Cologne Show: Suzuki’s new V-Strom 650

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• 645cc liquid-cooled V-twin
• 68bhp / 44lbft
• Wire wheels
• V-Strom 1000 style ‘Beak’
• Optional hard luggage

The massively popular V-Strom 650 has been a real gem in the Suzuki range over the last decade, and 2015 sees it get a decent raft of updates to make it even more relevant for riders looking to cross continents, with the massive millstone of a large capacity adventure bike.

Intended to be versatile, comfortable, and unintimidating, this new XT model will sit alongside the existing V-Strom 650 (at least for the short term), and will offer owners wire-spoked aluminium wheels, more adventurous styling and wider range of adventure-orientated accessories.

The 650XT inherits the lightweight and rigid aluminium twin-spar frame and swingarm of the current model. By replacing the cast aluminium wheels with wire-spoked items the chassis absorption is increased at low speed. The newly designed rims – manufactured by DID – are designed to be mated with tubeless tyres in sizes 110/80 R19 front, and 150/70 R17 rear.

The new front ‘beak’ harks back to the Gaston Rahier’s Paris-Dakar rally DR-Z, and the DR-BIG production bike that followed it, and also means the 650 and 1000 share a face. In completely stock trim the new XT looks a little unfinished, but with the new hard panniers, crash bars, adjustable screen and other adventure must-haves, the new bike looks every bit the global adventurer.

Prices have not been confirmed, but we expect the XT to start at around £7000.