SUZUKI V-STROM 800DE (2023 - on) Review

Highlights

  • New 776cc parallel-twin engine
  • Gravel mode and switchable ABS added for off roading
  • 21-inch front and spoked rims as standard

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Annual servicing cost: £190
Power: 83 bhp
Seat height: Tall (33.7 in / 855 mm)
Weight: Medium (507 lbs / 230 kg)

Prices

New £10,655
Used £7,900 - £9,500

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
4 out of 5 (4/5)

The Suzuki V-Strom 800 DE adventure bike is bloody hard not to like - and it’s not like I haven’t tried. As a fan of V-twins – and particularly Suzuki’s 650 – I was ready to be up in arms that yet another model was bowing to economic pressure and drinking the parallel-twin Kool-Aid.

But far from being an exercise in frugality over substance, the new V-Strom is fun, solid, easy to ride, well-suspended and nicely finished, too.

It’s also very, very comfortable, thanks to a combination of well-thought-out ergonomics, a seat you can sit in all day for days at a time – supposedly tested by its designer at his office desk – and a silky-smooth engine.

2023 Suzuki V-Strom 800 DE off road

Add to that a sublime quickshifter, thoroughly capable suspension and a 20-litre fuel tank and you’ve got a finished bike that could set off around the world at a moment’s notice… as long as you did it mostly by road or dry gravel.

Adventure bikes are, by their very nature, a compromise and they always will be. So what Suzuki have achieved with the V-Strom 800 DE very impressive indeed. It’s both more capable off road than the 650 that went before it - but if anything it’s also a better road bike.

Doubtless it would come unstuck rather quickly on a boggy November green lane in Cambridgeshire, but that’s not what it’s for. If you ride 80% of the time on the road but enjoy a gravel trail from time to time on a tour or a sunny Sunday afternoon, the V-Strom should go straight on your maybe pile.

See the Suzuki V-Strom 800 DE in action in our video review here:

Ride quality & brakes

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

Suzuki say they didn’t set out to build the lightest or the most powerful motorcycle with the V-Strom 800 DE and they’ve certainly ticked that task off their to-do list. That said, the 230kg claimed weight is wet including a full 20-litre fuel tank. And once you’ve got moving, the bike doesn’t feel any heavier than a Yamaha Ténéré 700 or similar.

The only times you truly notice the weight are if you’re pushing it around or you’ve slipped the wrong side of your talent/ambition curve. Barrelling into a loose gravel hairpin with a few too many mph on the dash, you feel every single one of those kilos.

The funny thing is that despite all the effort Suzuki have gone to making the DE perform off road, what’s truly impressive is how it conducts itself on the road. Some 21-inch front wheel bikes suffer from wheel flop, where the front wheel digs in at lean and tries to push you out of the corner. But the V-Strom handles like a bike with a smaller front hoop.

2023 Suzuki V-Strom 800 DE left turn

You get out what you put in from the Dunlop Mixtour tyres and fast direction changes require rough and ready steering inputs. But once you get used to it, you can stuff it into corners pretty much like a road bike.

And because the suspension is so good, you don’t get a lot of fork dive on the brakes either - something the Ténéré is guilty of. There’s plenty of braking power, though, and the rear brake is strong but progressive, which is handy off road in particular.

Engine

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

Far from being a sticking point for me as a V-twin lover, this 776cc parallel twin -  shared with Suzuki’s equally new and tongue twisting GSX-8S – is one of the bike’s best selling points.

The 270-degree crank gives an engine character so convincing that it’s difficult to discern from the real thing. It pulls from low down and runs out of breath at the top, just like the old 650. It even sounds the same (ish). And as if to sweeten the deal for any remaining naysayers, you get an extra 10bhp, too.

But the most impressive thing is how smooth it is. You feel almost nothing through the bars and pegs most of the time. When vibrations do make it through (there’s a particularly persistent one at just over 5500rpm) they are intrusive and if this is something that bothers you on bikes it will likely be annoying. Especially as 5500rpm is right around motorway speed in top gear.

2023 Suzuki V-Strom 800 DE engine

Everywhere else in the rev range, however, the engine is almost eerily smooth. This is down to twin balance shafts, which sit 90-degrees apart – one in front of and one beneath the crank.

All of that rotating mass does prevent the engine from spinning up very quickly and there’s very little engine braking either and I found myself either using a gear lower for tight corners or trailing the rear brake as a result.

The DE’s got enough poke to comfortably break any speed limit you like on the road for extended periods of time, but its 83bhp is still gentlemanly enough to manage off road.

2023 Suzuki V-Strom 800 DE tight turn on gravel

This is especially true thanks to the bike’s new gravel mode, which allows just enough freedom to spin the rear on loose ground without losing it entirely. The intervention is so subtle, you can fool yourself into believing it’s all skill – which in my case it most definitely is not.

I stuck the throttle in its most responsive A mode for the entire test as that seemed to suit my riding style the best. You can feel the difference in B and C mode but because A is so easy to get on with, I didn’t feel the need.

Traction control has three levels of sensitivity plus the aforementioned gravel mode or off completely but there’s not enough power on hand to need to worry about it on the road.

2023 Suzuki V-Strom 800 DE right turn

Reliability & build quality

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

As a brand-spanking new model for 2023 it’s tricky to know how reliable the V-Strom 800 DE will be. But the build quality seems good. The finish is strong, the plastics seem we’ll made and the panel gaps are all true.

The finish on the silver handle bar used on this yellow DR Big-aping paintjob leaves a little to be desired and would look right at home in the ‘90s. But it’s just a cosmetic issue and would be easily remedied with a set of aftermarket Renthals.

A few bikes were dropped in the off road sections of the launch and from what I saw, they wore it well, with minimal damage.

2023 Suzuki V-Strom 800 DE tank

Value vs rivals

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

Suzuki have garnered a reputation for thrift over the years – and sometimes at the expense of quality. And if that usually puts you off then you’ll be pleased to hear the new V-Strom is reassuringly expensive.

£10,655 OTR is £550 more than a base spec Yamaha Ténéré 700, which now gets a TFT dash and three-way switchable ABS. The Yamaha is slightly down on power compared to the V-Strom, though, and you don’t get gravel mode or a quickshifter. The Yamaha is definitely more at home off road than the Suzuki but the V-Strom is more comfortable and capable on the tarmac by some way.

A base model KTM 890 Adventure (which is closer in spirit to the V-Strom than the top spec R model) costs £1500 more.

2023 Suzuki V-Strom 800 DE right side

But the real thorn in the Suzuki’s side will likely be the five star-rated 2023 Honda Transalp, which looks on paper to be an incredibly direct competitor with a similar on/off road ratio and even similarly nostalgic styling but over £1000 cheaper.

Equipment

4 out of 5 (4/5)

The Suzuki V-Strom 800 DE’s spec level is impressive. Unlike some of its competitors, you get all the toys and gizmos for the asking price. This includes the spoked rims (tubed), adjustable throttle, traction control and ABS modes, TFT dash and handguards are all included.

Suzuki offer a full set of aluminium luggage – a much more serious offering than the plastic commuter kit available for the old 650 – and you can of course empty your bank account into the accessory parts catalogue if you wish.

High and low seat options are available plus engine bars, Baja lights, navigation brackets, sidestand lilly pads and all the other stuff you would expect.

2023 Suzuki V-Strom 800 DE dash

Specs

Engine size 776cc
Engine type 4-stroke, parallel-twin, liquid cooled, DOHC
Frame type Steel tube, removable subframe
Fuel capacity 20 litres
Seat height 855mm
Bike weight 230kg
Front suspension Showa adjustable USD fork – 220mm
Rear suspension Single shock, preload adjustable – 220mm
Front brake 2 x 310mm petal discs with Nissin calipers
Rear brake 260mm disc with switchable ABS
Front tyre size 90/90 x 21 tubed
Rear tyre size 150/70 x 17 tubed

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 64 mpg
Annual road tax £117
Annual service cost £190
New price £10,655
Used price £7,900 - £9,500
Insurance group -
How much to insure?
Warranty term Three years

Top speed & performance

Max power 83 bhp
Max torque 57.5 ft-lb
Top speed -
1/4 mile acceleration -
Tank range 280 miles

Model history & versions

Model history

New model for 2023.

Other versions

None.

Owners' reviews for the SUZUKI V-STROM 800DE (2023 - on)

3 owners have reviewed their SUZUKI V-STROM 800DE (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 V-STROM 800DE (2023 - on)

Summary of owners' reviews

Overall rating: 4.7 out of 5 (4.7/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4.3 out of 5 (4.3/5)
Engine: 4.7 out of 5 (4.7/5)
Reliability & build quality: 5 out of 5 (5/5)
Value vs rivals: 4.3 out of 5 (4.3/5)
Equipment: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Annual servicing cost: £190
5 out of 5 1500 miles in.
28 May 2024 by Brownie

Year: 2024

Annual servicing cost: £190

I am made up with my purchase. If there is one thing that bugs me a little, it is the three colour options. Not mad on any of them really. Otherwise, it is an awesome bike and I highly recommend trying one. Went for the Blue and Yellow. Warrington Wolves colours.

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

Brakes could be a fraction more aggressive for me. Ride quality is excellent.

Engine 5 out of 5

Lots of torque exactly where you need it. I felt the 5500 rpm vibrations on my test ride, but struggle to notice them on my bike 1500 miles in. Just got back from 4 days in Scotland and it was able to keep the pace of three 1200's from three different companies. It is fantastic.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

So far so good and 7 years warranty if serviced with Suzuki. Peace of mind.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5

I would have appreciated cruise control on the long motorway sections.

Buying experience: Got a great deal. £8500 for a pre-registered one. Only two weeks prior. Got the RE screen thrown in for free too. Bargain.

5 out of 5 Excellent all-rounder that needs some tweeks to reach potential
07 May 2024 by Duffers McDuff

Year: 2023

Better than the spec sheet would suggest. Deals availablr the brings it side by side with the Transalp, with more features and better suspension.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

Excellent comfort and ride quality. Great Ergos too. You could easily ride this all day and I have.

Engine 5 out of 5

I love this engine. Had the 650 before which had the excellent V-Twin and this feels just as good, with a bit more punch. The low down torque and tractorbility, particularly off road are smooth. Its not a high revving beast but plenty of smooth power in the low and mid range make it a fun bike to ride

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

So far no corrosion and seems very well built.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

Its good on fuel and acheives the claimed mileage. Service intervals are a little shorter than some competitors

Equipment 4 out of 5

The included quick shifter is the standout feature. The Dunlops are fine for the road and light gravel but you would really unlock this bikes potential with some 50/50s.The adjustable suspension is plush if a little softly sprung the for Western Europe and the US.

4 out of 5 Another Great VStrom!
25 October 2023 by Ukiboy

Version: 800DE

Year: 2023

Best feature is the all round versatility Worst feature is lack of tubeless tyres I would definitely recommend the 800 Vstrom

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

No problems, all performs as it should.

Engine 4 out of 5

Lovely engine, enough poke throughout the rev range, peppy in the midrange and has enough character to keep me happy.

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

No issues so far. I’ve done 2200 miles in 3 months of ownership. Use it to commute in all weathers and it still comes up great after washing it - no corrosion or rust anywhere.

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

Only had the 1st service so far… Fuel economy is good - between 50 to 62mpg depending on usage.

Equipment 4 out of 5

Quick shifter, radiator guard and hand guards as standard, all good. Standard screen not very good but the Suzuki touring screen works well and is cheap.

Buying experience: Very good deal from my local Suzuki dealer Waltham Cross Motorcycles. No trouble getting test rides and then was offered a fantastic part ex on my old bike. Buying experience was fault free.

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