Suzuki V-Strom 650XT Review
Bike Tested: Suzuki V-Strom 650XT; Road Test No. 1008; Test Location: Jaipur
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 8,63,650/- (Accessory Kit: Rs. 77,000/-)
V in V-Strom stands for the V-Twin engine configuration while Strom is used to represent immense current or power
Suzuki got the V-Strom 1000 a few years back as everyone was getting adventure class motorcycles. This year, Suzuki had some different plans with the launch of not one but two middle-weight motorcycles. The GSX-S750 was introduced early this year but Suzuki wanted a piece of a pie from the adventure category too. Make way for the Suzuki V-Strom 650XT. An adventure-sports-tourer as Suzuki calls it, it is the latest kid on the block which makes its way into the middle-weight segment for India. We rode the V-Strom in and around Jaipur last week and to be honest, it literally has no competition for what it’s actually worth.
Motor Quest: The first Suzuki V-Strom 650 (also known as the DL650) was launched in 2004. It had an aluminium chassis and fuel injection right from the start. The second generation came in 2011 with a few more updates to match the competition. The latest iteration to the V-Strom 650 came in 2017 and we got the 650XT variant for India in the second half of 2018. Made in Japan at the Suzuki Toyokawa plant, the V-Strom 650XT comes to India via the CKD route.
Styling – With a first look anyone will be able to make out that the V-Strom is a definite adventure motorcycle. With its long-travel suspension, fixed semi-fairing which has a beak and a tall wind visor. A huge tank along that semi-fairing which leads up to a long and wide seat for the rider as well as pillion. Long and sturdy grab rails with a metal base to mount a top-box. Vertically stacked twin headlamp at the front which may look uncanny but gets the job done, it lights up the road pretty well. The V-Strom also get a stubby exhaust which has a chrome tip, only part of chrome seen on the motorcycle. The monoshock is a linkage unit and hence even with extra space under the seat, it’s not easily visible.
Knuckle guards, belly pan and the spoked-alloy rims are the additions to the regular 650 for the XT variant
As we were riding the V-Strom with all the accessories, the bike looked even more appealing. The accessory kit includes a dresser bar (better known as the crash guard), main stand, aluminium chain cover and a top-box which has a capacity of 55-litres. The wind visor by far has the best design of all the adventure bikes and it’s adjustable too. But one would need a pair of allen keys to adjust them. The Suzuki V-Strom 650XT is available in two colour variants – the yellow which was our test model and a black and white scheme (this gets silver spokes on the rims).
Instrument Cluster and Switchgear – The Suzuki V-Strom 650 gets an analogue-digital unit which has the tachometer in analogue while everything else is digital. There are dual-spilt digital screens surrounded by tell-tale lights. The top screen shows the speed with the gear position indicator while the second screen displays everything from a clock, ambient temperature, engine temperature, traction level and a fuel gauge. It also displays live fuel consumption, total fuel consumption, distance to empty, twin trip meters and an odometer. It might not look the best but has tons of information.
You need to let off the throttle to get the traction engaged to a particular mode
The switchgear quality is just brilliant too. The right side contains the kill-switch, starter button and a hazard light switch. While the left one contains a horn button, indicator switch, high-low switch and a set of toggle keys. The toggle keys help to go through the various trip meters and other details but they also help to change the traction level. You can actually change the traction control on the fly. The V-Strom also gets adjustable brake lever but misses out on an adjustable clutch lever.