Suzuki summoned the usual suspects to Lake Arrowhead, California, to show off the latest updates to its excellent ADV bikes. That’s the new V-Strom 650XT in the lead photo, distinguishable from the base model 650 by its wire-spoke tubeless wheels, yellow paint, hand guards and lower engine cowl/modesty panel. An aesthetic overhaul now makes it barely distinguishable from the big V-Strom 1000; know the 650 by its silver engine cases and lack of SUZUKI on the sides of its plush seat.

2017 Suzuki V-Strom 650

And here’s your base model V-Strom 650, with new lighter cast wheels which mount the same 19-/17-inch rubber as the XT.

2017 Suzuki V-Strom 650XT

Suzuki says seat height is 32.9 inches, curb weight is 470 pounds (476 for the XT pictured).

2017 Suzuki V-Strom 650XT windshield

Cool new beak styling like the V-Strom 1000 brings vertically stacked headlights and a less wall-eyed, confused look. Four rubber nuts you can undo with your fingers give the bigger windshield three-position adjustability. The XT also gets hand guards, though not in this Suzuki-supplied photo.

2017 Suzuki V-Strom 650 instrument cluster

Now with traction control, just like big bro, and super easy to switch from level 1, 2 or Off. To the left just out of the picture, the 12-volt outlet that was optional is now standard equipment. The LCD panel is adjustable for brightness and includes a freeze warning in addition to lots of other info. ABS is now standard. No, you can’t switch it off.

2017 Suzuki V-Strom 650XT traction control

The TC system reports in on front and rear wheel speeds, throttle opening, engine speed, and the gear you’re in to adjust engine output and control wheelspin.

2017 Suzuki V-Strom 650 and SV650 engine cylinder head

Meanwhile in the engine bay, there’s more power courtesy of the SV650’s updated engine, with new camshafts and dual-plug cylinder heads. Suzuki’s Easy Start system lets you start the bike with a single jab of the starter button and no clutch if you’re in neutral.

2017 Suzuki V-Strom 650 low-friction piston

Resin-coated low-friction pistons in SCEM cylinders help boost output and longevity.

2017 Suzuki V-Strom 650 Dual Throttle Valve

Suzuki’s Dual Throttle Valve system has been around long enough to now work without a hitch. New, 10-hole long-nose fuel injectors in each 39mm throttle body are said to improve atomization for better efficiency and reduced fuel consumption. There’s also an imperceptible Low RPM Assist feature that automatically bumps rpm a bit to help beginners not stall the bike at take-off and in low-rev riding situations. Smart.

2017 Suzuki V-Strom 650 exhaust

A lighter new exhaust packing twin catalyzers and oxygen sensors is said to reduce weight, centralize mass, and free up room for luggage. Now we are CARB and Euro4 compliant.

2017 Suzuki V-Strom 650 tail rack

Then there’s this redesigned rack bringing up the rear, that’s flush with the seat for easy strapping of things. The new chassis also has integrated mount points for unified V-Strom luggage that’s supposed to be easy to clip on and off. We haven’t seen it yet.

All that in a package Suzuki says is 2.2 pounds lighter than the previous model, 2.0 lbs lighter for the XT. How much would you expect to pay? How about $8,799 for the base model in white, $9.299 for the XT in yellow or glossy black.

Stay tuned for our full review next week!

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  • Starmag

    V Strom 650’s were almost attractive in 2012-14 with no beak. Now they have a beak to protect you from all that dirt that will fly up from the front when you take it up an alley. Too bad they only have a plastic guard covering the vulnerable oil filter and front head pipe. They are great bikes with a great motor, but it seems they are more about off-road Virtue Signaling. They should just make a sport-touring version without all the silly styling. I guess that wouldn’t be trendy though.

    • JMDGT

      “Off road virtue signaling.”Priceless.

    • Scott Silvers

      “virtue signalling? you must be a millennial to use such a retarded phrase

      • Starmag

        You got me, I’m the world’s oldest millennial at 56. Virtue signaling was meant sarcastically. JMDGT got it, you missed. Better luck next time.

  • aaMOron

    Great bikes and I like the visual update. We’ve already sold 2 at the shop. I was a little disappointed to see they eliminated the feont preload adjusters on the 2017 models.


    Why do I think this bike should weigh less?

    • Ted

      That’s what I was thinking. To many “off road virtue signals” apparently. That is wet though,…..but still.

    • Larry Kahn

      FYI, I have an ’06 stock except removed fairing/twin lights/side panels (@12lbs) and with half tank full is 440lbs. Weighed on two bathroom scales.

  • SRMark

    It would be nice to see some effort put into the Dr650

  • Andrew Capone

    We’ve got one as one of our rental bikes on the Isle of Man right now, piloted by John San, my partner in ale. He’s reporting that, versus the prior year model we had last year, there is a world of difference, all good.

  • sgray44444

    I wonder how much longer Suzuki can continue to milk this design. It’s the same basic motor as the first gen SV650. It should be HIGHLY refined by now. Not saying that is a bad thing. I’ve owned two of them so far. It says a lot about a motorcycle that many would be willing to buy them multiple times. I would love to see a real sport-touring variant of it though, and an 850cc motor making around 85hp at the wheel. They should make the liter version 1200cc and this one 850.


    very techy-i’d assume no user serviceable parts within? well as long as you don’t need to go to school to change the oil,plugs and air filter!