2014 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 ABS | Road Test Review

The V-Strom 1000 is the only bike in this trio designed for light off-road duty, though before hitting the rough stuff it needs a set of hand guards and a skid plate. Its adventure-chic beak pays homage to Suzuki’s 1988 DR-Z Paris-Dakar Rally racer.
The V-Strom 1000 is the only bike in this trio designed for light off-road duty, though before hitting the rough stuff it needs a set of hand guards and a skid plate. Its adventure-chic beak pays homage to Suzuki’s 1988 DR-Z Paris-Dakar Rally racer.

(This is a sidebar for a comparison test with the Kawasaki Versys 1000 LT and Yamaha FJ-09. To read the full article and see full spec charts on all the bikes, CLICK HERE.)

Introduced for 2002 as a “sport enduro tourer,” Suzuki’s V-Strom DL1000 featured a retuned version of the 996cc, 90-degree V-twin from the TL1000S sportbike, long-travel suspension and a 19-inch front wheel. Prodigious torque, good handling, a 200-mile-plus range and an affordable price earned it Rider’s Motorcycle of the Year award. Two years later, Suzuki launched a middleweight version based on the SV650, and both bikes have been solid performers.

Dual-panel LCD tells you everything you need to know and the standard 12V outlet is front and center.
Dual-panel LCD tells you everything you need to know and the standard 12V outlet is front and center.

The V-Strom 1000’s only major update came last year. The liquid-cooled, DOHC, 8-valve V-twin grew to 1,037cc, delivering more power and torque in a smoother, more efficient package. Power is transferred to the rear wheel through a 6-speed transmission, the Suzuki Clutch Assist System (with slipper function) and an O-ring chain. The DL1000 features Suzuki’s first-ever traction control system, which has two modes or it can be turned off. It lost weight (17 pounds, claimed) and gained a lighter, stronger chassis, with a twin-spar aluminum frame, tubular-steel subframe and cast aluminum swingarm. The fully adjustable 43mm inverted fork and preload- (remote) and rebound-adjustable shock, both by KYB, offer 6.3 inches of travel. Brakes are by Tokico, with dual 4-piston radial calipers in front and a 1-piston caliper in back, and non-switchable ABS is standard. Cast aluminum wheels (19-inch front, 17 inch rear) are shod with Bridgestone Battle Wing 90/10 dual-sport tires.

Standard touring features include an adjustable windscreen, a 12V outlet and a luggage rack. Saddlebags, hand guards, a centerstand and other items are available as factory accessories. Colors options for 2014 included Daring Red or Desert Khaki; Glass Sparkle Black is the only color offered for 2015, and there are no other changes.

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That big V-twin emits nicely spaced power pulses, with peak torque arriving at just 4,000 rpm.
That big V-twin emits nicely spaced power pulses, with peak torque arriving at just 4,000 rpm.
Even though the V-Strom’s ABS can’t be turned off, it works surprisingly well off-road.
Even though the V-Strom’s ABS can’t be turned off, it works surprisingly well off-road.

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