Recently released spy shots seem to show off Suzuki’s long-awaited mid-size V-Strom update, but unfortunately for purists, this new Strom looks to be taking a big left turn from the usual script.
We've been expecting Suzuki to give us a new DL650 since the reveal of the updated DL1050 at 2019's EICMA show. While that feels like an eternity ago, it looks like there was a good reason behind Suzuki taking their time with their replacement middleweight V-Strom.
For starters, it looks like Suzuki has thrown out everything from the DL650 of old, and rumour has it this new bike is a DL700 - powered by an all-new parallel-twin engine. While some outlets think Suzuki will drop the V-Strom name for the new bike, there is precedent for them to keep the well-known and highly regarded name in play with the original DL250 V-strom utilising the parallel-twin from the Inazuma and the new Indian V-Strom 250 using a single-cylinder power plant.
Apart from the engine, it looks like Suzuki has given the new bike a visual update to make the middleweight ‘Strom fit within the established design language of the DL1050 and recently released Indian 250 model.
That means a stacked LED headlight resembling the unit from the DL1050 and Katana that sits at the front of angular bodywork reminiscent of the current Suzuki design language.
In another big departure from the V-Strom playbook, it appears Suzuki is finally ready to give us the more off-road capable bike riders have been asking for for years. Going by the spy shot, the front wheel appears to be a 21-inch spoked item rather than the usual 19-inch wheel. This could see us getting a more off-road-oriented XT model with a 21-inch front while the base V-Strom could remain a 19-inch unit. It wouldn’t be unheard of as BMW has done with its middleweight F-series GS bikes in the same category.
The big question will be what price point this new V-Strom will sit at. One of the best things going for the current DL650 is that its machining costs have been paid for years ago – the current model being 5 years old while the frame goes back to the early 2000s and engine dates back to 1999. With an all-new platform that will see the base price go up.
The second question is what technology will the bike deploy? Its main competition will be the Yamaha Tenere 700 which despite offering just ABS has seen its price creep up since its 2019 introduction. The V-Strom 650 already has ABS and Traction Control and to lose the latter would be somewhat of a backwards step. It’s going to be a tightrope for Suzuki to walk as big-brother DL1050 V-Strom retails a couple thousand dollars more than the T7.
With the timing of the spy shot release only a couple of months out from this year's EICMA, our money is on a full reveal coming in early November. We'll be keeping a very close eye on this one!