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The new Suzuki Stroms a fresh tune


THE dual-purpose motorcycle market in South Africa has become a popular choice for many motorcyclists. The opportunity to ride various asphalts and tour our beautiful country, in comfort, has been a major draw card for many, who now purchase adventure bikes, which aren’t only phenomenal on the open road, but can tackle most gravel roads with ease.

And Suzuki is finally back in the large adventure motorcycle segment with its V-Strom 1000, after a six-year absence on the scene.

Granted, the Japanese manufacturer might be playing catch-up with the likes of BMW and KTM who both offer spectacular machines and dominate the market. But the new offering from Suzuki looks promising as the new generation V-Strom has lost some weight, looks leaner and is certainly more dynamic.

Powering the sleeker V-Strom is the all-new V-twin 1 033cc engine. Benefiting from a comprehensive redesign, the power delivery is smoother. Strangely though, Suzuki hasn’t followed other manufacturers who have opted for 1 200cc powertrains. However the benefit of a smaller engine allows for increased efficiency and reduced weight, along with a predictable power delivery.

Thanks to the redesign of the motor, Suzuki’s claiming a 16 percent improvement on fuel consumption over the previous 996cc V-twin engine. The new V-Strom delivers around 20.9km/litre.

In addition to the reworked powertrain, this new offering is the first Suzuki motorcycle to feature traction control (TC). Sure, Suzuki might be a bit slow on the uptake, but it’s a nifty piece of kit to have, boasting a three-way adjustable system - which allows the rider to adjust the setting to his/her preference depending on the riding conditions. In full TC mode, the system cuts off the power when it feels any slipping of the rear-wheel. On the second setting it allows for slightly more play, while the third setting turns the TC off completely and allows you to slide the rear wheel.

The system works well, but Suzuki does need to play catch-up with its competitors who seem to have mastered how traction control should work. That being said, the V-Strom also comes with ABS as standard. Unfortunately it can’t be turned off, which could become annoying, particularly on the dirt. Nevertheless, Suzuki isn’t shy to admit that this bike is more road-biased to begin with.

This is evident in its slim and streamlined design to give it a sporty appearance. The all-new chassis gives a nimble feel out on the road and its lightweight nature means throwing it through any twisties and the bike feels solid and composed as it rides on a 19-inch front wheel and a 17-inch rear.

Pricing was always going to be important and with a starting price of R134 750 for the all-new V-Strom 1000 Suzuki’s got a good thing going. This machine makes sense as a comfortable run-around or a good companion on the long hauls.

It might not be as good as some of its competitors, but for the package you get for such an aggressive price, it’s a good value-proposition that can’t be ignored.

The new Suzuki V-Strom 1000 comes with a two-year unlimited mileage warranty and goes on sale in June 2014.

Article written by Stuart Moir
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