Suzuki V-Strom 1050 DE (2023-on) Review

Highlights

  • Big capacity V-twin motor
  • Uncomplicated TFT dash and menu system
  • User friendly

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 3 out of 5 (3/5)
Annual servicing cost: £50
Power: 107 bhp
Seat height: Tall (34.6 in / 880 mm)
Weight: High (556 lbs / 252 kg)

Prices

New £13,666
Used £8,700 - £11,700

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
3 out of 5 (3/5)

There’s a lot to like about the new Suzuki V-Strom 1050 and 1050 DE. Almost unbelievably the V-Strom was first launched over 20 years ago way back in 2002. It’s had numerous facelifts with the last one only three years ago.

The key difference with the 2023 bike is the focus around improved electronics and rider aids, in a bid to bring their flagship adventure bike in line with its peers. In some ways, it’s a case of 'keeping up with the Joneses', but credit where it’s due, Suzuki have done a good job without trying to over complicate the overall package or re-invent the wheel.

Hand in hand with the new electronics is an all new 5” TFT dash. TFT dashes are common place for bikes at this price point but Suzuki have excelled in the layout and ease of use of their new system. It’s not the flashiest or most advanced but it’s bright and clear. This in turn makes it easy to navigate through the settings, which include a three stage traction control plus a DE model-only Gravel setting which retards the ignition rather than preventing the rear wheel spinning.

Suzuki V-Strom 1050 DE spinning up the rear off road

There are three fuel maps as well as two stages of ABS for road use plus an off-road setting which continues to operate on the front wheel but is disabled on the rear meaning you are free to lock the rear wheel if you choose.

On the road it’s an easy-going and friendly bike to ride. The combination of useable power from the 1037cc 90° V-twin, slick gear box - which now comes bi-directional quick shifter - and a well balanced chassis makes the V-Strom a nice place to be without being intimidating in any way.

Where this DE model differs from the standard bike is the 21” front wheel designed for more spirited off-road use, spoked wheels, a 50mm longer swing arm, 40mm wider handle bars, bigger foot rests and a smaller, lower screen.

Suzuki V-Strom 1050 DE beak and headlight

Ride quality & brakes

Next up: Engine
3 out of 5 (3/5)

Unlike the majority of the bikes in the adventure class that use a trellis steel chassis, Suzuki have stayed true to their roots and used an aluminium twin spar design. More expensive to produce and arguably higher spec, Suzuki claim it’s lighter and offers the correct amount of flex. Out on the road it feels compliant and well balanced.

Equipped with fully adjustable KYB front forks and pre-load adjustable rear shock they do a reasonably good job of supporting what is unquestionably a heavy bike at 252kg for the DE model - 242kg in standard trim.

The standard suspension settings are soft, but compliant and were well suited to the near freezing conditions and lack of grip on the bike launch in Greece. In fact the only time the limit was found was off-road, was when a sequence of bumps meant the suspension did not have enough time to rebound and ended up operating at the bottom of its stroke.

Suzuki V-Strom 1050 DE front on the road

Brakes are by Tokico with twin 310mm discs up front and a single 260mm disc at the rear. The brakes are linked to maintain balance and minimise stopping distance and also have SIRS (Suzuki Intelligent Ride System), a clever system which calculates how much weight is on the bike ranging from solo rider to pillion and luggage and gives additional braking assistance to optimise braking performance.

Engine

Next up: Reliability
4 out of 5 (4/5)

Suzuki's 1037cc 90-degree V-twin motor is a near perfect fit to this type of soft, everyday adventure bike. While the majority of rivals (excluding Ducati with their V2 and V4 Multistradas) seem obsessed with building parallel-twins and then trying and add character to them through fuel or firing order to make them behave like a V-twin – the V-Strom is the real deal.

Even with the stock, regulation meeting exhaust it sounds good. Although not overly powerful it’s got plenty of real world ‘go’ due to its linear power and strong torque curve.

Its performance is enhanced by tweaked gear box ratios, which mean being in the right gear is both easy and consistent to achieve. The fuelling is also a strong point and gives the rider a real sense of control whether that was coming right off the bottom at slow speed or winding it on, on faster sections of road.

Suzuki V-Strom 1050 DE engine

The engine makes it an engaging bike to ride, with character you would be unlikely to get bored of. Its ease of use is also another plus point especially at the end of a long day’s ride in less favourable conditions.

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
3 out of 5 (3/5)

The build quality is what you’d expect from a mass-produced Japanese brand. It’s largely logical, but not always pretty. Some items like the plastic hand guards are style over substance and while they might deflect the wind, they are not strong enough to prevent lever damage in the event of a fall.

Suzuki V-Strom 1050 DE cockpit

Value vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
2 out of 5 (2/5)

A launch price of £13,666 makes the DE version £617 more expensive than a base model Honda Africa Twin (£13,049)  and only £1,129 cheaper than the Ducati Desert X.

The standard V-Strom model (£12,999) is also £1000 more than a KTM 890 Adventure. While the level of spec is solid, both V-Strom models are expensive in comparison to their higher-tech rivals.

Suzuki V-Strom 1050 DE cornering on the road

In 2024 we pit the Suzuki against its main rival, the Honda Africa Twin, in our rugged adventure bike twin test.

Equipment

4 out of 5 (4/5)

In general the level of equipment of the bike is good. The quality of suspension and the fact that it is fully adjustable means it’s highly unlikely you’d need any upgrades in this department.

The brakes are good, the engine is strong a well fuelled and Suzuki’s latest Bosch six axis IMU system which is the brains behind Suzuki’s SIRS (Suzuki Intelligent Ride System) means that it comes with lean angle sensitive ABS, Slope Dependent Control System – to prevent the rear from ever coming off the ground under hard braking,

Load Dependent Control – to provide additional braking pressure when the bike is fully loaded and Hill Hold Control – to stop the bike from rolling backwards by engaging the rear brake for 30 seconds.

Suzuki V-Strom 1050 DE cornering off road

Specs

Engine size 1037cc
Engine type Liquid-cooled, 90-degree V-twin
Frame type Twin-spar aluminium
Fuel capacity 20 litres
Seat height 880mm
Bike weight 252kg
Front suspension KYB 43mm forks, fully adjustable
Rear suspension KYB shock, pre-load adjustable
Front brake 2 x 310mm discs with four-piston radial Tokiko calipers
Rear brake 260mm disc with twin-piston Tokiko caliper
Front tyre size 90/90 x 21 (110/80 x 19 on the standard version)
Rear tyre size 150/70 x 17

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 54 mpg
Annual road tax £117
Annual service cost £50
New price £13,666
Used price £8,700 - £11,700
Insurance group -
How much to insure?
Warranty term Three years

Top speed & performance

Max power 107 bhp
Max torque 74 ft-lb
Top speed -
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 238 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

Launched in 2002 the V-Strom received its first major re-design in 2013 which saw a capacity hike from 996 to 1037cc. In 2020 the third generation V-Strom was born to meet the latest Euro 5 regulations and also saw the introduction of the SIRS electronics package.

Other versions

Suzuki’s latest offering is the standard 1050 V-Strom with a 19” front and 17” rear wheels along with the DE version which has a 21” front and 17” rear along with other key changes for a more off-road focussed package.

Owners' reviews for the SUZUKI DL1050 V-STROM (2023 - on)

1 owner has reviewed their SUZUKI DL1050 V-STROM (2023 - 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 DL1050 V-STROM (2023 - on)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Engine: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Reliability & build quality: 3 out of 5 (3/5)
Value vs rivals: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Equipment: 3 out of 5 (3/5)
Annual servicing cost: £50
4 out of 5 It's the unknown best.
25 August 2023 by Fazerman

Version: 1050DE

Year: 2023

Annual servicing cost: £50

Save money a buy a Strom. So much fun.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Smooth with character. Not a boring parallel. Great brakes plenty of stop about them.

Engine 5 out of 5

Born of a TL1000 this thing is just the best.

Reliability & build quality 3 out of 5

It's a Suzuki. They tend to get rode then put away until the next ride. Engine and radiator paint is weak other than that my 2020XT held up well.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Always done my own servicing. Nice and simple machine once you get the plastics off.

Equipment 3 out of 5

Nothing complicated pretty basic set up.

Buying experience: Local GT motorcycles was a pleasure.

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