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Suzuki Redesigns Popular V-Strom 650 Models

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2017 V-Strom 650XT

Let’s face it. There are plenty of people out there in love with Suzuki’s V-Strom 650. They believe it is comfortable, versatile, fuel efficient, and offers more than sufficient engine performance. Nevertheless, Suzuki saw plenty of room for improvement, and will make significant changes for the 2017 model year (in U.S. dealers next February, pricing TBD).

Among those changes are new styling, wind-tunnel tested adjustable windscreen and improved engine performance (from new cams and pistons).  Both the standard 650 and 650XT also benefit from traction control for 2017. Here is the press release from Suzuki with more details:

2017 V-Strom 650 & V-Strom 650XT
The V-Strom 650 get aggressive new styling for 2017 with a new beak-style fairing, featuring vertically stacked headlights that helps the V-Strom 650 and 650XT cut through the wind and protecting the rider in style. The new 3-way height-adjustable windscreen was wind-tunnel tested to reduce wind sounds, buffeting and rider fatigue. The fairing holds a new multi-function instrument panel is similar to the V-Strom 1000 panel, but has functions unique to the V-Strom 650 models.

The new fuel tank maintains its 5.3 gallon capacity, but is shaped to be thin at the rear to flow into the slimmer, two-up seat which aids the rider in touching the ground. The sub-frame is updated with a strong, resin cargo rack and mounting points for optional luggage now unitized across the entire V-Strom family.

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2017 V-Strom 650

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Using fresh SV650 engineering, the 645cc, 90O V-Twin engine uses new camshafts and low-friction pistons to boost torque in the low to mid-RPM range, but still retain a strong rush of high RPM power that’s ideal for any riding mission. A new, sleek two-into-one exhaust system with twin catalyzers’ routes below the chassis to reduce weight, centralize mass, and provide space for the narrow seat and tail section.

The V-Strom 650’s revised fuel injection system employs the innovative, SDTV (Suzuki Dual Throttle Valve) on new 39mm throttle bodies featuring ten-hole; long-nose type fuel injectors. The patented, Throttle-body Integrated Idle Speed Control (TI-ISC) has Suzuki’s Low RPM Assist feature that seamlessly adjusts engine speed during take-off and low-speed riding to smooth the power delivery and to help reduce the possibility of the rider stalling the motorcycle.

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A very important new feature on the V-Strom 650 and 650XT that is not found on Adventure bikes of this size is Suzuki’s advanced Traction Control System*, which lets the rider control the throttle with more confidence in various riding conditions. It continuously monitors front and rear wheel speeds, throttle opening, engine speed, and the selected transmission gear to adjust engine output if wheel spin is detected. There are three traction control modes (1, 2, and OFF) and the difference between the modes are their sensitivity to road conditions.

The V-Strom 650 and 650XT now feature the Suzuki Easy Start system which lets the rider start the motorcycle with a momentary press of the start button without pulling in the clutch lever when the transmission is in neutral.

The V-Strom 650 is supplied with new, lighter ten-spoke cast wheels shod with Adventure-spec Bridgestone BATTLAX 19-inch front and 17-inch rear tubeless radial tires for good all-around performance. The V-Strom 650XT offers the same tubeless radial tires mounted to spoke-style wheels for good all-around performance. The 650XT also features handguards with larger handlebar vibration damper weights and a lower engine protector.

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Front dual 310mm-disc brakes and a rear 260mm-disc brake deliver controlled stopping power. The compact Antilock Brake System (ABS) ** system monitors wheel speed to match braking to available traction.

Color and Pricing for the V-Strom 650 and V-Strom 650XT are TBA with units hitting dealership floors on February 2017.

* The Traction Control System is not a substitute for the rider’s throttle control. It cannot prevent loss of traction due to excessive speed when the rider enters a turn and/or applies the brakes. Neither can it prevent the front wheel from losing grip.

** Depending on road surface conditions, such as wet, loose, or uneven roads, braking distance for an ABS-equipped vehicle may be longer than for a vehicle not equipped with ABS.  ABS cannot prevent wheel skidding caused by braking while cornering.  Please drive carefully and do not overly rely on ABS.


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37 Comments

  1. Kyle says:

    I find it hilarious that people think the previous gen looked better than this one. This new model is very easy on the eyes IMO. Last gen was a fugly. This new gen is pretty close to KTM ADV style, yet I think a lot of you jump on the vstrom hater train and start typing.

    If this had the SV trellis frame, LED up front, and a rear rack that didn’t resemble a waffle maker I’d consider it.

  2. VEGA says:

    Ah! So Suzuki actually went ahead and made The V-Strom EVEN MORE ugly…?

    How is it even possible…???

    Darn… Its such a versatile bike with a potent engine and yet they really had to make it SUPER ugly…

    Bummer…

    G’Day!

  3. mickey says:

    Just saw pics of the FZ-07 adv bike displayed at the Intermot show. Looked very nice. Can’t wait to see it in person. Hope they bring it to the U.S. Will be interesting to see how it stacks up against this and the new 650 Versys.

    Hey Honda, you playing this game?

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      They are. Just with the NC700X. I think they are missing the boat.

      • mickey says:

        I do too Jeremy. They could at least make it a 750 like the rest of the world gets.

        Btw also a very ST1300 looking VFR 1200 on display over there

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          I had a lot of seat time on an NC700X (during that same weekend I was riding the CB1100 around – we got to swap bikes frequently as we were constantly fighting over who would get to ride the CB1100.) The NC is a neat bike for what it is, but it would take a lot more than an extra 50cc’s to make that bike appealing. I would never choose that bike over one of Honda’s 500cc models, much less over the Versys or Vstrom. A guy can have fun going slow on a 500X. The 700X is just slow.

          Interesting concerning the VFR1200. The ST is a great bike (my dad owned an ST1300 for a little while that first year they came out), but it is long past due for an update. The VFR1200 is also a great bike but seems to suffer from an identity crisis. Melding the two together seems like it will solve both problems.

  4. Hoop says:

    I had a 2nd gen do 650 for a while that I thought looked ok….

    This does not look ok….

    The 650 motor is great. Too bad about the rest.

  5. GP says:

    The single worst ailment of the DL-650 looks as though it still has not been addressed – air flow management. Even though the description mentions a “new, 3-way height-adjustable windscreen”…” wind-tunnel tested to reduce wind sounds, buffeting and rider fatigue” – they retained the same problematic, bar mounted mirrors. IMO, what the DL-650 really needs, to be the perfect commuter bike is a WIDE windscreen. Bar mounted mirrors prevent even the aftermarket from designing a cure.
    Overall, there is not enough change here to consider trading in my ’12 model. The little DL is still a kick ass little machine. Removing the (3) hard boxes from my bike has a huge affect in making it feel like a completely different bike. The bike suddenly feels much lighter, more nimble, and more powerful, but it still no wheelie machine.

  6. Cyclemotorist says:

    I have the old first generation DL1000. I prefer the styling of the first generation over this new one.

    It’s funny how Kawasaki made the 650 Versys look more like the old V-Strom while Suzuki made the V-Strom look more like the old Versys.

    • dino says:

      +1 on all counts.
      Have an original 2002 DL1000, and still love it. Two headlights for low beam, on a “normal” looking fairing (ugly at the time, now seems quite normal)
      Do not like the Beetlejuice remake with beak.
      Really like the new Versus styling.
      I just hate to get rid of the old guy since it has served me so well, and when I ride it like a test drive (to compare to test riding some other new bike) it always leaves me impressed. If I upgraded the suspension and brakes on it, it would be even better, but I haven’t had major issues with it in 14 years, so…

  7. Denny says:

    Just occurred to me looking at side view: if that motor was parallel twin and cylinders were aligned with main frame beam (slightly up from where is front cylinder now), it would allow cut in wheelbase by at least 2 inches and bike would be about perfect. But then, the parallel twin needs balancer instead sweet character of V-twin. Of course, 270deg crank is also a possibility. Something to think about in future. It maybe that Suzuki is lagging a bit behind the most of others. V-twin is good on road bike, not necessarily on Adventure.

    • Denny says:

      I have CB500XA so I know what I talk about. If it was at around 600cc, there would be no better midsize overall machine.

    • Aussie M says:

      Denny, different things suit different people. I have a 2010 V-Strom 650. I seriously considered the Versys 650 but chose the Suzuki because it has a much longer wheelbase. It allows me to carry more luggage without having too much weight behind the rear axle. It is also better for people (not me) who carry a pillion. I also considered the V-Strom 1000. But the 650 is smoother, lighter and more agile, and the important point that sold the 650 to me was that with both bikes having the same fuel tank (they did in 2010) the 650 has a much better fuel range.

  8. My2cents says:

    I own a 2007 with over 85,000 miles on it.Two minor repairs on my 5th set of tires
    And 2nd chain. I have rode a motorcycle for 40 years and more than 250,000 milesand never experienced a better all roads motorcycle for the money. The gen2 DL 650 would never have got my cash the gen 3 is a nice looking ride and thatXT is a beauty. I could buy another..

  9. WSHart says:

    Looks great. Even the spoke wheels come with tubeless, so well done Suzuki. I do agree that a touring bike, and both the 650 and 1000 versions are adventure-TOURING motorcycles, should have cruise control especially in this day and age.

    For some no CC is a deal breaker and I cannot blame them. It’s their money, not mine.

    Regardless, well done Suzuki

  10. ag_streak says:

    Damn! No mention of weight loss! I love my 2015 XT for touring and easy dirt roads, but would take it on more challenging trails a lot more if it lost 40 or 45 pounds. I guess that’s not gonna happen! 🙁

  11. Mike Perez says:

    Someone needs to tell Suzuki — cruise control – I would not even consider this bike w/o cruise – what does Suzuki not understand here

  12. Dem says:

    Since many people use these as a long distance mount, you’d think cruise control on the XT would be a no brainer.

    • Arturo says:

      Cruise control on the entire line-up (650 & 1000) makes sense-IMO. Yamaha puts it on their Super Tenere. I did numerous long distance rides on my ’04 DL650 and would dearly love to replace it (I got T-boned on it in ’13) with another Suzuki but right now I’m leaning towards a S10 partially b/c the really like the cruise.

  13. VLJ says:

    “The V-Strom 650 get aggressive new styling for 2017 with a new beak-style fairing….”

    Bwaaaahaaa!

  14. red says:

    Still not a looker, but I think it’s an improvement from the melted frog-face of the gen2’s.

  15. SeTh says:

    Suzuki kept the oil filter location, so how to attach a bash plate on this model? One bike in the picture of the couple has a big black one.

  16. Yoyodyne says:

    They’ve gone full Woody Woodpecker, the horror…

    • Austin ZZR 1200 says:

      I’m ready to buy and ready to own that look! Own it!

    • Montana says:

      Suzuki builds a close to perfect bike and then adopts the “beak” and stacked headlights — both passe fashion statements. They looked ugly on the GS’ and Versus, and they look ugly here. I’d rather have the previous model Strom. Also, how ’bout a pair of proper, round gauges Suzuki?

      • mickey says:

        My son has an FJ 09 Yam with the side by side headlights, but only 1 side burns on low beam. Drives me nuts when he’s behind me because it looks like 1 of his headlights is burned out. I prefer the side by side lights, if you are going to have two, but they should both be on all the time IMO

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          I never did like that either. I can maybe understand why serious sportbikes might choose to use that setup (though the Aprilia lights them both up, or at least used to.) But for your typical street bike? I get that some of those headlights are, for design reason, too small to fit two bulbs and two reflector patterns in them, but then a street bike shouldn’t have headlight assemblies that small.

          OK, rant done.

        • dino says:

          Totally agree.. My old Vstrom 1000 (1st year) had dual lights, and both were on for low and high beam. Best lights I have had on any vehicle, including most of my cars!
          I also think a dual headlight setup helps avoid collisions better than a single headlight, as it helps other drivers judge your distance.. That is why many safety experts recommend aux lights, to create a “triangle” to help other drivers see you. I think Dual lights are a better start.

        • falcodoug says:

          Agreed. I believe two lights on side by side make things much safer. Alternate between a single light and a double light bike on my daily commute and have found a lot more close calls on the single light bike. As a side note, the dual light bike is my fast bike.

  17. Larry K says:

    Well they managed to make it uglier yet. I ride a nakedized/streetfightered 2006 so I know about ugly.
    After 70 motorcycles since 1968 I will say the 650 V-Strom is about the best all-around go-for-a-ride bargain ever. But the beak has to go!

  18. Mark says:

    Nice bike! Wonder what actual weight and horsepower is?
    I ride a KTM 1190 Adventure and she is a beast! Love the motor and the ability to rip on fire roads and handle a bit of trail. But, still a bit heavy and very tall.
    If someone could sell a 430 pound (or so) Adventure bike with 19″ Front Wheel, 100 rear wheel horsepower (minumum for me at altitude and my fondness for a bit of acceleration/speed), ABS/Traction control, good suspension and Off Road mode ABS then I would consider switching. The V strom 1000 got close, but no cigar.