A New Rally-Style Look, Updated Electronics, And Upgraded Engine Performance Are Part Of The Package For 2020

Suzuki unveiled its new V-Strom 1050 line at the 2019 Milan show with an aggressive new look and expanded capabilities meant to make it easier to range hither and yon over a variety of surfaces. In addition to the new rally-style look, updated electronics and upgraded engine performance are part of the package for MY2020. The V-Strom 1050 serves as the platform for the top-shelf “XT” models but even the stock base model comes packed with upgraded electronics and net-new tech to make it attractive and competitive within the adventure bike market.

  • 2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050
  • Year:
    2020
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V-Twin
  • Displacement:
    1037 cc
  • Top Speed:
    125 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    13399
  • Price:

2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050 Design

2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050
- image 874448
2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050
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Longtime fans will recognize the influence of both the DR-Z Dakar-rally bike and the larger-displacement DR-Big.

For the V-Strom 1050, the factory reaches back in its own adventure-bike history, all the way back to 1988 and the adventure-tastic DR750S of that year, and man lemme’ tell you they really nailed the look. In silhouette you can barely tell them apart, from the short bird’s beak front fairing and long front fender up front, to the camel-hump fuel tank and kicked-up tail end. The flylines line up almost perfectly, but the stuff that fills in the space between the edges takes on a much more modern edge with arguably less of a glorified enduro look.

Up top, a clear adjustable windscreen comes vented to reduce the wearisome head-buffet effect, and stacked rectangular LED headlights to add to the rally-tastic vibe the V-Strom 1050 throws off. Behind the glass, a crossbar makes for a nice place to mount a GPS display/mobile device with an LCD multi-instrument display to handle everything else.

The covers over the 5.3-gallon fuel tank extend forward to the radiator cowling and drive the point home further yet to complete the influence of the ’88 model. It carries a strong wane toward the rear to flow into the narrow waist and leave plenty of legroom where tank, saddle and frame all meet.

A generous p-pad covers the subframe ahead of a mini luggage rack for some cargo/passenger options. Beefy J.C. handles join with fold-up footpegs to complete the passenger’s points of contact and act as an anchor point for bungees and such if you’d rather use the whole rear end to carry cargo. Under the rack is the usual tucked-away-out-of-harm’s-way LED taillight and short mudguard that multitasks as the plateholder, tag light, and turn-signal mount. As for the finer details of the design, longtime fans will recognize the influence of both the DR-Z Dakar-rally bike and the larger-displacement DR-Big throughout.

2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050 Chassis

2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050
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2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050
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2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050
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It's rather remarkable in its unremarkableness. It's a V-Strom. That's should say it all.

A slender twin-spar aluminum frame on the V-Strom 1050 sets the stage and uses the engine as a stressed member to complete the structure and keep weight to a minimum. Toward that end, the factory managed to keep it down to 520-pounds curb weight.

The perimeter frame is tuned for both on-road and off-road activity. A cast-aluminum swingarm completes the structure with a link-style rear shock to tame it and a remotely adjustable preload and rebound-damping feature gives it some flexibility. Up front, a set of inverted, 43 mm KYB stems take care of business with the full trinity of adjustments for even more ride control and extra strength over the equivalent right-way-up forks.

Cast-aluminum, 10-spoke wheels round out the rolling chassis and keep unsprung weight low, and they roll with Bridgestone’s Battlax Adventure A41 hoops that are good on asphalt, softer surfaces like sand, and light terrain. Tokico supplies the four-pot Monoblock front calipers while Nissin builds the single-piston rear caliper with 310 mm discs ahead of a 260 mm disc to wrap up the brake hardware, and Suzuki’s own ABS stands overwatch helps you safely get the most out of the anchors.

The saddle is up there at 33.7 inches off the ground, but that’s the trade off for the 6.5 inches of ground clearance that contributes to making the V-Strom a capable globetrotter.

Suspension Front: Inverted telescopic, coil spring, oil damped
Suspension Rear: Link type, single shock, coil spring, oil damped
Brakes Front: Tokico, 4-piston calipers, twin disc
Brakes Rear: Nissin, 2-piston, single disc
Tires Front: 110/80R19 M/C (59V), tubeless
Tires Rear: 150/70R17 M/C (69V), tubeless

2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050 Drivetrain

2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050
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2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050
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2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050
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The real treats on this machine are in the electronics suite with a whole host of systems for ease of use, engine control, and ride enhancement.

An updated powerplant drives the V-Strom 1050 with new, higher-compression, FEM-analysis pistons that bump the ratio up to 11.5-to-1 and deliver improved durability. Dual-spark heads cap the cylinders and deliver positive flame-front propagation with a digital ignition system that fires each plug individually for precisely controlled combustion. A 100 mm bore and 66 mm stroke gives the liquid-cooled V-twin its 1,037 cc displacement and a very oversquare configuration, plus the cylinders run with the SCEM treatment for low friction and wear.

The factory times the valvetrain with dual over-head cams and took steps to improve emissions and economy by reducing the amount of valve overlap. For low-stress riding, smooth power pulses and rubber engine mounts tame the vibration level you feel. Induction control falls to two individual throttle bodies to complete the mechanical goodies.

The real treats on this machine are in the electronics suite. A ride-by-wire throttle “talks” to the updated Engine Control Module with a faster processor and new programming, and there are a number of modifying systems involved. First, Suzuki’s Easy Start System automatically operates the starter until the engine catches with just a momentary push of the start key. Once started, an Idle Speed Control and Low RPM Assist feature take over to provide smooth idling, even in cold starts, and help prevent stalling out if you mismanage clutch and throttle upon takeoff. In a bid to protect the engine’s lifeblood, the factory added a liquid-cooled oil-cooler to help carry away excess waste heat. Suzuki’s Drive Mode Selector adjusts power deliver and throttle response with a trio of modes from which to choose, and its Traction Control System comes with three modes plus “Off” so you can dial in for conditions and preference.

All of this combines to form Suzuki’s new Intelligent Ride System. A slipper-style clutch adds yet another layer of safety to the bike, and it couples the power to a six-speed transmission. Suzuki is typically tight-lipped about the power figures, but it looks like something around 108 horsepower, an 8-pony increase over last year generated mainly by the compression increase. Absolute top speed is vague but it’s probably the same as the V-Strom 1000 or close to it at an estimated 125 mph.

Engine: 4-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, 90˚ V-twin
Displacement: 1,037 cc
Bore x Stroke: 100.0 mm x 66.0 mm (3.9 in. x 2.6 in.)
Compression Ratio: 11.5:1
Fuel System: Fuel injection, Ride-by-Wire equipped
Starter: Electric
Lubrication: Wet sump
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate type
Transmission: 6-speed constant mesh
Final Drive: Chain, O-ring type, RK525SMOZ8, 116 links

2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050 Pricing

2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050
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2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050
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2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050
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MSRP is $13.4k for the 2020 V-Strom 1050.

There are no ambiguities when it comes to the price. Suzuki asks for $13,399 for its 2020 V-Strom 1050 base model, and it looks like it comes only in the gray-over-black paint scheme.

Warranty: 12-month unlimited mileage limited warranty, Longer coverage periods with other benefits available through Suzuki Extended Protection (SEP).
Color: Glass Sparkle Black / Solid Iron Gray
Price: $13,399

2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050 Competitors

2018 - 2019 Triumph Tiger 800 XRt
- image 849984
2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050
- image 874459
Side-by-side, there is little to choose between the looks; both rides fit the ADV bike mold to a “T.”

The ADV bike field is getting crowded, and rather than grabbing another of the Big Four, I decided to draw from a different bike culture with the [Tiger1918] 800 XR from Triumph. If that name sounds familiar, it should; Triumph has been using the name for around half-a-century.

The Tiger brings its own charms to the dance with a snub-nose front end instead of the bird’s beak, and side-by-side headlight instead of stacked. The vented windshield is a constant across the board, as are the adjustable clutch and brake levers, but Trumpet takes it up a notch with adjustable seat height and handlebar position for complete control over the shape of the rider’s triangle.

Side-by-side, there is little to choose between the looks; both rides fit the ADV bike mold to a “T.” The Tiger is a bit less expensive at $12,000 against the $13,399 sticker on the V-Strom, but that comes with some significant trade offs. It starts with vanilla suspension components that fall well short of the Suzuki stems as far as adjustability and control. Switchable ABS and Traction Control helps the Tiger some, but still it falls short of the electronic brilliance Suzuki fields.

Power on the Tiger comes from an inline triple rather than a V-twin, and at the end of the day, the 800 cc powerplant brings with it a reduction in power at 94 ponies versus 108 to cede the advantage in brute power to the V-Strom. Some riders may find it worth it to spring for the Suzuki in this instance, I certainly do.

He Said

“Adventure bikes just ain’t my thing, but I can still appreciate the engineering behind this model. Suzuki keeps raising the bar with its V-Strom line, and this model certainly doesn’t disappoint. Any shortcomings you can think of can probably be remedied through a quick look through the accessories catalog. Lotta’ bike for the buck.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “I’ll share a few things I like about the new V-Strom 1050. The windscreen is adjustable without tools, but not on-the-go. It would be nice if it was operated electrically, but at least you don’t need a tool for it. The seat height is adjustable up to 0.8 inch and there’s a low-seat option available that lowers the seat height to 32.5 inches. That’s still tall for us short folks, but it’s typical of the genre and height-challenged folks are used to it by now. The 1050 has a nice electronics bundle in the Suzuki Intelligent Ride System, which we’re seeing more and more sophisticated systems in average-priced bikes now. Performance wise, it has nice torque in the low range and good power output, but remapped to be a little more revvy. All-in-all, it looks like a bike worthy of the V-Strom name.”

2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050 Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Engine: 4-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, 90˚ V-twin
Displacement: 1,037 cc
Bore x Stroke: 100.0 mm x 66.0 mm (3.9 in. x 2.6 in.)
Compression Ratio: 11.5:1
Fuel System: Fuel injection, Ride-by-Wire equipped
Starter: Electric
Lubrication: Wet sump
Clutch: Wet, multi-plate type
Transmission: 6-speed constant mesh
Final Drive: Chain, O-ring type, RK525SMOZ8, 116 links
Chassis:
Suspension Front: Inverted telescopic, coil spring, oil damped
Suspension Rear: Link type, single shock, coil spring, oil damped
Brakes Front: Tokico, 4-piston calipers, twin disc
Brakes Rear: Nissin, 2-piston, single disc
Tires Front: 110/80R19 M/C (59V), tubeless
Tires Rear: 150/70R17 M/C (69V), tubeless
Electrical:
Ignition: Electronic ignition (transistorized)
Headlight: LED
Tail Light: LED
Dimensions & Capacities:
Overall Length: 89.2 in.(2,265 mm)
Overall Width: 34.3 in.(870 mm)
Overall Height: 59.6 in.(1,515 mm)
Wheelbase: 61.2 in.(1,555 mm)
Ground Clearance: 6.5 in.(165 mm)
Seat Height: 33.7 in.(855 mm)
Curb Weight: 520.4 lb.(236 kg)
Fuel Tank Capacity: 5.3 gal.(20.0 l)
Top Speed: 125 mph (est)
Details:
Warranty: 12-month unlimited mileage limited warranty, Longer coverage periods with other benefits available through Suzuki Extended Protection (SEP).
Color: Glass Sparkle Black / Solid Iron Gray
Price: $13,399

Further Reading

Triumph Tiger 800 XRt

2018 - 2019 Triumph Tiger 800 XRt
- image 843922

See our review of the Triumph Tiger 800 XRt.

Suzuki V-Strom 1000

2017 - 2019 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 & 1000XT
- image 777383

See our review of the Suzuki V-Strom 1000.

Suzuki

ALLYN IMAGES: DO NOT DELETE
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Read more Suzuki.

TJ Hinton
T.J got an early start from his father and other family members who owned and rode motorcycles, and by helping with various mechanical repairs throughout childhood. That planted a seed that grew into a well-rounded appreciation of all things mechanical, and eventually, into a formal education of same. Though primarily a Harley rider, he has an appreciation for all sorts of bikes and doesn't discriminate against any particular brand or region of origin. He currently holds an Associate's degree in applied mechanical science from his time at the M.M.I.  Read More
About the author

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

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