First ride: Suzuki V-Strom 1000 review

Suzuki’s updated 2017 DL1000 V-Strom is still great value – but is that enough to make it a winner?

0
Visordown's picture
Submitted by Visordown on Tue, 04/04/2017 - 17:19

By Llewelyn Pavey

BACK in 2013, in the golden sun-baked hills of California, Suzuki unveiled an entirely new look V-Strom one-thousand. The cherry-red paint scheme, distinctive beaked nose and more adventurey styling was the very first step into a new ear for a company that barely seemed to be making bikes any more.

It has taken the Japanese firm a while to return from the cliff edge but they are back; racing in MotoGP and producing top-level sports bikes and bright yellow adventure bikes.

However, barring the jazzy new paint and Euro4 emission compliance, the latest iteration of the V-Strom 1000 isn’t a whole lot different to the one that came before it.

Euro4 has come at the cost of a single, negligible lbft for the V-Strom 1000, bringing the peak to 74.5lbft. Suzuki clearly didn’t feel it needed too much altering otherwise.

A little re-styling has seen the front beak shape altered, the seat shape changed and some new colour schemes added to the mix, including the ‘off-road’ style ‘Champion Yellow’ with its gold-coloured tubeless spoked wheels.

The windscreen has been updated after the old design received a lot of flack too, making it a little wider and 9mm higher. The height can still only be adjusted with an Allen key that doesn’t come in the toolkit but you can still change the angle with a one-handed push.

Suzuki have also popped some hand guards and a plastic sump cowl into the mix as standard items.

The biggest change to package is the addition of a cornering-aware ABS system and linked brakes. It’s one of the big new additions to the 2017 GSX-R 1000 and Suzuki have adapted the system to the V-Strom.

The ABS now uses a new inertial measurement unit to add lean data to the info collected by the existing wheel speed sensors and judge whether you’re braking too much at the wrong time. It’s a system that has typically been seen on more flagship-style bikes, in the £12,000-up price bracket.

From a riding perspective, the 2017 V-Strom 1000 isn’t a new beast. The updates are nice and the bike looks a little cooler, especially in the pearly white colour.

It’s also worth pointing out early on that the V-Strom isn’t a full-blown adventure machine. It’s a sports-tourer with a comfy, upright riding position and a sticker on the beak that says ‘Adventure’.

It’s 100% street bike and 5% off-road bike. I know maths like that is only possible on Saturday-night TV talent shows but if you’ve ridden a V-Strom you’ll understand.

The launch test ride in Spain did include a bit of trail, as sharp-eyed readers will be able to tell from some of the photos.

Suzuki built the V-Strom 1000 with the weekend tourer in mind, who wants to go places a more far-flung in the summer months. This is a bike for someone who who rides twisties and motorway, who may realistically carry a pillion and luggage. It’s not trying to be a GS and it has very little aspirations of crossing Mongolian plains.

If you like those aforementioned activities, you’ll like the V-Strom. The road handling characteristics are very Suzuki. It tips into corners in a linear, non-dramatic fashion. Making the bike lean over took more effort than I’d have expected but it isn’t sluggish to turn. It’s not inspiringly sharp-handling, nor terribly laconic. It rolls onto its side and comfortably holds position like a seal that’s been doing its morning Pilates.

Honestly, my expectation was something a little sharper-handling with a little more snap and zip. The V-Strom took some settling into.

The 232kg kerb weight is bang on with a standard Africa Twin. But some bikes ride light and others ride like they enjoy the odd pie.

Follow Visordown

Latest News

Latest Features

Latest Bike Reviews

Crash Media Group
Visordown is part of the CMG Full Throttle Network© : welcoming over 3 million consumers each month