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2014 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 ABS: MD Ride Review


The 2014 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 has taken on significant importance in Suzuki’s lineup. Suzuki sees the liter class adventure bike segment as an expanding market. The V-Strom 650 received major revisions in 2012, giving one of their strongest selling models (outselling the 1000 at a 2:1 ratio when both were last offered in this market) a needed, and timely refresh.

Introduced in 2002, the 1000 remained pretty much the same over the years, save for color changes and minor tuning updates, it had become rather long in the tooth. With the adventure tourer market hotting up and becoming more crowded, the 1000 was being pushed aside by the newer, up-to-date offerings from the other manufacturers. Suzuki knew they had to rethink, and redesign their 1000 to bring it up to modern standards. To do so, Suzuki began by circulating a survey worldwide of current V-Strom 1000 riders, and riders of other brands as well, to get feedback on what they liked, and what they wanted changed with the old model.

The usual wish list items, including more power and less weight , appeared in the survey results. Additionally, high speed stability with bags in place, updated styling and a greater range of Suzuki-designed accessories made the list. The 1000’s strengths in ergonomics, comfort, wind protection & agility were on the ‘don’t change’ list. Armed with rider feedback, and a studied eye on the competition, Suzuki set to creating a new V-Strom 1000. We gave you all the technical details on the new 2014 model here.

After our European test of the new V-Strom 1000 (with a European test rider), Suzuki invited MD out to participate in a two-day, several hundred mile ride for US-based journos featuring some of southern California’s finest twisty roads. We couldn’t say no, particularly since production units won’t be in US dealerships for several more months.



Our in-the-flesh introduction started at a hotel in Anaheim, with a little over a dozen of the 1000s parked out front. Initial reaction is that this bike represents more than a simple revision like its little brother received. This is a whole new bike. The bulkiness of the previous generation 1000 is reduced considerably. It’s not 650 small, but it has definitely been on a diet. The upside down forks, radially mounted brake calipers, single-sided exhaust, and ten-spoke cast aluminum wheels all speak “whole new bike”. During my first walk around, my eyes kept veering towards ‘the beak’. This is not a case of Suzuki jumping aboard a styling bandwagon, but rather an homage being paid to the 80s era Suzuki DR750/800 Paris to Dakar racers, which sported a similar, perhaps more functional “beak”.

Our ride began the next morning, and it was apparent that the invited motorcycling press was anxious to see what the new V-Strom was like, as nearly all of us were standing around the bikes about 20 minutes before we were scheduled to roll out. While warming the engine – it’s hybrid gear driven valve train emanating the wonderful sounding gear whine – the instrument cluster presents the operator with a large amount of legible information. The twin analog speedometer / tachometer has been forsaken for an analog tach and digital everything else. Some of the information contained here is what V-Strom owners have been adding themselves – gear position, air temp, voltmeter, etc. Additionally, traction control settings, a trip computer, and clock round out the information provided by the V-Strom.

Rolling out onto the freeway, it’s immediately apparent that the engine is a torque monster. Suzuki claims 76 pounds-feet at a mere 4000 rpm. Horsepower peaks at 100 by the time 8000 rpm arrives. With all that torque available at such low engine speeds, revving it out kind of misses the point. Vibration is present in only small amounts, nothing buzzes, or causes the rider to avoid a certain rpm range. Anywhere from idle, to 6000 rpm, you have generous amounts of acceleration available to you with a twist of the wrist.

The new engine also has acquired a more agreeable character. With the exception of a gear or two, everything contained within the engine covers has been massaged to lose weight, with the exception of one part. The old 1000 mill had what I called the “big twin chug” if you got much below 4000 rpm. I partially attribute the new engine’s smoothness to the weight reduction of its internals, but I think much of the credit must go to the 15% heavier flywheel. New cylinder heads, with the ECU controlling each spark plug individually (there are 2 per cylinder), must also go some way toward this transformation.



The transmission also got a little love from the engineers, based on rider feedback. The overdrive 6th gear has been replaced by a 1:1 6th gear. So no more downshifting required for passing. Fueling from Suzuki’s carry-over SDTV (Suzuki Dual Throttle Valve) does its job perfectly, seamlessly. Normally, a low redline on an engine spells ‘boring’ to me, but in this case the engine is a jewel. Eminently flexible, delivering exactly what the rider asks for from this category of motorcycle.

Has it been raining where you are? Snow? Ice? Are road conditions a little dodgy? Maybe you’re going to do a little off road exploration? Then Suzuki’s traction control – a first for any of their production motorcycles – may come in handy. It’s not the most comprehensive system, giving the rider a choice of three settings – off, TC-1, which allows for some wheel spin, and TC-2, which allows zero wheel spin. It is adjustable on the fly, with a closed throttle. In the limited time we had to explore the TC in an off-road setting, it seemed to work well, but more time utilizing this feature in more varied conditions will give a clearer picture of its capabilities. Hardcore off-roaders will tell you that TC has its place, but there will be times when it has to be shut off to get you where you want to go. There are more sophisticated systems out there, but they’re also generally attached to motorcycles much more expensive.

With TC handling the ‘go’ side of things, The ABS is involved in the ‘whoa’. There is no adjustability for this and it can’t be turned off. I didn’t really work the brakes too hard in the mixed company of our group, so that will have to wait until later. The new radially-mounted front calipers are lifted from an earlier GSX-R 1000R, and I easily recognized a greatly appreciated step up in power and feel from the old brakes.

With the varied terrain the V-Strom is anticipated to traverse, I’ve always been confused by the lack of adjustability of the suspension on the older model. Bumpy off-road, and smooth asphalt do not share the same settings. Suzuki must have realized this, as well, because the new 1000 comes with a fully adjustable fork – preload, compression & rebound damping. The shock comes with adjustability for preload and rebound. The standard settings weren’t far off. At the first gas stop of our ride, I dug out the screwdriver from the under-seat tool kit and initially added 3 clicks of rebound and compression damping to the forks, and 3 clicks of rebound damping to the shock, while leaving the preload alone. The new settings gave a more controlled movement at both ends, which worked well on the asphalt. Once we switched to the brief dirt portion of our ride, I veered back toward the standard settings, and although I’m not a hardcore off-road type, I could appreciate the difference in suspension action, and having the option to make the adjustments.


Overall handling is confidence inspiring and playful. The 30-pound penalty the 1000 carries over the 650 isn’t readily apparent, unless ridden back to back. Rake and trail numbers were juggled to give more responsive steering, while the longer swingarm aids with stability … along with the shorter distance from the swingarm pivot to the front axle. On twisty back roads, the Strom handles in a decidedly sporty manner. The 19” front wheel doesn’t exactly allow you to snap the bike into a corner, as you could on any of the current supersports, but it’s well ahead of the previous 1000 in that regard. As I got more comfortable, and got happier with lean angles, the peg feelers would announce that the party had gone far enough. Removing said feelers would give more lean angle, but the muffler on the right side will definitely put an end to the party if its space is not respected. Perhaps a little stiffer spring, if you’re not so off road inclined? Bridgestone Battlewing tires were more than up to the task of back-road scratching.

Ergonomics has played a major role in the attraction to the V-Strom. With the new 1000, I feel like I’m ‘sitting in’ it, rather than ‘on’ it, like my ’06 650. The seat is quite comfortable, and is narrowed near the gas tank to aid in ‘feet down’ maneuvering. The sides of the seat also have a grippy material to help in stand-up maneuvers. Also available is a lower seat, and a taller seat, to accommodate riders of various inseams. The adjustable windscreen is quite effective, with the three angle positions making a noticeable difference in the air pocket. There is also height adjustability, but that requires an allen key wrench to access. Taller riders than I (5’9”) will likely take advantage of that.

Finally, one of the other issues that put me on the V-Strom 650, and not the 1000 was fuel mileage. The weight loss program, the massaging of engine internals, new cylinder heads, and the 32 bit ECU results in, according to Suzuki, a 16% increase in fuel efficiency. Doing old-fashioned calculations involving distance covered vs. fuel burned, I came up with 41, 45, and 47 mpg results from 3 fill-ups, and we weren’t taking it easy. Like the current 650, the 1000’s fuel tank shrunk by .53 gallons. The increased fuel efficiency is said to offset the slight decrease in fuel capacity, but I wish they had left a larger tank for even more range.


Throughout the two-day trip I kept thinking about how the character and performance of the new 1000 is much more like the 650 than before, particularly in the engine department, but with buckets more torque. I also considered how these V-Stroms might actually end up being used. Would they be seeing miles of desert sand dunes, or a daily diet of potholes & speed bumps, or something in between? The answer to that is as varied as the riders who will buy the new 1000. Suzuki’s accessory line has grown, per owner requests, and there is a huge aftermarket standing ready to help configure this new Strom almost any way you like. Like the 650, there is an Adventure model that will save a potential owner some $$$ over purchasing the same accessories from Suzuki separately.

We’re definitely looking forward to a longer time with a test unit.

These units we rode will be making the rounds at dealerships across the country. Check’em out to see if they got all the dirt out of them….


  1. Rick MC says:

    I like it. 2007 Wee Rider here.

  2. The1&only says:

    Fence sitters rejoice, finally a DL 1000 with better intent. I like it and the change in the power band was a wise move. I could never understand a 150 HP dual sport, I always though the meaty power band to be the perfect mix for secondary roads. Moving the torque down to 4000 rpm’s is a well thought out plan. The new DL 650 was disappointing is general appearance, it seemed to become feminine compared to the previous model. The new DL 1000 has a aggressive stance and enough of the old models good stuff remains. Prediction would see many current DL 650 riders setting up the full scale. Suzuki has finally paid attention to the DL 1000 prospect of growth in segment. I like me torque flat and my roads hilly.

  3. jim says:

    Now make this bike with the 650 motor, and let me turn the @#%$& ABS off!

  4. Joe Lewis says:

    I bet his bike will be pretty cool. I only wish it had more Farkles as standard items. I am looking for cruise control and heated grips, nice luggage and top box. Let’s see how it compares to the revised Yamaha Tenerie. The excellent value may make it a game changer. Do we really need a $20k DP Bike?
    I was once told Suzuki’s are cheaply made in regards to body work, hardware and such. Very reliable though.

  5. VTOD says:

    Sounds like the reviewer has time on the DL650 as well. I like a lot about the new model but what might be hard to give up is the handling of my 2012 DL650. Do you think it will handle as well as the 2012+ 650? I’m guessing maybe not quite as sharp due to greater weight and longer wheelbase. But maybe the suspension makes up for that…

    • Willy says:


      The big Strom cannot handle the same / better than the 2012 650. Simply put, the smaller size, lower weight, shorter wheelbase ensures the smaller Strom’s handling advantage, but it’s big brother is always close, closer than you might let yourself believe. The 1000’s better suspension and brakes both contribute significantly to keeping the big bike close to the little bike, as does the shuffling of numbers of the 1000’s chassis. I would say the extra weight is almost completely offset by these features, and then there is the torque of the big motor….

  6. GJ says:

    To each their own. But I literally wouldn’t accept one as a gift.

  7. wayne says:

    thank you Suzuki for finally making the v strom loom good

  8. Scruby says:

    Super fugly….I love it!!!

  9. Vrooom says:

    As someone who has owned 3 1000 V-Stroms and put about 200K on them, I’d say the following:
    Pros: Fully adjustable suspension rather than just pre-load, larger displacement, better brakes, traction control, ABS.
    Cons: ABS that can’t be switched off, smaller tank, shorter 6th gear, world’s ugliest muffler. Beak.

    • richard says:

      lets be honest….stroms have never been a good looking bike…they are built for practicality..not beauty…the beak suits the look of the bike…lol

  10. Al says:

    I’ve always found the V-Strom ugly… but I bought one, a 2012 V-Strom 650. I love it. I’ve even installed a Two Brothers slip-on on it with hard bags & top case.
    Maybe I’m getting old as I have as much fun riding the V-Strom as I have with my CBR1000RR lolllllllllll.

    One thing to remember, while you’re riding it you don’t see its ugliness. lollll

  11. Agent55 says:

    I think it looks great, and I mean “great” for an adventure bike. Since they all look positively funky (yes, ALL adventure bikes look …functional, not sexy), this new Suzuki looks to fill out the bottom of the segment nicely.

  12. gsbeliever says:

    Given the lack of a switch to disable the ABS, Suzuki has effectively prohibited any off-road use yet still calls it an adventure bike. There are many online videos of BMW GS owners that forgot to turn their ABS off when encountering long (gnarly) downhills. Delightful to watch, most unpleasant to experience!

    • Willy says:


      While there is no actual switch to turn off the ABS, the fuse for it can be pulled, essentially doing the same thing. We rode in light off-road terrain, and the bike performed just fine.

  13. Karlsbad says:

    Reading some of the comments I think some people don’t really understand what this bike is all about
    Leave the true adventure stuff to the BMW and the KTM they both have proved over and over again they are the kings of the hill when it comes to the truly “OFF ROAD” stuff.
    That said if you want a comfy competent reliable motorcycle that more than likely will keep up to most sport bikes on the twisty stuff, highway drone all day long with the likes of a Goldwing or BMW and yes explore the occasional forest service/logging road. This may be the bike for you. Like V-Stroms of the past this bike will do it all, only better with the upgrades Suzuki has bestowed on it. I predict a home run for Suzuki with this one.

    • Michael H says:

      Exactly right.

      An adventure can be had on pavement, and on pavement alone, if that’s what the rider wants. This bike, and some others like it, are designed just for that: long trips carrying your stuff, with a level of comfort and durability. This Zook will do that job well.

      Put another way: Owning a four wheel drive pickup truck does not compel the owner to go beating around off road. In fact, a very small percentage of pickup trucks ever are taken off road A truck can be just a really comfortable way of travelling from Point A to Point B, with your stuff.

      • richard says:

        did you know…read a statistic lately…72% of all adventure tourer riders never go off road….its the thought of being able to that attracts the buyer…ive seen quite a few mint condition V-Stroms a few years old…not a scratch….for me personally i dont see the point…buy a street bike…much smoother and a nicer ride….because its built for the street…not a hybrid

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          Unless the roads around you are of racetrack condition, the adventure bike class has the smoother and nicer riding bikes in my experience, save for perhaps the megatouring bikes like Wings and the like.

    • Joe Bogusheimer says:

      You can ride these oversized trailies off road if you really want to. Some are a little better suited to it than others, and most are better suited than a typical cruiser, sport bike, or touring bike would be. Still, unless your idea of fun includes muscling around a 500 lb bike, and likely picking it up repeatedly, they’re not a great choice off road. Even the BMW and KTM need a skilled rider to be ridden off road. 500 lb dirt bike is pretty much an oxymoron.

      Personally I ride a DL1000 (’02) as a sport-touring bike. When I bought it the big attractions were the comfy ergos for a tall guy like me, the grunty engine, remote preload adjuster, and the generally decent (on-road) handling and relatively light weight. Oh, and the price, of course.

    • Yoda from Idaho says:

      Karlsbad and Michael are ever so true. This bike will fall into certain class of rider who wants a taste of what its all about. So what if the ABS is always on. The odds of that style of rider riding the bike that hard off pavement is low. As another person said these type of bikes could be perfect in every detail as to what they think a bike should be like and yet they would never purchase one. If I lived in certain parts of the country I wouldn’t either. Buy what you like, ride the hell out of it and screw the non believers.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      The gripes originate from the fact that people DO understand that the DL isn’t a dirt bike. Many pine for what the DL could be vs. what it is.

      • Willy says:


        For those people you speak of, the KTM 1190 Adventure likely would be a better match.

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          Indeed, and the trusty old 990 even more so for less $. I’m not one of the piners, just pointing out that many have been hopelessly waiting for a “people’s” KTM Adventure for ages. 🙂

    • Austin ZZR 1200 says:

      If I want to off road, I take my mountain bike. For everything else, there is my DL650. a few years once some of these hit Craigslist, a DL 1000

  14. Doug says:

    I ride up north so wind blocking is important to me, the screen looks really small does it do a good job of diverting wind around the rider, handguards are they optional, the mirrors look like the old ones which I had the extend out 2″. Would like to know the octane rating.

    Overall I think they did a good job on the update and glad to see they aimed at the bottom end of the segment instead of adding to the top.

    • Doug says:

      new V-Strom 1000 SE. With sleek side cases, hand guards & center stand

    • Willy says:


      The windscreen does a good job of creating a still-air pocket. The sudden lack of frontal area had me concerned about wind protection as well, but the new front end treatment didn’t seem to impact that much, if at all. If you don’t get the adventure version, definitely order the hand guards. I put them on my 650 & they’re great!

  15. Montana says:

    Great job on updating an already great bike Suzuki!
    Let me know when the beak is dropped; it’s a deal killer.

  16. Muddy boots says:

    More pretenderer “Chicken Bikes” with cast wheels and 550lb wet weights. No 21″ front wheel, can’t turn off the ABS, front fender will pack with mud, fragile expensive painted bodywork…. Keep that thing in the Starbucks parking lot. I’m taking my DR off the pavement. See ya !

    • Jakes Grampa says:

      You’re missing the point boots.

      • motowarrior says:

        I guess Old Muddy has no clue that guys ride these “Chicken Bikes” all over the world while he is stuck in the mud. The Starbucks comment demonstrates his ignorance of the subject, so I’ll just let it go at that.

  17. Dave says:

    Good review. Does this thing take high test fuel or regular??
    Very happy with my 2011 wee and may need to look at this if it uses regular.

    • Tom R says:

      So you would eliminate a motorcycle from consideration because it required 89 or 91 octane?

      • paulysr says:

        some people’s idea of “adventure” doesn’t include stressing out about what kind of gas they will have at the next station

        • casatomasa says:

          Mexico man, Mexico!! We do a ton of riding south of the border and the gas is…you know Pemex.
          So the regular octane stuff the DL1000 sips is good. Not to mention the affordability of the thing in case something bad happens to the bike.

        • Jeremy in TX says:

          some people’s idea of “adventure” does

    • Willy says:

      Dave, the sticker says it requires 91 octane.

  18. Hair says:

    Looks like a great bike got even better.

  19. Karlsbad says:

    Since selling my Buell XB12X (Ulysses) I have been looking for a replacement Narrowing it down to a few choices was easy
    1. GS1200 Possibly the best at everything $$$$
    2. KTM 1190 Oh that power $$$$ (Questionable long term reliability)
    3. Moto Guzzi $$$ Interesting lovely engine
    4. Super Tenere & Triumph Big Fat and Ugly Both of them (IMHO)$$$
    5. Ducati Multi Strada $$$$$$$$ Priced out to lunch here in BC & see comment # 2
    6. Suzuki V Strom (2014 Model) $$$ Light,affordable would be nice to have 125 HP but hey for 8-10 K under the price of the Duc the GS or the KTM I may have found my new ride
    Just saw it live and they have done a very nice job yes it’s not a KTM or a GS but the 8-10K I save will buy a lot of extra goodies and three or four wonderful road trips.

  20. Tom R says:

    Seems like a functional, competent motorcycle. But sorry folks, it sure is goofy looking.

    • Willy says:


      That’s too bad, since you’d be missing out on a fantastic bike, over superficial reasons. I felt the same about the 650 V-Strom back in ’04, but I quickly got over the looks after I spent some time riding it. Truly an enlightening experience.

      • Tom R says:

        I am considering buying one…but is will still be goofy looking. Kinda matches me.

        • Craig Jackman says:

          The goofier the better. While all the bling’d out Harley’s get stolen from the parking lot, my dirty old VStrom just sits there.

  21. Mac says:

    Fantastic test review on this great improvement from Suzuki! You covered every important aspect of the new V-Strom that can help us make a solid decision. I have have numerous GSXR’s, Bandits, Ninjas, VFR’s and even a Ducati Pikes Peak Multistrada. I sold the Multi because of the demon Ducati reliability issues. I found “false” neutrals between 3rd, 4th, 5th gears…up and down…where? at VIR at 130mph….many close calls. Never one on a Suzuki….I will buy one!

  22. Dennis Hill says:

    Any idea of alternator output?

  23. Tom says:

    An interesting bike to be sure. I am going to have to take a look at it, I suppose. I can’t help but point out that at 4000 rpm it is a power monster for that rpm, apparently producing nearly 60 Hp at that not-so-high rpm. Very impressive. Also, the 1:1 overall ratio for the highest gear makes it very easy to calculate wheel torque if you happen to know engine torque. Not that anyone wanted to know, but if the engine were turning twice as quickly as the engine, it would be harder to calculate, because then you have to multiply engine torque by two, to get wheel torque. Not that anyone wanted to know. Seriously it is nice to have a gear that tall because on most motorcycles (and cars) I always feel like the engine is running unnecessarily high at highway speed and wish that I had an even taller gear. Seriously this seems a much improved bike and one well worth considering. Especially if it is as smooth as Willy says.

    • Willy says:

      Tom, it *is* that smooth – not Goldwing flat-six smooth, but damn, I had to look down to make sure it was a liter-class v-twin!

  24. Ozzie Mick says:

    Current bike is VStrom 1000 (2012 model). Very underrated bike. Great value. Previous bike was a SV1000.
    When is a new SV1000 coming out? What about a SV1200?

    • Blackcayman says:

      right…that motor could power a bike to eclipse the FZ-09 – but please don’t use SV1000 S ergos….I’m just to old

      That being said…What I’d really like is one with better wind protection and no tallish suspension (because I’m not going on the dirt).

      a GS1000 ST ….if you will

  25. TimC says:

    Nice writeup. This is still very likely my next bike.

  26. Louis says:

    I was able to see and sit on one at the motorcycle show here in the Phoenix, Arizona area today. It felt about as light as my ’07 650 V-Strom (I have a top trunk, center stand, crash sliders, etc.), was noticeably more narrow, had what seems like a very nice seat, and had excellent ergonomics. It seemed very light and easy to lift it off the side stand, unlike last years version.
    If I were in the market to replace my 650, I wouldn’t hesitate to get either the new 1000 or 650 V-Strom.
    Oh, I also noticed you can’t see the beak while sitting on the bike. 😉

  27. Doug says:

    “The old 1000 mill had what I called the “big twin chug” if you got much below 4000 rpm”.

    This is due to the clutch basket design, once modified plus the addition of a Power commander these engines will be smooth down to 2500 rpm

    V-Strom 650 compared to the 1000 fuel mileage, having owned both I’ve found in the city the 650 was about 10 mpg better, but on road trips they were the same and at times the 1000 was better.

  28. Daytona James says:

    Nice job Willy. I’m hoping one finds itself in my garage this year. Owned GSX-R 750, 1000, SV650, 1000… Currently own older DL1000 and just getting my wife a DL650. While I wouldn’t describe myself as loyal to any brand, I appreciate the cost / performance ratio of Suzukis and have no problem with ‘the beak’. You never notice it when you’re riding it, do you?

    • Willy says:

      Daytona James,

      No, you don’t see the beak when you’re riding it, and I’ll add that after you’ve sampled the goods this bike delivers, you probably won’t notice – or care – when you walk up to it for your next ride.

  29. Gronde says:

    Capable bike with a really ugly headlight/windscreen/beak assembly. That “face” is going to hurt sales.

    • Blackcayman says:

      a nice shiny black beak from the parts dept will change most of that.

      a new can should solve the other major design blemish

      • mickey says:

        If you can take the red one off to exchange it for a black one, why not just take the red one off and not replace it, if it bothers someone?

      • GMan says:

        why not just buy the black one?????????

        • Blackcayman says:


          “The Adventure Model comes standard with the following accessories: Under Cowl, Hand Guards, Touring Windscreen, Side Cases and Mounting Brackets, and Accessories Bars”…and comes in Black!

          or just buy the Black Beak if you want different hard bags

  30. Coupe930 says:

    If 6th gear is dropped to 1:1 what are the revs at 70 MPH? And is that Suzuki speedo MPH (10% optimistic) or real MPH? I like the high 6th gear on my 03. It is good for touring in the great open western highways. We have speed limits of 75 MPH and 80 MPH out here and you may find yourself going a bit faster.
    Did I miss it or is the actual weight not in the article?

    • Willy says:


      If memory serves me correctly, 4k rpm in 6th places you in the neighborhood of an *indicated* 75 mph. And I am familiar with Suzuki’s optimistic gauges – my ’06 V-Strom 650, with standard gearing, and standard size tires, reads optimistically, by 5 mph. There wasn’t an opportunity to verify / calibrate the new ones speedo accuracy, that will have to wait until we get a full term test unit. The manufacturers claimed weights are contained in the previous MD articles that have links pointing to them.

  31. Jim says:

    Great review, very informative.

  32. ApriliaRST says:

    Suzuki is the only major brand I’ve never owned. This bike just barely makes my not-over-500-pounds requirement, even if just barely. I like the styling. Now I just have to figure out if it really would be a replacement for my KLR that I could live with. Anyone here have light to shed on that?

    • Tom R says:

      After a week on this new bike I think you would forget about the KLR.

      • johnny ro says:

        I have to agree with this. KLR is fine for what it is, but the DL is a huge step up. Even an old DL650 would have this effect.

        The KLR might be better in its role as a mule, though. A plain old ugly mule that just won’t give up however slow and clunky it may be.

        • Jakes Grampa says:

          I have both, KLR and strom 1000. The strom is a wonderful traveller, fast comfy and reliable. But the KLR has it’s charm. A lot of people dismiss it as not capable enough. I will never part with mine.

          • ApriliaRST says:

            My KLR travels on the back of my motor home. I use it to explore an area in detail in all directions from my campsite. Last fall I ended up six miles into the woods in the mountains until the road petered out and I had to go back. I’m sure the DL would do well on paved parts but not so sure about woods roads.

    • mickey says:

      In my experience Suzuki makes a great motor and running gear and goes a little cheap on the decorating doo dads. Owned a bunch of bikes and Suzukis make up 3 of my top 10 favorite bikes.. 76 GT 750, 81 GS 850G, 83 GS 1100E. All big comfortable, reliable mile eaters.

    • Jeremy in TX says:

      The bikes are so different, I can’t imagine one as a replacement for the other. If you were using the bike instead of the RV to get there, The 1000 would be my choice. If you are just piggybacking a bike to the campsite, the KLR is a much better option.

    • Joe Bogusheimer says:

      If your riding habits include anything much tougher than dirt roads, these types of bikes are probably not for you. Not to say you can’t take these things off road, but they’re not real good at and it’s not particularly fun for most people. Pretty much the same comment for the DL650. Just too big, tall, and fragile to make a decent off road bike.

  33. Lloyd says:

    Nice job Suzuki! How about some spoke wheels?

  34. Sam Jones says:

    Watch out BMW, KTM, Triumph, etc…! I’ve always considered the “Wee Strom” to be the best “bang-for-the-buck” motorcycle in the world IF you plan any off-roading at all. I think the new 1000 assumes that role now especially considering price vis-à-vis the competition..! Kudos to Suzuki.

  35. Casatomasa says:

    I’ve been waiting a long time for this one, my 02 Strominator is ready for pasture and I’ve been holding out for Suzuki to improve the ole girl. This is really the best of motors, just love everything about it the v twin it just works so well, almost traded off for a 990 Adventure but a buddy beat me to it and as it turns out it’s a maintenance nightmare not like the vstrom. Going to the Phoenix IMS this weekend to see it in the flesh. Looks like all it needs is a little armor and some bags and off we go!

  36. mickey says:

    Sounds like a lot of improvement over the previous model. Good job Suzuki

  37. V-Gehts says:

    The beak is completely invisible when you’re riding it 🙂

  38. Eric says:

    Any word on accessories? I presume there will be protection and luggage by launch. That engine looks very exposed in your ‘dirt’ picture.

    • motowarrior says:

      The Adventure Model comes standard with the following accessories: Under Cowl, Hand Guards, Touring Windscreen, Side Cases and Mounting Brackets, and Accessories Bars. I saw one in Orlando, and it was really a nice package. When compared to a new BMW 1200GS similarly equipped, it should be a pretty good value at about $10,000 less money. I’m not saying it is equal to the BMW, but a very good value in a very capable adventure bike.

      • Norm G. says:

        re: “I’m not saying it is equal to the BMW, but a very good value in a very capable adventure bike.”

        nothing wrong with living within one’s means. as long as a consumer understands that paying less =’s getting less, then it’s a WIN.

        • sherob says:

          Yeah, but paying less sometimes means getting more… like more dealer support… a better extended warranty offered (really nice compared to the BMW’s)… no BMW shaft drive.

  39. Stoopy says:

    Thanks for the review, great to hear feedback from a current DL650 owner. Having seen this bike in person at the IMS, it is even much more attractive in person (the beak almost fades away). Good stuff.

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