Spy photographers have snapped images of two new Suzuki prototypes powered by a new Parallel-Twin engine. The two motorcycles, an adventure bike and a naked model, appear to be the eventual successors to the V-Strom 650 and SV650, and the culmination of a long development path for Suzuki’s new middleweight twin-cylinder engine.
The 645cc engine powering the V-Strom and SV650 has long been one of our favorites, but having only received updates to keep them compliant with emissions standards, the liquid-cooled V-Twin has been getting quite long in the tooth. This is especially true in the face of competition such as Yamaha’s 689cc CP2 engine, KTM’s 790 and 890 Twins, and even newer rivals like Aprilia’s 660 Twin and Triumph’s 660 Triple.
Suzuki has been working on a new middleweight parallel-Twin for some time now, going as far back as 2013 with the turbocharged 588cc engine in the Recursion concept, and in 2015, when Suzuki displayed the XE7 turbo engine (which presumably was closer to a 700cc displacement) at the Tokyo Motor Show.
Since then, there have been few updates from Suzuki, apart from the occasional patent filing that gave us a sign that development was ongoing, either turbocharged or naturally aspirated. While its competitors introduced new middleweight models, we’ve continued to wait, as Suzuki continued to rely on its venerable 645c V-Twin to compete in that class.
The new spy photos suggest the wait will soon be over. The two prototypes still appear to be in the early stages, but a 2024 launch would be a reasonable estimate (that Suzuki has already certified the SV650 and V-Strom 650 for 2023 with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency further supports that time frame.).
The adventure model shares much of its styling with the V-Strom, including the beak that Suzuki first debuted on the DR Big. The silencer appears similar to the one on the current V-Strom 650, though of course the exhaust routing has changed with the new engine configuration.
The test model ran with wire-spoke wheels, including a 21-incher up front, a larger wheel than the V-Strom 650XT’s 19-inch front wheel. The front wheel is suspended by an inverted fork instead of the V-Strom 650’s regular telescopic fork.
Behind the windscreen, we spot an LCD display, so no fancy TFT screen at this point. The naked model also has a similar LCD screen. Both models share a stacked headlight design that appears very similar to the one employed by the GSX-S1000.
The naked bike appears the rougher of the two, with the front fender and the bodywork taped up, and with large tubes on either side of the fuel tank, suggesting the intake remains a work in progress. One of the shots of the naked bike gives us the best look at the engine. Our spy photographer guesses the displacement is about the 800 range, but a displacement in the 700s is also possible. Unlike the adventure bike, the naked model employs a much subtler exhaust.
The naked bike also uses an inverted fork and, from the label on the front caliper, we know the brakes are provided by Nissin. Unlike the adventure bike, the naked model runs on cast wheels.
The question remains what the two new models will be called. They will likely replace the V-Strom 650 and SV650 in Suzuki’s lineup, and while both bikes’ names have built up a lot of value over the years, they don’t seem a fit for a Parallel-Twin configuration. An SP700 or SP800 doesn’t sound too bad, but “P-Strom” is probably best avoided.
Thankfully, Suzuki has time to come up with names as neither bike appears close to being ready for production. Given how long we’ve been waiting for a brand new engine from Suzuki, holding on for 2024 doesn’t sound too bad.
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