SUZUKI DL1000 V-STROM (2017 - 2019) Review
- 1037cc liquid-cooled V-twin
- 3-stage traction control and cornering ABS
- Fully-adjustable suspension
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£190|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
Suzuki’s V-Strom 1000 has never been a bike sold on sex appeal.
From its launch way back in 2002 the V-twin (which owes its heritage to the TL models’ motor) powered V-Strom has always been a bit visually challenging, something Suzuki have gradually worked to remedy and by the 2017 incarnation had just about got nailed.
However instead of sex appeal, what the V-Strom brings to the table is a budget-pleasing adventure bike that although lacking a few bells and whistles is a solid performer that is extremely good at just getting on with the job in hand.
Commuting, touring or hacking out dull motorway miles, the V-Strom will do it all with minimal fuss and maximum comfort.
Having relaunched the Strom in 2013 with its fresh look and bigger-capacity 1037cc motor, in 2017 Suzuki added a bit of new tech in the way of an IMU to bring angle-sensitivity to the ABS system in a small refresh that also included other less significant upgrades such as easy-start, low-rpm assist and a DR BIG-style beak.
Still left behind the competition in terms of tech as it lacks semi-active suspension, cornering traction control or a flash dash, the V-Strom cost just £9499 (the more rugged XT version was £9999) which made it seem good value when you compared it to the (from...) £12,400 BMW R1200GS or £13,795 Ducati Multistrada.
Good enough value to warrant buying? Those who already own a more ‘premium’ adventure bike are unlikely to want to downgrade but fans of Strom, and Suzuki had sold nearly 250,000 V-Strom 1000 and V-Strom 650s by 2017 so there were quite a few of them, warmed to this latest version.
If you want no-thrills road-targeted adventuring, it’s a solid option and remains wallet-pleasing in the used market.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
The most significant upgrade that Suzuki gave the V-Strom in 2017 was the addition of a five-axis Bosch IMU to the ABS system, allowing it to become angle-responsive or as Suzuki called it ‘Motion Track Braking System’.
This was then further upgraded with the adoption of a combined element, so that the front brake also activated the rear to help keep the bike stabilised under braking.
With the twin four-piston Tokico radial calipers providing reasonable power (but a typically dead feel due to a poor pad compound, swap them for aftermarket alternatives for more bite) the ABS system is effective if not outstanding and certainly hits the brief – if not surpassing it.
With the chassis unaltered, the 2017 V-Strom handles as before, which is no bad thing. Fully-adjustable suspension means you can firm the ride up a bit and in bends the Strom is effective if, again, not outstanding.
It is the kind of bike that puts the emphasis on solid and secure rather than sporty and in many ways that’s not a bad thing at all.
What the Suzuki is good at, however, is delivering on comfort and a new 49mm taller screen that is adjustable in both height and angle, light cutch and a well-padded seat for both the pillion and rider are all major bonuses and ensure you can pile on the miles with ease.
The V-Strom’s traction control is three stage in its operation (two-level and off) but lacks any angle-sensitivity. It’s a decent enough system for road use but lacks its rivals’ sophistication.
EngineNext up: Reliability
Suzuki didn’t upgrade the V-Strom’s 1037cc liquid-cooled V-twin in the 2017 update and so what you see is what you get and it makes the same 101bhp as before with a touch less torque, 74ftlb compared to 72.5ftlb, due to meeting Euro4 emissions regulations.
Do you notice the drop in performance? Not really, it still retains the same lazy feel and smoothness that has become a V-Strom trait in both the 1000 and 650 models.
With more than enough power to haul the bike and any pillion and/or luggage, the V-Strom’s motor is easy-going and spirited but not that fast.
Does it need to be? Not really and for relaxed touring or commuting 101bhp is more than ample.
New for 2017 was the adoption of low-rpm assist, which detects when the clutch is about to be engaged and slightly increases the revs to help prevent a stall, and Suzuki Easy Start System, which is a one-touch starter system so you don’t have to keep the starter button pushed in.
Other than a few more cats in the exhaust, it is unchanged from before and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
Suzukis have a reputation for dubious build quality yet our owner reviews report no such issues with the V-Strom 1000, which is good news.
The motor’s reliability is unquestioned and where older versions used to rust their discs and fur fasteners this seems less of an issue on the post-2013 models. It may be budget but it seems Suzuki have wisely invested in the fit and finish and it shows.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
The issue with so many Suzuki models is that when they don’t sell, dealers tend to discount them quite heavily and that hits residual values hard.
The V-Strom had an RRP of £9499 in 2017 but by the end of the year you could easily get one for £9000 and often lower.
By now the prices have stabilised out, which is good news, but those who bought new in 2017 have had to take a hit.
Quite a few used bikes have extras fitted (dealers used them as incentives to shift machines) so always have a good look at the bike’s spec to see if it has good options fitted such as a centre stand, luggage etc.
When you own the bike the V-Strom is very cheap to run with 50-60mpg achievable on long distance runs at a constant speed, insurance relatively low and servicing cheap due to the exposed nature of the motor.
The valve-clearance check at 15,000 miles is the big bill but the annual service (or every 4000 then 3500 miles alternatively, most owners just stick to 4000 miles) is quite cheap at around £200.
If you look at its rivals, where you can get a 2017 V-Strom 1000 for £6500, a similar vintage BMW R1200GS is £9000 (or higher depending on spec) and a Multistrada £9500, so it is still the bargain of the class but at £7500 the higher-spec Kawasaki Versys 1000 is worth checking out.
Suzuki sold a wide range of accessories for the V-Strom and many bikes have some fitted.
The hard luggage system consists of a 55-litre top box (big enough for two full-face lids) and panniers with the bike supplied with key cylinders so you can operate a one-key system.
Loads of owners fit Suzuki’s heated grips, there are high and low seat options, crash protection, a centre stand (very popular), fog lights, LED indicators and more.
Aftermarket firms supply basically the same range at a slightly cheaper price however fit isn’t often quite as good. Aftermarket cans aren’t that common but a few bikes have them fitted where crash protection, taller screens and aluminium luggage systems are common.
|Engine type||Liquid-cooled DOHC V-twin|
|Frame type||Alumnium twin spar|
|Fuel capacity||20 litres|
|Front suspension||43mm KYB USD forks, fully adjustable.|
|Rear suspension||KYB single shock, re-bound and preload adjustable|
|Front brake||2 x 310mm discs with four-piston radial calipers. ABS|
|Rear brake||265mm disc with two-piston caliper. ABS|
|Front tyre size||110/80 x 19|
|Rear tyre size||150/70 x 17|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||46.8 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£96|
|Annual service cost||£190|
|Used price||£5,000 - £8,600|
How much to insure?
Top speed & performance
|Max power||100 bhp|
|Max torque||74.5 ft-lb|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
|Tank range||206 miles|
Model history & versions
- 2002: Suzuki V-Strom 1000 – The original V-Strom’s boxy look didn’t win it any fans visually but its 996cc V-twin motor is reliable and the bike a solid road adventurer. Finish is a bit questionable.
- 2004: Suzuki V-Strom 1000 – Suzuki introduce small updates
- 2008: The V-Strom 1000 is dropped from Suzuki’s range.
- 2011: Suzuki V-Strom 1000 - An all-new V-Strom is launched with an upgraded look and better suspension and brakes. The motor remains 996cc.
- 2013: Suzuki V-Strom 1000: A far more significant model change sees the motor increased in capacity to 1037cc, the styling totally refreshed, traction control added and chassis and brakes enhanced.
- 2017: The V-Strom 1000 and V-Strom 1000 XT are released with new cornering ABS and small engine updates to meet Euro4. The more rugged XT comes with spoke wheels, tapered bars, brush guards and a bash plate.
Owners' reviews for the SUZUKI DL1000 V-STROM (2017 - 2019)
1 owner has reviewed their SUZUKI DL1000 V-STROM (2017 - 2019) 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:||£190|
Annual servicing cost: £190
Best well sorted suspension brilliant front brakes loads of low down torque and strangest of all for 1037 v twin fuel consumption best 74.5 worst 59.0 worst bits plastic heel guards already marked badly and footrest gets in way when putting feet down and key is to long and sometimes a fiddle to get in minor bits really but at 8400 on the road bloody good value.
Can ride for 2 to 3 hours before getting off pillion about 2 hours she's says it's comfy enough.brakes and suspension spot on really surprised at this price point.
It's like driving a diesel car not much point reving it much above 4000 revs but in real world riding on back roads it's perfect just using all that low down torque.
Heel guards. and ignition switch can be a bit of a fiddle
£190 for a service good on fuel
All you need no gimmicks could maybe do with cruise control.
Buying experience: Bought from Padgetts in Batley new ok at first not very helpful with after sales wouldn't use them next time.