While the world was almost certain Suzuki was planning to reveal a new DR-Big at the EICMA show this year, it seems the company wasn't quite as committed to bringing back the legendary nameplate as the motorcycling world was hoping. Instead, 2020 will see a new V-Strom 1050 which leans heavily on the styling cues from the legendary Dakar racer.
So let's address that styling elephant in the room. Suzuki says the distinctive styling incorporates elements of both Suzuki’s legendary DR-Z desert racer and the larger DR-BIG.
The iconic beak design first adopted by Suzuki stays true to the company's heritage while also further evolving the design to be more aggressive and bolder for the new generation V-STROM.
Gone is the once-controversial headlight of the previous two generations of V-Strom and in comes a heritage-inspired square LED unit much like that which is found on Suzuki's other heritage-inspired model - the 2019 Katana. The headlight unit is still two lights stacked on top of each other, however, and features lightweight construction for excellent balance with the overall weight of the vehicle.
Ergonomically, Suzuki has equipped the new V-Strom with aluminium tapered handlebars. The shape is designed to enhance the off-road style and feel of the bike while being both lightweight and offering a high level of rigidity.
The cylinder head, magneto cover, water pump case and clutch covers are finished with a bronze colour for a beautiful contrast with the black engine.
Suzuki hasn't just left the 2020 bike as just a styling upgrade over the 2019 V-Strom, though. For 2020 the Japanese manufacturer has finally started to catch up with the competition and is offering a host of electronic aids and added functionality which was starting to be noticed in the previous generation bike.
The XT model gets the majority of these upgrades, including an IMU, Hill Hold Control, Slope Dependant Control, Load Dependent Control and, of course, Cruise Control is also standard.
\Suzuki has also outfitted the new V-Strom with three different rider modes, offering three different levels of throttle response from the ride-by-wire throttle. A mode provides the sharpest throttle response, B mode provides softer throttle response, while C mode provides softest response of the three modes.
Traction control also features with Suzuki updating the traction control system to let the rider be in control with more confidence in diverse conditions with less stress and fatigue. The traction control mode is increased to three modes plus off mode for diverse road conditions, or to match the rider’s preference more. The traction control system continuously monitors the front and rear wheel speed, throttle position, crank position and gear position. When wheel spin is detected, the system quickly controls power output by managing ignition timing and air delivery.
Suzuki has kept to its focus of providing the best bang for buck in the class by refraining from equipping the 2020 V-Strom with a TFT dash, instead, the instrument panel presents all required information on a full LCD screen using an intuitive layout with information displayed in order of priority. Included in the display are the speedometer, tachometer (full pixel digital display), gear position indicator, odometer, trip meter (A, B), instantaneous fuel consumption, average fuel consumption, driving range, fuel level indicator, engine coolant temperature indicator, ambient air temperature indicator, clock, voltage meter, service reminder, SDMS mode, traction control mode, cruise control indicator, ABS mode, hill hold indicator, engine rpm indicator light, freeze indicator light, turn signal indicator light, high beam indicator light, traction control indicator light, ABS indicator light, and neutral indicator light.
The liquid-cooled, DOHC, 1037ccc 90° V-twin has also been further refined for 2020, now meeting Euro 5 emission control standards while still achieving high power of 79.0kW / 8,500rpm and a low fuel consumption (4.9L / 100km).
Suzuki partly achieved this by altering both the exhaust and intake cam profiles so that the amount of lift is increased and the cam timing has been set with less overlap. This provides better combustion efficiency and contributes to higher power output and low fuel consumption Suzuki claims.
The suspension comes in the form of forks with an inner tube diameter of 43mm. the spring preload and compression/rebound damping of the KYB inverted front forks can be fully adjusted, allowing the suspension to be set based on the preference of the rider or the usage conditions. The rear suspension is a bottom link-type mono-shock, and the preload can be adjusted simply by turning the dial by hand.
Rolling stock for the V-STROM 1050XT model is DID aluminium wire-spoked wheel rims, while the V-STROM 1050 model is equipped with 10-spoke aluminium cast wheels. Bridgestone Battlax Adventure A41 tires are standard equipped with a 110/80R19 radial tire on the front and 150/70R17 on the rear.
2020 Suzuki V-Strom Specifications
Overall length 2,265 mm
Overall width V-STROM 1050XT : 940 mm V-STROM 1050 : 870 mm
Overall height V-STROM 1050XT : 1,465 mm V-STROM 1050 : 1,515 mm
Wheelbase 1,555 mm
Ground clearance V-STROM 1050XT : 160 mm V-STROM 1050 : 165 mm
Seat height V-STROM 1050XT : 850 mm V-STROM 1050 : 855 mm
Curb mass V-STROM 1050XT : 247 kg V-STROM 1050 : 236 kg
Engine type 4-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, 90° V-twin
Bore x stroke 100.0 mm x 66.0 mm
Engine displacement 1,037 cm3
Compression ratio 11.5 : 1
Fuel system Fuel injection
Starter system Electric
Lubrication system Wet sump
Transmission 6-speed constant mesh
Primary reduction ratio 1.838 (57/31)
Final reduction ratio 2.411 (41/17)
Suspension Front Inverted telescopic, coil spring, oil damped
Rear Link type, coil spring, oil damped Rake / trail 25°30' / 109 mm
Brakes Front Disc, twin / Rear Disc
Tyres Front 110/80R19M/C 59V Rear 150/70R17M/C 69V
Fuel tank capacity 20.0 L
Oil capacity (overhaul) 3.5 L