Tanshanomi's Snap Judgments

Suzuki V-Strom 650

Wed, February 17th, 2010

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2004–2010 Suzuki DL650 V-Strom
A very nice engine, with lots more power than you might expect for its displacement, but less max torque than a V-twin should make.
The frame is stiff and the bike is surefooted, but dual-sport tires and excessive hight and suspension travel limit things to 7/10th or so...less than that off road, of course.
A nice enough bike, with no objectionable styling miscues, but rather bland and forgettable overall.
The basic design has survived horrible high-speed abuse in SV650 club racers, and the whole package is durable enough to really take off-road.
As a road bike, it's small enough to be maneuverable, light handling and easy to ride, yet big enough to tour on. One of the most versatile street bikes out there, even if you never take it off road. The fact that you can take it off road (at moderate speeds) just adds to the score.
I rated it as a 3 only because it doesn't have the same emotional gut tug as an Aprilia or Guzzi, even though it is probably a better bike.
A good friend who owns a V-Strom 1000 recently told me that if he had it to do over again, he'd go with a 650. That says a lot.