SAT. Sport Adventure Tourer is how Suzuki describes the V- Strom. Though the last letter of the acronym, the Tourer, than on the first two is what makes it extremely interesting.
This bike can let you sit at a hundred and thirty kays as if you’re sitting in your TV room watching your favourite sitcom while the engine purrs away at a tame but potent 4000 rpm in 6th gear, potent since that happens to be its peak torque. Nothing touches it in comfort, stability and controllability if you want to cover long distances on 2-wheels, of course with the qualifier ‘at that price’ always hovering around. But when and where is it ever so that this qualifier doesn’t exist? This bike is for munching miles on tarmac, day in and day out with none of the fun and sizzle diminishing with the passage of time.
Strom here means ‘a stream of wind’ in German by the way! And this is a vast improvement over the older DL 1000 that came up as one of the original dual-sport bikes way back in 2002. And apart from the purpose and the basic engine configuration, almost nothing is the same between the two siblings spanning a decade.
A stream of wind at high speeds though turn more academic when considered with a bike built for covering long distances with laconic ease, complete reliability and great comfort for the rider and pillion alike.
Wind protection, even with that three-step adjustable wind shield (adjustable for angle just by a push or a pull and for height by using the tool kit) set at the tallest borders on the acceptable, the air flow deflected over the screen hitting the top of the rider’s helmet and so inducing buffeting at speeds beyond 130-140 kmph. Touring and the racers tuck-in don’t go together!
The V-Strom is tall and there’s no denying that. But it is not really as tall as it looks in photos or even in flesh. The reason lies in the low seat height (at 850mm), about 2 ½ inches taller than the Karizma with a very narrow seat width where it merges with the fuel tank thus allowing even short legged riders to tippy toe around on it.
Walk up to the bike and even though it looks like a big handful, swinging a leg over the saddle and hefting it upright takes away some part of the ‘size intimidation’. Heft upright because the side stand (sadly there’s no centre stand) inclines the bike to quite an angle away from the vertical and getting 200+ kilos back upright needs all the leverage those wide steel handlebars provide.
The twin-spar aluminium frame is torsionally rigid and also light making the V-Strom sure footed. The wheel base is relatively long at 1555 mm but the tighter rake and trail make for a very flickable bike, a very potent urban machine though this ease of manoeuvrability in no way comes at a cost of straight line stability so vital for a long distance tourer.
The Suzuki DL 1000 V-Strom might not be a veritable storm on the road but it is a great machine, both for daily urban use and mile munching on the high road. Quick, comfortable, reliable, undemanding and modern in every sense of the word, the V-Strom is not just great value for money but also a great bike to own and ride.
It might not be the most powerful motorcycle in the Adventure segment, but it does promise reliability, comfort and ease of ownership.