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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
£2,820 (2005) - £4,390 (2010)
Private used prices
£2,540 (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

5794 miles

£4,399

Suzuki
DL650 V-STROM

4500 miles

£4,699

Suzuki
DL650 V-STROM

1000 miles

£5,695

Suzuki
DL650 V-STROM

1391 miles

£4,799

Suzuki
DL650 V-STROM

9000 miles

£4,895

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4.5(22 reviews)

  • Great on a budget

    Anonymous

    Average rating rating is 4

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    For the money it's great. I gave up a GSXR750 for something more sensible to commute in london every day, so I bought a hornet. Got bored of the hornet, found the suspension too poor, and the handling a bit awkward, and the ability to travel long distances in comfort was becoming a problem as I did it more often. I needed an all rounder bike that wasn't going to break the bank. The more I looked the more I realised it was going to be the weestrom. There are similar alternatives, but I fancied trying a new type of bike having only owned sports bikes and naked road going commuter bikes. I've only owned the bike two weeks but already I've grown very fond of it. It handles great, way better than the hornet, better than the aprilia shiver (which I thought should have been way better for the money), in fact this is one of the best handling bikes (under 70mph) I've owned. It reminds me of how well the MT03 handled, really great in town and on twisties which is where many bikes seems to struggle providing you with awkward feedback. You can drive this bike hard up to 70mph in to corners and turns very fast, inspring confidence with every turn. The stock tyres you early and ample feedback before they start lose grip. I'd never ridden dual sports tyres before, but really enjoying it in london where I can hoon over all sorts of surfaces with a single anxiety attack at all sorts of lean angles. I could never do that on the hornet which would wallow and shit it's pants at anything that wasn't a straight line. The suspension works well all considered, but at higher speeds you find the limits very quickly. I do miss taking the GSXR round country lanes at 130mph, but hey, at least my license, my life, and my wallet are safer doing them at 60-90mph instead. Comfort is great, although I had to go out and buy the MRA screen with spoiler as at 6 foot the odd turbulence problem created by the stock screen was very annoying, it was giving me a headache. Taller and shorter people don't seem to suffer the problem so bad. So add on another £200 for adjustable bracket and new screen if you're around 6 foot. A lof of peopel say the 650 has poke, but imo the engine is a bit weak, it's pretty good up to 60mph, but accelerates like a car at motorway speeds. I have issues with overtaking sports bikers who feel offended I've passed them and then insist on overtaking me even though they were driving slower originally, twats. Luckily you can out manouvre most bikes if you're not going in a straight line on this bike. In town it's great, especially on crappy uneven london roads. I'm constantly mounting obstacles that leave other bikers stuck - that really puts a smile on my face :-D No bike can give you everything, and I do miss the hornet's engine which has plenty of go for a 600. The vstrom 650 can wheelie if you clutch it, and for what you get it's still pretty good. Now i can tour in comfort, with pillion & luggage, commuting every day accross london is a hoot (except for fecking scooter drivers and BMW bike drivers who ruin london motorbiking), and I can do motorways all day. All in all not many bikes can do so much for so little. When I have more cash I'd like to try the dl1000 for a bit more oomph. Given a bit more savings I'm also considering the tiger, KTM SMT or adventure, or the versys, but that will be next year.

    03 November 2012

  • 09 650 vstrom GT

    martyirish86

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Just changed my transalp for a v strom,what a great bike in every way.65/70 mpg with well over 320 miles to a tank.A lot lighter,am well pleased

    17 April 2012

  • The Perfect Commuter

    DEF2001

    Average rating rating is 4

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    I have just sold my hornet and brought an 09 650 Vstrom GT and can't believe how much I prefer the Vstrom. Whilst the hornet was much faster when your in the mood as a day to day bike the Vstrom can't be beaten. It has plenty of pace for real road riding and is supremely comfortable. It is also amazingly agile for such a large bike. I will be riding it through the winter (although probably not once the gritters are out) and hoping it wears it as well as my hornet did. Time will tell but at the moment I can't recommend this bike highly enough.

    25 September 2011

  • Adventure tourer par excellence...

    casperdog777

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Engine

    The 650 V Strom is a typical japanese mid range bike with a bullet proof engine set in a good frame which will keep you upright and a smile on your face. No sports bike this bike is all about that punchy v twin 650 alongside a superb twin headlight and upright riding position. It rides superbly into corners and on the straight it will cruise smoothly and cleanly. Economy is good and its possible to get up to 70 mpg. The fitting and fasteners are not high quality and chrome is not top notch. However with many models having hand guards, centre stand, heated grips and a superb fairing, the reason for buying this bike is clear: great value for money and a bike for the real world. The suspension is apparently not top notch either but I don't really notice , the bike is the sum of its parts and that means you get a brilliant mid range tourer that could do almost anything you ask of it. No wonder in 2010 the Xpedition 650 V Strom was launched by Suzuki. A lot of UK bikers are realising the world is not over impressed with hyper sports - get this bike and you will be pleased as punch! A superb all rounder that does most things well and some things utterly brilliantly !

    08 June 2011

  • Superb mid size allrounder

    Anonymous

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Engine

    I swapped a 700 Deauville for a DL650X after a test ride ended with a big grin. The Strom just felt so agile the engine is proven bulletproof and smooth for a V twin. It doesn't pull as well from 2000 revs like the Deauville, but the red line is 2000 revs higher too. In real everyday use this is a remarkable machine, which does anything reasonably asked of it comfortably, efficiently, and crucially is good fun to ride. I just wish I had tried one sooner. I haven't been in the saddle for more than an hour yet but have had no aches or pains to report being the wrong side of 50 and 6'3".

    24 August 2010

  • More smiles to the mile.

    VstromDave

    Average rating rating is 5

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    I'm on my second 650 V-Strom and I only got rid of my 2003 example because I was going to work overseas for 2 years. As soon as I came back to the UK I bought a brand new GT model which I may keep for ever! I went for the VStrom after using a Transalp to do some motorcycle instructing on. I have always had fast sports-tourers like ZZRs, VFRs etc but I loved the Transalp's riding position and handling. What I didn't like was the lack of power so I looked around and saw the V-Strom. It seemed to have everything going for it that I liked about the Transalp plus around 15bhp more power. I took a demonstrator out for a test ride and bought it as soon as I got back to the shop. I find that the V-Strom is comfortable, much quicker than you would expect from a 650 twin and handles very well. Although it's the slowest bike I have owned since 1992 I am quicker through my favourite twisties than on any other bike I have had. It's so easy to chuck around that I have pegs down despite the large ground clearance. I always feel I am getting 10 tenths out of it. It's also economical to run and I can insure it fully comp for well under £100. Tyres last well - up to 7000 on the back, 9-10000 for the front. The OE fit Bridgestone Trail Wings are very good and my friend (and fellow instructor), who bought my first V-Strom from me also rates them highly. I have done 220 miles on a tankful of petrol more than once. Build quality is ok, I work hard to keep mine looking good but after 2 years and 6000 miles it has no furry fasteners or rusty brakeline crimps. One negative point is the screen. I suffer a lot of buffeting around my head, regardless of the screen position (I am 5'11"). It is worse with my Suomi than with my old Arai though. I fitted a Givi touring screen which has improved things. Also the Suzuki luggage could be better - the panniers are too small and the top box, while big and very good, intrudes into the pillion space. I love this bike, it satisfies all my motorcycling requirements and if you are looking for something different from hyper-fast sports tourers it might fit your bill too.

    02 July 2010

  • Just brilliant

    simon0503

    Average rating rating is 5

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    I could not be more pleased at having chosen the wee VStrom! As an all round package Suzuki have got it spot...this is a gem of a bike. To me nothing else comes close for grin factor (the engine is just brilliant!), comfort and touring ability.

    11 March 2010

  • Perfect commuter

    Anonymous

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Recently upgraded from a 650 bandit to the X model DL650 and what an improvement. Excellent riding position, flexible engine power and the biggest plus is the fuel economy. I commute 200+ miles a week and the DL is so frugal it lasts 6 days between visits to the petrol garage where the bandit barely managed 4! The only downside is the bars are a bit wider which can cause problems when filtering.

    16 October 2009

  • first NEW bike

    leett

    Average rating rating is 4

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    this is the first bike i have owned from new and it's a great choice.So easy to ride and the power is there when needed. Its so comfortable too. My first trip was the day after i bought it, 550 miles and less than £40 in fuel.FANTASTIC!

    03 June 2009

  • 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

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casperdog777

User's Badge

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

User's Badge

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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