V-Strom 1000XT

  • Been getting itchy feet lately and always fancied a big V-Twin but can’t afford or justify a Multistrada so took a V-Strom 1000XT for a test ride yesterday. I tried an ‘06 model a few years ago and couldn’t believe the buffeting at 45+ but this new one is way better and no worse than my GS. An after market screen should make it pretty good.

    Good points:
    Lovely torquey engine with great pick up in all gears but especially 4th, 5th and 6th!
    Slick gearbox.
    Traction control.
    Good sound even with the stock exhaust.
    Very good low speed manners.
    Good seating position and nice comfy ride.
    Outstanding front brakes.
    Other than TC and ABS there is no other expensive electrickery like EAS to go wrong which appeals.
    The price compared to a new GS!

    Bad points:
    The seat was comfy but only for about 40 miles.
    Kept knocking the full beam on by accident, it’s an odd lever arrangement.
    Difficult to upshift with my size 12 Sidi Adventures but could hopefully adjust that out or change the lever.
    Mirrors are huge and ugly although very good.
    The gold spoked wheels really set it off but look a bugger to clean and keep clean.
    It’s got a chain when I love the convenience of a shaft drive.

    Other than cornering ABS and a neat feature that lifts the revs when you engage gear, the bike hasn’t changed since the MY14 so a low mileage 14 plate would be a bargain.

    Anyone got one, had one, ridden one and got any words of wisdom to encourage or dissuade me from buying one?


  • Hi Bob.

    I bought a 2014 version back in June 2016 and have added over 13k miles over the past 2 and a bit summers (F800GS does the winter miles plus quite a few in the summer as well ;D).
    Now I have to menton the fact that I'm a V-Twin addict - Honda has been my main refuge till 2016 for the V-twin fix - 3 x varaderos, 4 x Africa Twins (XRV750's), 2 x Deauvilles and 2 x Transalps.

    I tried several of the first version of the Strom 1k , but their fueling put me off. When they released the updated one in 2014 I watched and waited before taking a test ride in 2016. Big difference, engine wise, so I went looking and found the bike I now own.

    The engine is a peach. Torque and torque and then some more torque should you need it. I don't need more than the sub100bhp that this lump delivers, so out-right power is fine for me. It's also just right for a little off roading if thats your thing :o ;). A big thing was made by some of a so called stalling issue. Suzuki did a recall on all the early bkes - mine was one of them - and did a swap of the ECU for the latest version. The only thing different that I've noticed is that the revs rise automatically when the clutch is pulled in. Mine still coughs back into the airbox when the engine is cold - all the V-Twins that I've has did this coughing thing when cold, so I'm kinda used to it.

    Wheel wise, if you take care and take it easy off road, alloys are fine, so no real need for the spoked version, IMHO.

    The suspension is adjustable is so many ways - I just stick to the factory settings when un-laden and wind on a bit of pre-load when luggaged up.

    My bike came with Suzuki boxes and they are OK as long as you don't plan on lugging the kitchen sink along with you on your travels. I like to haul junk with me when travelling so I've got me a set ot Touratwat racks and boxes from a very nice man that I know. Them, a tank bag, a tail pack and a water-proof stuff sack see's me carrying everything that I want when travelling ;D.

    Comfort wise, I got used to riding an Africa Twin with it's plank like seat for hundreds of miles, so the Strom cushion is luxurious for me.

    The 20 ltr tank can take me well over 200 miles between fills, but that is me and the way I ride. So far I've averaged over 57mpg in the 13k+ miles I've covered.

    I have the Tc turned off all the time - never needed it before. Just wish the ABS could be neutralised as easily.

    You mentioned mirrors - I got me a set of Touno mirrors (they are identical to F800GS mirrors as well) and they reduce the buffeting a good bit when combined with the Suzuki touring screen.

    If your overly upset by chain lube and chain maintenance then maybe the bikes not for you. I've lived with them all of my biking life and have no problem with chain drive. I fit scottoilers to all my bikes and run the chain wet all the time except when messing about on dirt.

    Give it a go - whats the worst that could happen - you end up liking it and start to enjoy lubing a chain ;D

    Steve T


    Piccies from todays bimble:-

  • Thanks for the info Steve,

    For some reason I thought you had the 650 not the 1000. Good to hear you like it and get on so well with it.
    I've had Scottoilers before and got on well with them so the chain doesn't really bother me, I'm just used to not having to think about it. I googled the Tuono mirrors and they look ideal, much more aerodymanic and further away from the screen edges. I don't know why Suzuki don't adopt this style.

    Next step is to sell the GS which I said I always said was a keeper but I reckon life's too short.


Participate now!

Don’t have an account yet? Register yourself now and be a part of our community!