooth out the difference between demand and capability. An Idle-Speed Control feature stabilizes the engine, even when cold, with a Low RPM Assist feature that provides stumble-free transitions near the bottom end of the range. Traction control oversees all with two separate operating modes and an “Off” setting if you’d prefer.

What does all that get ya’? Well, it looks like the mill claims a total of 69 ponies at 8,000 rpm with 50.9 pound-feet of torque that maxes out at 6,400 rpm. A standard clutch couples the engine’s power to a six-speed transmission that rocks a sporty ratio for acceleration through the first five gears, but makes the sixth gear very tall indeed for comfortable interstate cruising and a top speed of 115 mph.

Engine: 645 cc, 4-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC 90˚, V-twin
Bore x Stroke: 81.0 mm x 62.6 mm (3.2 in. x 2.5 in.)
Compression Ratio: 11.2:1
Fuel System: Suzuki fuel injection, SDTV-equipped
Starter: Electric
Lubrication: Wet sump
Transmission: 6-speed constant mesh
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate type
Final Drive: Chain, RK 525, 114 links

2019 Suzuki V-Strom 650XT Touring Pricing

2019 Suzuki V-Strom 650XT Touring
- image 819307
For $1,200 over the plain V-Strom, the Touring gives you so much more utility.

The new 2019 V-Strom 650XT Touring rolls for $9,999. That’s $1,200 more than the base model, but it has so much more utility right off the showroom floor than the “plain” V-Strom 650, mainly due to the stock bags.

Warranty: 12-month unlimited mileage limited warranty (Longer coverage periods with other benefits available through Suzuki Extended Protection (SEP)
Color: Red
Price: $9,999

2019 Suzuki V-Strom 650XT Touring Competitors

2019 Suzuki V-Strom 650XT Touring
- image 819208
2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx
- image 777191
Suzuki scores with its preload feature up front and adjustable rebound damping out back; features for which the Tiger has no answer.

For the V-Strom, I wanted to grab something similar, but not too similar, and I wound up looking at Triumph’s base model Tiger 800 XR. Yeah, its running a larger engine than the V-Strom to be sure, but that’s part of the trade off.

Trumpet clipped the bird’s-beak to leave the Tiger with a blunt entry that’s completely dominated by the headlights. A mid-size windscreen punches a hole for the rider’s torso, but the stock Tiger leaves the pilot’s hands wide open to the wind.

Usd forks lead the way on fixed values on the Tiger, so Suzuki scores with its preload feature up front and adjustable rebound damping out back; features for which the Tiger has no answer. The brake hardware is comparable, and Triumph rocks a switchable ABS feature so the anchors are a wash with no advantage to be had either way.

If there is any advantage for Triumph to be found, it’s in the drivetrain. At 800 cc, the Tiger packs in the cubeage with its proven triple design, and that shows up in the power figures with 95 horsepower and 58 pound-feet of torque versus 69/50.9. The Tiger weighs in with a bit more heft at 439 pounds dry, but that’s still a difference that’ll definitely show up on the old heinie dyno, no matter how poorly tuned. The rest of the trade off can be found at the checkout counter; Triumph asks for $12,000 for its base model Tiger 800 XR, and I’m not certain the extra power is worth the extra dough.

He Said

“Actually, I’m thinking not so much, at least not for me. The V-Strom, though smaller, is plenty fast with enough power in reserve to keep acceleration as a viable option to avoid calamity. This is a good example of why the adventure bike genre has become such a good alternative for the daily commute, and of course, stock bags, y’all!”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “Interesting choice. I might have gone with a Versys 650LT, but then there are always choices and that one might be done to death. The XT is more rough-and-ready than the plain 650 and add to that the touring features makes it a capable commuter. Is it really an adventure bike though? Wheel travel and the cushy footpegs suggest the blacktop so maybe it’s more road-oriented than you might think. That’s not a bad thing; it just is what it is.”

2019 Suzuki V-Strom 650XT Touring Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: 645 cc, 4-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC 90˚, V-twin
Bore x Stroke: 81.0 mm x 62.6 mm (3.2 in. x 2.5 in.)
Compression Ratio: 11.2:1
Fuel System: Suzuki fuel injection, SDTV-equipped
Starter: Electric
Lubrication: Wet sump
Transmission: 6-speed constant mesh
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate type
Final Drive: Chain, RK 525, 114 links
Chassis:
Suspension Front: Telescopic, coil spring, oil damped
Suspension Rear: Link type, single shock, coil spring, oil damped
Brakes, Front: Tokico, 2-piston calipers, twin disc, ABS-equipped
Brakes, Rear: Nissin, 1-piston, single disc, ABS-equipped
Tire, Front: 110/80R19 M/C (59V), tubeless
Tire, Rear: 150/70R17 M/C (69V), tubeless
Dimensions & Capacities:
Overall Length: 89.6 in. (2,275 mm)
Overall Width: 35.8 in. (910 mm)
Overall Height: 54.1 in. (1,405 mm)
Wheelbase: 61.4 in. (1,560 mm)
Ground Clearance: 6.7 in. (170 mm)
Seat Height: 32.9 in. (835 mm)
Curb Weight: 476 lb. (216 kg) No accessories installed (514 lbs. (233 kg) Approximate weight with Touring accessories installed)
Fuel Tank Capacity: 20.0 L (5.3 US gal.)
Top Speed: 115 mph (est)
Electrical:
Ignition: Electronic ignition (transistorized)
Spark Plugs: NGK MR8E-9
Headlight: 12V 65W (H9 high-beam) and 12V 55W (H7 low-beam)
Tail light: LED
Details:
Warranty: 12-month unlimited mileage limited warranty (Longer coverage periods with other benefits available through Suzuki Extended Protection (SEP)
Color: Red
Price: $9,999

Further Reading

Triumph Tiger 800 XRx

2018 Triumph Tiger 800 XRx
- image 777158

See our review of the Triumph Tiger 800 XRx.

Suzuki SV650X

2018 - 2019 Suzuki SV650X
- image 779407

See our review of the Suzuki SV650X.

Suzuki V-Strom 650 / 650XT

2017 - 2018 Suzuki V-Strom 650 / V-Strom 650XT
- image 815451

See our review of the Suzuki V-Strom 650 / 650XT.

Kawasaki Versys 650 / 650 LT / 1000 LT

2015 - 2018 Kawasaki Versys 650 / Versys 650 LT / Versys 1000 LT
- image 684425

See our review of the Kawasaki Versys 650 / 650LT / 1000LT.

Suzuki

no article
- image 788898

Read more Suzuki news.

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: suzukicycles.com, triumphmotorcycles.com, kawasaki.com

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