Delving into motorbiking, it’s impossible not to come across many reviews and comparisons. However, when it comes to comprehensive evaluations that cater to both newbies and seasoned riders, the Suzuki DL650 V-Strom Review stands out.
The V-Strom has made its mark by harnessing the essence of a well-rounded street bike. But how does it fare against its contemporaries, and what truly sets it apart? Join us as we embark on a journey to unravel the layers of this iconic machine, drawing comparisons, analyzing features, and understanding the very soul of the V-Strom.
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Suzuki DL650 V-Strom Review: An Owner’s Perspective
Strengths of the Suzuki DL650 V-Strom:
- Motor Performance: This machine’s engine is incredibly smooth, arguably smoother than rivals like the Kawasaki Versys 650 and the Honda CB500X. It stands out with strong power in the low to mid-range and decent performance on the higher end. When cruising at an indicated 100 km/h, it effortlessly hums at 4600 rpm in 6th gear, ensuring a calm and relaxed riding experience. Fuel injection is also present, with the overall fueling impressive, though there might be minor surging at constant low speeds.
- Reliability & Comfort: Over 11 years, with a modest 32,000 km on it, it has proven to be a reliable companion. Maintenance is straightforward, and for most parts, issues are rare. It remains fairly comfortable even during the occasional long rides exceeding 750 km a day. Though, one might feel a slight discomfort towards the day’s end.
- Versatility: Whether it’s a street ride or an adventure on back roads with rough pavements, it emerges as a versatile choice. It doesn’t match a pure sport bike’s agility on smooth surfaces nor replicate the complete prowess of a dedicated dual sport bike, but its adaptability is its strength. It thrives when the roads aren’t perfect, thanks to its suspension tailored for such conditions.
- Design & Build: While some may not be fans of its aesthetic, especially when compared to its 2017+ counterpart, its fit and finish exude quality. It manages to strike a balance between function and style.
Areas for Improvement:
- Weight Distribution & Seat Height: One of the common observations is its top-heavy feel when fully fueled, especially when lifting it from the side stand. However, this sensation dissipates once it’s in motion. The seat height of around 32 inches might be challenging for some, especially given its width, making it hard to place feet firmly on the ground.
- Windscreen Design: While the windscreen serves its purpose on quieter roads, it tends to fall short in turbulent conditions, like trailing behind a large vehicle on a main highway. The windscreen’s forward placement could be the issue here.
Longevity & Maintenance:
On the longevity front, the bike impresses. Maintenance is simple, and it doesn’t demand frequent interventions. Even after a substantial 25,000 km, only a minor adjustment was needed in the front exhaust valve. The battery gave a solid eight years before showing signs of weakening. Tires are dependable, with replacements being an infrequent affair.
It’s built for touring, evident from its large 22-litre fuel tank, low fuel consumption, reasonably comfortable wide seat, ample weather protection, and upright riding posture. Add a standard luggage rack to that mix, and it’s clear that Suzuki had long rides in mind. There are also plenty of factory and aftermarket accessories to enhance its capabilities further.
In wrapping up this Suzuki DL650 V-Strom review, it becomes clear that this machine, while not the best in any category, offers a balanced and reliable riding experience. Whether touring, commuting, or venturing on less traveled paths, it promises to be a trusty companion.
Suzuki DL650 V-Strom Review: A Detailed Comparison
Alternatives to Consider
When one evaluates the Suzuki DL650 V-Strom, they quickly discover a limited number of contenders that closely match its price range. The Honda NC750X, Honda CB500X, and the Kawasaki Versys 650 are among them. Some might even cast an eye towards the Kawasaki KLR650, although it’s fair to state that it’s a bit distinct, primarily leaning into the heavy dual-sport category. Each of these machines offers unique benefits contingent upon individual preferences. They had the privilege of test-riding models like the NC700X, NC750S, CB500F, two generations of the Versys 650, and even a 2008 KLR650.
The Honda NC750X, for instance, has certain appealing aspects. However, they find the latter more invigorating when juxtaposing its engine with the V-Strom’s. The NC750X’s engine, albeit impeccably smooth, leans more towards the laid-back side. The under-seat fuel cap, while innovative, makes luggage placement on the passenger seat quite challenging. Yet, its build quality and finish are commendable, complete with a 17-inch front wheel and an available center stand.
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Analyzing the CB500X and Versys 650
The CB500X, weighing about 19 kg less than the V-Strom, exudes charm. But its engine shows noticeable buzzing over 6000 rpm, even though it operates seamlessly below that. It lacks some of the power exhibited by the V-Strom and the Versys 650, particularly for two riders. But for solo expeditions, the administration seems quite sufficient. The affordability factor makes it even more tempting. In recent iterations, it offers a 19-inch front wheel, though older models come with a 17-inch wheel. Honda also provides a center stand for it.
Now, the Versys 650 does captivate with its all-inclusive hard bags. But there’s a catch – the absence of a center stand, though aftermarket options might be accessible. The presence of a 17-inch front wheel and high vibrations, which are palpable in various parts like grips, foot pegs, and seat, somehow diminish its appeal. Though it evens at higher velocities, the throttle’s abruptness at lower speeds is another detractor.
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The KLR650’s Unique Spot
Discussing the KLR650, it’s evident that it’s more aligned with off-road terrains than the V-Strom. While the V-Strom unmistakably identifies as a street bike, the KLR650 is rugged, though less sophisticated and less potent. Yet, it’s cost-effective. It’s designed for enduring long journeys and can tackle diverse terrains. With 21-inch spoked wheels in the front, it offers a distinct edge. Interestingly, later versions of the V-Strom XT model introduced spoked wheels, though the foundational model stuck with cast wheels.
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Final Take on the V-Strom 650
Conclusively, the V-Strom 650 has carved its niche as an exemplary street bike. Its prowess for long-distance comfort and impressive handling, especially on curvy back roads, is commendable. The engine is robust and adapts to most ride scenarios. Embodying versatility and dependability, it’s undoubtedly among the superior bikes one could own. They bid farewell to theirs in 2016, having ridden it for about 32,000 km. With its past performance and current enhancements, would they vouch for it? Without a second thought, yes!