SUZUKI DL1000 V-STROM (2002-2008) Review

Published: 24 November 2006

"Decent, robust and reliable"

Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom motorcycle review - Riding

"Decent, robust and reliable"

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

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.

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 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.

Engine 4 out of 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.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 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.

Insurance, running costs & value 5 out of 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 group: 12 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 4 out of 5

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).

Owners' Reviews

18 owners have reviewed their SUZUKI DL1000 V-STROM (2002-2008) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your SUZUKI DL1000 V-STROM (2002-2008)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.7 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.6 out of 5
Engine 4.8 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.6 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.8 out of 5
Equipment 4.1 out of 5
4 out of 5

Great Foundation

18 July 2013 by dwfree

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,... Read more 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.

Ride Quality & Brakes
3 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

cinderella

06 September 2011 by invertedmatt

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... Read more 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.

Ride Quality & Brakes
3 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

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

14 December 2009 by Anonymous

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....... Read more 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.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

Fairly Reliable "07

12 April 2009 by thecoreguy2

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... Read more 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.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

work on it ....

07 November 2008 by minkyhead

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 ... Read more 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

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

Long term reliability

04 July 2008 by ice-cycle

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... Read more 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.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

DL1000 GT

06 May 2008 by beany25

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"... Read more 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.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

Born again Biker

30 April 2008 by Alandj

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... Read more brilliant

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

vstrom is the best

26 April 2008 by septicwart

best bike i ever bought Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
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Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

It Has It All

21 March 2008 by crustyle

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... Read more for 3k less than the BMW. The dog's....

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
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Read all 18 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2002
Year discontinued 2008
Original price £6,999
Used price £2,300 to £5,000
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 12 of 17
Annual road tax £59
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 105 bhp
Max torque 68 ft-lb
Top speed 130 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 12.2 secs
Average fuel consumption 39 mpg
Tank range 185 miles
Specification
Engine size 996cc
Engine type 90-degree 4v V-twin, 6 gears
Frame type Aluminium twin spar
Fuel capacity 22 litres
Seat height 875mm
Bike weight 207kg
Front suspension None
Rear suspension Preload, compression, rebound
Front brake 2 x 310mm discs
Rear brake 265mm disc
Front tyre size 110/90 x 19
Rear tyre size 150/70 x 17

History & Versions

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.

Photo Gallery

  • Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom motorcycle review - Riding
  • Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom motorcycle review - Side view
  • Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom motorcycle review - Rear view
  • Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom motorcycle review - Instruments
  • Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom motorcycle review - Side view
  • Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom motorcycle review - Brakes
  • Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom motorcycle review - Engine
  • Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom motorcycle review - Riding
  • Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom motorcycle review - Riding
  • Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom motorcycle review - Riding
  • Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom motorcycle review - Side view
  • Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom motorcycle review - Riding
  • Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom motorcycle review - Side view
  • Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom motorcycle review - Riding
  • Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom motorcycle review - Side view
  • Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom motorcycle review - Rear view
  • Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom motorcycle review - Instruments
  • Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom motorcycle review - Side view
  • Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom motorcycle review - Brakes
  • Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom motorcycle review - Engine
  • Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom motorcycle review - Riding
  • Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom motorcycle review - Riding
  • Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom motorcycle review - Riding
  • Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom motorcycle review - Side view
  • Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom motorcycle review - Riding
  • Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom motorcycle review - Side view
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