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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
… 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.
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.
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.
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.