The V-Strom 650 has been the biggest seller in its market segment across the globe since its introduction in 2004, and for 2017 a new model gets more power, less weight, and traction control, while conforming to new Euro 4 emissions regulations.
Suzuki’s proven 645cc V-twin engine has become widely regarded as one of the best motorcycle engines of its generation, and in the 2017 V-Strom 650 it gets more power and torque, increasing its output to 70bhp at 8,800rpm and 62Nm or torque at 6,500rpm.
New pistons help achieve higher levels of performance as well as fuel efficiency, while new rings enhance sealing performance and reduce blow-by gas. The V-Strom 650 features a unique inlet port and intake camshaft, but also now uses the exhaust camshaft of the SV650. This combination helps give the powerful, sharp feel of the SV, but with the more easygoing nature of the V-Strom.
A new exhaust also boosts power and torque, while saving weight and aiding in a lower centre of gravity.
The inlet pipes connecting the air box and throttle bodies have been redesigned, with new 10-hole, long-nose injectors aiding in a more precise throttle control. There’s also Suzuki’s low-rpm assist system, which automatically raises engine speed when pulling away, and the new easy-start system first seen on the GSX-S1000 range.
New on both variants of the V-Strom 650 for 2017 is the three-mode traction control system found on the bigger V-Strom 1000. The system continually monitors the front and rear wheel speeds, throttle position, crank position, and gear position, and reduces engine output when rear wheel spin is detected, improving rider confidence in tricky road and weather conditions.
A new dash offers more information to the rider, and a DC outlet further improves practicality, and a new seat and screen bolster comfort.
The V-Strom 650 and V-Strom 650XT have both been completely restyled, with a design more akin to the bigger V-Strom 1000. A new, narrower tank design and slimmer frame covers make it even easier for riders to reach the floor, and a new tail section can easily accommodate the new, optional, three-piece integrated luggage set.
The twin headlight design of the outgoing model has been replaced by a stacked headlight – which also keeps the low-beam illuminated when high-beam is lit, improving visibility at night. It also saves 290g in weight. There’s also a new taillight section, which further reduces weight.
The XT model boasts more equipment as standard over the V-Strom 650, giving it more off-road intent out of the crate. Wire-spoke wheels offer better absorption on uneven surfaces, while a lower cowling offers additional protection. Hand guards help shield the rider from low-hanging branches or stones and debris caused by a rider in front.
Both variants of the V-Strom 650 are scheduled to arrive early 2017
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