The way our Suzuki rep ’splained it, is that it’s a 2018 model if it’s being produced in 2017. Go figure… anyway, the V-Strom 1000 was new in 2015. For 2018, it’s received a few significant upgrades to make it even more likeable, not to mention safer, including the addition of the new 1000XT version in the lead image.

2018 V-Strom 1000XT

Available in this lovely yellow or shiny black, the XT gets strong, suitable-for-offroading tubeless-style wire spoke wheels in the appropriate 19- and 17-inch sizes, along with hand guards and a fat aluminum handlebar.

2018 V-Strom 1000

And here’s the standard model, available in Glacier White, with cast alloy wheels that are a bit lighter than the wire jobs if not quite as dent-resistant when you’re intent on ramming rocks and things.

Both bikes get a restyled fairing that looks much like the old one to our eyes, but with a new bigger, still adjustable windshield that’s 49mm taller than before and reshaped, via wind tunnel, for smoother airflow.

2018 V-Strom 1000 and 1000XT adjustable windscreen

There are three height adjustments, and you can still ratchet the shield into three different angles of repose on the fly. Those hand guards are un-reinforced plastic, but still way better than nothing when punching errant trees.

2018 V-Strom 1000 and 1000XT engine

Belowdecks, Suzuki’s venerable and beloved 1037cc 90-degree V-Twin soldiers on, now refined even more highly to maintain its power in Euro4 trim. Twin catalyzers in the mid-pipe feed a new muffler. A little re-jiggering of Suzuki’s SDTV system provides smooth response and juicy midrange power.

2018 V-Strom 1000 and 1000XT front brakes

Both 1000s share a pair of hell-for-strong front brakes, and for 2018 there’s a hybrid Cornering ABS system which Suzuki calls its Motion Track and Combination brake system. It’s made possible thanks to the addition of an…

2018 V-Strom 1000 and 1000XT Bosch five-axis inertial measurement unit…

… all-new Bosch five-axis inertial measurement unit…

2018 V-Strom 1000 and 1000XT IMU axes

… which measures roll, pitch and yaw. Sensors on the front and rear wheels continually measure wheel speeds at a rate of 50 times per second. The wheel-speed and IMU measurements, plus the amount of brake lever or pedal pressure, are calculated by the ABS control unit to instantly adjust the fluid pressure to the brake calipers as required. Suzuki stresses, not a linked one BUT when the computer senses you’re being too greedy with the front brake, it will automatically begin applying rear brake pressure to “stabilize the vehicle.” Thanks to its new advanced ABS unit, Suzuki says kickback through the lever and pedal is greatly reduced. Sadly, Suzuki remains philosophically opposed to allowing you to switch its ABS off.

2018 V-Strom 1000XT

The XT gets an aluminum handlebar. Both bikes retain skinny waistlines. Both get handguards and a plastic lower cowl that will guard the engine from smaller projectiles.

2018 V-Strom 1000 and 1000XT riders perspective

The adjustable windscreen is 49mm taller, and seems wider too. Suzuki says more wind tunnel testing also made it more aero. The non-XT version uses a plain old steel handlebar, but both versions get bigger bar-end weights to better damp vibration.

2018 V-Strom 1000 and 1000XT accessories

What else? Suzuki’s trying to make it easier on its dealers with accessories that will fit all four V-Stroms. Additional lock tumblers that match the bike’s ignition key are included with each V-Strom so you can add Suzuki accessory luggage and have the convenience of one-key operation.

Fine, you say, but what’s the bottom line? Well sir, the base model carries an MSRP of $12,699. The XT is $300 more, $12,999. That’s $300 less than the cheapest Honda Africa Twin, and reeks of a bargain in what’s become a hotly contested market segment, really, and for good reason.

More details to follow in our ride report next week.

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  • Sentinel

    Still ugly as can be; the Cyclops ugly bird-beaked thing!

  • Old MOron

    I like Suzuki, and I’ve always wanted to like this bike. But I just can’t forgive them for that ugly valve they tacked onto the pipe just before the canister.

    • Born to Ride

      My M1100s had one of those stupid valves in plain sight. Biggest eyesore on the whole bike.

  • Jason M.

    For $300 more, why wouldn’t you buy the Africa Twin over the Strom?

    • Born to Ride

      I’d imagine the strom is a better road bike. We’ll have to wait for a MOronic comparison test to know for sure.

    • Auphliam

      Flip that same question around…Why would you buy a base Africa Twin when you can get a top specced ‘StromXT for $300 less?

  • JMDGT

    It seems to be missing something at first glance. I can’t seem to put my finger on it though.

  • Born to Ride

    Sign me up!!!

  • Kamohelo Mohudi

    When will they bring back the SV1000?????

  • Vrooom

    I’ve had 3 Stroms and put 100s of thousands of miles on them. They are incredibly reliable, I sold one with 124K miles on it and it still had the original clutch. Nothing but valve adjustments, tires, brake pads and chains. And some oil. I’m a multi-bike guy, but the Strom gets 40% of my annual mileage, out of 6 rides. And it’s so ugly no one will ever steal it.

  • SRMark

    That is a lot of bike for the buck.

  • TC

    I have an 05 BMW R1200 ST, which was one of the first bikes with a stacked headlight. Many reviewers didn’t like the looks of it, but it turns out that it was just a few years ahead of its time………

  • kenneth_moore

    It’s good to hear they upgraded the brakes. My ’07 DL1K had terrible front brakes; 2 pistons on the outside with sliding pins IIRC. Fortunately one of the VStrom cottage industry guys sold a conversion plate that mounted 6-piston GSXR brakes. I about went over the handlebars my first ride after installing them.

    They should put the aluminum bar on all the Vees. That spindly steel bar they use looks and feels cheesy; it really brings the whole bike down. Charge $15 more bucks…I bet they’d sell more bikes.