MCN Fleet: V-Strom 650 XT - Your questions answered

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Having covered just over 8,000 miles on Suzuki’s V Strom 650 XT since April, I thought it was about time I answered a number of your questions! Here are just some of the questions I’ve been sent on our social channels over the last few months… if you’ve got one of your own get in touch with me at

What’s your verdict on two up and is it any good for off tarmac?

Joey Gill

It’s quite comfortable two up, adjustable preload on the rear via a knob helps. I’ve not done as much as I’d like off road, but on the small bit of greenlining I have done it’s been adequate for my basic needs!

What are the perks of this over the 1000?

Jamie Kingaby

Our Deputy Editor has just got a V-Strom 1000 XT for winter, we had them together the other week and aside from the engine the bikes are pretty much identical – I wouldn’t even say the 1000 is much bigger. I’ve not had chance to ride it yet, but the 1000 is heavier and I’ve heard the 650 handles better because of that. It’s also a good bit cheaper!

I ride through winter, is it showing any signs of rust from the salt on the roads?

Malcolm Clough 

I’ve been quite impressed with how well the V-Strom has held up in the winter. After the recent cold snaps some bits of rust has appeared in the centre of the brake discs and a little underneath the exhaust. It’s only a little though, the bike got a good coating of ACF-50 at the start of winter. 

I have mostly ridden cruisers, would this be a good idea for a second bike?

Rodney Myers

It depends what you are looking for! If you want something comfortable and practical while still able to be quite fun, this would be a great second bike.

What’s the tank range?

Wayne Coleman 

The tank range is about 200 miles, if you ride really economically you can get a bit more out of it. Suzuki say it’s a 20-litre tank but I’ve ran it pretty dry before and never been able to get more than 18.5 litres in it. 

How much are minor and major services and at what intervals?

The bike has not long had its 7500 service and that cost just under £300. It next goes in at 15k, if I get there by March, so the intervals are quite lengthy!  

Oli Rushby

By Oli Rushby

Former sports reporter covering British Superbikes, World Superbikes and road racing