Suzuki DL 650 V-Strom

Driving report SUZUKI DL650 V-Strom (Baujahr 2011)

The Alpine Queen?


Two years in a row (2005 and 2006) the V-Strom 650 won the coveted title at the Alpen-Masters of MOTORRAD. We check on a model from 2011 whether the travel enduro has earned the laurels.
If you look and hear a bit about what owners of a SUZUKI DL650 V-stream report about their machine, one usually hears and reads: "egg-laying wool milk sow, low consumption, high range, reliable motorcycle, comfortable sitting position, good price/performance ratio, durable, great all-rounder, easy handling" etc. There is obviously little to complain about - that's where the impression quickly arises...

You can't do anything wrong with this motorcycle!

imageIn fact, the V-Strom enjoys quite high popularity not only in the trade press but also among the rather demanding touring driver. And that's certainly not solely due to the attractive price of around €7,000. The lightweight and handy two-cylinder convinces with its advantages numerous touring drivers and also many newcomers. Without question: The SUZUKI DL650 V-Strom is rightly so popular and therefore one of the best-selling adventure bikes. It has been under construction since 2003. The official sales start was in 2004. The V-electricity was available in the colours: blue, black and silver at a price of 6990 €. In 2005 the switch for the stand and dipped light is no longer available and there is a red colour variant. In 2006 there are no technical changes but a two-colour coating in blue/silver replaces the unisilver version. From the 2007 model with ABS for 7390 € + additional costs.

The cylinder heads were modified because of the Euro 3 standard. In addition to the double ignition, the V-current was given a longer swing arm and 7 kg more weight. In 2008, there were only minor changes and a price increase to €7530. In 2010, there were changes to crankshaft bearings, starters and clutch levers. The price rose to €7890. In 2011, the gearbox output shaft and the distance sleeve were slightly changed. Price: 8090 €.

Since 2012, the new type C7 has been available, which stands out above all visually. In addition to cladding, headlights, switches, cockpit with digital multi-instrument, there were changes in power, weight, cylinder, piston, bushing, control times and injection system, rear silencer, rear frame, strut and telefork, tank capacity and of course the price: 8390 euros.

This is how she drives herself

Let's go: So one thing you have to leave the V-current: "Put on and feel good" is really the program from the first second. And although it is almost an image of your big 1000cm3 sister in weight and size, the 650-series is extremely handy and agile. Thanks to its torsion-resistant bridge frame and well-tuned spring elements, the V-current is sufficiently stable. Of course, the bike with its 67 hp is not exactly a rocket in terms of performance, but performance and displacement are not everything when you are travelling.

image Nevertheless, the V-current can reach up to 180 km/h and the water-cooled 90 degree V motor does not produce any annoying vibrations. The highest torque of 60 Nm is 6400 rpm. The bike hangs optimally on the gas, is extremely revolving and almost load-changing. On pass tracks, however, the driver should not be lazy. The engine taken over by the SV 650 is considered reliable and workshops also report hardly any negatives about the V-current.
The V-current in our test is from 2011 and now has just over 40,000 km on the clock. You don't notice the mileage of the machine – everything works like the first day. The 6-speed transmission switches easily and accurately and the seating position is comfortable for drivers and passengers even on longer distances. The possible payload of 206 kg is sufficient for average couples even with luggage. However, you would like to see a little more power fully loaded.

Is there more to it?

Sure, more is always possible. And so we are quite impressed by one or the other accessories on our test machine. Although the series disc, which can be installed on two different heights, already offers an acceptable protection, the GIVI-Airflow disc (approx. 130 €) installed on our test machine is even more comfortable, especially when driving on motorways. By the way, it is easily adjustable, which is why can also highly recommend it.

The serial version also misses a main stand. A useful addition from our point of view, which costs around 200 €. And not only indispensable for the optics: the motor protection from SW-Motech! Although it also costs a good 200 € but in addition to its protective properties, it has the pleasant side effect that it significantly enhances the engine front – we find anyway.

Meaningful technique without appearing overloaded:

Since 2007, the DL has been equipped with ABS and regulated cat as standard. The anti-lock system works fine and with the Kat version the previously low consumption was reduced somewhat. On average, our test machine consumes a good 4 liters per 100 kilometers. Thanks to the 22-litre tank, the 22-litre tank allows you to master ranges of 500 kilometres. Otherwise, the V-current has no unnecessary frills and its cockpit comes clear and tidy.

Conclusion - what's stuck?

Whether urban traffic, short distance, serpentines, narrow bends, leisurely overland trips, country road trips, motorway trips, long-distance or sporty travel - asphalt roads of all kinds are a real pleasure with the V-Stream. In heavy terrain, however, the machine quickly reach its limits. A cheap, reliable tour companion for all those who don't just care about performance and final speed. Recommended also for late and re-entry.

Although some of the V-streams say that it is an ugly duckling – doesn't think so - it is of course a matter of taste. What we can understand, however, is that some people find v-stream boring or unsurprising. Well, let's be honest the egg-laying woolly milk sow is perhaps not particularly exciting. But she can do many things very well, forgives one or the other driving error and is a sufficient and faithful companion, who behaves confidently and gratefully towards his driver in almost every situation.

That is why says: Yes, the SUZUKI DL650 V-Strom is entitled "Alpine Queen 2005 and 2006" and rightly so. The SUZUKI DL650 V-strom in the 2011 version, which we drove, now cost around 7900 euros plus additional costs and accessories. For this, there is a reliable adventure bike with a sophisticated chassis, which promises a lot of riding pleasure.


Zubehör für die
DL 650 V-Strom

  • Moneta
  • Polo
  • Amazon

Pro & Kontra

  • Lots of motorcycle sat at a manageable price
  • From 2011 ABS as standard
  • easy handling
  • 67 hp in passenger mode a little bit

New registrations of the DL 650 V-Strom

Wettbewerber einblenden
Loading chart...

New registrations of the DL 650 V-Strom

Wettbewerber ausblenden
Loading chart...
Von unserem Team geprüft:




2,290 mm
1,405 mm
213 kg
Ab. Weight
415 kg
835 mm
1,560 mm

Driving Performance & Range

0 to 100
4.2 s
60 to 100
5.4 s
Tank contents
20 l
4.1 l
488 km
185 km/h

Motor & Power Transmission

Engine design
Number of cylinders
645 cc
81 mm
62.5 mm
71 HP
62 NM
Number of gears

Suspension & Brakes

Suspension front
Telefork 43 mm
150 mm
Strut rear
Central spring leg
159 mm
Suspension rear
Two-arm swingarm
Brakes in front
Double disc
310 mm
Tyres at the front
110/80 R 19
Brakes rear
Rear tyres
150/70 R 17