When you think of adventure riding, you think of going big – big, as in big rides, big bikes and, unfortunately, big price tags. Figure you’ll pay upwards of $16,000 for any 1000cc-plus adventure tourer, like the BMW (R1200GS), KTM (1190 Adventure) and Yamaha Super Tenere, and then you’ll likely think, “I’ll just keep playing the lottery.”
But Suzuki made the dream of true adventure riding on a 1000cc bike a bit more of a reality for more people when, in the early 2000s, the company introduced the $9000 V-Strom DL1000, a very affordable, sensible, reliable and good-performing V-twin adventurer designed to take you to far-away places – and to not-so-far-away places - and back, via paved and dirt roads, comfortably and, most importantly, with a smile on your face. Just like the high-dollar adventure bikes do.
As it turned out, Suzuki hit a homerun with the V-Strom. It was so popular that it later spawned the even more affordable V-Strom 650. If the 1000 was a homerun for Suzuki, the 650 was certainly a grand slam.
In more recent times, however, V-Strom 1000 sales have, for a number of reasons, dipped, forcing Suzuki into action. Having not seen a major overhaul since its 2002 U.S. debut, Suzuki realized the ‘Strom 1000 was due for a major redo, but before they got started, they did plenty of research, which included asking previous V-Strom 1000 owners what they liked and disliked about their beloved ‘Stroms. High on their list of wishes was more low-to-mid power and torque, improved high-speed stability, ABS and traction control, not to mention a facelift. Their wishes came true, as did many other of their wishes.
So what’s changed? Everything - except for the configuration of the liquid-cooled, DOHC, 90-degree V-twin motor. Displacement has been bumped up from 996cc to 1097cc, thanks to a 2mm larger bore. A host of other motor changes translates into more horsepower, and it’s pushing nearly 100 hp now. It now produces a claimed 99.2 horsepower at 8000 rpm and 76 foot pounds of torque at 4000 rpm vs. the previous V-Strom that featured an output of 95.5 hp at 7600 rpm and 74.5 foot pounds of torque at 6400 rpm. The new model retains the 11.3:1 compression ratio of the previous model.
To read more of the 2014 Suzuki V-Strom DL1000 ABS first ride in this week’s Cycle News, click here