Suzuki, it seems, hasn't really been bringing anything new for a long time. Then we test what is already there. We had the V-current as a 1000 in the test and also the 1050s had to compete with us. There was something else? Oh yes, the 650. The little one is often overlooked, but this is a mistake, as it should quickly turn out.
It is really impressive: if you could choose yourself, then of course you would always take the full fat level among the travel enduros. This means that at least 1000 cubic metres and PS outputs far north of 100 are the measure of all things. But is that really the case?
The opposite proof is once again given by the Suzuki V-Strom 650. A pre-model has been ridden in our team for a long time, on our annual Alpine tours she regularly shined through her combined talent for fitness for travel and curves. Little performance? True, but it doesn't matter if the rider is highly talented – as always in the life of a motorcyclist.
So the current model came to our service, and it's like always with this Japanese brand: you sit on it and drive off. No idea how the engineers can do that. But there is no time to get used to it, everything is immediately understandable and the whole moped rides as if you had never driven anything else.
But first a look at the motorcycle in the stand. The engine is an old acquaintance. Feeling there is it again and again refreshed for 20 years, with us he convinced last in the SV 650. It's a real V2, strong here 71 hp. With a length of 2,275 millimeters, the motorcycle itself is not very small, neither visually nor in reality. Desired effect: The space conditions also for the passenger are very commod. The design of the front mask with the typical beak, on the other hand, is a matter of taste, already clear.
The Suzuki costs only 8,390 euros. You don't notice that in the workmanship, but something about the equipment. You have to do without the trendy LED light, there are only ABS and traction control on electronic helpers. On the other hand, the Suzuki is very practical: an example of this is the brackets for the suitcases. These come directly to the rear, which saves an extra frame. The XT version is available for a further 600 euros: spoke wheels, bow spoilers and hand protectors are then included.
In the area of the bench and tank, the Suzuki V-Strom 650 is kept narrow. This ensures a safe stand for smaller or short-legged drivers. Large people should choose the 20 millimeter higher bank.
The view of very clear instruments, whose ornament is the analog rev counter, is obsessed. Since the equipment with electronics is as mentioned, as mentioned, there is also little to adjust or monitor. The little there is is easy to use like multi-stage traction control.
Then let's go.
Almost every manufacturer has a large and a small or medium adventure in the program. In most cases (all except Ducati), the mid-range mobile with 70 to 95 hp is not only weaker, but more agile. Suzuki takes a different path here, the step between the 1050 with a good 100 hp and the 650 with its 71 is smaller than expected.
The large 19-inch front wheel already indicates it: The Suzuki is supposed to be a travel enduro, no sporty road design was given. Appropriately, our test bike wears mixed tyres, which do not immediately settle off the roads. In reality, the enduro qualities of the V-Strom 650 remain manageable, but it has in common with most adventure bikes.
The 650 is not a small motorcycle. This brings the aforementioned generous space. In general, comfort is one of the great strengths of this V-current 650. Whether larger or smaller bumps, the Suzuki spares the driver with too precise information about the weaknesses of the respective road surface.
The biggest difference to the 1050 Suzi is the engine. Although both are powered by the well-known V2 engines, the 650 is just about 400 cubic metres and 30 hp. This is palpable, but per se no reason against the 650s. The engine with 71 hp does its thing very well. With a nice, dull sound, he pushes the 213 kilos forward, even from low speeds. At the top, V2-Suzi-typically doesn't come up much, but over a wide speed band it is a pleasant companion – we already noticed this with the 650 SV.
The bottom line is that there is a clear thumbs up for the Suzuki V-Strom 650. At 8,390 euros, it is an all-round successful bike with very good manners, can be used everywhere and is fully suitable for travel.
Suzuki remains true to its reputation for building underrated bikes. Our recommendation for all those who are looking for a fully everyday bike with a very good price-performance ratio: Ride it absolutely test. Rarely has had so much fun with so little effort.
The test bike was provided to us by M.A.S. in Wilster.