Could this be Suzuki’s next big bike to come to India?
Among the unveiling of the Burgman 150, Intruder Fi, GSX-S 750 and the other big bikes at the Suzuki pavilion, there stood a very interesting bike. It was the Suzuki V-Strom 650 XT. Now, Suzuki does sell the larger V-Strom 1000 in India but they chose to showcase the mid-size ADV here. This could be Suzuki planning to get it here as they do not have a contender in the midsize ADV segment, which currently has just the Kawasaki Versys 650. We spoke to Suzuki officials and they did indicate a plan to get it here in CKD trim. They are currently working on the feasibility of sharing their Hayabusa production line, which will now also assemble the GSX-S750. Here’s what you need to know about the V-Strom.
as is the case with the Kawasaki rival, the Suzuki V-Strom 650’s design is also based on its elder sibling, the V-Strom 1000. It looks purposeful with the front beak neatly integrated below the headlamp and a large manually adjustable windscreen. Most of the plastics remain at the front while the rear has a minimalistic appearance. It also gets mounting points for luggage panniers and a top box. Despite the looks, the V-Strom 650 is more compact than its 1000cc cousin. Fuel tank capacity is 20 litres.
It gets a multifunction instrument cluster with an analogue tachometer and two digital screens that display a host of information. The XT version is the more off-road-oriented one, with spoked wheels and dual-purpose tyres, knuckle guards and engine guards.
At the heart sits a 650cc V-twin that was recently updated to Euro IV specs. It features better low-end and midrange torque spread. The exhaust unit is a new one and has been narrowed down to make space for panniers. The motor makes 70PS at 8800rpm and 62Nm of torque at 6500rpm. It gets Suzuki’s low rpm assist which makes for smoother pick up from idling speeds. New is traction control lifted off the V-Strom 1000. It gets 3 modes and can be completely switched off if desired.
The ADV uses a twin spar frame that has been strengthened to take on two riders and their luggage with ease. The seat height is 835mm but riders should not have an issue getting their feet to the ground owing to the narrow profile. Suspension setup is fairly simple: preload-adjustable 43mm front forks and rear monoshock adjustable for preload and damping.
The XT version gets 19-inch front and 17-inch rear wheels wrapped in dual-purpose Bridgestone Battlax tubeless tyres. Braking is via twin 310mm discs and a single 260mm rear disc. It gets ABS as standard.
If Suzuki plans to assemble the V-Strom 650 XT here, they could undercut the Versys 650 in terms of pricing. The V-Strom 650 XT would prove more capable in the rough stuff thanks to its tyre setup and more accessible low-end torque courtesy the V-twin motor. Now, if all goes well, we could be looking at this bike launching here by the end of this year or early next year. Stay tuned for more info.