Suzuki V-Strom 1000 ABS / Adventure
With the redesigned 2014 V-Strom 1000, Suzuki seeks to split the difference between big, heavy adventure bikes and the smaller ones its 650 competes with in the US (BMW F800GS, Kawasaki KLR650, Triumph 800). At a claimed 503 pounds gassed up, the new V-Strom is 23 pounds lighter than a BMW R1200GS and 75 pounds lighter than a Yamaha Super Tenere. As such, Suzuki calls its new 1000 a “Sport Adventure Tourer”.
Suzuki says few V-Strom buyers will ever wheelie through mountain streams or bunny-hop through boulder fields. Rather, this Suzuki is more intended to be a really comfortable Iong-distance touring bike with looks that only imply its rider might be off to North Africa. In contrast to the well-heeled BMW R1200GS rider, who drives an M3 to work, the Suzuki owner is more likely to use his V-Strom as everyday transportation.
And for that, the V-Strom is tough to beat. Older riders will appreciate the standard-style ergonomics with tall handlebar, plus the cushy seat and rubber-covered footpegs. The 5.3-gallon fuel tank directs wind around your thighs, and the three-position (and 30mm height-adjustable) windshield pokes a large hole in the air.
For a bike with 6.3 inches of fork travel, it works okay for curve slaying. The frame is all new, with a longer swingarm and sportier rake and trail figures than before. The wide handlebar and upright riding position give plenty of directional control and confidence, and brake calipers from the GSX-R1000 provide plenty of stopping power, if not great sensitivity. ABS is standard.
Notably, this is the first production Suzuki ever with traction control. Once you transfer weight to the rear contact patch, the computer does the rest and does it well. The previous Strom made max torque at 6,400 rpm; this one makes a couple more pound-feet—70 claimed at the crank—at just 4,000 rpm, and bullmooses its way out of corners. There’s so much juicy torque down them that it’s really easy to forgive the fact that the show’s over at 8,000 rpm, which happens to be right where Suzuki says max power—100.6 horses—is being made. New cylinder heads, 10-hole injectors, and a 32-bit ECU are responsible for the added power, along with 16-percent better fuel economy, Suzuki says.
How much? At $12,699, the V-Strom is significantly less than a BMW R1200GS, and the Adventure version, with saddlebags, touring windscreen, hand guards, and the like lists for only $13.999.
Engine type: dohc V-twin
Transmission speeds: 6
Final drive: chain
Front brake: dual disc
Rear brake: disc
Wheelbase: 61.2 in.
Seat height: N/A
Fuel capacity: 5.3 gal.
Claimed curb weight: 503/N/A lb.
Suzuki V-Strom 1000 ABS Adventure