Suzuki has announced an entirely new street model for its U.S. line-up, the 2002 DL 1000 V-Strom. Suzuki calls the V-Strom a “sport enduro tourer” . . . a versatile machine in the nature of the adventure tourers popular in Europe.
The V-Strom has a very modern and powerful engine coupled with an extremely lightweight but rigid chassis. Utilizing the proven TL 1000 motor (displacing 996cc) and coupling it with the latest fuel injection technology (similar to the fuel injection featured on Suzuki’s GSX-R sportbikes), the V-Strom promises to be an enjoyable ride.
Weighing in at just 456 pounds, the V-Strom is lighter than most sport tourers, and the lightest of the large adventure touring machines.
With a six speed transmission, and a 5.8 gallon fuel tank, the V-Strom should be an excellent tourer, as well (although mounting saddlebags may be a challenge given the muffler location). Relatively long suspension travel (6.3 inches front and 6.4 inches rear) coupled with an upright seating position and a reasonably protective fairing give the V-Strom the features favored by many European riders in their adventure touring machines.
Suzuki kept the V-Strom’s weight down by employing a light, sportbike-type aluminum-alloy, twin-spar frame, aluminum swingarm, cast aluminum alloy wheels, an ultra-thin instrument cluster and, of course, the TL 1000-derived powerplant (which was designed to be lightweight and compact from the start).
The TL 1000 engine has been popular with other manufacturers, as well, including Bimota and, most recently, Cagiva (the engine is found in the Raptor models). With gear driven cams, the engine was originally designed for high performance sportbike use, and even racing. A version of this engine is still used in Suzuki’s TL 1000R superbike.
Given its weight and engine performance, the V-Strom should easily outperform BMW’s R 1150 GS, a heavier and much more expensive adventure tourer available here in the United States. The U.S. MSRP of the DL 1000 V-Strom is $8,899. We will bring you a first impression and a ride review as soon as Suzuki makes test units available.
More later this week on other Suzuki 2002 news.