Motorcycle Mojo Editor Glenn Roberts has really been piling on the miles this summer. Between his return from a 16,000 km test ride of Honda’s 2012 Gold Wing and boarding a plane for this week’s Atlanticade Motorcycle Festival in New Brunswick, Roberts found the time to travel to Croatia for Suzuki’s international press launch of the new 2012 V-Strom 650 ABS.
While reloading his suitcase with fresh underwear and socks, Roberts predicted that Suzuki’s new middle displacement adventure-tourer would be a hit with expectant Canadian Stromtroopers. “In a nutshell, the bike has been improved in every way,” said Roberts. “Not only is the engine quieter, it has more torque in the low to mid-range. After 400 km on the adventure trail, I also found that it was easier to ride.”
Roberts commented that his test route included many technically demanding roads – the kind you wouldn’t want to make a mistake on – and as a result he was appreciative of the V-Strom’s improved handling. On a more practical note, Mojo’s Editor felt that the bike was also well suited to filling the role of a commuter. “There’s a nice choice of luggage options for the V-Strom; you can get clamshell-styled panniers for it that would be handy for riding around town, or a set of robust aluminum cases that would be perfect for the serious adventure rider,” Roberts added.
Suzuki claims that the redesigned motorcycle was developed to be a more comfortable adventure-tourer and that its new bodywork provides better wind protection. A new 645 cc V-twin engine is said to not only give the V-Strom 650 ABS improved performance, but also provide it with better fuel economy.
Next year will denote the passing of a decade since the introduction of the original V-Strom and Suzuki has high hopes for the continued success of its V-Strom. Editor Roberts’ full review and thoughts on the V-Strom phenomenon will appear shortly in an upcoming issue of Motorcycle Mojo.