Suzuki DL1050 adventure bike: the perfect Strom – News
Modern adventure motorcycles have a problem – at least those over 1000cc in displacement. With the constant advancement of technology and a strange power battle in a class where that very power becomes a handicap once you point your wheels over adventurous terrain, these bikes have become less and less accessible for the average rider.
Despite this, the Suzuki V-Strom has stayed the course by offering an incredibly affordable package that also gives riders a performance option in the “ride anywhere” adventure touring market.
How did Suzuki manage to keep the bike so accessible with a current retail price of $ 18,999 when even direct Japanese competitors have soared to over $ 25,000, while offering similar benefits to the rider?
The key to the affordability of the V-Strom 1050 is that throughout the motorcycle’s long development path, Suzuki has chosen evolution over revolution.
First released in 2002 as the DL1000, the V-Strom still uses the same basic architecture. The rolling stock remains in user-friendly 19/17 inches, while the engine has grown and the chassis has been modified slightly over the years.
This helped cut costs by building on the already well-designed aluminum double-spar frame and V-twin engine platform that the bike originally debuted with. Suzuki gradually developed the V-Strom and changed its personality from a decent road-focused tourer to a bike that can take any road you point it at.
The engine, a 1037cc 90-degree V-twin producing 79 kW, dates back to the 996cc V-twin of the TL1000 superbike. However, while the TL had a reputation for being a bit of a handful, the DL1050 has long tamed the mighty 90-degree V-twin with refinements including larger displacement, electric throttle, revised cams, and Suzuki’s handy slip clutch. system.
With the most recent evolution of the large V-Strom breaking hood in 2020, the V-Strom 1050 exclusively sports styling derived from Suzuki’s 1980s Dakar racing DR-BIG, with the smaller DL650 model keeping the same design than the previous DL1000. With the switch to the new aesthetic, new LED lighting and revised pilot ergonomics for more comfort.
Part of the reason liter class machines have become so expensive is the high level of technology used. Contrary to a common trend, Suzuki opted for an LCD dashboard rather than a more expensive and flashy TFT screen to provide the rider with crucial information on a daily basis.
While the previous V-Strom was somewhat lacking in modern technology, Suzuki’s flagship adventurer now uses the latest much-needed driver assistance technology. That means cornering ABS, multi-level traction control, Hill Hold Control and, of course, cruise control are all now standard features.
Keeping the DL1050’s head and shoulders above its smaller capacity stable mate is a much better suspension. While the DL650 makes do with a conventional fork, the DL1050 features a 43mm KYB unit with adjustable spring preload and compression / rebound damping that allows the suspension to be tuned for a variety of conditions. The rear suspension can also be adjusted for rebound damping while the spring preload can be adjusted simply by turning a manual dial.
While the newer is a better crowd rail against the V-Strom for its long-life chassis and drivetrain, these are actually strengths in a class where big miles are driven daily.
After nearly two decades of development, future V-Strom owners are getting something that many other buyers in the class can only dream of, and it’s proven reliability. With the ancestors of the DL1050 easily racking up over 100,000 miles of trouble-free driving, the V-Strom 1050 has impressive credentials when it comes to this all-important reliability factor.