2012 Suzuki V-Strom 650 ABS
Operation Desert Strom is a Go...
BMW MAY HAVE REDISCOVERED THE “adventure bike” in the modern era, but Suzuki was right there in 2002 with the V-Strom 1000, which was followed by the 650 a year later. For 2012, Suzuki is at it again with a highly restyled version of the popular 650, complete with a more powerful and fuel-efficient engine. A new fuel tank, seat and body panels are designed with long-distance comfort and style in mind, while the bike’s fairing is said to provide increased wind protection and better engine-heat management. At 32.9 inches, the seat’s about 15mm higher than the existing bike’s, but 20mm-higher and -lower seats are options. The new plastic rack and grab rails are designed to work with accessory hard luggage, though our American Suzuki PR person says he has no info as to its availability.
In the engine bay, new cams and bigger valves are said to produce more lowand midrange power, along with more top end, and a new crank with scissors-type primary gear smoothes delivery. A new closed-loop injection system with 32-bit processor metes out fuel 10 percent more efficiently than before, says Suzuki.
Up front, you get a 19-inch wheel stroking through 5.9 inches of travel; out back, a 17-incher with 6.3 inches—both of them part of a package Suzuki says weighs 472 pounds ready to roll, about 10 pounds heftier than the new Triumph Tiger 800XC and BMW F800GS. The place we hope the new V-Strom will be substantially lighter than those bikes is the price-tag department; the 2011 model (also with standard ABS) retails for $8099. Look for a First Ride soon, then look for the bike to appear at your Suzuki dealer, in Metallic Fox Orange or Glass Sparkle Black, around mid-November.