Is Suzuki about to revive the DR Big?

Could this be a worthy competitor to the Africa Twin & co?

Suzuki DR 800 Big

SUZUKI’S DR is a legendary machine. The go to for many a globetrotter, the single cylinder 600-ish capacity machine has stood the test of time and has remained in production in various guises for almost 30 years.

But try as it might, the DR just cannot compete with the likes of BMW’s GS, KTM’s Adventures or the Honda Africa Twin.

But, if rumour has it, there may soon be a DR that can. According to the Spanish Trail Riders Mag website, which quotes a direct source from the company, Suzuki is planning on joining the big adventure bike party with an off-road capable weapon, based on the V-Strom 1000 engine and chassis.

So while it may not be a true DR, with a 100hp V-twin powertrain and modern creature comforts, the model will feature spoked wheels, long suspension travel, a 20-litre fuel tank, high ground clearance and an elevated exhaust. ABS will reportedly be switchable, and hopefully dedicated riding modes will feature – the V-Strom does, after all, already have an IMU and two-level traction-control.

It’s expected that the model will weigh around the same as the V-Strom – 230kg wet – and will use the same twin-spar type frame.

Suzuki previously released the DR 800 S Big in 1988, with a 52 horsepower, 727 cc single-cylinder engine and 30 litre fuel tank, before making it even bigger in 1990 – up to 779 cc and 54 horsepower (although the fuel tank was reduced to 23-litres). With that huge tank, a tall seat, at 876 mm, and bright livery it was a forebearer of adventure motorcycle design, and signalled the start of the iconic ‘adventure beak’.

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