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INTERMOT Concepts From Suzuki and Yamaha Point To Future Production Models

V-Strom 1000 Concept

Among the myriad displays at INTERMOT were two concepts from Japanese manufacturers, Yamaha and Suzuki. Suzuki displayed the V-Strom 1000 Concept pictured above, likely the basis for a production version to be introduced next year as a 2014 model.

The new V-Strom 1000 concept is not the warmed-over update the 650 version proved to be when it was introduced last year. Instead, it is essentially all-new, with a heavily revised engine, chassis and styling. Expect the electronic aides that are rapidly becoming de rigueur for the class, such as defeat-able traction control and cruise control. Adjustable windscreen and cast wheels point toward a road orientation, as does the integrated luggage. Other upgrades likely will include the displayed adjustable suspension and radial-mount front brakes. Needless to say, Suzuki will have much more competition in this category next time around, and it must design the new V-Strom 1000 to meet it.

Yamaha Crossplane Triple Concept

Yamaha displayed something quite a bit more unexpected with its Crossplane Triple concept. Not hiding the fact that this is headed for production in some form, Yamaha appears to have determined that a triple will help bring back some sales to the depressed sportbike market, and will undoubtedly point to its own 3 cylinder heritage in the form of the XS750/850 from the late ’70s. Triumph and MV won’t have this niche to themselves much longer, it would appear.

78 Comments

  1. Ricardo says:

    what’s with all the ugly bikes these days? utilitarian yes, appealing to the eye, no!! and love always comes through your eyes first…

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  2. mark says:

    My current ride, the Tiger 1050 is lighter than most “adventure” bikes and makes a great sport tour, but it is not my favorite on dirt roads.

    As the past owner of several (bordering on numerous) Suzuki V-twin engines (SVs and DLs) I sure do like the idea of this bike. The V-twin is an ideal motor for me. Make it less than 500 pounds and I might consider it when I am ready for a change.

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  3. kirk66 says:

    I kinda like the Zook. Hopefully they won’t change it much when it goes production. As for the Triple Yam- I like the idea of building a supersport/adventure tour bike in the ilk of Triumph. Seems that the market can handle an Asian triple about about 10% savings from the Triumph.

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  4. PN says:

    The beak is growing on me. I still think it mars the Ducati Multistrada though, The rest of the new VStrom1000 looks really good. As for the new Yamaha crossplane triples, the R6 needs help because it’s too peaky and torque-free. Kawasaki just bumped the ZX-6R to 636cc. Simple.

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  5. skybullet says:

    Suzuki’s designers are probably trying to copy the GS, Tiger, big dual sporty look purely for marketing purposes. When they get too creative we see Gladius.
    I’ll go with derivative styling any day, not that a clean early BSA/Triumph/60′s Honda look would not be much better. Along that theme, how about lighter, simpler and lower cost without all the fru-fru.
    A cheap market test would be a optional beak eliminator, it might even give the bike a distinctive functional look.

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  6. Nocklhiem Verstadt says:

    It’s hard to believe that Suzuki’s professional designers can’t see the “beak” the way most posters here see it…an ugly protuberance that fulfills no purpose. Time to hire some new designers that are a little more in touch with motorcyclists likes/dislikes than 5 year old boys hooked on sesame street.

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    • Dave says:

      We posters are not the customer base, which their researchers know very well. If the beak is there, it is because their research found that it was a critical aesthetic element that WILL sell more bikes. Just not to us.

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      • todd says:

        Do you really think they are researching this? It is likely they think the nose will associate it with the Big GS and therefore increase its sales. They’re just copying the market leader. I’m sure the GS would sell just as well without a beak. As soon as BMW removes it everyone else will remove theirs.

        -todd

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        • Dave says:

          They absolutely researched it, thoroughly, as did BMW and Ducati. Big companies like that try to take as few guesses as possible. That doesn’t mean they nailed it (wouldn’t we like it too?) but like you point out, the sales leader has it and a sales history validating it.

          Now that it’s a signature feature of the category I’d bet BMW will be pretty reluctant to take the risk of removing it.

  7. T. Rollie says:

    Could this new Suzuki V-Strom 1000 be the best-value standard bike ever made? The price will certainly beat the competitors, and performance is likely to hang with the best of them. My two bits

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  8. dino says:

    I’ve seen some threads talking about the Crossplane crank, and wheather it is just a gimmick or marketing… in the R1, it is not a gimmick. The smooth friring pulses of the old inline-4 seemed good, but when the rear tire starts losing grip, the smooth power keeps it spinning. Someone noticed that the Ducatis, and other big twins seemed to be able to put more power down in the corners. The theory was that a big firing pulse would spin the tire, then between firing it would regain traction. The crossplane crank was a way to bunch-up the firing pulses of the 4 cylinders, then give the tire a chance to regrip. It sounded cool, and helped the Yamaha crank up their racing (pun intended).
    Triples seem to be working for Triumph, it would be cool to see what Yamaha could do with triples also..

    Except for the beak, the big Vstrom looks like a winner too!

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    • Dave says:

      Those posters are wrong, even if their hearts are in the right place. The cross plane and V engines are smoother, The standard I-4 crank causes a pretty major back torque issue, which causes the traction problems. See my post below for a better explanation.

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  9. Mike Bradley says:

    When Suzuki cancelled the SV1000 I expected they’d cancel the Strom, too. I figured they were burned by the SV1000 and wanted out. But I guess not. So why don’t they bring back the SV1000? It was a great bike for the money, they had fixed the knocking problem of the first years, and it was becoming a cult classic. Some of us SV1000 riders thought Suzuki could have taken over the medium-sized sport-touring market with the bike by adding the usual sport-touring goodies.

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  10. Phillip says:

    Suzuki needs to bump the DL motors out to 750cc and 1200cc. You can never have too much power.

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  11. todd says:

    stuff like this just makes all my old used bikes worth more.

    -todd

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  12. Gary says:

    I’ll say this about the V-Strom. I owned a 2006 DL1000, for about two years. I’m still kicking myself for selling it. Super easy to work on, great handling/comfort, decent motor, and rock solid reliable. The only thing I wished it had was cruise control. Oh, and I wish bike makers would wise up and do something with exhaust systems, so that they don’t crowd luggage capacity. Eric Buell got it right. Why no one else?

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  13. T. Rollie says:

    The beak looks like the Road-runner. Or Woody the Woodpecker. Not bad, actually, sort of charming. Always loved Suzuki’s — the most bang for the buck anywhere.

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  14. HalfBaked says:

    How about a nice selection of cheese and crackers to go with all that whine. The front end is supposed to mimic a high mounted dirt bike fender. If you haven’t noticed all dirt bikes tend look very similar.

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    • Daven says:

      There was never any question that the beak was intended to mimic a high mounted dirt bike fender. Therein lies the problem, this is not a dirt bike, and the bike already has a functioning fender down on the tire. The beak serves no actual function other than a styling appendage to give the bike a hint of off-road adventure worthiness. Other than it’s attempt to evoke feelings of off-road competence that it can’t deliver on, the beak is completely worthless and detracts from the overall look of the bike.

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  15. Dave says:

    Absolutely a home run in the specs and looks Suzuki! I wish the 650 would have gotten the same treatment instead of being a warmed over previous gen model. Suzuki will sell all they can inport and then some – welcome back to the OPen Class ADV game Suzuki!

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  16. Doug says:

    The beak is the new “high” pipes. For a couple of decades every manufacturer embraced that vogue. Now it’s the Beak! The continuation of form/fashion of the herd. There are probably many in the moto-journalistic pack that can & will spew the corporate brochure dogma for the beak. Just glad to see the slow boring death of the silly high mounted mufflers. The fashion of perceived function, yahoo, moo. A bird in the herd.

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    • Dave says:

      I’m guessing that the beak is actually an aerodynamic improvement seeing as the general advice from V-Strom owners is to raise the forks about 15mm in the triple trees to cut down on high-speed lift from the old-style fairing.

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  17. Stromfan says:

    What is really missing in comment forums is a positive viewpoint. From my perspective huzzah to Suzuki for giving us a new Strom with a v-twin motor! Their twins are always torque-filed, smooth, and dependable as a stone axe. After 40-some-odd yrs of riding I am just happy to see another new year of motorcycles coming to the market. Cheers to anything with 2 wheels – I love ‘um all.

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    • Daven says:

      I agree with you about loving anything with two wheels (motor or not!) but this new ‘Strom concept has the face of a cyclops rooster. There are lots of bikes to choose from out there, so there’s no need to choose the ugly one when spending your hard earned dough on a new ride. Suzuki should know this by now.

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  18. Provalogna says:

    Wow. I’m surprised how strong is peer pressure! I thought the Suzuki looked OK. Then I read your comments. Now all I see is that beak, reminding me of dog droppings! Boy, my opinion is easily tweaked.

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  19. PeteN95 says:

    If Yamaha can make an FZ-11(00) with that triple and R1 suspension and not too heavy, sign me up!

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  20. Nocklhiem Verstadt says:

    I look forward to something other than a v-twin or inline four from the Japanese. Be interesting to see how it stacks up against Triumph’s triples. If it lack in performance then it will be a dead duck from the start. Let’s hope they get it right and make it truly competitive.

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  21. Gary says:

    Triumph should pull an Apple and sue the crap out of Yamaha.

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    • Dave says:

      I think Yamaha (and Kawasaki) were there first. There is no reason to think this will perform any less well than a Brit triple. Cylinders and cylinders and the Japanese motor companies are pretty good at making engines.

      The Cross-Plane arrangement is intriguing. Back when they intro’d the R1 they claimed that it was only well applied on larger engines (ie. no 600), which means that this is at minimum, a 750 (same piston size as 1000 I-4) if they’re standing by that ideal.

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      • MGNorge says:

        I don’t believe the Cross-Plane crank truly is that revolutionary. Yamaha made a big deal out of it a few years ago but especially for the street, it’s a sales gimmick. It imparts that certain extra something to the engine room beyond just three cylinders. I would think that in comparison to the Triumphs, what’s more important to the street rider is the sound produced. Triumphs are rather musical in exhaust note, anything else from Yamaha will hurt.

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        • Dave says:

          I agree that Triumphs have a great sound (and ride).

          The Cross-plane crank does have real benefits. It essentially gives an inline engine the same piston mass cancellation that V-engines have. With a regular I-4 all 4 pistons come to a stop, twice per revolution, all at the same time and the mass of the crank is what must pull them through TDC/BDC. With a V or cross-plane engine, when one piston stops, there is another opposing piston travelling at max speed cancelling that inertia out so that the crank is always being driven and never the “driver”.

          If that actually has any real effect on rear tire traction through a transmission and chain final drive, I don’t really know but it sure makes them seem smoother (I’ve always liked a V-twin). And FWIW, that R1 sure does sound good.

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          • mickey says:

            I totally agree with the great sound. I test rode a cross plane R1 and although I could barely contort my 62 year old body to ride it, the sound was intoxicating. If Yamaha made a cross plane Gen 1 style FZ ( or a 1000 cc standard ) I’d sell 3 of my other bikes to get one with no hesitation, for the sound alone.

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        • Jake says:

          The Cross Plane crank design is not a “sales gimmick” — it’s a bona fide engineering design for I.C. engines.
          Most 3-cyl. engines use neither Flat Plane nor Cross Plane — but, have their crank-pins arranged at 120* intervals (“Delta Plane”?).
          The one contradictory design I can think of is the (3 cyl.) Laverda Jota which has a Flat Plane crank with the outer throws at 360* and the center at 180*.
          Although, almost anything is possible nowadays…:o

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          • Norm G. says:

            re: “The Cross Plane crank design is not a “sales gimmick” — it’s a bona fide engineering design for I.C. engines.”

            it’s both. in business it’s called having a USP (unique selling proposition). in an industry as niche, “homogenized”, and readily devalued by the very individuals who consume it (ie. motorcycles), it’s CRITICAL for a manufacturer to have something to crow about. ducati famously has desmodromics, L-twins, and trellis frames. honda has/had v4′s and gear driven cams. after realizing their i4′s weren’t cutting it, triumph rembraced triples with great success. harley has their 45 degree “potato potato”. yamaha used to rep 5-valve heads, but once they did away with that they needed something to replace it… queue furusawa-san’s crossplane…! if you guys recall, it’s even employed in the super tenere. tuning fork boffins don’t miss a trick.

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          • Dave says:

            Norm G. Every one of the things you listed uniquely contributes to each of those brands character. None of that is marketing fluff.

            It’s true that some features are carried on because they make for an aesthetic signature (Duc’s SS swingarm) but an I-4 Ducati would no longer be a Ducati, true?

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          • MGNorge says:

            Let me clarify, I used the term “sales gimmick” not because there’s isn’t any engineering merit to it but other than unique sound what does it bring to the street rider? Think of it this way, if you were struggling to decide between, say a Triumph triple and the proposed Yamaha doesn’t a cross-plane crank impart something just a little more special that just might help tip the scales? Rather gives it that little extra spice doesn’t it?

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          • Sideshow Bob says:

            MGNorge says:
            October 7, 2012 at 5:41 am
            “Let me clarify, I used the term “sales gimmick” not because there’s isn’t any engineering merit to it but other than unique sound what does it bring to the street rider?”

            There is at least one other benefit to the street rider. Splitting the phase of the crankshaft distributes unbalanced forces within the engine so their amplitude is reduced at any one phase. With a single plane crankshaft on an inline four, the secondary imbalance arrives all at the same time. WIth a Cross Plane crank, the amplitude of this imbalance is cut in half at any one moment, although it does arrive twice as often. But the general consensus is this type of engine feels smoother, whether a twin or a four. So smoothness, better sensation of torque and engine sound could all be considered benefits.

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    • Provalogna says:

      Samsung has and had no liability regarding perceived styling similarities with AAPL (trade sign for Apple).

      In the 70s Harley Davidson started loosing market share to the Japanese so-called “metric cruisers.” H-D sued, claiming the Japanese infringed on HD’s protected styling elements (V-twin) and aural sensation resulting from such cylinder arrangement.

      Needless to say, the court ruled against H-D on all claims.

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  22. blackcayman says:

    I just took a long look at the luggage….It looks like it was taken off a 50cc Kymco scooter.

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  23. Bob L. says:

    “PenguinStrom”

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  24. Max2 says:

    Only bikes named after birds should have beaks – like the Hiyabusa…

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  25. Satoru says:

    Only “beak” should be allow is from the original Suzuki Katana. Suzuki should might as well bring it back.

    I thought Kawasaki would be the one to bring back the triple before Yamaha… 21st century version of Mach 3.

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  26. Daven says:

    No more beaks! A useless appendage that can spoil the look of any bike. Another styling trend that needs to die a quick death, yet it continues to haunt us.

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  27. Dean says:

    Say it ain’t so!!! ENOUGH WITH THE BEAKS ALREADY!! BMW can put Beaks on their bikes because they are quirky. But it looks dumb, and seems to serve no purpose since there is another fender on the front wheel. Just something else to break, and increase weight on the already portly modern motorcycles. Why are they getting so heavy?

    Get rid of the beaks, and anything else that doesn’t actually serve a purpose!

    Every new model intro has me liking my old Vstrom 1000 more and more. Relatively light at under 500 lbs, good power from the motor, and finally looks normal compared to today’s bikes!

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  28. Jon says:

    Don’t all triples inherently have “cross-plane” crankshafts?

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    • Tim says:

      You haven’t been paying attention. Here, let Mr. Kunihiko explain it to you…..

      “It is the philosophy where ‘crossplane’ means the kind of torque character that gives riders the exact torque they want when they need it,” explains Senior Executive Motorcycle Business Operations, Kunihiko Miwa

      There. Clear as mud now, isn’t it?

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    • Jake says:

      “Don’t all triples inherently have “cross-plane” crankshafts?”

      No

      Report this comment

  29. Jeremy in TX says:

    Good move on the triple. I have been waiting for Yamaha to go in that direction ever since the Speed Triple started making waves.

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  30. Pat says:

    I like the triple idea, but that Suzuki is one of the ugliest bikes I’ve seen!

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  31. Wheelie Wild says:

    I just googled the XS-V1 Sakura. + 1 WoW, that is cool looking. I could see myself riding that.

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  32. Wheelie Wild says:

    How about calling it “Super Chicken”, it certainly looks like one with that beak.

    Adventure bikes with street tires? Where is this thing gonna go that I can’t take my R1100S?

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    • dino says:

      You are correct… Adventure bikes have more suspension height and ground clearance, but that is about it. Anyone who wants to take a street bike in the dirt will have about the same luck!

      My brother used to race motocross, and once took his road bike on the dirt track. Those street tires still trhew a LOT of dirt as he roosted out of the berms. Just no jumping!

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  33. modsquad says:

    I’m still waiting for Yamaha to build the XS-V1 Sakura.

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  34. Don Fraser says:

    Yamaha would be better off hoping people forget about the triples in their old bikes, but they do put an excellent triple in their sleds.

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  35. Allworld says:

    I have 2 Triumphs, both triples, a 675cc and 1050cc. IMO they are fantastic engines, Yamaha would do well by developing such an engine. It would take a lot to pry loose from my Triumphs, MV is looking good, love the counter rotation…., but………. Yamaha will need to be brilliant if they are to stand a chance.

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  36. Auphliam says:

    Could we PLEASE…STOP…PUTTING…BEAKS…ON…MOTORCYCLES?!?

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  37. Joel says:

    Hey Suzuki: now would be an excellent time to put the V-Strom name out of our misery. Don’t doom your new come-back adventure bike you’re banking your future on with that hideous moniker.

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  38. HotDog says:

    A lightweight crossplane 750 triple, in a lithe aluminum frame, bladder busting tank, upright seating, weighing mid 400 and aching to get Twisted or Trailed? Not in my life, cuz by the time us has-beens get this bike, it’ll weigh in the upper 6′s, have all the electric gizmos we’ll never care to use and be shod with Godzilla armour looking panels. My little peanut brain dreams up the craziest stuff, eh? Who’d ever thought of a light, long distance mount? I don’t think most of us can be fooled into what we want but we sure can dream it.

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  39. blackcayman says:

    The DL will be named “The Rooster” ????

    The worst beak of any adv bike – its even bright red

    KTM & Yamaha don’t even have beaks….

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  40. skybullet says:

    I really hope the V-Strom 1000 is a significantly improved bike and not just a “bold restyle” job. Suzuki has shown they can design and build exceptional bikes, I hope they applied that talent this time.

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  41. John B says:

    Has Suzuki hired the Kawasaki Versys crayon man?

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  42. BoxerFanatic says:

    Call me when they re-boot that Suzuki 1000cc V-twin back into an SV1000S

    I don’t get a 1000cc V-Strom any more than a 1200 MultiStrada or R1200GS.

    All about not wanting to look like they are riding a touring bike.

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    • Dave says:

      “All about not wanting to look like they are riding a touring bike.”

      And they certainly don’t look like they’re on a touring bike when it rains. Adventure bike = SUV. A big, heavy bike that isn’t really good at anything.

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    • Joe Bogusheimer says:

      If anyone was making relatively lightweight liter-class touring bikes with the ergos that these oversized adventure bikes have, more people would probably be riding them instead of adventure bikes. I bought and use my ’02 DL 1000 essentially as a lightweight sport-touring bike. I like the big sport-touring bikes like the FJR, ST, and Concours, but they’re heavier, more expensive, and faster than I really need or want. They also tend to have tighter ergos, which don’t work as well for us lanky types.

      Unfortunately, the latest generation of these bikes, like the Versys, are rather hideous. I’d very likely consider the Versys (1000) to replace my old V-Strom, if it wasn’t so damned ugly. Also doesn’t seem to have any provision for a centerstand.

      As to this new 1000 V-Strom: the beak I could live with, although I’m not super-keen on the pseudo-dirt styling. I’d hope it would have more power and a better-sorted engine than the original. The stacked headlight set-up seems like it might well be a step backwards from the current setup, and the concept bikes saddlebags look to be compromised by the cutout for the exhaust. While it has downsides, the current dual high inboard muffler setup allows for all manner of aftermarket bags to be mounted.

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  43. ben says:

    Tet V-strom concept is not really the direction I would like to see the model go it

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  44. Tom says:

    Nice job on the big V-Strom Suzuki. Could you show a little love to the DR 650 too?

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  45. goodlyrun says:

    Ah, a triple. Now we’re talking.

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