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Suzuki DL650 V-STROM Adventure Motorbike Review

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Suzuki DL650 V-Strom motorcycle review - Riding
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MCN overall verdict rating is 4

As a fun, realistic alternative to a licence-bashing sports middleweight, the Suzuki DL650 V-Strom's on to a winner. That engine is sublime, with mountains of really useable power where you want it. To an extent, the Suzuki DL650 V-Strom is built to a budget, but it’s a real performer. Cost-effective and versatile, the Suzuki DL650 V-Strom is well worth a second glance.

Engine

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

The retuned SV650 engine is the Suzuki DL650 V-Strom's strongest feature. Tweaked for more midrange, boy it delivers. Peak torque kicks in at 7600rpm but anywhere between 4-9000rpm will have you grinning like a maniac. The Suzuki DL650 V-Strom offers smooth, fuel-injected power delivery and a top speed of around 125mph… Fantastic.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

Comfortable, fun and truly versatile, the Suzuki DL650 V-Strom can be taken anywhere. Handling’s good enough for fast, twisty roads; protection’s ample for motorways; and the riding position’s perfect for urban commutes. Brakes, suspension and gearing are all good. The Suzuki DL650 V-Strom's sturdy chassis makes it stable and it turns quickly. Don’t take it off road though.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 4

The Suzuki DL650 V-Strom's seat’s wide and comfortable with ample room for a pillion and luggage for touring (although ground clearance can be a bit hairy, two up into sharp corners). The mirrors are excellent and the Suzuki DL650 V-Strom's adjustable screen works well until it rains, when it lets water through, doh!

Suzuki DL650 V-Strom (2004-2010)

Detail Value
New price £6,125
Dealer used prices
£2,790 (2005) - £4,390 (2010)
Private used prices
£2,510 (2005) - £4,280 (2010)
  View full used price info
Engine size 645 cc
Power 60 bhp
Top speed 125 mph
Insurance group 10 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Engine rating is 5 rating is 4.5
Ride & Handling rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Equipment rating is 3 rating is 4
Quality & Reliability rating is 4 rating is 4
Value rating is 4 rating is 4.5

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

Overall build quality is fine but the Suzuki DL650 V-Strom needs a bash plate to protect the engine and exhaust system from being destroyed by road crud. The Suzuki DL650 V-Strom engine’s just wonderful, and very reliable, but does send some vibes through the bars and pegs.

Value

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

The Suzuki DL650 V-Strom is a tourer, a sportsbike and a commuter all handily wrapped together in one. Against other, trail-style middleweights, the Suzuki DL650 V-Strom has a very competitive price tag and you’re really getting a top all-rounder for your money. Excellent tank range, low insurance group, slow tyre wear and an easily-serviced engine make for good, real world savings. Find a Suzuki DL650 V-Strom for sale.

Insurance

Insurance group: 10 of 17

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Model History

2004: Suzuki unveiled the Suzuki DL650 V-Strom; a smaller sibling of their 1000cc version. The Suzuki DL650 V-Strom, cosmetically, is virtually identical to the Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom but has a lower seat and weighs around 20kg less.

Other Versions

Suzuki DL650 V-Strom Touring: Launched in late 2005, this version of the Suzuki DL650 V-Strom has a centrestand, hand guards, heated grips and a top box as standard.

2011: V-Strom 650A (ABS model) available for £6,535

Specifications

Top speed 125 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 13.2 secs
Max power 60 bhp
Max torque 40 ft-lb
Weight 189 kg
Seat height 820 mm
Fuel capacity 22 litres
Average fuel consumption 45 mpg
Tank range 218 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 10 of 17
Engine size 645 cc
Engine specification 8v V-twin, 6 gears
Frame Aluminium twin spar
Front suspension adjustment Preload
Rear suspension adjustment Preload and rebound
Front brakes Twin 310mm discs
Rear brake 260mm disc
Front tyre size 110/80 x 19
Rear tyre size 150/70 x 17

See all Suzuki DL650 V-STROM motorcycles for sale

Suzuki
DL650 V-STROM

21376 miles

£3,999

Suzuki
DL650 V-STROM

14089 miles

£3,200

Suzuki
DL650 V-STROM

11200 miles

£4,699

Suzuki
DL650 V-STROM

miles

£6,595

Suzuki
DL650 V-STROM

1 miles

£6,049

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4.5(23 reviews)

  • Comfort at last

    asroth

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Just changed from a thundercat to the dl650 on a 57 reg, got the non abs version though not ever having ABS dont miss this. Bike sounds a bit humpy compared to the thundercat, but is sooo much more comfortable, getting about 270 miles from a tank of fuel with revs not going above 6k, great for touring or comutting, im 6'1 so find this bike perfect in size and riding position, not to heavy to handle at about 190 kilos, no back ache or hand ache after 8 hrs straight riding, just a numb bum :O). Highly recomend this bike.

    28 April 2009

  • Better Than Most

    Tribal-Wolf

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    I have just bought a new DL650x and I love it. Its a nice metallic orange with black trim, engine guards and protection plate. Riding it is very smooth and pulls from anything above 2k if needed. I like the high riding position as you can see above cars so you're aware of what is going on way up the road. I find it extremely economical for its size easily getting over 60mpg. I suffer from pain in my wrists riding most bike but not with this, no backache or any other ache to be honest. The only thing I would have liked would have been a reach adjustable clutch lever, even my old ER-5 had that, it should be standard on bike these days I think. That said the clutch is very smooth so my stubby fingers cope. I would highly recomend this bike to anyone who is not into lying on the petrol tank, its a great all round bike for a great price.

    10 October 2008

  • Happy with V-Strom

    Massimo1

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    I bought the ABS version. It came with a top case, handguards, and crash bars, all for 7200€. ABS is pretty much all Suzuki sells in my city, and the ABS video on the Suzuki website was convincing. I am still breaking it in, but I can tell it's got plenty of guts I haven't tapped yet. I love the engine and the shifting is in all the right spots for urban riding. No hunting for neutral like on my last bike. It is comfortable and feels very stable on the highway. Really easy to ride. I thought the V would be unwieldy because of its size (it is the longest in it's class), but I am having no problems and find I can throw it around a bit. The turning radius is more than I am used to from my last bike. The throttle sometimes is a bit sensitive, especially when going over bumps. My only minor complaint: I wish the pegs were a tad lower to get a more relaxed angle on my knees and hips. The only other bike I was looking at was the Versys which is a fine bike, but it was too tall for me with a 840mm seat height (I am just about 5'9"). I had trouble push/paddling it in and out of parking. I thought lowering its seat would raise my arms too much for comfort. It had a couple of other design oddities. Everyone said "you'll get used to them", but I think that is the wrong way to look at it if you are going to ride everyday, i.e. the bike should fit. Plus the V had overall better reviews in most publications. I test-drove the new BMW F650GS twin, but everything useful was at extra cost, raising it to over 9100€!!, nearly 2000€ more the V. And the separate left & right turn signals made me crazy. The best thing about the V is that is very popular here, so you can service everywhere, and it should be easy to resell when the time comes to move to another bike.

    06 July 2008

  • Hong Kong commuter

    Shiprex

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Just upgraded from a '92 Honda 250 Spada (HK sporty type bike) to the V-Strom and I haven't looked back. Apart from my legs being too short this bike is perfect for my 40km drive to and from work. Lacks storage that can be added but that would spoil its look. It gets lots of admiring looks from all. The scooter/moped and naked 400 Hondas that dominate the local roads. Its different and gets noticed The bike likes to be revved and has power all the way. I thought going from the 250 to this much bigger/heavier bike would be a nightmare to navigate through the (common) traffic, but its nimble and narrow frame makes it almost as easy to slip between taxis and busses with a lot more presence than most other bikes. High riding position also makes it easy to see over the sea of MPVs in town and plan routes through traffic successfully. Cheap to run too. Getting between 65 and 71 mpg as good as the old 250. Brilliant !!

    26 May 2008

  • Excellent Value

    robbobiker

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    This is my second review of the Dl650 as the first was having only had the bike a week or two. It's now fully run-in and I'd like to point out a few issues which are minor but relevant to others interest in this overall great motorcycle. You HAVE to keep on top of the cleaning as just a few days left to the elements, even in a garage which is not entirely sealed off from air flow will begin to reveal rust spots on the disks and the start of corrosion on the rather flakey fastenings. The paint however is good, as is the frame. It's the engine and blts you have to keep an eye on. While the gear box is generally smooth the throttle response is not always silky smooth and picking up on junction and roundabout exits I find I have to be careful and use delicate throttle inputs to avoid a certain amount of jerking in the drive train, and this is with a well adjusted chain. The brakes, with ABS, are not stella and require quite a firm pull. The back brake is below par and requires quite a lot of pressure even after the pads have bedded in. The other thing to watch is low speed handling. When coming to a stop it is important to keep the bars dead centre as even the slightest front brake when coming to a stop makes the forks dive and can really unsettle the top heavy tendency to keel over a little. Use of back brake only in the final part of the stop is advisable...this bike is really quite top heavy. It's also hard to push around in a garage or parking, and you have to concentrate on keeping it dead upright. However once you are riding at even low speeds it is reasonably easy to maneouvre using throttle, clutch and back brake, and U-turns, with practice, are fine. The seat is for my taste to scooped out and curved, so there is a limited area in which your bum feels comfortable and numb bum kicks in quite soon. The seat would be better with a flatter profile. Apart from that it is a very good motorcycle and the star of the show is the engine which pulls evenly and strongly right through to redline. The sweet spot is around 4500-5000 rpm where it is quiet and smooth. Doesn't like being ridden below 3000 rpm. There is just a hint of weave above 85 mph with panniers and top box, but not alarming so far. Without luggage the steering is true. The large tank and fairing does make crosswinds a little challenging, but no more than similar bikes of similar weight.

    09 May 2008

  • Great bike but some issues..

    Built for comfort

    Average rating rating is 4

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    Owning from new (Suzuki 0% finance clinched it ) just run in and still getting used to it after Varadero 1000 ( which had to go due to thirst for petrol!! ). Not as comfy as Varadero ..( is anything!!?? ) and passenger gets a raw deal with suzuki standard rack and back box. My only gripe really! The back box takes 2-3" off the rear seat , which is not that big to start with , and digs nastily into whoever dares sitting there , notice ( unless wearing full body armour etc ) how a nice inprint is left on passengers back!!! Loose the box you might say, OK OK and guess what you get two nice bolts to stick up in the behind of whoever is foolhardy to try, so unless your passenger is 7 stone and a wee person try before you buy ( especially if you plan to do some 2 up touring ). I have the matt black version which comes with engine bars and belly pan ( both essential!! I reckon ) and plan to get fender extender and rear hugger to help keep the worst of the weather off the exposed engine. So , I've been biking since 1975 and had some great bikes and some dogs, the V Strom 650 is smooth , no vibes , easy to ride comfy for short rides ( I'm 6 foot and wish I was 3 inches smaller as would probably be perfect ) , sort of wish I had tried the 1000cc but reckon what with petrol prices + Tax + insurence etc I made right choice. Nice bike , fine commuter ( 40 mile round trip ) but try before you buy .. oh and its rained most every day I've taken it out since I got it :( obviously reliability has not been tested as still new , hence the 3 stars.

    22 April 2008

  • First big bike - look no further

    Matt Earnshaw

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Firstly one of the main reasons for me choosing this is that I'm 6ft3 so not many bikes are made for people my height except the trailie look alikes. Its my first big bike since doing my direct access and it inspires confidence in the twisties and is comfortable cruising down the motorways at 80! Its still running in at the moment but its nearly there thanks to 500 miles in the 3 days after my test!

    14 April 2008

  • Value and Reliability

    robbobiker

    Average rating rating is 5

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    After a couple of years with a Honda, Kawasaki and Moto Guzzi I think I've at at last found the bike for me. Since I want a bike for the road, not the track, I have no interest whatsoever in Sportsbikes or having wrist or back ache, but it would be folly to describe the Weestrom as a pedestrian motorcycle. The V-twin 650cc engine is superb, and much more useable, smooth and flexible than the by comparison clunky and coarse 1000 cc version. The large front wheel and long travel suspension do not in any way make the Vstrom sluggish round corners, once you get used to the response which is stable and planted rather than the quick-flick variety which I don't want anyway. The seat is very comfortable, the bars just the right height, and the road handling is up there with the new BMW GS 650 and 800, but at two thirds the price when you include ABS, Centre Stand, Top Box, Hand Guards and full gauges including full fuel readout (all the above are monstrously expensive accessories on the Beemers but came AS STANDARD on the Vstrom deal I negotiated - BMW wake up....you are beginning to price yourselves out of the market). While not having immense character at first sight the Vstrom grows on you and I have never felt so at ease with a bike in cross winds, on wet roads and over pot-holed tarmac, where for the price the Vstrom is impressively stable, poised and unruffled. The fly in the ointment is the standard screen which is hopelessly turbulent. An after market aerofoil screen solved this, but Suzuki really must be aware of how dire their standard screen is and it is pure laziness not to have addressed it. The other thing to watch is corrosion. The Vstrom is well put together and very solid but can get away from you if you do not religious keep everything clean. Overall, a stunningly good bike, and not just because of its value, but also because it is a proven, reliable, rock solid machine which won't let you down, and you can have a lot of fun round the twisties without pushing things beyond sensible. One final point....excellent economy with 60 mpg very easy to achieve and the best tank range in its class. Recommended.

    12 April 2008

  • new strom better than first

    wee strom

    Average rating rating is 5

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    first strom 22000 miles and loved every minute traded it in for tdm [bit more power]but there were to many down sides .have had new strom for four months now and covered 11500miles inc 3000 to the dolomites and back in a week can say that the new engine is better on fuel 300miles two up on b roads 250 on motoways is quite easy about 50miles more than first bike.have to say only prob so far is left mirror kept moving which was replaced and now have a prob with same mirror delaminating another one on order.comfy easy to ride excellent lights fun on the back lanes 300miles to the next fill up wot more could you ask for?good looks mybe. carnt have everything.

    14 September 2007

  • DL650 GT

    Anonymous

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Having been surgically attached to my new DL650, Grand Tourer spec, for the past few days I have to say I’m very impressed, especially with the handling. My previous machine was a Yamaha XJR 400 and I wouldn’t have dreamed about throwing that in to some of the corners that have been doing on the DL, It’s a very forgiving machine. The ride is very comfortable, I’m 6’2 and it provides me with a very upright riding position. The tank range on the specification is 218 miles, which isn’t far off, I got to 210 with the gauge flashing before wimping out and fuelling up. My only criticism, and it’s a small one, is that the screen doesn’t give that much protection from the wind. At its lowest point the wind was hitting me just below the helmet; I adjusted it up one notch and it was hitting me in the face. I took it to the next level, which I’m guessing would have been perfect however it looked a bit silly with the screen so far up so I dropped it back down to the bottom. It’s something I’ll just have to get used to I guess, given that the XJR didn’t have one I guess I shouldn’t complain as it’s better than nothing! In summary - A very nice machine, great handling, great comfort, good tank range, and loads of storage. Screen could be better.

    28 August 2007

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casperdog777

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casperdog777says

V Strom 650 real world...

I think there are certain bikes that define a whole marque or class of bike and the V Strom 650 is to my mind the quintessential adventure tourer for the real world. Suzuki have got to be impressed to re -launch the Xpedition version in 2010. This is a superb all rounder... I made a You Tube video review of mine, totally unscripted but worth a look I hope.... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EyqyhKJkx3g A superb bike and you will love it if you get one - promise ;-)

08 June 2011 17:39

plainsimple

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plainsimplesays

The Praise Goes On And On

Fantastic bike! I've clocked 4000 miles from brand new just within 4 months! Simply couldn't help it. Very comfortable, agile and offers excellent torque! I love its looks as well!

Beauty!

 

03 November 2008 17:10

Tribal-Wolf

User's Badge

Tribal-Wolfsays

New Weestrom Colour

My new strom, love the bike and cant recommend it enough. Probably not good for short people though. Good for people who don't want to have to thrash a bike to get decent performance. :smile

10 October 2008 17:54

Skan

Skansays

DL 650

Great bike, good value for money, very comfy and reliable. Unfortunately crashed it last month and I think it is beyond repair:wacko:

01 March 2008 10:05

asphaltscraper

asphaltscrapersays

Great commuter

This is a bike I should have gotten years ago. After owning a few SV's I know the motor is pretty much bulletproof. The chassis and seating position are perfect for me and the handling has truly surprised me. It is far more capable on the street than I expected, a very pleasant surprise. The is the bike I have wanted to have as a commuter for a long time, I am very happy with it.

13 September 2007 13:43

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