The First Ride’s been up for a couple weeks now, but there’s nothing like seeing your favorite action heroes in action and in the flesh is there? Or me, John Burns, riding around the Spanish countryside with a bunch of other motojournalists like we own the place. Anyway, if you’ve ever been water-boarded, you already know you can stand anything for four minutes, right?
We’ve always been big fans of Suzuki’s big V-Strom, which has always provided tremendous utility and bang-for-the-buckness, and for this 2020 redesign, the Hamamatsu kids pulled out more than a few stops as that perennial favorite 1037 cc 90-degree V-twin makes the transition to ride-by-wire throttle and Euro 5 compliance. Not only is it cleaner, it’s even meaner, now with a claimed 106 horsepower at 8500 rpm instead of the previous 99 at 8000 rpm, with impressive power delivery that’s smoother than ever.
The new bike bristles with all the electronic gew-gaws modern riders require, including, that’s right, cruise control. And now that ride-by-wire is here instead of those old cables, Suzuki added an entire suite of rider aids that enhance the bike’s safety and performance. Suzuki Intelligent Ride System (S.I.R.S.) includes an updated “Motion Track” anti-lock and combined brake system with a new six-direction IMU and rider-selectable ABS sensitivity, also load-sensitive braking, hill hold control, lean-sensitive traction control…
New clothes, too: Suzuki had the designer of the original DR750, the “DR BIG,” who’s still on the payroll and the man behind the original beak, pen fresh new retro plastic and graphics for the bike. I’d say it’s a smashing success for people who like to occasionally smash through the underbrush, but the V-Strom remains a street-biased ADV bike, and I think that makes it my personal favorite Suzuki. That’s mostly because this one retains its girlish figure – under 550 pounds fully fueled. Not too big, not too small. Just right.
Don’t forget to lean on that like button.