Intermot: Suzuki updates V-Strom 650 lineup

Suzuki has tinkered with the V-Strom 650 lineup, making the engines more powerful, while clearly dividing the lines between the street-friendly and off-road friendly lines.

Just like the V-Strom 1000 models announced earlier today, the 650 line diverges down two paths: The standard model, and the V-Strom 650XT, with wire wheels aimed at dirt use. Both models use a 19-inch front rim and 17-inch rear rim.

Both bikes receive some modifications to the fuel injection system this year, which serve to make them Euro4-compliant and also add horsepower (bumped to 70 hp, from 68 hp). Peak torque is also up, to 45.7 lb-ft, thanks to an updated exhaust system. Although Euro4 emissions requirements have forced almost all manufacturers to update their offerings this year, it seems most of them made out fairly well, with no word of dropping horsepower levels from any OEM.

The other big upgrade: Traction control. All the 650s get traction control this year, making the Strom the only bike in the 650 dual sport/ADV class with this capability.

ABS is once again optional. Sadly, it seems Suzuki is not offering an offroad mode, with switchable ABS for the rear wheel.

As with their other bikes, Suzuki added a low-RPM assist feature, to help with riding at low engine speeds, as well as an easy-start system: Press the button once, and the bike turns over, without a need to hold the button. That’s never been an issue we’ve heard consumers complaining about, but it’s there if you want it now.

Like the 1000 cc models, the 650 models get a belly pan (not visible in all marketing material),¬†and handguards. There’s an accessory¬†plug as standard.

Bodywork has been updated, with a three-position adjustable windscreen, leaner fairings, and stacked headlights that depart from the Strom’s traditional side-by-side beams.

Canadian availability has not been announced for the 650 Strom line, but we’d be surprised if the bikes weren’t on this winter’s show circuit.


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