Suzuki V-Strom 1000 long-term review

Initial impressions of Suzuki's adventure-styled tourer

I'VE spent the last couple of months riding Suzuki’s V-Strom 1000, my long termer for the year.

It’s only racked up 400 miles so far and most of that has been covered during my short commute to work, but I feel as though I’ve already got a relatively firm grasp on what the V-Strom does well, and not so well.

There’s no denying that compared to the likes of KTM’s new 1050 Adventure and the 1190, the Suzuki has a fair bit of catching up to do. It’s down on power, the electronics aren’t as sophisticated, the engine isn’t as exciting and it doesn’t handle as well either.

Compare it to the Ducati Multistrada and the results are similar.

That doesn’t stop it from being a good motorcycle though. In fact, during my short ownership I’ve found it to be a bit of a workhorse. And I mean that in the nicest way possible.

That 1037cc V-twin punts out 99hp and almost all of its of torque below 4,000rpm. Above 6,000rpm you don’t get much other than noise so it pays to ride the wave of grunt on offer low down in the rev range. And because the bike has such tall gearing, a steady throttle will return almost 70mpg at motorway speeds giving you a range of over 250 miles from the 20-litre tank.

An aspect of the V-Strom that I’ve started to really appreciate is how it has the basics nailed. There aren’t really any irritating traits. The fuelling is impressively good for such a big V-twin, the seat is comfortable, the switchgear is simple, and the mirrors are well positioned and functional. It might not be on par with other machines in its class but it's difficult to dislike at the same time.

Despite its 228kg wet weight and laid back chassis geometry, the V-Strom manages to remain relatively flickable for such a big machine. It won’t embarrass any of the sport-adventure bikes out there, but it won’t embarrass itself either.

Any motorcycle with wide bars is going to struggle fitting through tight gaps, but the Suzuki definitely takes the cake for being one of the worst motorcycles to filter on. The combination of wide bars, large pokey-out mirrors, hand guards and the optional panniers means you’ll almost certainly catch a car’s wing mirror at some point. Perhaps now would be a good opportunity to apologise to that Volvo driver I passed this morning.

My biggest problem is still that £8,999 price tag (£9,999 if you go for the pannier-equipped Adventure model). Suzuki has unsurprisingly had a difficult time convincing the average buyer to walk past the Triumph Tiger 800, Honda Crossrunner, and other bikes in the same genre, to opt for the V-Strom.

It’s early days and perhaps a few more dry miles under my belt will allow me to gel with the WeeStrom more so than I’ve done.

Watch this space, this is only the beginning for the Suzuki.

Read part two of my long-term Suzuki V-Strom 1000 review

Read our full road test of the Suzuki V-Strom 1000

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