Its Heritage Goes Back To The ’88 Paris-Dakar Rally Bike Based On The DR750S

Suzuki builds on its new retro-tastic V-Strom 1050 platform to produce the even more capable V-Strom 1050XT. The 1050 XT has an improved electronics suite along with its enhanced engine performance and classic looks. The addition of an inertial-measurement unit brings a corner-sensitive element to the Suzuki Intelligent Ride System (S.I.R.S.) to put this ride near the top of the technological totem pole as it were. This is most definitely a de facto long-distance adventure tourbike built with an eye toward comfort and safety.

  • 2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT
  • Year:
    2020
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V-Twin
  • Displacement:
    1037 cc
  • Top Speed:
    125 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    14799
  • Price:

2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT Design

2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT
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2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT
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Longtime riders will likely recognize the white and orange colorway from the '88 Paris-Dakar Rally bike based on the DR750S.

Longtime riders will likely recognize the genetic markers bestowed upon the new V-Strom 1050 line by its ancestor, the ’88 DR 750S. The similarities start right out of the gate in the long front fender and bird’s-beak fairing, the latter of which flows back to form part of the fuel-tank cover then forward again to serve as a neat little shroud for the high-mount radiator. Behind that cover, the fuel tank wanes to a narrow waist so as to leave a straightish line from hip to ground, but in profile, the tank and abutting side cover join to reinforce the influence of the ’88 model.

Stacked rectangular headlights form a square in the middle of the fairing with an adjustable, rally-style clear windscreen up top to offer some rider protection and shield the LCD screen that bundles the instrumentation into one location. Just under the glass and well out of harm’s way a set of short standoff-style turn signals finish out the forward lighting.

A 5.3-gallon fuel tank gives the XT’s flyline its adventure-typical hump, and the saddle extends halfway up the rearward slope to give your naughty bits a bit of a break if you hit the brakes a little too hard. The seat rests at 33.5 inches off the deck, but if you shop in the Big-n-Tall section there’s the option to raise that by 0.78 inch (20 mm) to gain some extra legroom. There’s no accommodation for a lower seat, but the Hill Hold Control will help riders with shorter inseams deal with the tallish saddle.

A wide p-pad comes with fold-up, subframe-mount footpegs and rather large J.C. handles for your passenger’s comfort. If you aren’t into sharing the fun with a friend, the pillion area and trailing luggage rack provides plenty of open-air cargo capacity.

LED projectors make sure you stay visible from the rear with a tucked-under taillight to go with the standoff blinkers and plateholder down on the little mudguard. Back up at the blackout, higher-rise, and larger-diameter handlebar, a set of handguards complete the rider’s protection with integral weights that dampen the vibrations before they have a chance to rattle your fillings or put your hands to sleep. Plus, there’s an accessory bar behind the screen so you can mount a GPS or other mobile electronic devices, because, after all, just because you’re out of pocket doesn’t necessarily follow that you have to be out of touch.

2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT Chassis

2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT
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2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT
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2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT
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Not only does the 1050XT come with a two-mode-plus-Off ABS, it's of the corner-sensitive variety for the first of many top-shelf electronic safety features.

The slender, twin-spar aluminum frame on the V-Strom 1050XT represents an effort to strike a balance between flexibility, rigidity, and heft with a fairly narrow midsection to allow for the trim waist. Using the engine as a stressed unit to displace the downtube/cradle section keeps weight down, though some of that weight is added back in the form of a set of engine guards that’ll protect the mill in a drop or a laydown and an aluminum bash plate that protects the front and bottom of the lump. A cast-aluminum swingarm finishes the standing structure and does its bit to keep unsprung weight down at the rear axle. That also protects the rear contact patch by allowing the suspension to react to rapid-fire irregularities in the surface.

As for the suspension itself, a coil-over monoshock takes care of business out back with the obligatory spring-preload adjuster plus a rebound-damping adjuster to let you dial in the ride. Up front, a set of inverted, 43 mm forks floats the front end on the full trinity of adjustments to deliver a plush ride or a firm one, take your pick.

Laced rims round out the rolling chassis and beef up the 1050 XT’s off-road chops with a 17-inch rim out back, led by a terrain-defeating 19-inch rim up front. Bridgestone’s Battlax Adventure A41 hoops make the connection to the ground, and while they have a definite street bias, they perform okay on soft surfaces and light off-road terrain.

Tokico stoppers bind the front wheel with four-pot calipers and dual, 310 mm discs, but out back, a twin-piston Nissin anchor does its thing. Not only does the XT model come with a two-mode-plus-Off ABS, it’s of the corner-sensitive variety for the first of many top-shelf electronic safety features. The second such system is also tied to the brakes; the Hill Hold Control that holds the rear brake for you so you can deploy both training wheels to the ground for takeoffs on a grade.

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 Drivetrain

2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT
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2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT
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2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT
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Suzuki's S.I.R.S. feature rocks a Controller Area Network feature that eliminates much of the wiring harness and allows for lightning fast communication between the ECM and the other systems.

The fandanglery continues in earnest in the engine controls on the V-Strom 1050 XT. Suzuki’s S.I.R.S. feature rocks a Controller Area Network feature that eliminates much of the wiring harness and allows for lightning fast communication between the ECM and the other systems, plus it acts as a one-stop on-board diagnostic device. A six-axis inertial measurement “Motion Track” unit reads the forces acting on the chassis and feeds that info to the ECM. This makes the traction-control system a lean-sensitive feature as well, plus it reads the angle of decline when you’re headed downhill to add an anti rear-wheel liftup function to the ABS bundle.

Finally, a Ride-by-Wire throttle control conveys the rider’s wishes to the ECM and washes through the filter that is the Drive Mode Selector so you can dial in power delivery through a trio of profiles. Suzuki’s Easy-Start system makes for reliable starts with just a quick momentary press of the starter button, and that teams up with the Automatic Idle Speed Control and Low RPM Assist to deliver stall-free riding.

As for the mechanical bits, new electronic throttle bodies boost performance of the liquid-cooled, 90-degree V-twin engine. Revised cam profiles reduce valve overlap to reduce emissions and increase mileage and it runs higher compression pistons. The layout is decidedly oversquare with a 100 mm bore and 66 mm stroke that gives the mill its 1,037 cc displacement and 11.5-to-1 compression ratio. Dual over-head cams time the valves, and in addition to reduced overlap, they also are ground for higher lift in a bid to aid proper aspiration. Dual-sparkplug heads ensure positive ignition to further improve emissions and efficiency.

At the other end of the circuit is Suzuki’s Pulsed Secondary Air System that injects fresh air into the exhaust stream in order to encourage any remaining free hydrocarbons to burn off before they make it to the muffler. Power was increased from 100 ponies to 106 this year, and it flows through a wet slipper-type clutch that mitigates backtorque and makes for an easy lever pull. A six-speed transmission crunches the ratios with a chain-type final drive that turns in an estimated 125 mph at redline in top gear.

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 Pricing

2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT
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2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT
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2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT
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The 2020 V-Strom 1050XT rolls for a base MSRP of $14.8k.

The 2020 V-Strom 1050XT rolls for a base MSRP of $14,799. It comes in a choice of a bright Champion Yellow No.2, or my favorite, a Pearl Brilliant White/Glass Blaze Orange two-tone paint package.

Warranty: 12-month unlimited mileage limited warranty (Longer coverage periods with other benefits available through Suzuki Extended Protection (SEP). )
Color: Pearl Brilliant White/Glass Blaze Orange, Champion Yellow No. 2
Price: $14,799

2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT Competitors

2019 - 2020 Ducati Multistrada 950 / 950 S
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2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT
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Electronics are a wash as both bikes are veritable rolling showcases of top-shelf fandanglery, but the biggest difference is found at the checkout counter.

It is a formidable electronics package that the V-Strom 1050XT brings to the table, and I needed a strong contender for a fair head-to-head so I went straight to Ducati for its multi-surface Multistrada 950 S. It should surprise exactly no one that the Italian ride manages to bring an element of sexiness to the table that eludes most other manufacturers, and as a simple exercise in vanity, the Multistrada takes the cake in my humble opinion.

In spite of its singular style, the Duc fits the ADV-bike mold to a T with a short, sorta’ bird’s-beak front end, windshield, and tall tank hump ahead of a deep swale where the pilot rides. The stock 950 S rolls with cast wheels that are definitely biased toward the blacktop, but if you plan on going off-road, or just want the classic look, you can opt for the “Spoked Wheels” variant for its laced rims.

Much like Suzuki, Ducati leads the way with a 19-inch front hoop for the terrain-tackling capabilities it delivers. The Multistrada’s suspension leaves the V-Strom sucking hind tit through the miracle of the Ducati Skyhook Suspension Evo that automatically and electronically adjust the damping values, all independent of rider input, where the V-Strom is all manual in its adjustments.

The two re-align in the brakes and the associated corner-sensitive ABS features, so the stoppers are a wash. Ducati powers its entry with an L-twin for the same sort of configuration as the Suzuki, but the cubeage drops off a skosh with only 937 cc. However, in this case, displacement and power are inversely proportional as the Duc packs 113 ponies against the V-Strom’s 106 horsepower to cede the advantage to the Italian stallion.

Electronics are also a wash as both bikes are veritable rolling showcases of top-shelf fandanglery, but the biggest difference is found at the checkout. Ducati slapped a $17,595 sticker on its 2020 Multistrada 950 S Spoked Wheels for a significant offset that is sure to steer some riders toward the Japanese ride.

He Said

“It’s no secret that I like classic looks, and yes, 1988 was long-enough ago that it qualifies as such, so the lengths the factory went to in order to channel the old DR750S is much appreciated. Even better is the electronics suite that was a pipe dream back in the Eighties, at best. Of course, it is no substitute for skill, but I reckon it’s to be expected in this day and age. If I could change one thing, it would be to add stock panniers to further increase its utility as a tourbike/commuter.”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “I dunno. The V-Strom 1050XT is a nice bike, but even though it has a bash plate and a few other off-road features, I’d like to see a 21-inch front wheel on a bike that is meant for terrain. The 19-inch wheel just says “street” to me. That aside, it has a nice electronics package. It’s the same size engine as the V-Strom 1000, just brushed up for what could really be called the next gen instead of a new model.”

2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT 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: Pearl Brilliant White/Glass Blaze Orange, Champion Yellow No. 2
Price: $14,799

Further Reading

Ducati Multistrada 950 / 950 S

2019 - 2020 Ducati Multistrada 950 / 950 S
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See our review of the Ducati Multistrada 950 / 950 S.

Suzuki V-Strom 1050

2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050
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See our review of the Suzuki V-Strom 1050.

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, ducati.com

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