Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: kingsville on. canada
One mans idea of the next big strom
I currently am a happy owner of a 08 wee. My other bike is a 1050 triumph tiger. aka wee plus. The recent facelift of the 650 is only just that, but a successful one . We all know the target bike is the BMW GS1200. The new competitors by Triumph and Yamaha are missing the mark by coming in at a much heavier weight. I think the reason for the GS to be at the 1200cc size is because its outdated air cooled engine requires this large capacity to make up for the compromises it suffers from. The competitors, "needing "to be in the same category ,have detuned their engines to the point of being pretty boring to ride. so here is a daring proposition to suzuki;
The Super Strom 900
Using the existing dl 1000 chassis and motor as a platform, the new bike would encorporate;
A modern and rigid upside down fork with radial brakes and ABS.
A 17 or maybe 18" front wheel. Unless Im wrong, the primary reason for a large front wheel is greater gyroscopic effect at very low speeds. We would concede the off road prowess to the 650 in this respect.
Same bodywork as the 2012 wee to cut costs, with specific graphics
A wide 180/17 rear tire and suitable widened rim to match the muscular front tire both wheels to be a unique design.
Chassis stiffening as required, probably just some trick looking swingarm bracing, cheap and a perceived value adder.
The dl1000 motor would be reduced to around 900cc, preferably by destroking it as much as is possible. I think a v-twin is the ideal type of engine for this bike. A boxer would be my last choice,BTW. By destroking, the motor would enjoy less flywheel size, which would result in less gyroscopic effect of he crankshaft, the primary reason the 650 feels much lighter than the v. It should also be smoother, and less abrupt on throttle tip in. The camshaft timing and general tune would be of a much sportier nature given its smaller engine size, making it more more entertaining to ride ....like a super 650.
Chain drive would carry on.
The target market would be the educated enthusiast, and the legion of 650 owners with the money to trade in their present bike. I have heard many stories of vstrom owners who have traded in their mounts on a new GS, and then regretfully realised they traded in a better bike than they bought. I sort of did the same thing by going with a rt1200 and just shook my head every time I looked at the thing parked next to my strom.
The idea is to capitalize on model association with the 650.
While the motorcylcle industry is suffering from its worst sales drought ever, the smaller specialty makes like BMW,Triumph,Ducati,KTM etc are enjoying excellent years,as the median age of the riders continue to rise.
The Super Strom would be an appeal to this demographic as something special and really well sorted, and would undercut the competion in weight, provide a much sportier experience, and lastly, cost less than the other bikes by thousands of dollars, while still being profitable for its manufacturer and dealers. I would feel smart owning one, not withstanding the fact that this bike is a parts bin special. We all know of the many innovative japanese bikes that were absolute sale flops, while LTDs and Viragos sold like crazy, in black paint only. Caused me to leave the industry in the early eighties.
It would require a departure from the volume based mentality of production, and set Suzuki on a path of being a company that is focused on riders real world needs, and would develop its own group of loyal owners, as Harley Davidson has so masterfully demonstrated. It could be Suzukis signature bike... its owners regarded as insightful , and built on the cheap. And wake up the other companies, with the hope of much better bikes in its shadow.
The motorcycle market is a shrinking one with more descerning buyers that have the cash to purchase. Here is a easy way for Suzuki to be a player.
Just my opinion......