Must sting! Must decide! Must kick the train! The 650 V-Strom is fed up with the Tracer and the Versys. In 2017, she wanted to reinvest the land.
The trail is defended at Suzuki. We all know someone who cracked a DR 650 once the license was in his pocket (or shortly after); and when we designed a pachyderm like the "Big" DR 800 S, we know how to talk. Moreover, when a new trail family appeared with the V-Strom, the market quickly understood that a nice machine was arriving on the ground. Unfortunately, lack of sex appeal, a tendency to do everything but not to lift the thrilling, too sweet curves … In short, the DLs liked without hitting love at first sight, and that’s a shame. Suzuk ‘tries to rectify the situation with a new 650 V-Strom which takes the face. Revised design, revised engine, revised equipment, reduced weight and increased electronics. Would the Suzuki trail become vindictive ?
Gagedé the curves and the face of care bears of the model 2011-2016. The DL 650 asserts itself shamelessly by a style borrowed from the 1000. With its face of coot hit with a Cyclops gaze, it seems to want to sow the seeds of mid-size trails. A daring choice, for a clientele who mainly like fun and novelty in this segment of engine capacity. No doubt, the new V-Strom will stand out. However, the harmony is far from equaling that of the competitors. She doesn’t seem to care, far from it, and relies on the equipment to assert herself.
The argument to put forward today is electronic staffing. Suzuki is following suit with a certain list of equipment. Injection of course, with a double butterfly intake and now 10-hole injectors for better spraying. Then the adoption of recent home aids. First, the Low RPM Assist, which automatically increases the engine speed when you engage the clutch to start driving or when moving at low speed. Then, the Easy Start: you press the starter once and it works by itself until the engine is running. Now, the strongest. For a modern grinding wheel, it is now almost impossible to do without traction control. The entire V-Strom family now owns one. If its usefulness is undeniable on a big machine like the DL 1000, with its twin inherited from the TL 1000 S / R, we will be more doubtful on a trail of 71 horses. But Traction Control is everywhere today, even on a 47 hp Guzzi V7. Let’s be fair play and objective: we regularly come across great opportunities to slide; and the condition of our roads, more and more exematic, should regularly give work and relevance to this system.
How does it work? Let’s keep it simple: by analyzing the speed of the wheels, the gear engaged, the position of the crankshaft and the accelerator every 4 milliseconds, the TC is ready to react to the slightest slippage of the wheels. If it detects it, it acts on the ignition and the air intake.
3 possible options. Do you trust your right hand? It can turn off. In mode 1, the system acts later, to allow some drifts and playful or sporty driving. In mode 2, it intervenes more quickly, guaranteeing active safety on tricky terrain.
That’s not all. The V-Strom 650 adopts less sporty goodies, more safety and pleasure. No need to rent ABS once again, soon to be universal and standard here. Very useful, a 12V socket is embedded in the left side of the fork crown. The screen, 9 mm higher, can be adjusted to 3 positions, without tools. And three details that change everyday life: Suz has kept the practical recharge adjustment wheel for the rear shock absorber, the luggage carrier, and a pad now allows the steering of the dashboard as well as traction control from the handlebars. What about the center stand? Damn, that’s the option box. And the integrated anchor plates for the suitcases? Option also.
In short, there are still some efforts to be made.
When the first 650 V-Strom landed, we immediately had a smile because it was equipped with the engine of the SV. And he’s always there to take the crew. Beautiful longevity for this small V-twin. To think that it’s been almost 20 years since he appeared. It will have propelled from the first SV to this V-Strom, evolving with the seasons and models. It has been revised not only to adapt to Euro4 but to ensure the consumption side and offer more torque at mid-range. 60 new parts including pistons, exhaust camshafts, injectors and many pieces of mechanics allow the 645 cm3 to continue its career. With 71 horses at 8800 rpm, we figure a small gain of 2 hp on the old version, and almost half a mkg of gain. The only real flaw in this engine will be its displacement – in a market where engines keep getting bigger, a switch to 700 or 800 cc would be welcome..
A new exhaust accompanies this evolution, with a design also modeled on the orifice equipping the 1000. We gain 40 gr (the cow ….. on a blunderbuss of 8.6 kilos …..) but above all a position low less penalizing for the installation of suitcases.
Spectacular facelift for the 650 V-Strom. And below? We can salute the tour de force: the bike seems entirely new while it rests on an identical chassis. Perimeter frame in aluminum and swinging arm are renewed without modification. We veered a little plastic on the sides of the tank to facilitate the installation of the feet on the ground by tightening the crotch. On the other hand, the stick wheels gained 100 gr. Not huge in absolute terms but a real plus for liveliness.
As in the past, the small V-Strom is equipped with a 43mm fork, 310mm disc brakes with 2-piston calipers at the front and 260mm with a single-piston caliper at the rear. We are far from the notable evolution offered by the GSR by becoming GSX-S 750. But the claims are not the same. Suzuki relies on classic and proven solutions.
Except on the dashboard side. Here too, a big cleanup with instrumentation stuck to the big V-Strom. A compact, almost sporty block, with a large needle tachometer and two digital windows. The first dedicated to the speed and the gear engaged, the second to inform trips, the level of TC, fuel, water temperature, outside air, consumption calculation, etc … As for its tank of 20 liters, it will allow a good autonomy.
Saddle revised, weight reduced by a kilo and Bridgestone A40 tires end the list of improvements of this 650 V-Strom.
Suzuki standardizes the style here over its entire trail range, with a stylistic daring that is necessary but which will not be to everyone’s taste. Under the habit, the evolution is less spectacular but noticeable, allowing this 3rd generation to provoke the sector.
For a more adventurous side, an XT version accompanies the V-Strom in the catalog. With the same face, spoked rims, engine guard and hand guards.
What you must remember
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DL 650 V-STROM 2017
Model marketed in
about 180 km / h
The technical aspect
Suzuki DL 650 V-STROM 2018
- Tank: 20 liters
- Width: 835 mm
- Height: 1,405 mm
- Wheelbase: 1,560 mm
- Weight in running order: 213 kg
- Train before
- Secondary chain transmission
- Rear axle
(81 x 62.6 mm mm)
at 8,800 rpm
at 6500 rpm