Pictured below is a new version of the Suzuki V-Strom 650 that incorporates high quality aluminum bags, as well as a center stand and other features (such as an engine guard). Unfortunately, this bike is not available here in the United States, at this point. It was made to feed the huge appetite for adventure motorcycles in Europe, just like the Honda Varadero 1000 pictured above.
We have ridden some of these bikes, and absolutely love them. You can see our review of the U.S. market V-Strom 650 here, for example. Nevertheless, U.S. demand for these bikes is tiny compared to demand for this category of motorcycle in Europe. Why?
The U.S. market has largely been about cruisers and sport bikes for several years, with most other categories driving relatively few sales. Although there is some evidence that this is changing, European tastes have traditionally been quite a bit different, and American distributors often reluctant to bring a model to the U.S. even when it sells well in Europe.
The adventure category (also sometimes referred to as the large enduro or trailie category) might just prove to be very popular in the U.S. in the near future. A number of Internet forums devoted to this type of motorcycle are quite active, and the bikes themselves do provide practicality, combined with comfort and fun. Let us know what you think about adventure bikes, and whether the U.S. market for this style of motorcycle should expand in the near future.