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Review: Suzuki V-Strom 1000 ABS
Driven August 2014
These days, adventure bikes have grown quite popular all over the world. In India, we are still warming up to them, but bikes like the Ducati Multistrada and the Triumph Tiger are here already. Planning to cash in on the opportunity, Suzuki has not wasted any time getting the all new V-Strom to India, launching it at this year's Auto Expo.
The Suzuki V-Strom 1000 ABS is an all-new model that has been designed from ground-up. It has nothing in common with the older generation V-Strom. Visually, the V-Strom means business. It looks intimidating with its high ground clearance, pointy red beak and muscular styling.
Swing a leg over the saddle, and you realise that you can't put your feet down firmly. Luckily for shorter riders, there is an optional seat on offer that lowers the ride height by 2.5cm. The seating position is upright and also gives you a clear view of the road ahead.
The instrument gauge sits right in the rider’s field of vision. Speaking of which, we especially like the multi-info display that the V-Strom offers - traction setting, trip-meter and fuel gauge to name a few. There’s also a 12-volt charger sitting right below the instrument pod.
Doing duty under that very able chassis is a 1,037cc V-twin motor that makes 100bhp and 103Nm of torque. Those figures sound impressive, but are essential for lugging a 230kg bike. On the move, you do miss that rush of acceleration that we are so used to with 1000cc bikes. Not to say that the bike is slow in any way, but initial acceleration does underwhelm.
Gear ratios are tall, so most of your city rides can be managed in third gear. If you are in a mood for some lazy coasting, slip into 6th gear, sit back, and enjoy the scenic view. What we enjoy the most about the V-Strom is how manoeuvrable it feels in the city and around corners. While moving in traffic, it doesn’t give you the impression of a big bike. The raised suspension helps get over those nasty potholes and speed breakers. Not to forget, the tyres do their bit in providing grip on slippery surfaces and gravel. That, and the two-stage traction control system, which helps keep things in shape at all times. The brakes are fairly decent, and with ABS on board, stopping is never a problem. Just don’t get too carried away with all the tech on board and take the bike for some motocross-style fun, because that is not what it is built for.
The V-Strom is built more for on-road adventure than an off-road one, and touring is something that best suits this bike. To go that extra distance, fuel economy also plays a part in our evaluation of the V-Strom. Here again, we managed to get 14.4km to a litre, which is not very impressive. When you combine that with V-Strom’s 20-litre fuel tank, though, you do get a decent range of around 300km on a single top-up.
To conclude, a bike like the Suzuki V-Strom is prefect for Indian roads. The power is dished out in a manner that makes it manageable in the city, high ground clearance means you can ride it on most of our roads, with the one complaint being the initial lack of acceleration. Overall, the Suzuki V-Strom comes across as a sturdy bike that is hard to fault, but it fails to impress.
1,037cc V-twin, 100bhp, 103Nm torque, 6M, 14.4kpl, Rs 14.5 lakh (ex-Delhi)
This one's for people looking for a bit of adventure, without going too far off the tarmac.