First to enter the market in 2002 was the Suzuki V-Strom 1000, powered by a liquid-cooled, DOHC, 996cc, V-Twin engine sourced from Suzuki’s own TL1000S sportbikes. The Suzuki V-Strom 1000 also incorporates technology from Suzuki’s other sportbikes, its fuel injection system coming from the GSX-R models. Even with 98 horsepower and weighing 520 lbs. wet, the Suzuki V-Strom 1000 manages to get a respectable 40 miles per gallon.
Not much has changed on the Suzuki V-Strom 1000 since its introduction. In 2004 it received an upgraded ECU, increasing from 16 bits to 32 bits, a redesigned instrument cluster was added as were stronger handlebar and mirrors. The Suzuki V-Strom’s bellypan was also redesigned and an adjustable windscreen was added.
The Suzuki V-Strom 650 was launched a couple years after the V-Strom 1000, in 2004. The 650 immediately proved its worth winning awards from enthusiast publications. Powered by a liquid-cooled, DOHC, 645cc, V-Twin engine sourced from the popular SV650, the Suzuki V-Strom 650 was a perfect blend of performance and comfort for a very affordable price. Weighing 485 lbs. wet and producing 64 horsepower, the V-Strom 650 with ABS gets a remarkable 54 mpg. Considering its 5.8-gallon fuel tank, the Suzuki V-Strom 650 can travel 300 miles before requiring fuel.
Like its larger counterpart, not much has changed on the Suzuki V-Strom 650 since its introduction. In 2007 Suzuki lengthened the V-Strom’s wheelbase a half-inch with a longer swingarm and retooled the cylinder head to accept two spark plugs, but the big news was the addition of an ABS-equipped V-Strom 650.
With long-travel suspension, high-mounted exhaust and equipped with available luggage, the adventure-touring Suzuki V-Strom offers both on- and off-road versatility (biased more for street riding than serious off-road fun). The two V-Stroms provide neutral seating positions for long-distance comfort and adequate fairing protection from the elements.
The only V-Strom listed in Suzuki’s 2011 American lineup is the ABS-equipped V-Strom 650, retailing for $8,011.