30 | Updated 02

First Look: 2018 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 and 1000XT

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…

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

… 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.

Specifications 2018 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 2018 Suzuki V-Strom 1000XT
MSRP $12,999 $13,299
Engine 1037cc, 4-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC 90-degree V-Twin 1037cc, 4-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC 90-degree V-Twin
Bore x Stroke 100.0 mm x 66.0 mm (3.937 in x 2.598 in) 100.0 mm x 66.0 mm (3.937 in x 2.598 in)
Compression Ratio 11.3 : 1 11.3 : 1
Fuel System Suzuki Fuel Injection, SDTV-equipped Suzuki Fuel Injection, SDTV-equipped
Starter Electric Electric
Lubrication Wet sump Wet sump
Transmission 6-speed constant mesh 6-speed constant mesh
Clutch Wet, multi-plate type Wet, multi-plate type
Suspension Front Inverted telescopic, coil spring, oil damped Inverted telescopic, coil spring, oil damped
Suspension Rear Link type, single shock, coil spring, oil damped Link type, single shock, coil spring, oil damped
Brakes Front Tokico 4-piston calipers, Disc, twin Tokico 4-piston calipers, Disc, twin
Brakes Rear Nissin, 2-piston, Disc single Nissin, 2-piston, Disc single
Tires Front 110/80R-19 M/C 59V, tubeless 110/80R-19 M/C 59V, tubeless
Tires Rear 150/70R-17 M/C 69V, tubeless 150/70R-17 M/C 69V, tubeless
Fuel Tank Capacity 20.0 L (5.3 US gallons) 20.0 L (5.3 US gallons)
Color Pearl Glacier White Glass Sparkle Black & Champion Yellow
Ignition Electronic ignition (Transistorized) Electronic ignition (Transistorized)
Headlight 12V 65W (H9 high-beam) & 12V 55W (H7 low-beam) 12V 65W (H9 high-beam) & 12V 55W (H7 low-beam)
Tail Light LED LED
Overall Length 2280 mm (89.8 in.) 2280 mm (89.8 in.)
Overall Width 930 mm (36.6 in.) 930 mm (36.6 in.)
Overall Height 1470 mm (57.9 in.) 1470 mm (57.9 in.)
Wheelbase 1555 mm (61.2 in.) 1555 mm (61.2 in.)
Ground Clearance 165 mm (6.5 in.) 165 mm (6.5 in.)
Seat Height 850 mm (33.5 in.) 850 mm (33.5 in.)
Curb Weight 232 kg (511 lbs.) 232 kg (511 lbs.)
Warranty 12 month unlimited mileage limited warranty. Coverage extension and additional benefits are available. 12 month unlimited mileage limited warranty. Coverage extension and additional benefits are available.
… all-new Bosch five-axis inertial measurement unit…more
… 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. This is a combined system, 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.more
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.more
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.more
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.more
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.more
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.more
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.more
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…more