SUZUKI DL1000 V-STROM (2002 - 2008) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£320|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
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 & brakesNext up: Engine
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.
EngineNext up: Reliability
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.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
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 vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
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.
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).
|Engine type||90-degree 4v V-twin, 6 gears|
|Frame type||Aluminium twin spar|
|Fuel capacity||22 litres|
|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|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||39 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£96|
|Annual service cost||£320|
|Used price||£3,000 - £4,400|
12 of 17
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two year unlimited mileage|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||105 bhp|
|Max torque||68 ft-lb|
|Top speed||130 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||12.2 secs|
|Tank range||185 miles|
Model history & versions
2002: Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom introduced.
Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom Grand Touring. Introduced in 2006 with heated grips, centre stand and luggage pack as standard fitments.
Owners' reviews for the SUZUKI DL1000 V-STROM (2002 - 2008)
24 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.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£320|
Version: K8 GT
Annual servicing cost: £500
Best all round Bike I ever had. So far! Yes would recommend to anyone.
Was re called for rectifier mods but so far been very reliable.
Vee twin engine. Had mine re mapped with Arrow cans. Adjustable screen bought from USA. Suzuki lowered the bike. Took off Centre stand due to grinding on corners. Mitchelin tyres. Two teeth smaller rear sprocket makes 6th gear a true overdrive & better cruising legal motorway speeds.
Buying experience: I paid £6k for Bike 2nd hand in2010.
Annual servicing cost: £300
Found a nicely-kept 2004 with 31K miles. Was not initially impressed with the power, specially the power delivery, but found it was basically ignored for years. With some known fixes (clutch basket, new screen (Moose shorty), Power Commander, fork brace, etc.), it's surprisingly capable - smoother, faster, easier to ride. Plenty of stretch-out room, and good places for a pillion and luggage. A keeper, but support from dealers is getting thin.
A tad too soft in the front, but is very comfy around town with the long wheelbase and forgiving settings. With the fork brace, now totally acceptable for hooning around on. The brakes could use more bite. Will get steel lines and slightly more aggressive pads. Will get contemporary tires soon - which really should help.
After the updates, much better, a bit thirsty. Still some adjusting to do, but am *very* optimistic. A TB balance is in the cards (and is supposed to be a mandatory adjustment, just like valve checks), as are slightly hotter plugs. Will also play with the Commander settings after the above adjustments. I've read original reviews about just how smooth this is, but have yet to experience it at that level. I might be asking too much for a twin, but I think it'll be better after the tweaking. There are some tips/tricks owners on the forums have employed and seemed to have given the engine a much better personality.
After the updates, no issues. Have talked with owners who have put over 150K miles on, one with over 200K miles. Nothing had blown up!
Can't annualize yet, but it would appear to run about $300 plus fuel. Totally acceptable.
Maybe unfair, but by today's standards, not much comes with. Could use cruise control (Kaoke mechanical for stock hand guards on the list), maybe a seat. Has Leo Vince cans, which sound great, but are physically too big and a bit too loud. Might replace.
Buying experience: Bought it used from an individual who was NOT on his game. Luckily he only had it for a couple years, and didn't ride it much. Find one with documentation, specially evidence of regular maintenance. And, make sure you have someone who can work on it locally *before* you buy it.
Amazing to ride, breaks smoothly and it gives you more than you would expect from a low budget motorbike.
Buying experience: I bought it from a dealer with 48000km for 3500€. Excellent condition.
Annual servicing cost: £200
So far, so good... Over 70k miles covered. It's a reliable bike, I bought it used but I don't regret it. It's quite thirsty. I think the twin exhausts are a cool feature.
Touring side is nice and you can hit some light off-road. 19 inch wheel. Of course it's not as comfy as a GS or KTM. Gel or replace the seat.
Power is always there but after 3000rpm...nice V-twin sound.
Build quality is ok. Sometimes the gears skip and without an indicator you get confused.
If hitting the trails then you must add crash bars and other protection. A centre stand would be nice.
Annual servicing cost: £300
The upright riding position is very comfortable but the stock seat has to go. It's hard to tell that you're not on a sport bike when you hit the twisters. Great bike overall.
Rides great. Very comfortable and the brakes work great. Mine doesn't have ABS, which will be a requirement on the next one.
Crazy powerful and a ton of torque. No complaints.
Very easy to work on once you've learned to tear it down. The only issue I have is the notorious clutch basket rattle at around 3000 RPM. 50,000 miles and it hasn't hurt anything. Just noisy.
Tons of goodies available for the DL1000. Engine guard, a throttle lock, and hard panniers are a must.
very impress except to ride slow, have to play the clutch in trails so engine does not go below 3000 I will change the sprockets to 16-43.
pulls like a tractor 4000-7000 but can't go below 3000
could be better but price would go up too
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
best bike i ever bought
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....
Having hired BMW enduro bikes I was looking for a cheaper alternative. I tried the Honda Valadero, looked at the Triumph Tiger but once I had once seen the V-strom for the first time I went for it. It only needed a very short test ride to confirm my initial good feeling about it. The V-strom has phantastic, honest, non discript (some may say boring) looks. It's symmetrical, (dials, headlamps, exhausts), non aggressive down to earth and supptle. Mine was fitted with the paniers which I ended up using much more than I thought I would. since bying it in June I covered 2.500 miles, with and without my girl, traveling, urban fun, mountain roads and even a little off road. The latter is the only area it can not match the BMW! Else it is much more comfy, easy to control, powerful enough and great fun. And the sound is again fitting the caracter: relaxed, understated yet powerful, underlining the great character of this bike. Let's hope durabilty on my 2 year old bike will never be an issue (until now I had zero troubles) Highly recommended bike!!
Back to biking after several years i bought a GS500 to see if its still there, i then got the want's, I tried a few tourers from the showroom including the Honda Varadero?, but the V strom kept winking at me! One good ride and I was hooked I've had her 5 months and just got back from a 1100 mile trip around scotland, two up with her in doors and all the bags and boxes. Avr 44mpg, no problem with the bike, the front screen did the job but when dirty and raining, visibility was hard work, blow 60mph I had to drop out of overdrive (6th) to pull away quickly but as you know its not a problem, all round great bike. Lean forward for fun or arms stretched for crusing.
Went to this from a GSXF750 - not the most extreme seating position, but still not comfy for 6' me! Test rode a Bandit 1250 at Crescent and didn't like it, they threw me the keys of a V-Strom and the test ride was a revalation! The handling was execellent - wide bars mean you can flick it around, seating postion just right, screen good etc. Love the v-twin, can't wait to get through the running in now I've bought one!
Swapped by Tiger for a VStrom last year. Love it! Better handling,especially high-speed cruising on m-ways! Engine bit lumpy at first but now much smoother with plenty of torque. Great for 2-up touring and fantastic value for money.
When the other half decided that WE needed a new bike she chose the Strom over all the others. because she said it was comfy. Almost a year later she still says that even after a trip of several hundred miles in one go. I cant fault the bike really other in that she does have a tendancy to cut out when braking with the clutch in (apparently Cagiva Raptors do this as well - same engine). Have done over 7000 miles since getting the bike a lot of it abroad and usually get around 185 miles before panicing. Although I have got over 202 miles to a tank. However this drops to around 130 when commuting. I put the touring screen on the bike and think that the wind buffeting is now worse. Added full Givi luggage and a centre stand. The brakes are more than good enough to haul such a lump to a halt even from Autobahn speeds. Lovely strong motor that loves motorways and some twisties. Comfy position with a great view over most London cages, even the black cabs. Strengths: Both Pilot and Pillion comfort, sound of the Engine, all round view. Weaknesses: Wind buffeting. Tendancy to cut out when slowing down.
Just done my 1st ride on it.(150kms)What a bike! Far exceeds my bikes I had in the UK (Triumph Sprint & Blackbird) in terms of comfort. Riding position is 100%. Bit wary at first taking sharp bends (plenty here) not a worry, went through with ease with not a hint of trouble. Having no trouble with wind buffering head on or side. Adjustable screen on 06 models here. Same in UK? Strengths: Comfort is suberb. Handling is brilliant.bullet proof engine. Mid range power. 6th gear (overdrive). Handy here where most roads are straight. Weaknesses: Brand new bike. Not run in yet so not found any. Watch this space though!
Tired of the buffeting from the windshield on my bike I decided to swap the higher flip up touring screen which came with the bike to a standard lower screen. Result; A definite reduction in buffeting but more wind noise (as you would expect), I think it's a worthwhile trade off as I use ear plugs anyway. I can now actually read roadsigns at higher motorway speeds! I've also stuck a Scottoiler on it which seems to work very well. Overall I'm still very satisfied with the Strom and have had no other problems with it. Strengths: Comfort, strong engine, real world ability. Weaknesses: Bad wind buffeting at high speed. Poor rear brake.
Bought this in early 03 to get off sportier machinery and it fit the bill beautifully. Last summer I took it off to Italy, spending 10 days all over the Alps with Givi 52l. Top box, bedding roll, tent and Streetpilot 3 to show me the way. It handled everything from 650 mile autoroute days (London to the far side of Lake Geneva) to the twistiest hairpin roads with amazing composure. Strengths: Flexibility, midrange grunt, view. Weaknesses: Saggy back end needs raising and firming.