Suzuki gives its middle-weight adventure motorcycle, the V-Strom 650 ABS and V-Strom 650XT ABS, a thorough refresh for 2017. With an updated engine, weight savings, new electronic rider aids and Euro4 emission compliance, Suzuki’s revamped machine promises more spirited performance, more refined creature comforts and enhanced versatility.
Editor’s Note: we’ve since test ridden the V-Strom 650 – read about it in the 2017 Suzuki V-Strom 650 ABS First Test Review.
Suzuki had a hit on its hands when it debuted the DL650, or V-Strom 650, back in 2004, commanding a sizable portion of the middle-weight ADV market during its first years on the scene. And while competition for a share of the pie in this class is heightened these days, the V-Strom 650 is still a formidable player in many markets.
To strengthen that position, Suzuki borrowed engine elements from its recently updated SV650 for the 2017 update, adopting the same resin coated pistons and exhaust camshaft used on its popular streetfighter. The new pistons are tin-plated and feature a resin coating on the skirts to optimize lubrication and friction savings. L-shaped piston rings are utilized as well to improve sealing. There’s also new nickel spark plugs in place that are located closer to the combustion chamber to improve efficiency.
Fueling is refined thanks to new 10-hole, long-nose fuel injectors and redesigned inlet pipes that connect the air cleaner box and the throttle body. The FI system is designed to work with an O2 feedback system and intake pressure sensors for even more efficient combustion. These elements also work toward achieving Euro4 emissions compliance.
Spent gasses are discharged through a new exhaust system which promises to boost power. The updated exhaust also shaves a bit of weight, approximately 40 grams, and its shape allows for a slimmer profile. This svelte new look allows a three-part luggage system to fit on the new V-Strom 650 without need for additional parts.
To smooth the power delivery in the bottom of the rev range, Suzuki includes its Low RPM Assist system on the 2017 V-Strom 650 ABS. This element raises idle speed when engaging the clutch or while riding at low rpms. There’s also the Suzuki Easy Start System, which enables the rider to essentially tap the start button instead of having to hold it down until the engine turns over.
The highlight electronic addition for 2017 is a three-mode (two modes and an off position) Suzuki Traction Control System, adopted from the V-Strom 1000. Mode 1 is less intrusive and allows for certain levels of wheel spin while Mode 2 will cut in immediately when the sensors monitoring front and rear wheel speeds, throttle position, crank position and gear position detect spin.
Suzuki also brings a revised chassis to the table in 2017. It retains the aluminum, twin spar frame and swingarm from before but does away with plastic tank pieces. The change provides 5mm extra space on either side of the tank. The conventional fork and link-type, coil spring rear suspension with spring preload adjuster knob are unchanged for the coming model year.
There are some new wheels and tires though. The V-Strom 650 ABS has updated 10-spoke cast aluminum wheels that shave a combined 100-grams of weight from the previous version. The 650XT wire-spoke wheels come with a new Champion Yellow color option. As for tires, both versions will roll on specially designed, tubeless Bridgestone Battlax Adventure A40s, 110/80-19 at the front and 150/70-17 in the back.
An updated tail section is inspired by the V-Strom 1000, built with luggage accommodation in mind. Also borrowed from the V-Strom 1000 are rear LED combination lights and a vertically configured headlight.
The new multi-function instrument panel is drawn directly from the flagship ‘Strom as well. This new element has an analog tachometer, brightness adjustable LCD speedometer and LCD panel which displays the odometer, trip meters, gear position indicator, coolant and air temperatures, battery voltage, range on remaining fuel, traction control mode a clock and more.
Up near the new LCD readout is a new 12V DC outlet, situated just to the left of the instrument cluster.
Adding to the rider comforts and conveniences, Suzuki has updated the seat of the V-Strom 650, providing 2mm thicker padding and a new exterior for better grip. It’s also been slimmed down at the front. The XT version will also come with new hand guards and a cowling under the engine for additional protection.
Both versions feature an updated 3-way adjustable windscreen. The exterior design of the screen is changed to more closely resemble the V-Strom 1000 and is now taller by 9mm compared to last year’s model.
There is an expanded accessories catalog for the new V-Strom 650 ABS and its XT iteration, and both versions will be available in three colorways, either Champion Yellow No. 2, Pearl Glacier White or Glass Sparkle Black. Pricing and availability details are not currently available, but will be updated as soon as possible.