Handsome is as handsome does. And if that's the case, many owners reckon the V-Strom is drop-dead gorgeous and offers plenty of smiles for the miles.
Let's get the looks out of the way. Yes, it's the kind of mush only a mother could love, but it's only skin-deep. Scratch the surface of the Suzuki V-Strom (and sadly that's all too easy) and you'll find a comfy, mile-munching two-up tourer for second-hand learner bike money.
Released in 2002, the V-Strom saddled the classic TL1000S motor in a decent chassis with super-soft forks and below-par brakes. It was a worthy challenger to Aprilia's more involving CapoNord and Honda's stoic and thirsty Varadero. Beef-up the handling though, and you had a back-road corker on your hands. Things get better still away from that soggy front-end and dubious finish. Comfort is damn good and that motor never gives up the ghost. Keep on top of the finish, as most loving owners do, and it's a keeper.
V-Strom comes from 'V' for the motor and the German 'Strom' meaning stream or current. And the V-Strom begat a strange love-child with Kawasaki - the KLV1000 was a tarted-up DL in Kwak orange.
Engine: The best part. Suzuki has made some legendary fours in their time - the oil/air cooled GSX-R750/1100 family for a start - but in creating the TL1000S motor they made another classic. De-tuned for use in the V-Strom, the 996cc
V-twin is nevertheless an absolute peach. The thing fair takes off from low revs, albeit lumpily, then from 4000rpm it hits afterburner, peaking at just under 100bhp at 7500rpm. It's a belter, and responds well to cans and stage-one upgrades. Servicing takes place every 4000 miles.
Restrictions: Stroms can be restricted in a couple of ways. First they can be power-restricted in the top two gears. Get rid of this and the 'lumpy' sub-4000rpm delivery by fitting a Timing Retard Eliminator (TRE), a popular owners' mod. Some are restricted below 4000rpm in first and second by slowing down the response of the secondary butterfly valves. Checking out owners' websites will help you find out how to de-restrict 'em (should you wish).
Vibrations: Owners report it's common for Stroms to vibrate like yer missus' Rampant Rabbit for the first 2-3K miles until nicely 'run-in'.
Continue the Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom used review
thanks, this is a good article, i find i,m continually touching up, but I use mine all year round. the pipes look poor from the back, stainless option would be good, also salt has got at the engine case, but every time i start it up and go i just smile. Great bike, great ride.
Posted: 24/03/2009 at 21:48
Spot on review of this bike, I own one. I do an all year round motorway commute (70 Miles per day) and this is the first bike I have owned that can actually cope with it.
The "Chudder" is something it suffers from but it can be controlled by proper usage of the the throttle and clutch. It only happens when you pull off.
It's an ugly bike but that's the appeal of the beast. The finish is not good and does suffer from corrosion, not something you would show off to the weekend bikers on, however it's only the surface finish (My boots also appear to have rubbed off the paint on the engine cover) and nothing that has caused me a problem yet. Keep salt away from this bike!
Handling is great I can really get it low down around the corners. Apart from the low revs buzzing the engine is great, on the motorway it packs so much power and it's impossible to redline. Even in top gear doing 90 mph I can open the throttle and suddenly it's hitting 130 mph and the revs are still way in the green. It's a good traffic bike and the tinned motorists get out your way when they see the twin search lights.
I have ridden this bike through rain, wind and snow (What a day that was!) and it's got me home safely. I sometimes get ideas about buying another bike but I may stick with this one and ride it all the way to the scrapyard then buy another.
Posted: 10/05/2011 at 09:52
I had one - only got rid of it under pressure from the now ex-wife. It was a great bike, never once let me down. I rode it for 3 years in all seasons. Corrosion was minimal, but then I was always a bit retentive with the Scottoiler F365 spray (smells great when cooking off). My boots (Sidi Vertebra) wore through the paint too - probably the worst weakness. Pulls like a train, and comfy for 500 milers easily.
Posted: 27/06/2012 at 15:51
Posted: 03/05/2013 at 11:22
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