Since passing my A licence, I have always wanted to ride a large adventure-style bike. Off-road style bikes often have high seat heights which make stopping tricky for the shorter-legged person. The Suzuki DL650 V-Strom is the perfect bike for dipping a toe into adventure bike riding. It’s low seat and manageable weight and power make it ideal for beginners.
I know some manufacturers do smaller seats to accommodate for this but didn’t feel like jumping in at the deep end with a huge bike and no confidence. It was by chance that I was at a test day, riding the new GSXR250 when I mentioned that I had not tested an adventure style bike before. Instantly I was ushered towards the 2017 DL650. I was told to sit on it and check it out for size.
It wasn’t too bad, and I was still tippy-toeing it which wasn’t very comfortable with such a weighty bike. I found the best course of action was just to put one foot down and lean the bike over slightly to be able to touch the floor.
The 2017 V-Strom DL650 is the smaller brother of the DL1000. The 650 takes direct aim at some of the other smaller CC adventure/tourer bikes. The V-Strom has been around since 2004, Suzuki claims they have sold over 230,000 DL’s worldwide. It is easy to see why.
New 2017 DL650 V-Strom updates the already fantastic platform.
The 2017 model comes with adjustable rider modes, traction control and ABS as standard and a wide range of accessories are available from added bars and protection to huge panniers.
The 650 version uses the hugely successful V-twin engine from the Gladius, which in turn comes from the SV650. Compared to the gladius and the SV, the gearing is better, and it has more torque.
The 645cc V-twin engine meets the Euro4 requirement, after some clever engineering also boosting peak power compared to the outgoing engine.
Despite being nervous about not being able to touch the floor, I headed out into Cheshire. Riding it through town was a delight, the torquey engine, made it a joy to navigate the streets to get to the open roads and sweeping corners.
For shorties like me, touching the floor may be an issue.
The steering was light and precise with plenty of steering lock, perfect for filtering through rush hour traffic. Addition of the low RPM assist system which helps prevent stalling when pulling off. The bike automatically raises the idle speed slightly. The system works well and takes some pressure off the throttle hand.
I didn’t know what to expect in terms of handling having never been on this style of bike before. People seem to throw adventure bikes around, making it look natural. I started out taking it pretty easy and just enjoying the scenery. Pretty soon though, confidence levels were building, and I was enjoying myself more and more. Throwing a giant adventure bike around through twisty corners, but it blew my mind. The upright riding position gives excellent control on the bars allowing you to lean it into the corner. The seating position is great, and the seat itself will enable you to move around on it easily yet is still comfy on a long journey.
The main wow factor was that you could throw this bike around like it’s a sports bike. Except it’s a sports bike that is comfy and you can do the distance with. The only problem is that it doesn’t look like a conventional sports bike. I love how it looks, and I do have to admit I have a bit of a thing for wire-spoke wheels. They are a thing of beauty.
Everything about this bike is impressive
The tyres are nothing short of fantastic and the brakes likewise. The suspension felt good, quite soft on the road but that is what I would expect. The screen is large and gives very good protection from the wind blast, I found myself riding with my visor open, without a problem.
The DL650 V-Strom is a complete hooligan machine, and it’s only the 650! I would be quite happy to ride his bike for hours and hours without a problem. The next step for me is to have a go on 1000 after I enjoyed this that much.
- The roads are rubbish, but it’s still fun..right?British roads are terrible, ok correction, the British road surface are terrible. It would be wrong to call the actual roads themselves bad because we are privileged to have some absolute gems stashed around the UK. For me, the issues lie with the state of the tarmac and it seems to be getting worse every… Read More »The roads are rubbish, but it’s still fun..right?
- New Diablo Rosso 4 Corsa motorcycle tyre!Pirelli celebrates its 150th birthday, and as part, they are releasing a new line of one of their best selling and performing tyre groups; the Diablo Rosso. The new Diablo Rosso Corsa, sees a higher grip even faster road-focused tyre than the Diablo Rosso 4, using Bi-Compound construction on both front and rear tyres, with… Read More »New Diablo Rosso 4 Corsa motorcycle tyre!
- Is Yamaha working on a new sportsbike for 2022?Over the past few years, with the CV-19 pandemic and spiralling costs, firms want to get the most reward from R&D costs; at first, I thought it was to keep things simple, but it also makes excellent business sense. This process is not new, it’s been going on for decades, but it’s now even more… Read More »Is Yamaha working on a new sportsbike for 2022?
- BeMoto Insurance giving away Panigale V4S!Motorcycle insurance specialist BeMoto has announced the launch of the new BeLotto competition, to win a Ducati Panigale V4S complete with a full selection of other prizes totalling over £10,000, in this free to enter competition. BeMoto insurance are relatively new, starting in 2015, but with over 50 years of experience in the financial services… Read More »BeMoto Insurance giving away Panigale V4S!
- Ducati launches ‘Ducati Unica’ programDucati has launched a new program called ‘Ducati Unica’, allowing customers, to customise their Ducati directly with the designers at Centro Stile Ducati making completely bespoke Ducati or Scrambler models. Ducati tests new Moto E project! With the skilled hands of the designers at Centro Stile, Ducati customers can specify unique paint jobs, liveries with… Read More »Ducati launches ‘Ducati Unica’ program