LAUNCH RIDE: Suzuki V-Strom 1050 DE first impressions

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Ross is over in Greece and he’s just finished testing out the Suzuki V-Strom 1050 DE. But what did he think?

“Just back from a cracking afternoon riding the new DE. It feels like a completely machine to the standard V-Strom – despite the two bikes sharing a whole lot.

As you’d expect, the 1037cc, 106bhp motor goes extremely well. The 100Nm of torque is available nice and low down, with plenty of grunt available to despatch traffic on the road and get the back wheel spinning – while the up and down quickshifter makes it impossible easy to flick between the gears.

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Although there is a bit of vagueness from the larger 21inch front wheel, the drier roads and Dunlop Trailmax Mixtour tyres combined to provide plenty of confidence while cornering. 

The Tokico brakes do a good job of hauling it up in a hurry, though the longer travel KYB front forks do have a tendency to dive under extreme pressure. Not enough to unsettle the bike, but enough to notice. 

Overall though, the suspension is good. There’s none of the electronic trickery we’re starting to see from other manufacturers, but the Suzuki doesn’t need it. There’s full adjustability, so you can dial it in just how you like it. 

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It might not have trick electronic suspension, but Suzuki has packed a whole load of technology into the new bike. There’s a new six axis IMU, a ride by wire throttle, cruise control, hill hold control, slope dependant control (anti-stoppie, basically) – plus adjustable traction control and ABS (which has two settings, and can also be turned off) and Suzuki’s Drive Mode Selector (which includes a Gravel mode). It’s an impressive package, that’s a real step forward for the V-Strom. Oh – and let’s not forget the new 5inch TFT dash. 

The riding position’s good (both sitting and standing) – thanks to the wider bars and slightly taller 880mm seat, and I’d have no qualms about comfort if I was planning to do some big days on or off-road.

Overall, Suzuki has done a cracking job with the DE. It’s a whole load better than I expected it to be. Ok, so it might not be the most stylish, most sophisticated or most capable choice in the busy adventure bike market – but it’s priced at a pretty competitive £13,699 and has everything you’d need for a proper good explore. 

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If you want to hear exactly how I got on with the two new V-Strom 1050’s – then be sure to check out the upcoming issue of Motorcycle Sport and Leisure and MoreBikes. And if you want to see what it looks like on action, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for a short video review of the two bikes in the coming days.”


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