SUZUKI DL650 V-STROM ABS (2011 - on) Review
- Tried and tested 650 V-twin engine
- Economical option in middleweight adventure tourer market
- Softer suspension handles UK roads well
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£270|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
Almost every aspect has been improved in terms of performance, ranging from engine and handling to manageability and range compared to the old model. It all adds up to an immensely, almost peerlessly versatile package that is simply brilliant value for money, especially in the used market.
Suzuki have unveiled the new colour options available on their V-Strom 650 and SV650 for 2021. The models’ long-lived V-twin engine has also been tweaked to make it through Euro5 emissions regulations.
From January, the V-strom 650 is available in white, red or grey with black cast wheels, meaning that the black option is being dropped.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
It’s no full-on scratcher, of course – the upright gait, 19-inch front wheel and budget/all-rounder suspension, brakes and tyres preclude that, but it’s now also a long way from the mushy vagueness its trailie style may suggest and can genuinely be thrown around with confidence.
EngineNext up: Reliability
The revised Gladius engine is willing and eager. The SV650 based V-twin has long been considered the virtually unchallenged leader in its class, and in this uprated form, though not startlingly different, is better yet: always flexible, free-revving and yet, for a V-twin, impressively smooth, too. The power builds smoothly from low down and it pulls all the way to the red line.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
In person the restyle is seductive and classy. The now curvy, wind tunnel-developed lines are more integrated; the detailing and instruments more sophisticated and modern, and the use of more varied materials and textures gives the new V-Strom an air of bikes as luxurious as Ducati’s Diavel rather than a budget-priced middleweight.
The front mudguard, tank band and sidepanels have an (admittedly fake) carbon fibre style weave, satins and brushed aluminium mix with glossy metallic paint and the new seat, complete with red stitching and embossed ‘V-Strom logo, on its own looks classy and a cut above.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
Excellent. The old V-Strom was a good, budget bike. The latest one is a great bike that just happens to be at a budget price. Considering the style, finish, equipment and ability it makes even the great Tiger 800 seem pricey.
ABS is standard and there’s a decent rack but any other goodies are only as optional extras.
|Engine type||Liquid-cooled, 90º V-twin, 6 gears|
|Frame type||Aluminium twin spar|
|Fuel capacity||20 litres|
|Front suspension||Preload only|
|Rear suspension||Preload and rebound|
|Front brake||2 x 310mm front discs with twin-piston calipers and ABS|
|Rear brake||260mm disc with single-piston caliper and ABS|
|Front tyre size||110/80R19|
|Rear tyre size||150/70R17M|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||49 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£93|
|Annual service cost||£270|
|Used price||£3,500 - £6,900|
10 of 17
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two year unlimited mileage|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||68 bhp|
|Max torque||44 ft-lb|
|Top speed||120 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
|Tank range||200 miles|
Model history & versions
2011: Launched as successor to old V-Strom
Owners' reviews for the SUZUKI DL650 V-STROM (2011 - on)
28 owners have reviewed their SUZUKI DL650 V-STROM (2011 - 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.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£270|
Annual servicing cost: £200
What it most certainly is NOT:- A track day machine. A ‘Sunny Sunday’ posers choice. A road rocket. What it most definitely IS:- A proper ‘motorcycle’ as the term is understood by most people. It looks like a motorcycle. It sounds like a motorcycle. It performs like the well conceived motorcycle it is, in pretty well all areas. If you’re looking for a competent, comfortable, reassuringly easy to ride yet gutsy, long distance motorcycle, with a smile factor of 10, read on, if not, you’re in the wrong place!
The mile munching 'Strom' is all about torque, allied to rock steady handling and fairly relaxed motorcycling. Whether enjoying the excellent view from the (good for at least 2 hours saddle) or pressing on to catch a ferry, the Strom never feels outside it’s comfort zone. It's 19" front deals with poor road surfaces and potholes with disdain, and the simple but effective suspension provides a generally comfortable and worry free ride. Brakes have been criticized by some but I find them more than adequate, producing serious two fingered retardation.......... once bedded in. Overall, this machine will probably appeal most to mature riders.
With seemingly little effort, Suzuki’s gem of a 90 degree twin utilizes it’s trump card throughout the rev range and has more than enough punch to whisk you to motorway speeds with aplomb. 6th gear pulls surprisingly strongly from as low as 40mph making overtakes a brisk and relaxed affair. The comforting sound of it's well spaced firing strokes together with it's strong torque promote a feeling of quiet confidence in it's capabilities. And 'short shifting' away from traffic lights etc. becomes a pleasurable diversion. When necessary it can squat it's rear and move surprisingly smartly.! It 'red lines' at 10,000rpm though you will rarely need much beyond 7000.
I cannot comment.as it is only 4 months old. Therefore this rating is of no use.
I am told £200 every 4000mile service. MPG - an extremely variable factor. In my case and one up, 70/74mpg is easily achievable whilst ambling the Lancashire lanes of my home county. A steady 70/75mph on motorways will also see a solid touring 70mpg. Move towards 80/85mph and it will drop to the high 60's. As it will when generally 'pressing on'!
It has few toys, ABS, (debatable) Traction Control (largely unnecessary on this machine, in my opinion). Start Assist, which raises engine revs as the clutch is released (useful on very steep gradients, maybe). It does NOT have self-cancelling indicators (essential on any machine in my opinion, having appreciated their benefits on many BMW's) Accessories I fitted. ‘Bark busters’ to help keep hands warm and gloves dry in winter. Oxford Heated Grips (half the price of Suzuki items)! Centre Stand Suzuki Tank Bag - not as capacious as I expected, missing a clear map pocket top and NOT waterproof – though you do get a ‘free’? Waterproof Cover!
Annual servicing cost: £300
A year ago it had 15k miles, now it has 51k as I am riding around the world on it, two up. No issues so far and super comfortable.
I have updated the suspension due to the w additional weight of guards/luggage etc plus 2 middle aged spreaders and the clobber it has to carry. Brakes work OK and last well but lack a degree of feel.
Absolutely outstanding. Probably one of the best bikes I have ridden, and I was a BMW dealer for 18 years. The engine is very smooth with a good power delivery..Quick to get away from the lights in Delhi traffic but forgiving if you are in the wrong gear.
I have a couple of corrosion issues that will be sorted later otherwise its held up pretty well to the abuse it has been given, especially on Indian roads.
Considering my usage I visit dealers every few months. The cheapest has been in Malaysia, where I got a service,new air filter and rear tyre for £243, and the most expensive in Sydney. The brakes and chain/sprockets seem to last for ages and I have been getting 12k from the tyres.
Like most of its ilk, most riders fit luggage. For the trip I have fitted Givi Trekker Outback aluminium panniers which saved us when we were hit by a car in India. Back home I had Shad luggage which is amazing. I mainly use Muchelin Annakee 3 tyres which give good feedback but can square off. I have a Bridgestone A41 on the rear at the moment which is wearing well but its 90/10 bias is not as good as the Michelins 80/20 off road.
Buying experience: Got mine from a dealer and px’d a DL1000 for it. Not regretted downsizing.
Amazingly competent bike, matching more exotic machines costing £5,000 more. I was touring up in Alaska in 2016 (not on this bike) and was amazed how many of these 650 V-Stroms were being used by Americans and Canadians for really serious 10,000-mile tours. After the big GS Beemers, these were the most common tool.
Beyond any criticism. The bike simply glides over any surface and I sometimes describe it as like a Cadillac - and yet it tracks like a really sporty bike when you push it round the twisties.
I had an SV650 roadster for 6 years before my DL. Loved it, but very snatchy at low revs in higher gears. This DL is liquid smooth everywhere. More like a multi. 4000 rpm gives 57 mph, so lovely relaxed feel on typical A-roads or busy dual-carriageways.
In truth, I'm a fair weather rider, 3,000 miles per annum kind of man and my bike is a toy, cosseted in a nice dry garage, so am not surprised the finish remains like new after 3 years. No reliability issues. Starts on first prod when left for 6 weeks at a time.
I seldom get less than 80mpg. As high as 85mpg. Though I do ride very smoothly, anticipate well ahead and brake very little and also I keep out of urban sprawl and rush hours. I do my own oil and filter changes.
Excellent on-board computer for trip and fuel consumption. Easily manipulated on the move by a handlebar button.
Buying experience: Bought second hand from a 65 year-old chap when the machine was a year old with 1,500 miles on it. Fair price for an immaculate bike with Givi luggage and screen.
Annual servicing cost: £200
Simply the best all rounder you can buy.
More comfortable than my old BMW. Great tourer. 12 hours in saddle on return from France on a Bank Holiday Friday no problem. And I'm 73. Good fuel range, at least 250 miles per tank. In France pootling around the Jura saw 140km before the gauge lost one of its 5 bars !
Perfectly suited to the bike. 10k redline but at 6500 revs you're already doing 85mph so quite relaxed. Very smooth delivery and pulls willingly from low revs.
Clutch switch played up in France. Solved with a paper clip. No other issues.
New extended service intervals 7.5k miles or yearly make it even better value.
Lots that you need, nothing you don't. Touring screen astonishingly effective likewise belly pan. Switchable speedo miles/km very useful. Twin headlights both on full beam and dip as good as a car. Still on original tyres.
Buying experience: Bought new as pre-reg from Wheels, Peterborough. Very fair and straightforward. Dealt with them before.
Ive recommended this bike to a number of people now. Quite simply it adds up to more than the sum of its individual parts.
Good ride quality. Front brakes lack a bit of bite but do the job if you give them a good squeeze.
The bike's best feature. Smooth, very good on fuel and provides decent get up and go if you want to rev it.
No issues thus far.
Suzuki dealers a bit more expensive than I'd like but not too bad all things considered.
ABS was standard. No TC on mine, the latest model now has it fitted, but otherwise fine for what you pay.
Buying experience: Colemans Suzuki in central Auckland were knowledgable and good to deal with.
Annual servicing cost: £50
Balanced, grunty and far better than I thought it would be. My first practical bike, used for all year round commuting. I've done 3k on it, using it on A roads and filtering through traffic. The big front wheel and longer travel suspension mean pot holes and speed bumps are easily traveled over - especially when standing up.
It's a budget bike - so suspension and brakes could be plusher, but considering the whole package, it's great.
It's got a torquey motor that has plenty of character. As I ride sports bikes there's always space for more power, but given the fact it's returning 53 mpg despite me opening the throttle where suitable it's a great commuter.
Good quality, no sign of corrosion (yet). Has proved reliable and dependable having done 3k in 6 months.
Home servicing bike - and so far only using consumables used, oil filter etc.
I bought mine as 2nd owner, which came with luggage, crash bars and sump guard. The sump guard is aesthetic as it's plastic - but would be good as a standard item as the oil filters exposed.
Version: XT ABS
Annual servicing cost: £500
This is my third V-Strom 650 - 09, 12, and now the '15. I rode the first two long and hard, so I know these bikes. I've ridden lots of other bikes over 45 years, for many people, I suggest this bike (or at least the genre) is the one to buy.
Brakes are okay - that's it. Suspension is okay - that's it. Seat is very good, controls are very good. Clutch is good, transmission is excellent - the engine is a gem.
Truly, the main reason to buy a V-Strom 650 is because of that sweet little engine. I've owned many bikes, but thousands of miles on bikes over 45 years. Some of the bikes I've owned cost three times the cost of the 'Strom, but that little engine just doesn't get much better.
Put over 180 000 kilometers on two 'Stroms, rode them from Canada to Central America, all across the USA and Mexico - twice; not one problem.
After years of riding shaft driven bikes (BMW, Suzuki) I had to learn the hard way about chain drives. What I learned? Leave them alone - don't fiddle with them too much, just keep them clean. Also, no need to change the oil filter every oil change... in short, follow the manufacture's manual.
Buy aftermarket - it's less expensive and often better quality. That said, the heated grips are expensive, but work well.
Buying experience: Here's the rub... and maybe why I've owned three 'Stroms. The MSRP for the bike I have now is selling in the USA for $10,399.00 on SALE for $9,199.00 - In Canada, I paid $6707.76 US dollars - on sale with Suzuki discount.
Annual servicing cost: £120
Excellent affordable long distance one up tourer. Will cruise all day at motorway speeds leaving you still able to stand up when you arrive. It has sufficient power to keep up with much bigger bikes as long as you do not overload it. Good range.
You will run out of fuel before your rear gives out. There are bikes that are better in every area than the Vstrom, but you will have a hard time finding one that does everything so well for the price.
Simply fabulous, hard to believe at times its only a 650. Smooth, plenty of torque and free reving. Careful use of right hand can produce excellent economy.
Faultless so far (9000 miles). Typical Suzuki build quality, fine as long as you do not neglect it.
3k servicing is a bit excessive.
SW Motech engine bars are good, no vibration at all. For all year/weather riding add a Givi Airflow screen. A pair of Aprilia mirrors virtually eliminate buffeting. A suzuki plastic cover keeps the engine clean.
Buying experience: The local Suzuki dealer was very helpful and willing to bargain. The Vstrom is good value at MRRP so do not expect massive discounting.
Annual servicing cost: £300
A genuinely practical and enjoyable bike to ride. Perfect as a commuter and works well as a touring machine with a pillion and luggage. It really does everything very competently. The bad bits are the finish, the front brakes and the service intervals. Would I recommend the bike? Absolutely.
Ride quality is excellent. Super comfortable even after 200 miles and it's very relaxing sitting at 70-80 on the motorway. I changed the Tyres to Pirelli GT as I found the Bridgestones didn't do the bike justice. It's no off-road machine so I found this to be a solid upgrade. The handling/grip is transformed..
Nothing to dislike. It's a lovely engine which sits very relaxed at motorway speeds. You can sit in a lower gear than usual and the bike picks up well. If you want a little fun it will shift once you get between 6-9000. For an all round machine, it's excellent.
Corrosion/flaking on the underside engine casing. I've had to give it a good coat of acf50. You need to keep on top of cleaning, especially over winter. The bike starts perfectly every time and has been Ultra reliable. I cannot fault it.
I do quite high mileage so the 3500 mile service interval is a little annoying. The running costs are generally low and i get 60mpg.
Crap Tyres (see above). Once I changed to Pirelli Angel GTs it was a different bike! :0) Not much in the way of equipment.. Preload adjustment is useful. I've fitted a centre stand, Givi rack and hand guards. its pretty basic. Clocks are nice and clear.
Buying experience: I bought privately as this was my first bike since passing my test. My advice is the get down and really check the finish underneath, in hindsight I could've knocked a little off the price. I paid £3750 with 7k and in reasonably good condition.
Version: DL650A logt
Annual servicing cost: £400
This Bike will take care of any age of a biker. Keep it clean maintain it and will be a good bike for years. Sits high in the seat which gives a bit of buffering .
The bike for me is great at 50- 60mph great comfort good all rounder. 100miles no problem before a rest a gel seat would help.
Performance for a 650cc twin for me is just fantastic. The engine is very forgiving if you make mistakes and we all do. A gear selector on screen would be a good addition.
You really need to wash and look after the V-Strom every time you're out or the bike will suffer. The bolts at the brake pipes tarnish. For the price a well built bike.
I did 2 services in one. 11,000 and 15,000. The 15,000 miles being the big one. Fuel is great 250 miles easy to the tank but then am not pushing 70mph or more. I bought this bike to go up Glens on narrow roads and tour all over Uk. Cant fault it.
Best feature computer checks just brill. Safety system great. Gear hugger I put one at last service. Tyre Metz tourance I just like them.
Buying experience: I bought from a dealer at the price they asked got delivery to my door for £100 bike like brand new 10,000 miles, £3995
Version: GT pack
This is my first bike, it is very comfortable, great riding position, and is comfortable for a good 6 hours easily. I travel from South Wales to Norfolk, and get off not aching at all. Though at the same time, I would like another bike with abit more punch like the Triumph Tiger, or BMW R1200GS. Downside to this bike is the helmet buffeting!! It is absolutely crazy, to a point where I was going to sell the bike as it was becoming an unpleasant ride, even though I had changed the screen, it wasn't working. Until I found a Givi Airflow Screen, and it changed the ride completely, so much I thoroughly enjoy riding it now. I'm 6'1, so a smaller rider may not have a problem. It's a heavy bike, however at 10mph+ the weight disappears, and handles really well. It can be chucked around, though I haven't yet pushed it to its limits yet. For a first bike, a commuter, or certainly a tall rider, id highly recommend.
Quite punchy for 650 68bhp. Low end power is ok. It's sweet spot is between 6000-7000 rpm, though for an overtake you do have to kick down from 6th to 4th to pass a car on an A road.
No problems so far.
I'm 6'1 and weigh 102KG, and the bike returns to me between 55-62mpg, so riding between 70-80mph (where speed limits allow) and I get 180-210 miles at a push to a tank, with panniers and top box. The panniers do stick out more than the handle bars and do cause a lot of drag.
Heated grips are a must. I've got the GT pack on my bike, which is engine bars, panniers, top box, undercowling, and knuckle guards, which are very effective in the winter with the heated grips. An aftermarket screen is highly recommended (Givi Airflow) especially if over 6ft tall.
This bike has the potential to be brilliant, but is let down by poor build quality and even worse dealers.
Very comfy for me, did a long trip france/Spain with no problems, brakes are up to the job
Painted surfaces suffer from corrosion badly, waterpump and forks suffer worse on my bike, apparently not covered by the warranty! when add this to lack of aftersales interest from the dealer and Suzuki GB, save a bit longer and buy something.
Now the Xt has very long service intervals over double the length of my year, funny thing is the only difference between them is cosmetic, but apparently the service schedule to remain at 3500! Hmmmmm
Annual servicing cost: £500
After conducting lots of research, this was my first bike after passing my test on 31st December 2014. Obviously a huge step up after the 125 that I owned previously and, I must say that all the rave reviews were spot on and I have no intention of swapping it any time soon. Took a while to get used to the height as I have short legs, definitely wouldn't buy anything taller. I have already recommend to a couple of people and would do so again.
I do cover lots of miles per week yet I still think of the ride to come and still get a bit excited.
Nothing to say other than it's absolutely fine for what I need. I'm sure I'll want something a bit stronger one day... but not today.
I needed a new clock as the old one apparently filled up with rain water. No problems since despite me clocking up an average of 1550 miles per month for over a year. Completely agree that it is very comfortable even after a couple of hours on the road.
Due to the amount of miles that I do, it gets three or four services per year. I'm certainly not the fastest of riders, but then my minimum speed is usually the speed limit of the road I'm on. Saying that I never seem to get any less than 230 miles per tank. Pretty good in my book!
I bought it in January 2015 and it came with a top box, knuckle guards, heated grips, electric socket, skid plates and engine guards. I very rarely need to use the heated grips, however everything else should come as standard as I couldn't see myself coping very well without them.
Buying experience: Second hand from Blackpool Honda. Brilliant, with a nice long journey home to get used to the bike.
Good runner and value, average running costs, very short service intervals. Build quality and after-sales customer service is poor so recommend buy alternative manufacturer's alternatives if you can afford a little more.
Brakes do not inspire confidence and can't be pushed, but adequate for the job. Really smooth ride.
Generally very good. Slight flat spot/vibrations at about 64mph in top gear.
Had 2 mirrors break on simple adjusting. Suzuki customer service refused to replace second one, and the first one was only "goodwill". Genuinely poor quality on certain little things like plastic/rubber fixing for top box, mirrors as described above.. few other things so be prepared to spend replacing things as they break or just don't buy Suzuki in the first place. (mechanically sound no running problems hence avoids 1 out of 5 rating)
Could do with a 12v socket, has very little as standard but it has a seat and an engine.
Annual servicing cost: £200
Coming from a bike with a bit more horsepower (KTM 990 Adventure), I was wondering what riding would feel like with 29 horses missing. After having this bike three years now, I can say that with my, admittedly "relaxed" riding style, I'm not missing anything at all. What I'm enjoying most is the easiness of manoeuvring this bike around, especially when you are off and push the bike into the slot/position you want it in. Would I recommend this bike to a friend? I already have, and he's a happy rider as well with his 2013 model...
This bike is great fun on mountain passes with narrow and sharp corners. The seat is so comfortable that long distances are not a problem at all. With 5'10", the handle bars and foot pegs fit me ideally. Can't say anything about pillion seat as I'm a solo rider. The brakes react fast and are easy to control. The ABS kicks in nicely as well (but then, with my riding tyle, that doesn't happen very often...)
The engine has a broad band of revs that you can work with in the lower gears, and going up the gears without the clutch is so easy too. But sometimes you wish it had a bit more "punch" in 5th and 6th, but that doesn't happen that often with my riding style.
The bike feels solid at all times. So far, no complaints what so ever. No mechanical or electrical problems at all. Routine cleaning and maintenance on my side and I haven't found any signs of corrosion. A reliable bike for short and long rides. Living just south of Munich, Germany most of my 20,000 Km (12,430 miles) have been on twisty mountain passes in Germany, Austria, Italy, and Switzerland, and I've been on a ride through all of France and then up to John O'Groats via England and Wales on this bike as well.
On average, the fuel consumption (see riding style) is at 3.7 liters per 100 Km since I've had this bike. Given that, the 20 liter tank offers good distances between fuel stops. The newer versions will have even better value in the maintenance category since they changed the rather short service intervals. And since they haven't changed the bike, Suzuki should offer the same intervals to us with older bike with the same specs. But after the warranty period, with the older bikes like mine, I believe you could skip the smaller services if you're willing to invest a bit of time doing a few of the items yourself.
One thing I would change on the bike is the position of the passing/high-beam switch and the toogle-switch for the modes on the rider display; these two should swap postions. Otherwise: I find that the Michelin Anakee 3 fit this bike very well and I'm getting good milage out of them. The SW Motech aluminum side and top cases plus the quick-lock tank pack give me all the loading capacity I need for long trips. The Touratech cradle for the Garmin is top quality! Heated grips and the hand protectors are good to have on long rides and cold or rainy days.
Buying experience: Bought mine from a dealer who gave me a good trade-in price for the KTM and helped out with finding the right options for the Garmin cradle plus crash bars and engine guard, etc.
Easy to ride with ample power and handling. Would not hesitate to recommend
Before buying the v strom 650 I had a 1000cc + sports tourer but find I've lost nothing and gained a better overall bike in the v strom. Tours the highway as well, and handles second rate twisty country roads better.
Great v twin that has all the power that most riders could want.
Buying my 2012 V Strom 650 second hand with a heap of aftermarket accessories for $7200 was a bargain. It has new screen, sump guard, engine protection bars, centre stand, staintune pipe and a top box. These extras complete the bike.
Annual servicing cost: £150
Having come from BMW's and Honda I expected a bit of a let down as it was a "budget bike" What a revelation! Talk about value for money! I looked on the internet and found "new" bikes from £5400! (pre reg and less than 2 months old! list is near £7000. Talked to local dealers who said, and I quote " Oh they will be imports at that price", reply " So I press a button on the dash and KPH is MPH, turn a screw and right dip is left?" and the best part " Why are all DL650's made in the UK are they not all imports?" "Oh there may be warranty issues", "What with a two year European wide cover?, I think not," and guess what, I got a brand new DL 650 on the road for less than £5500 bargain of the century!
As good as my Honda's and better than my BMW'S!
Brilliant, a mini crosstourer, 125mph is enough to send you to jail, why do you need more?
Great for a Suzuki, my last ones were a TS 250 and a GS 850. Ok I may need to keep an eye on it in winter but a good dose of ACF 50 will cover it
Bit of a let down here, if the new DL1000 has a service interval of 7000 miles why does the DL650 only do 3500 miles between services? But over 70mpg!
My mates bought the Kawasakii Vesrys ( or rampant rabbit) It vibrates enough to pleasure anything female! The basic equipment is well below that of the DL even down to remote adjusters and engine management feedback
Buying experience: Browse on line and go compare!
The bike feels very well put together and is stupidly easy to ride. Perfect low speed fuelling combined with the wide bars make it ideal for commuting in heavy traffic. As a long distance tourere the genuine 200 mile tank range combined with 70+ mpg on long runs make it a great tourer. Handling is good but if you push it you soon find the limits.. It is fun to ride on well surfaced A and B roads and the long travel suspension alleviates the worst of neglected British tarnac Also above 90 the bike starts feeling a bit vague but nothing to be concerned about. Drive chain needed adjusting twice in 10k * miles, the bike never failed to start and nothing went wrong. The engine is a gem, it is very placid if ridden slowly but also satisfying to thrash. Way too heavy to take off road, this is a road bike, don´t believe the marketing hype. Rear tyre replaced at 7K but could have gone to 8K if needed. Lights are class leading, car like illumintion at night. Very safe bet as an all rounder or long distance tourer.Sometimes felts a bit bland and appliance likebut if that is the price to be paid for 100% reliability I am more than happy. Only niggling irritating feature was the cold temperature warning which can´t be overidden. Do I really need a bike to tell me how cold it is?
Having the ''old'' pre 2011 V Strom 650 for three years I knew that the updated version was going to be an improvement. But, it is a reallly new bike, yes, it is still a Suzuki and a 650, but you are getting in effect a new bike. The riding is taut and responsive yet frugal. The dash layout is logical and easy to use (those indicator lights are TOO small though Suzuki!) . Suzuki are milking a winner here. The overcrowded roads of England mean a mid range bike like this is always going to have a place; it eats poor British pot holed roads for breakfast and can easily take mild off roading. The quality of the parts seems to have improved and the rear suspension unit is easily adjustable soft/hard settings. Economy was good on the old model and this model is as good although the tank is two litres smaller. Arguably this slimmed down V Strom looks a bit trimmer than the old V Strom. The wind deflection from the screen/fairing is good. I have to say I am pleased I purchased this model. Oxfor heated grips, hand guards and a centre stand plus a Kappa top box mean that this is a practical yet fun all rounder bike. 10 out of 10 from me.
Having owned many different styles of bike, I wanted something that was comfortable, didn’t aggravate my neck problem, bring back the smile factor as the last two bikes failed on that count and possibly be able to cover some miles if required. Why a DL 650? Well, a slightly desperate measure to off load a recently purchased classic Yamaha sports bike and not wanting a bike similar to previously owned machines I pointed at a DL 650. I have never understood adventure bikes until now…. I was expecting a wallowy uninspiring bike that ticked some boxes but not the ones I wanted. A truly fabulous bike to own and the demo ride left me absolutely stunned on how good it really was ( had to have one – big smile factor back again! ) and whilst I have no plans to go off road, it really handles solidly, the tyres and suspension offer plenty of confidence and feel. The little v twin is grunty and not too vibey and whilst I much prefer inline fours I was pleasantly surprised at the eagerness of the engine especially as you boot it out of a corner. During the running in period I was getting 72+ mpg but for me the fun is just sitting there soaking up the surroundings in a really relaxing package, I actually feel chilled not in that sports bike frenzy mode whilst riding. On the downside I wasn’t too keen on the excessive noise around my helmet, far more than the sports bikes I’d owned so I did a little research and the nice members on V-strom.co.uk pointed out a few cures that can help. ( different mirrors and adjusting the pitch of screen with washers or a new vario screen!) The brakes aren’t the strongest around but they are ok and the front forks don’t pogo too badly either. Sitting up on the 835mm seat has caused a few moments when I wish the seat was a tad lower (or I could justify the cost of the lower seat option or have my seat resculptured ) but sitting bolt upright gives a great view of the road ahead. So my verdict.. absolutely love it but I really wasn’t expecting it to be as good as it is so if you are considering one, give it a go you could be pleasantly surprised too.
Firstly i want to say that i have never been a Suzuki fan, and to tell you the truth i don't even know why, i think i found them bland to say the least! Always been a Kawi fan! So when a mate of mine told me that i must test ride the new DL650 i wasn't very up for it.However to shut him up i rode over to Wards Barnsley on MY VERY LOVELY GREEN/BLACK KAWI Z750, and asked if they had any DL650 demos, to my disappointment they did. So off i set on the demo bike,within 400 yds started thinking this bikes ok, within 1 mile was thinking this bike is not too bad at all and within 5 miles i was on the motorway doing 70ish(honest lol) thinking this bike is fabulous, great gear change, no wind blast or buffeting, great comfort from the plush seat and so planted on the road, the way you can fire the thing out of the corners was unbelievable it made my Z750 feel like it was built in the stone-age.Rode back to Wards only out 25mins parked her up, removed my lid, walked into the showroom and did a deal! IT JUST FELT SO RIGHT THAT BIKE, IT ENCOURAGED ME TO RIDE. So i now have a new white DL650, just done 200 mile to the coast and back "faultless". I have some mates with sportsbikes CBR, ZX6R, 996 who i go to IOM with every year, one of my mates told me that "its not as nice to look at as your Z750" to which i replied "i tend to agree with you 100%, however ride the DL and everything makes sense!" His reply was "bikes are not made to make sense they are just toys" not sure he will be saying that at Heysham next year when his back is broke AGAIN, like every year we have been going to IOM, "change the record kid buy a DL" My only problem is that i feel that i now have the bike to do some mega miles, the IOM is no way near far enough, maybe i should ask alleycat1966 if me and my DL can tag along to Morocco?
I would like to start by saying I have owned many bikes over the years ranging from Gt380's through BT1100 Bulldogs to Fazers and Thundercats and even an F650 BMW in fact all manner of bikes and I wish I would have been able to buy one of these years ago......here is my story: I Went out 6 weeks ago with the intention of buying a DL1000 VStrom (and let me tell you I was not going to settle for anything less). I popped into my local friendly Suzuki dealer he said "we don't have a 1000 in stock, have you tried the new model 650" I replied "not powerful enough for me Guv" he said "You might be surprised" So gear on, licence shown then out on the shiny 2012 plate in orange. What a bike best riding position, not too tall and quick off the mark. Like Victor Kiam said "I liked it so much I bought the company". Well not quite but on my return I did buy the demonstrator that I had just been out on with 70 miles on the clock for well under list and cash back price. I picked the bike up on a sunny Sunday at the beginning of June and set off for a trip across from Swansea to Bristol, to try and chip away at the 600 miles before first service. I popped home first to raise the adjustable screen onto the top setting this was ideal I am 6ft and I get no wind blast or buffeting. Off I set, max 5k revs for the first 600 miles this equates to about 70-75mph indicated, so not too uncomfortable on the motorway. I arrived in Bristol and checked the fuel consumption via the on-board computer....67mpg wow I thought with a 4.4 gallon tank that equates to well over 250 miles between fill ups. Same again on my return over the Severn Bridge mid 60's to the gallon, on the way back I ventured off the motorway and onto the A48 through the twisties, this bike flicks through the corners and always manages to put a big grin on my face. After all the crap weather we have had recently and a week in Turkey it had taken me 6 weeks to do the 600 miles, so this weekend just gone in it went for first service £39 lighter and it was up to 7.5k revs max for the next 400 miles, this equates to around 105 mph indicated (private track honest officer) I have a friend who has owned the Versys and he raved in a similar way about that. Goodies include a gear indicator, ambient temp and twin trip recorders and a very comfortable seat. If you are reading this then take my advice put the sports bike in the corner of the garage and go and buy one of these wonderful underestimated machines. I am already planning a trip to Morocco next year.
Done 900 miles so far and already I cannot believe how confident this bike is in all situations. Suzuki appears to have listened carefully to owners of the previous model and come up with a really well sorted bike. I have to agree with Daveanddian that the main beam warning light is a bit distracting at night, but I got used to it quite quickly and It doesn't bother me too much now. Many people mourn the demise of the DL1000, but in the days of rocketing fuel prices the 650 is hard to fault. Before getting this bike I had considered the Triumph 800 Tiger, but decided that the DL650 was all the bike I needed for general use and probably cheaper to run. There is no doubt that the Tiger is superior in power but the V-Strom is no slouch and sips the expensive stuff more lightly whilst not being too far behind. Well done Suzuki.
ok i reviewed this bike when i had only 111 miles on clock, she is now run in and 1700 miles on clock. right i will stat of with the bad points. sorry point. the blue main beam dash light is to bright, right the good points, all of it, the bike is a pleasure to drive, from small journeys to long ones, the gear box smooth, handleing superb round town on motorway or hard round corners she stays where you want her to stay, clocks easy to read day or night with adjustable dash lights. 400 miles done in one day, comfortable, ok bum going a bit numb after 300 miles. full tank got me well over 200 miles (riding senseible) hardly any bufferting on the motorway. top speed so far 120mph sorry i meant 70mph (legal speed of course :-) ) front wheel goes a bit light at top end. sits nicely at 80/90 on motorway. my advice buy one great fun.
I had an older V-Strom. Great bike, but I just couldn't look back at it when I parked it in the garage! I loved that motor too. I tried a variety of other bikes (I've had 12) and then took the 2012 V-Strom for a ride. Well, that was it - the only bike I have ever bought two of. I can even look at it without half closing my eyes! Smooth, fast enough for me, comfortable, decent comprehensive clocks, standard ABS, smart finish and good value even fully kitted. I could afford a more expensive bike, but frankly this does all I want of a motor cycle and it is one of the very few I have owned that I keep finding excuses to take out for yet another ride. Why didn't I buy British? The Triumph I owned is the only new bike of all 12 I have had that broke down - and personally I don't think the Tiger is £1,500 better - but I suspect a lot of people will disagree! Now I must go for a ride!
today i picked up my new 2012 version v strom 650cc. £7000.00. is it worth the money??? yes it is, although im still running her in, the bike in my opinion is awesome, comfortable, engine seems good at the moment, you can feel her wanting to just just go, only down side i see is all the gadgets and gizmos are extra, but for the price what do you expect i suppose, the digital speedo is clear and easy to read in the day or night. once run in will post more. as only done 111 miles at the moment.