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Suzuki DL1000 V-STROM Adventure Motorbike Review

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Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom motorcycle review - Riding
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MCN overall verdict rating is 4

The Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom is a far better bike than its subdued manner and slightly anonymous styling suggests. It’s heart is the excellent V-twin motor from the TL series. The Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom's chassis is top notch road-trailie, it’s comfortable, brisk and excellent value, too.

Engine

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

The Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom is the acceptable face of the old TL1000 motor. Detuned for greater low-down grunt the Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom will drive you hard out of corners or past caravans on long distance jaunts. And apart from the glorious noise, you would be hard-pushed to recognise that the Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom is a V-twin, it's that vibe-free.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

The Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom's wide, high bars and low pegs have you adopting a sit up and beg posture that makes comfortable sense in the long run. The suspension is plush to soak the bumps and ruts of British roads easing your ride.
That plush suspension can mean the Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom wallows a little, but only if you tackle twisties in the way you would on a more dedicated sportsbike.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

The Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom dash is well equipped with digital fuel gauge, clock, rev counter and all the other usuals and the mirrors work very well, offering a big, clear view of the scene behind. Some may find the Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom screen a tad low for high-speed work, but that can be sorted with a flip-up, or some leaning forward when you want to whip along at three-figure speeds (overseas, obviously).

Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom (2002-2008)

Detail Value
New price £6,999
Dealer used prices
£2,870 (2002) - £4,420 (2006)
Private used prices
£2,580 (2002) - £3,980 (2006)
  View full used price info
Engine size 996 cc
Power 105 bhp
Top speed 130 mph
Insurance group 12 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Engine rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Ride & Handling rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Equipment rating is 4 rating is 4
Quality & Reliability rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Value rating is 5 rating is 4.5

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

The Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom is not quite the luxury item that a BMW GS or KTM Adventure professes to be, but although more workmanlike it’s fairly decent, robust and reliable. Look after your Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom and keep it clean in all the right areas and you won’t regret it.

Value

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

There’s no getting away with it, with the Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom, you get an awful lot of bike for your buck. Lots of extra such as heated grips, luggage and centre stands are available too making the Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom a true go-anywhere motorcycle for not a huge amount of dosh. Find a Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom for sale.

Insurance

Insurance group: 12 of 17

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Model History

2002: Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom introduced.

Other Versions

Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom Grand Touring. Introduced in 2006 with heated grips, centre stand and luggage pack as standard fitments.

Specifications

Top speed 130 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 12.2 secs
Max power 105 bhp
Max torque 68 ft-lb
Weight 207 kg
Seat height 875 mm
Fuel capacity 22 litres
Average fuel consumption 39 mpg
Tank range 185 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 12 of 17
Engine size 996 cc
Engine specification 90-degree 4v V-twin, 6 gears
Frame Aluminium twin spar
Front suspension adjustment None
Rear suspension adjustment Preload, compression, rebound
Front brakes 2 x 310mm discs
Rear brake 265mm disc
Front tyre size 110/90 x 19
Rear tyre size 150/70 x 17

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4.5(18 reviews)

  • Great Foundation

    Douglas Freeman

    Average rating rating is 4

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    Ride and Handling
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    Value
    Engine

    Stock it's an ok bike - suspension average at best, decent motor, excellent ergos and weather protection. With a PC & dyno Tune, opened up airbox, Remus cans it barks & runs much better (97 HP). Racetech fork springs, and revalved fork, Penske shock, lowered front by 1.5", raised rear 1 1/4", it's no GSXR but handles extremely well. The long seat to peg distance makes it very comfortale, but a bit top heavy. Great value if you know how to make the right mods. It is but ugly, but I bought it to ride, not look at. Mine will hang with any other adventure bike until the road turns turns to goat trail.

    18 July 2013

  • cinderella

    matt clayton

    Average rating rating is 4

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    Beautiful from some angles,and as ugly as big Hilda from the chippy from other angles, very few people know what to make of the big DL, unless they've owned one. It lacks glamour and focus but once you've had one, they'll always hold a place in your heart. It looks massive but is infact light and agile, weighing less than a Honda 800 Vfr. A big tank, comfy seat, bullet proof punchy engine,and good weather protection are a few of its good points. Aftermarket is easy and I recommend: progressive front springs, hyperpro rear suspension, Renthall fatbars, Oxford heated grips, Leo Vince/two Bros exhausts, Givi crash bars, Givi panniers and backbox. Poor bouncy suspension and poor brakes are its main faults but curable. So if you want a bike that is almost as good as a GS but at a fraction of the price and you can ignore some questionable styling and a few budget parts, this is a fantastic buy. Suzuki describe it as a dual purpose sports tourer and it is. Gravel, highway, commute, tour, racetrack, one up, two up, it does it all and pretty well indeed. If you think that you might get one, then get one, you won't regret it.

    06 September 2011

  • twice the bike for half the price (of a BMW, KTM...)

    Anonymous

    Average rating rating is 5

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    Why is the ugly BMW GS the benchmark for big trailies? Don't get me wrong its great to ride, solid, powerful, great handling and mature; but with the boxer that gets in the way or demaged with serious greenlaning, horried looks, stupid switchgear.... what is it about it? And why does nobody even mentions the V-Strom as a competitor? I can only guess - because it worries the competition. It is simply the best of all: Tiger, to heavy unreliable and useless for even gravel, Varadero an expensive softy with no soul, Aprillia not really a serious contender, KTM ugly as pig (which is why most are orange...), less reliable and more expensive than the V-strom. After a few month of Immobilizer related problems that proved a challenge to get right, I finally enjoyed hundreds of miles of mixed british roads: A,B and M. Even some green laning. In the sun, rain and frost. The V-Strom is so easy to live with. It easily keeps up with 'hard working, sport bikers on smoot A-roads, copes brilliantly with the poorer roads of the yorkshire dales and is almost as comfy as a tourer on the motorways. so why does it get so little recognition? shame it's discontinued too. Let's hope a new version, just as good, comes out again. I'll cercainly buy one.

    14 December 2009

  • Fairly Reliable "07

    Bob Thomas

    Average rating rating is 4

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    I bought mine new in July '07. I began taking trips the following week, it was broken in within a week and ready for first service. I put a Suzuki gel seat on when I bought it, never have sat on the original. Also bought bar risers to come up and back a couple inches both ways. It's fairly comfortable for 2-3 hours, need to stretch a bit after that. I often ride to Central Oregon, a 4 hour(less at times) trip to where I go. Stop about half way for gas and bathroom, I'm good the rest of the way. Not a pro at all, but love to corner, it does quite well except if it's wet and you corner on cross walk paint or railroad tracks, hops a bit sideways if you don't slow way down. Only real issue I've had, when it was about 10 months or so old, about 8,000 miles, it started running badly at steady speeds unless I revved it quite a bit. Barely got it too the dealer, they changed plugs but couldn't duplicate the problem. Ran good for a while, then did same thing a couple of times, though not as bad as first time. Again, really couldn't find it, though they suspect factory lean settings at lower revs, supposed to be a fix for that, new chip or something. Other than that, really nothing wrong, been a mostly very good bike and a good buy I thought. Love the torque available, and if you kick down a gear to pass on a 2 lane road, pulls very hard to 90-100mph very fast. The test says top speed of 130, I've had mine to 130-135 several times and still more to go, dealer says 150 and I bet it's close. All in all, avery good bike and I've met many people that have 650's and 1000's and they are generall y very pleased with them.

    12 April 2009

  • work on it ....

    minkyhead

    Average rating rating is 5

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    Engine

    two years now ...total reliability ...strong engine from the start ..the handling has improved no end ..raising links [ebay..up inch at the rear ] hagon rear shock ohlins springs sae 15 oil [fork brace ..murphs 020s fitted instead of swapping the bike i have improved it ..its cost around 1500 pounds but what i have now is a real compliant and competant bike one or two up the engine has a tourque curve betwwen 3500 and 7500 revs that you could play bowls on it dynod at 94.7bhp at rear wheel 97 nm torque at 4800 revs i get miffed when people say ugly bland japanise ect ect this bike has loads of chariter ..as a ex 1150 1200gsand varadero pilot ..in its present form its the best road bike of them all ....for not a lot of money the screen is the best of any bike ive sver ridden google madstat brackets [clever ajustable up down 4inches also the forward/ rear pitch ..and add a givi tall screen absalutly superb protection buffet free all day at a ton no dealers feed it halfors oil and the odd filter air filter gets very dirty when its abroad i paid 4900 quid four months old 900 miles ill get half me money back on improvments on ebay a lot of bike for no money at all

    07 November 2008

  • Long term reliability

    ice-cycle

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Engine

    I have an 03 with 80,000 km. During the past five years the only problem has been a leaking slave cylinder --however routine cleaning keeps this under control. The Strom is a great bike, among the very best purchases I have made in my life. The engine has great torque, the clutch on 03 is flawless. I am 5'8" so I do find the bike a bit top heavy, especially when stationary --getting it upright off the kick stand, or in the garage. Over time you get used to it, but with a full tank of gas, you need to be careful at very low speeds.

    04 July 2008

  • DL1000 GT

    beany25

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Engine

    after 5 years of riding a bandit600, when it came to upgrade, this was the only bike that fit the budget, me (6'4"), my requirements. the engine is stunning, and pulls effortlessly. the looks - although not to everyones taste, are suitable "rugged" i think, its not a panzer wagon, and its 'off road' ability is definately a second priority. if you are looking for an excellant all round fun to use, eurotourer, commuter, workhorse, this is the bike that gets constantly over looked, its like the new tiger, but less, its like the varadero, but less (and less ugly), its way less than the sports tourers, less than the panzer......allround excellant.

    06 May 2008

  • Born again Biker

    Alandj

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    My last bike was a Kawasaki kh250 in 1978 so not fair to compare - Bought the V Strom as Im 6'5" and it seemed to be the biggest bike on the market - Its turned out made to measure - love it - Doing high mileage and everything other than the alarm is brilliant

    30 April 2008

  • vstrom is the best

    septicwart

    Average rating rating is 5

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    best bike i ever bought

    26 April 2008

  • It Has It All

    crustyle

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    I rode the BMW R1200GS - good, but pricey. I thrashed the KTM990 - great fun, but the riding position wasn't comfortable, and it didn't like pottering through villages at 30mph. I rode the V-Strom and it became welded to my backside. It does the lot for 3k less than the BMW. The dog's....

    21 March 2008

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sfarrar

sfarrarsays

fi light on vstrom

I also had the same problem as member 'ctooby' with the FI light flashing and it wont start, the error code says its a fault with the ignition circuit, I took my ignition switch off as best i could and blasted it with WD40 whilst it was upside down and used the long nozzle to blast it through small holes on the barrel. after a large can of WD40 later and loads of crap that came out i have had no problem at all. the FI light hasnt come on once in over a year. hope this helps 

25 March 2009 21:37

ctyates

ctyatessays

oops

that should have been filtering options. Can you edit these things? Chris

13 November 2007 20:31

ctyates

ctyatessays

rear end

This bike is on my radar for a possible next bike. Currently I have a VFR800 which I'm pretty attached to but like the more upright riding position (getting old!). I've test ridden the 650 VStrom today and also the new 1250 Bandit. Liked them both but the rear end of the VStrom with panniers does look awfully wide. Does anybody find that this restricts foltering options? any comments generally? cheers Chris

13 November 2007 20:28

enduro rider

enduro ridersays

windshield

I had the same trouble with awful buffering (made my had vibrate to the degree of nausea and being unable to see clear in front of me)) on the standard screen at motorway speed. the tintet short screen solved that (ok now it is causing more wind noise but hey i am not riding a gold wing am I). My passenger even was happier. strange how much difference 5cm can make....

15 October 2007 22:43

zukiman

zukimansays

DL 1000

I've owned my  02 strom from new it had the clutch basket replaced under warranty other than that there have been no problems I  use it every day all year round it's done 36000 miles and just seems to get better .these are bikes you build along term realationship with.It gets jet washed then soaked in wd40 once a month it still polish's up fine.I change the oil and filter every 2000 miles which is probably over the top  but I allways like to keep clean oil in a bike .Anyone considering buying a good honest do it all workhorse won't regret buying a strom  

       

10 July 2007 21:32

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