SUZUKI DL1000 V-STROM (2014-on) Review

Published: 20 March 2014

Never going to electrify with thrills, but easy to ride, manageable, looks good and good value

SUZUKI DL1000 V-STROM  (2014-on)

Never going to electrify with thrills, but easy to ride, manageable, looks good and good value

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

The V-Strom is never going to electrify you with thrills. It’s not breathtakingly quick, but it is easy to ride and manageable, delivering loads of low and midrange grunt. You can throw it around with confidence and it’s backed up by excellent traction control and ABS. It’s also comfortable, natural, frugal and simple – yet still has neat touches like an adjustable ratchet screen and panniers incorporated into the design. It’s distinctive, looks good, there’s a comprehensive list of accessories and it’s under £10,000. Maybe the competition should be worried.

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

The riding position is roomy and natural, the bars high and wide without forcing the rider to over-stretch and the brilliantly simple screen easy to adjust on the move. As you’d expect from a bike with a 19-inch front wheel, the steering isn’t razor sharp, but it flows nicely in and out of corners, helped by a 150-section tyre that makes it easier to turn. The suspension control is surprisingly sophisticated, too. The front neither dives dramatically on the brakes nor wallows and the radial brakes are a big step up from the old V-Strom, strong and progressive.

Engine 4 out of 5

The engine lazily wakes up rather than barking into life. It’s hard to believe there’s an old fire-breathing TL1000S in there somewhere. The hydraulic clutch is light, the gearbox typically smooth for Suzuki and with minimum throttle it’s easy to pull away to negotiate tiny city streets. It feels instantly like a true V-Strom and very quickly you realize there is no point in revving it too hard. It will go to just over 9000rpm, but it’s really last orders at 8000rpm. Most of the grunt is delivered from 4000 to 6000rpm, which makes the ride effortless.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

The old V-Strom was a solid performer, but sometimes build quality was an issue. It looks as if Suzuki have addressed this on the new V-Strom.

Insurance, running costs & value 4 out of 5

You can’t argue with under £10,000 for an adventure bike with ABS and traction control.

Equipment 4 out of 5

Considering the budget price, having ABS and traction control as standard is impressive. The traction control has two levels and can be switched off entirely if you so wish. There's also a 12V socket under the clocks.

Owners' Reviews

8 owners have reviewed their SUZUKI DL1000 V-STROM (2014-on) 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 (2014-on)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 3.6 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3.6 out of 5
Engine 3.3 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 3.5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3.6 out of 5
Equipment 3.5 out of 5
5 out of 5

My Suzuki DL1000A L4

27 September 2016 by Paul T

Best features are the engine and suspension. I love the low down torque, the noise it makes and the economy. Worst feature is the seat. After 5 hours riding I've had enough! Took me a while to get used to the rather abrupt throttle response at slow... Read more speed. Not a problem now with the new ECU.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
Suspension and brakes are excellent. The suspension feels firm but does tend to dive under braking. The ride over poorly surfaced roads is fantastic! I often find myself riding over the worst bits just for fun. The seat is the limiting factor for time or distance. I find after 5 hours I really don't want to ride it any more!
Engine
5 out of 5
I love the low down torque and slow reving nature of the engine. I like the noise, whistling from the cam drive gears, it makes. It took me quite a while to get used to the power delivery at low speed. The ECU was replaced under warranty for an issue with stalling/mifiring which only affected my bike occassionally. This has transformed the response at low speed which is now smooth, soft and easy to control.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
No problems with corrosion on the bike although I do avoid riding in the rain. I keep it clean and apply ACF50 to vulnerable parts. No parts have failed although it was affected by the recall for wiring issues and it has had the ECU replaced due to occassional misfiring/stalling. The only corrision issue was a Suzuki GPS mount, rather expensive but the paint basically fell off it. Stripped and Hammerited, end of that problem.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Running costs are quite modest. The service costs are reasonable, fuel averages around 55mpg and the original tyres last well. I've done 4400 miles and the rear is hardly worn and showing no signs of squaring off. In all those miles the chain has been adjusted once. the Scott Oiler I had installed is doing its job.
Equipment
5 out of 5
ABS, traction control, great instruments, gear indicator, accessory socket, basically everything you would expect without any frills. I added a Suzuki touring screen, Suzuki heated grips, a Garmin Zumo 590 on a Suzuki mount, a Givi 52L topbox as the Suzuki one was a little small and a Scott Oiler. The dealer did a neat "stealth" installation of that feeding the front sprocket. It worked but was a little messy and hard to set the flow right. I eventually fitted a new delivery pipe and dispenser to the rear sprocket. When the tyres eventually wear out I'll replace them with exactly the same again.
Buying experience

Bought new from a dealer with a £500 discount off list price. No issues, bike well prepared, ready on time, rode away into the rain with a big smile on my face.

1 out of 5

Worst bike i have ever owned......

31 July 2016 by LRB

Never recommend to friend, the only positive feature is with givi panniers fitted you can have equal sized ones.. Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
2 out of 5
Brakes really good, its top heavy, hard to manage in traffic..
Engine
1 out of 5
Engine runs poor ECU has been changed, coolant leaking out at 300 miles and the dreaded clutch basket vibration...
Build Quality & Reliability
2 out of 5
Poor quality fixings tarnished with in a month in British summer wiring loom not waterproofed, coolant over me and the bike at 300 miles..
Value & Running Costs
1 out of 5
-
Equipment
1 out of 5
Wiring loom not waterproofed from new! countless faults ,poor finish
Buying experience

Brought from dealer, they were really helpful but I gave up with it and took a massive hit selling it...

5 out of 5

best bike for a long term user

18 June 2016 by Javier

Not for off road experts, but it is good in all aspects. Read more

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
4 out of 5
limited accesories, or not great quality, short distance to floor, engine exposed.
Buying experience

Suzuki dealer, high price, limited financial opportunities. Price was competitive.

5 out of 5

Great bike for Colorado.

13 May 2016 by Joe A

I live about 20 minutes from the eastern slope of the Rocky Mountains here in Colorado. I'm also about 50 minutes from Rocky Mountain National Park (try not to be too jealous). This bike is perfect for Colorado riding. Compared to my Gold Wing and... Read more Kawasaki Concours - I think you call it the 1400GTR? - this thing feels like a trials bike. I can drive up highway 34 to the mountains then hit some dirt roads and explore until the cows come home. When I'm on a dirt road I don't want a bunch of power. I just need some decent low end torque and this bike delivers. I'm sorry that you blokes in England don't have what we have out here in Colorado, BUT you do have the greatest TV show ever produced... TOP GEAR! Brilliant! It's 2016 and I picked up a 2014 DL1000 with 3000 miles for $8000 (£5500?)

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
Not perfect but great for the price. Can't afford a new BMW 1200GS Adventure.
Engine
5 out of 5
Acceleration is quicker than what it seems. Have to watch the speedo or John Law will be asking me to pull over.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
Gas is about about 1.4 pounds per gallon here in Colorado. Is that a good price?
Equipment
5 out of 5
Needs a taller windscreen. I ordered one from Puig. Super!
Buying experience

Bought from a dealer in south Denver. They advertised it at $9100 US and I talked them down to $8000 US.

3 out of 5

A great motorcycle with a big problem

07 December 2015 by colasito

A large motorcycle with a big problem. This motorcycle would be an excellent option if Suzuki were able to efficiently fix the big problem with the engine. It literally stops the engine at low revs. Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
1 out of 5
The motorcycle engine stops suddenly when driving in 1st or 2nd gear at low revs
Build Quality & Reliability
3 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
3 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
-
3 out of 5

High mileage owner review

05 November 2015 by Lifebiker

On first impressions a value for money motorcycle but it is let down by the low speed throttle response and control in 1st and 2nd gear. It has an ECU issue which Suzuki are not managing very well and there is inconsistent responses from the dealer... Read more network.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
A comfortable solid ride with confidence inspiring brakes.
Engine
4 out of 5
Apart from the low speed throttle issues very good.
Build Quality & Reliability
3 out of 5
Suzuki's lack of engagement with customers over the ECU issue.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
I purchased a service plan to obtain best value for money.
Equipment
4 out of 5
The Desert is well spec'd.
Buying experience

Purchased from Thunderroad in Bridgend and a very good buying experience with excellent after sales support.

2 out of 5

Check the ecu is an 02 not 01 or your buying a dog

27 October 2015 by Timmo

Slow speed like roundabouts are dangerous,not mowing if the bike will cut out.The ecu is at fault but Suzuki are acting very badly about this. Check Bike forums before buying one. Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
1 out of 5
-
Engine
1 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
2 out of 5
Never knowing when it will cut out is scared and makes your riding rubbishy.
Value & Running Costs
2 out of 5
-
Equipment
2 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

DL1000AL4 Suzuk Vstrom

01 July 2015 by Leafster1973

What I like about the new DL1000 - its light to handle, has superb handling and the torquey engine is smooth at low rpm and opens up to a burst of plentyful torque when needed. Coming from the old Strom, the brakes on the DL1000 are very sharp. I've... Read more activated the ABS a few times on the front, but you do get used to it. Traction control setting is great for peace of mind when riding on the back country lanes on gravel and in the wet, with such a high torquey engine. Controls are simple to use, MPG, Tank Range, Air temperature give good information. 230 miles to a full tank, average MPG around 58.2 MPG with mixed styles of ride. Suspension is full adjustable, with a good set up range on the front forks. Worst features - not having a helmet hook under seat, Pillion grab rail feels plastic.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Very comfortable ride for rider and pillion. Brakes are very sharp at first but with time are great. Good seating position, for sporty riding and touring. Ridden on Tarmac and gravel trails. Long distance touring feels easy on this bike once you have the Wind Screen set properly. Some owners have felt the need to replace the screen with taller aftermarket versions to reduce buffeting. You have to suck it and see!
Engine
4 out of 5
Engine is strong, has great torque at low rpm. Pulls very strongly to 4K . Above 4K there is no further torque increase, but certainly an increase in power. At 6K the big 1000 turns into a rocket, but dont expect much more above this. The peak is mid range. The engine is lively, but doesnt like town riding in 1st and 2nd gear, expect to use the clutch a lot here. Its built for a workout. if your riding around town or cities, this may not be the bike for you. MPG is great average 60MPG
Build Quality & Reliability
3 out of 5
Overall finish of bike is very good. The Paint is well applied which for a Suzuki is an improvement. Some of fasteners which are not stainless dull over time and look a little dull. The electrical system particularly the wiring harness lets down the bike. Problems are corroded multi-connectors which are not waterproof leading to poor starting, stalling and breakdown. This is one area that Suzuki need to improve. Owners including myself have taken measures to waterproof the connectors with grease and rubber sleeving.
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
Good MPG, Oil changes every 4000 miles or thereabouts. Standard Bridgestone tyres dont seem to offer great miles.
Equipment
4 out of 5
I like instrument display and controls . They are clear and simple use, providing the info you need. There are not too much electronics on the bike, its been kept relatively simple but functional. I like adventure pack, the engine bars, stickers and fog lamps look spot on. The Suzuki Panniers are small but usable without worrying about them sticking out proud, but forget the Suzuki top box, its far too small.
Buying experience

Dealer advertised £10000 paid £8500

Read all 8 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2014
Year discontinued -
New price £9,999
Used price £5,900 to £11,000
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group -
Annual road tax £82
Annual service cost £250
Performance
Max power 100 bhp
Max torque 75 ft-lb
Top speed 140 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 41 mpg
Tank range 182 miles
Specification
Engine size 1037cc
Engine type Four-stroke, liquid-cooled DOHC, 8v V-twin
Frame type Aluminium twin spar
Fuel capacity 20 litres
Seat height 850mm
Bike weight 228kg
Front suspension 43mm inverted forks, fully adjustable
Rear suspension Rear shock, adjustable preload and rebound
Front brake 2x310mm discs. four-piston radial calipers. ABS
Rear brake 1x265mm disc, two-piston caliper. ABS
Front tyre size 110/80ZR19
Rear tyre size 150/70ZR17

History & Versions

Model history

2014: Model introduced

Other versions

The V-Strom 650 costs £6,899

Photo Gallery

  • SUZUKI DL1000 V-STROM  (2014-on)
  • SUZUKI DL1000 V-STROM  (2014-on)
  • SUZUKI DL1000 V-STROM  (2014-on)
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