The growing adventure tourer segment may see a new challenger from Suzuki this year – the V-Strom 650. An international model, the V-Strom 650 fits the bill as an accessible, near full-size adventure tourer and is available in two variants – the standard 650 and the 650 XT. If Suzuki will indeed launch the V-Strom, the XT will be its variant of choice. Suzuki has showcased it at the Auto Expo 2018 and it may be headed to our shores later this year.
The V-Strom borrows its motor from the SV650 in substantially updated guise. The 645cc V-Twin produces a healthy 71hp at 8,800 rpm and is paired to a 6-speed gearbox, configured for long-distance comfort. Internationally, the V-Strom 650 has been well received for being refined and vibe-free and it scores high on comfort, too.
Unlike the Versys 650 – its primary competitor – the V-Strom 650 does not feature a fully-adjustable USD fork, however. It gets a conventional telescopic fork instead, with a pre-load adjustable monoshock at the rear. This is still perfectly suited to its purpose of on/off-roading but is expected to lack the road-biased dominance of the Versys. The twin-spar alloy frame should prove to be a rugged yet indulgent platform on and off the road and with 110/80 R19 (front) and 150/70 R17 (rear) tyres, it certainly has the shoes to match its girth and purpose. While the standard (road-spec) model gets alloys, the XT gets anodized wire-spoke rims shod with Bridgestone Battlax Adventure A40 tyres (in the same size), with an enduro-style tread.
The V-Strom offers decent levels of equipment as well, prominent among which are the three-way height adjustable windscreen, a 3-stage traction control system (2 levels and a disengage option), Suzuki’s useful Easy Start System and also a functional-looking digi-analog instrument cluster which is info-packed (and is borrowed from the V-Strom 1000). ABS is standard on the V-Strom 650 although the off-road enthusiasts amongst you will be disappointed to learn that it cannot be disengaged, making the off-road riding experience a bit less dramatic.
The XT being the top variant of the V-Strom is expected to be considerably more expensive than the Versys 650, perhaps even Rs 1.5 to 2 lakh more, and Suzuki is currently gauging response towards it at the Auto Expo 2018.
Auto Expo 2018 car and SUV image gallery
Auto Expo 2018 bikes and scooters image gallery