SUZUKI DL1000 V-STROM (2014 - 2016) Review
- Great value touring bike
- Easy to ride with great mid-range punch
- Cheap and practical to own
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£250|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
The Suzuki V-Strom 1000 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 cheap.
In 2020 it was replaced by the Suzuki V-Strom 1050.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
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.
EngineNext up: Reliability
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.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
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 and we're not aware of any issues. MCN Web Producer Liam Marsden covered over 17,000 miles on one in 2014 and didn't have a single issue.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
The V-Strom 1000 was under £10,000 when it was introduced in 2014, which was amazing value for such a capable bike. Prices are starting to drop below £7000 now, which is incredible value for a big adventure bike.
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. It might not be the most advanced adventure bike, but it does everything you need, and it does it without fuss.
|Engine type||Four-stroke, liquid-cooled DOHC, 8v V-twin|
|Frame type||Aluminium twin spar|
|Fuel capacity||20 litres|
|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|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||41 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£93|
|Annual service cost||£250|
|Used price||£5,800 - £7,000|
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two year unlimited mileage|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||100 bhp|
|Max torque||75 ft-lb|
|Top speed||140 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
|Tank range||182 miles|
Model history & versions
- 2014: Model introduced.
- 2020: Replaced by Suzuki V-Strom 1050.
Owners' reviews for the SUZUKI DL1000 V-STROM (2014 - 2016)
12 owners have reviewed their SUZUKI DL1000 V-STROM (2014 - 2016) 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:||£250|
Version: AL 9 XT
Annual servicing cost: £400
Versatile adventure bike
Great handling and crucially goes well and stops well.
Under-stressed and if looked after will go on forever. That torque low down is a joy but the top end is a little bland.
After 9 months and 1 winter all is good but staying on top of those spokes is no easy thing with early signs of corrosion.
A lot of bike for the money and by no means budget in terms of what you get.
Cornering ABS and traction all work well and would recommend extras such as sump guard and engine bars as a must.
Buying experience: Great deals available and good dealer support.
Annual servicing cost: £140
Great bike but rots like a cheap tin can.
Great bike especially if you like torquey V-twins. Brakes could be better.
The reason for buying. :)
Corrosion rife, luggage rack, general fixings, exhaust, centre stand. Cannot keep up with it despite regular washing, drying, ACF 50’ing regularly including by dealers and garaging nightly.
Reasonable. No more or less than any 1000cc adventure bike
Basic but functional.
Buying experience: New from dealer. Good experience.
Annual servicing cost: £200
Would recommend without reservation. Just completed 10k faultless miles.
Front brake is near perfect, the rear however lacks any real stopping power. Effortless comfortable all day cruising. Totally vice less handling.
All the power you need in the real world.
Still looks as good as new.
Fitting Michelin Pilot 5s transforms the handling particularly in the wet. Not recommended for off road use! Fit a larger Givi screen and some smaller mirrors. Recommend saving your money and use Givi panniers; the Suzuki ones look great but are a little too small.
In my view, amazing all round bike for the price. On paper, its down on power compared to a 1200gs, but in reality the difference does not feel like 25 bhp. I have ridden both bikes back to back . My 1200gs riding mate agreed with this and his is a 2015 model. Both bikes indicate 6,200 rpm at 100 mph and both seem to have equal ability to reach 125mph together.
Comfortable for a few hours at a time, handling and ride quality a revelation.Not quite as flickable as my FZ 8 but not far off and much easier to ride quick ( 60 to 90) on B roads because it is so much more confidence inspiring and makes its speed deceptively easy. Traction control can be altered on the move and makes for really secure riding in the wet. Although i don't get hung up about economy, i have to say that fuel range and economy is very impressive to me averaging 50 mpg and over 200 per tank full. Brakes are far more powerful than i expected, i can pull it up from silly speeds far quicker than my previous bike, an FZ8.
Running in, and not exceeding 6k rpm, I thought , HOLY SHIT, this thing is going to be seriously quick! However, now its run in i have discovered there is only a little more power built up to 7k before it just runs out of puff like a turbo diesel car does. Having said that, its still plenty quick, i rarely get left behind unless in the company of superfast bikes on superfast roads. The torque delivery right off tickover to 6k rpm is pretty brutal and a lot of fun.
Quality seems fine, but it is a new bike and to early to state reliability.But you only need to view established owners reviews here to get an idea how dependable they are.
Really well equipped at this end of the market. The abs, traction control and cornering abs all work well. I like that hand guards are standard but the lack of heated grips and a center stand as standard is really disappointing. Chain adjustment, lubing and cleaning chain and rear wheel is tricky on a side stand. Incidentally, it is very prone to rolling forward and off its sidestand on slight gradients unless you leave it in gear.
Buying experience: Purchased from Wigan Suzuki, they did a great deal. £8K on the road and very easy to deal with.
Annual servicing cost: £250
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 speed. Not a problem now with the new ECU.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Version: DL1000 AL4
Annual servicing cost: £250
Never recommend to friend, the only positive feature is with givi panniers fitted you can have equal sized ones..
Brakes really good, its top heavy, hard to manage in traffic..
Engine runs poor ECU has been changed, coolant leaking out at 300 miles and the dreaded clutch basket vibration...
Poor quality fixings tarnished with in a month in British summer wiring loom not waterproofed, coolant over me and the bike at 300 miles..
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...
Annual servicing cost: £200
Not for off road experts, but it is good in all aspects.
limited accesories, or not great quality, short distance to floor, engine exposed.
Buying experience: Suzuki dealer, high price, limited financial opportunities. Price was competitive.
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 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?)
Not perfect but great for the price. Can't afford a new BMW 1200GS Adventure.
Acceleration is quicker than what it seems. Have to watch the speedo or John Law will be asking me to pull over.
Gas is about about 1.4 pounds per gallon here in Colorado. Is that a good price?
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.
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.
The motorcycle engine stops suddenly when driving in 1st or 2nd gear at low revs
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 network.
A comfortable solid ride with confidence inspiring brakes.
Apart from the low speed throttle issues very good.
Suzuki's lack of engagement with customers over the ECU issue.
I purchased a service plan to obtain best value for money.
The Desert is well spec'd.
Buying experience: Purchased from Thunderroad in Bridgend and a very good buying experience with excellent after sales support.
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.
Never knowing when it will cut out is scared and makes your riding rubbishy.
Version: DL1000AL4 Adventure
Annual servicing cost: £300
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 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.
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 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
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.
Good MPG, Oil changes every 4000 miles or thereabouts. Standard Bridgestone tyres dont seem to offer great miles.
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