It’s Suzuki’s new flagship globetrotter with more power and enhanced rider amenities

Suzuki produced a next-gen V-Strom 1050 ahead of the 2020 model year with a revised frame, tuned powerplant, and updated electronics, and it builds on that platform to deliver its new flagship globetrotter, the V-Strom 1050XT Adventure. The historical design references are every bit as strong in this model as they are in its somewhat less-noble siblings with plenty of old-school DNA in evidence, but it’s the under-the-hood, ride-quality fandanglery and stock dry-storage capacity that puts it over the top.

  • 2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT Adventure
  • Year:
    2020
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V-Twin
  • Displacement:
    1037 cc
  • Top Speed:
    125 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    16999
  • Price:

2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT Adventure Design

  • LED lighting
  • Carries DNA from the DR750S
  • LCD instrumentation
  • Heated handgrips
  • More comfortable rider triangle
  • Accessories bar
  • Adjustable hand controls
  • Quick-release aluminum box-style panniers
  • Adjustable windscreen
  • Adjustable seat height
2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT Adventure
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2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT Adventure
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Not only do the 37-liter bags turn the Adventure into a serious contender as a tourbike and commuter, but they come with powder-coated innards to protect your cargo from aluminum transfer.

Longtime fans of the brand will recognize the genetic markers from the V-Strom 1050XT Adventure’s predecessor, the DR750S, a.k.a. the “DR Big.” The profiles and flylines are nearly identical in a side-by-side comparison from the bird’s-beak fairing all the way back to the hangey-downey rear mudguard and most points in between. Like the ’88 model, the Adventure sports a full-length front fender that extends far enough at the trailing end to keep the spray off the engine and exhaust pipes, though since the forks are of the inverted variety the fender has to pull double duty. Not only do they protect the inner fork tubes, and by association the fork seals, but the uprights act as shunts that steers the incoming slipstream around the forks to increase penetration and reduce drag.

Dual, rectangular, over-under LED headlights stack in the center of the Spartan front fairing to form a distinctive square of light, and up above, a clear, rally-style windscreen punches a hole in the weather for the pilot’s torso as well as the instrumentation. The screen is vented to relieve the vacuum behind it when under way. This reduces the tiresome head-buffet effect and provides plenty of fresh air, and it comes with 11 possible positions over a two-inch vertical range of motion so you can dial it in for your body type and preferences.

An LCD screen handles all of the instrumentation and acts as a rider interface for the generous bundle of ride-quality systems. The systems are manipulated on the fly through the switches under the left thumb. The large-diameter, tapered blackout handlebar is clamped in a taller riser this year. It raises your hands and moves them closer to your core while also creating a more comfortable control triangle and in turn, makes it easier to operate from a standing position for technical work. Additionally, weighted handguards complete the pilot protection and double as vibration dampers for long-distance comfort, and if you fancy cold-weather riding, the stock heated handgrips are just for you. Adjusters on both the front brake lever and clutch lever lets you dial in the hand controls to fit your meathooks. Above the handlebar and just below eye level, the factory added an accessories bar so you can mount a GPS, smartphone, or other mobile device to improve your riding experience.

A 5.3-gallon fuel tank gives the Adventure that typical camel’s hump and plenty of range. A fairly tall saddle rests at 33.5 inches off the ground that’ll tax shorter riders somewhat, but if you have a nickname like “Stretch” or “Slim,” you’ll be glad to hear the saddle can be raised by 20 mm to give you more legroom.

If you want to share the fun with a friend, you can since the stock bike comes with a p-pad and fold-up footpegs, but the real star of the rear end has to be the aluminum box-style panniers that provide ample secure dry storage. Not only do the 37-liter bags turn the Adventure into a serious contender as a tourbike and commuter, but they come with powder-coated innards to protect your cargo from aluminum transfer.

2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT Adventure Chassis

  • Suzuki Intelligent Ride System
  • Motion-Track ABS, Combination Brake System, Hill Hold Control
  • Narrow waist
  • Variable rebound-damping and remote preload adjuster
2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT Adventure
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2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT Adventure
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2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT Adventure
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A twin-spar aluminum frame on the V-Strom 1050 XT Adventure sets the stage with a narrow build that translates to more rider comfort due to the lack of bulk between your legs and better penetration since the bike has to push less air than before. The main frame is tuned to strike a balance between strength, weight, and flexion for precise handling and stable tracking as you hunt for the apex.

Cast-aluminum is the material of choice for the yoke-style swingarm to minimize unsprung weight at the rear axle, and this translates directly into a more supple suspension action out back.

A coil-over monoshock tames the swingarm with a variable rebound-damping feature, plus it rocks a remote preload adjuster so you can dial in for changing cargo/passenger loads sans dirty knees.

Up front, a set of 43 mm, inverted KYB forks take care of business with all three basic adjustments: preload, compression-damping, and rebound-damping tweaks. Laced rims round out the rolling chassis with a 19-inch wheel ahead of a 17-inch rim to give the front end some terrain-tackling qualities. The rubber is Bridgestone’s Battlax Adventure A41 hoops that, admittedly, are better on roads whether they be improved or not. If you plan on doing some serious off-road work, you’ll probably need to invest in some proper stealth knobbies. The stock hoops run in a 110/80 up front opposite a 150/70 and come with a street/soft-surface tread that sheds water for good wet-weather performance.

Dual 310 mm discs and four-piston Tokico calipers haul down the front wheel while the rear wheel depends on a twin-pot Nissin anchor. Both ends benefit from the Combination Brake System that shares braking effort between the front and rear for balanced braking effort and the corner-sensitive, Motion-Track ABS feature. Additionally, the bike detects the load it is carrying and the grade it is traversing. If you’re on a downhill slope, it prevents the rear wheel from trying to lift up while braking so you can say goodbye to unwanted endos.

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

2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT Adventure Drivetrain

  • Cruise Control
  • 1,037 cc V-Twin
  • Larger Throttle bodies
  • Suzuki’s Easy Start System
  • Low RPM Assist and Automatic Idle Speed Control
  • Lean-sensitive traction control
2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT Adventure
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2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT Adventure
- image 876351
2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT Adventure
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The beating heart on the V-Strom 1050XT Adventure saw a number of improvements to deliver more power for your riding pleasure.

A liquid-cooled V-twin in the V-Strom 1050XT Adventure runs with a seriously over-square 100 mm bore and 66 mm stroke to give it a 1,037 cc total displacement and mildish 11.5-to-1 compression ratio. New pistons give the mill a compression boost over the previous generation, and they ride in cylinders treated with the Suzuki Composite Electrochemical Material process to extend the service life of the engine by reducing friction and wear. The heads were reworked, as well, with a new grind on its dual over-head cams that deliver more lift and less overlap in a bid to reduce emissions and boost fuel efficiency.

Twin spark plugs in each head ensure positive ignition and come with a digital ignition system that fires each one a different times in another bid to maximize power. Induction control falls to dual, 49 mm throttle bodies (up from 45 mm) that rock a secondary, electronically-controlled throttle plate in addition to the pilot-controlled butterfly so the engine has a certain amount of self-regulation built in.

Fuel injectors have 10-hole tips for improved atomization and the emissions and power boost they provide. Waste heat is managed by a cooling system that saw a capacity increase of 15-percent plus there’s a liquid-cooled heat exchanger for the oil for double thermal protection.

A slipper clutch couples engine power to the six-speed transmission with the usual anti-hop prevention that protects the integrity of the rear contact patch during heavy engine braking, and the Adventure relies on a tough O-ring chain final drive to put the power to the pavement.

A ride-by-wire communicates with the ECM that uses the secondary butterflies to bridge the gap between rider demand and what the engine can smoothly deliver for seamless transitions throughout the range. The fandanglery is strong with this one. It rolls with Suzuki’s Easy Start System that lights the fire with a momentary stroke of a button, and it relies on the Low RPM Assist and Automatic Idle Speed Control to deliver smooth operation and eliminate the danger of stalling out when operating at low rpm.

Oh, the fandanglery keeps going y’all. The Suzuki Intelligent Ride System and Controller Area Network wirelessly manages the engine’s temperament with a lean-sensitive traction control feature that sports three modes plus “Off” so you can dial in for the conditions and a Drive Mode Selector that tunes the actual power curve to truly give the mill multiple personalities. All said, the mill cranks out 106 horsepower and 73.8 pound-feet of torque with a top speed of 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 1050XT Adventure Pricing

2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT Adventure
- image 874466
2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT Adventure
- image 876345
2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT Adventure
- image 874465
The 2020 V-Strom 1050XT Adventure brings a lot to the table, and the price reflects it at $16,999.

This puts the Adventure at the top of the price list among the new V-Strom 1050 family. You can get it in any color you want this year, as long as you want Glass Sparkle Black with tan and gray graphics.

Warranty: 12-month unlimited mileage limited warranty (Longer coverage periods with other benefits available through Suzuki Extended Protection (SEP). )
Color: Glass Sparkle Black
Price: $16,999

2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT Adventure Competitors

2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT Adventure
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2018 - 2019 Triumph Tiger 1200 XR
- image 781622
Pick your priority: brute power or enhanced electronics suite.

Suzuki’s large-displacement V-Strom 1050 XT Adventure enters a crowded market with heavy-hitters clamoring for a slice of the pie, and this time, I headed to jolly old England for the current Tiger 1200 XR from Triumph. The Tiger moniker is a classic one for the marque, although the design itself doesn’t quite make the same kind of historical connection as the new V-Strom 1050 line. It does, however, fit the ADV bike mold to a “T” with a bird’s-beak front end and separate front fender just like the Suzuki.

The glass is adjustable, but instead of a manual mechanism like the V-Strom has, the Tiger is electrically adjusted with a push of a button for a bit of an advantage. The Tiger also rocks a two-position saddle similar to the V-Strom, but it falls short in tuneability with no answer for the Suzuki’s adjustable hand levers.

As for suspension, the Tiger rides on WP products with adjustable rebound-damping and compression-damping features to go with the adjustable preload and rebound values out back, and that leaves the Tiger at a bit of a deficit in the ride-quality controls against the full-spectrum adjustments on the front of the V-Strom. ABS protection is constant across the board, but again Trumpet falls behind as its anti-lock system isn’t of the lean-sensitive variety to cede the advantage to the Suzuki.

Triumph gets some back with its 1,215 cc powerplant, and that displacement advantage translates directly into a power advantage with 139 horsepower and 90 pound-feet of torque against 106/73.8 from Suzuki’s mill.

The Tiger sports some electronics such as a switchable traction control, but it pales in comparison to the electronics suite that the V-Strom carries to give a significant edge in ride-quality control to the V-Strom.

Triumph has a razor-thin price advantage at $16,500 against Suzuki’s $16,999 sticker, so the real deciding factor is going to be electronics versus brute power.

Read our full review of the Triumph Tiger 1200 XR.

He Said

“It looks like the V-Strom 1050XT Adventure matches up pretty well with the Tiger. There are trade offs to be had, no doubt, but at the end of the day I feel like Suzuki did a pretty good job. Can it compete against bikes like the Dakar-rally-inspired Honda Africa Twin? We don’t know yet, but it will be interesting to see if any of them show up at any of the globetrotting competitions. I can say this with confidence; it will make a hell of a commuter.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “This is the same size engine as in the V-Strom 1000, so new model or next gen? Either way, it’s a nice electronics package. Performance wise, the engine has nice torque in the low range and good power output, but remapped to be a little more revvy. You’ll appreciate that torque while navigating terrain. It would be nice if the windscreen was adjustable on-the-go, but at least you don’t need tools to do 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.”

2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT Adventure 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
Brake, Front: Dual Tokico, 4-piston calipers
Brake, Rear: Nissin, 2-piston
Tire, Front: 110/80R19 M/C (59V), tubeless
Tire, 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: 37.0 in.(940 mm)
Overall Height: 57.7 in.(1,465 mm)
Wheelbase: 61.2 in.(1,555 mm)
Ground Clearance: 6.3 in.(160 mm)
Seat Height: 33.5 in.(850 mm)
Curb Weight: 544.6 lb.(247 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
Price: $16,999

Further Reading

Suzuki

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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, honda.com

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