While I was in Canada, I visited Suzuki's Canadian headquarters in Waterloo Ontario, and persuaded them to lend me one of the few C-Stroms that they brought across the Pacific Ocean.
This is a miniature, one-cylinder version of the V-Strom, and it has only 100 cubic centimeters. You can readily see the family resemblance between this DL-100 and its bigger cousins the DL-650 and DL-1000.
We may need to rethink the term Wee-Strom now that there is a *really* wee Strom.
Like the two-cylinder bikes, the DL-100 has a computer-controlled, fuel-injected engine that is water cooled. It also has the proven Suzuki six-speed transmission and the legendary reliability of the V-Strom. Like the bigger Stroms, the C-Strom has four gauges, but these are all analog. The familiar "needle-dance" is not part of the C-Strom's wake-up routine.
I asked whether the term "C-Strom" was derived from C being the Roman numeral for 100, or whether C meant Compact or some other adjective based on the bike's relatively small size. Nobody at Suzuki Headwuarters could answer that.
Whatever the basis of the first letter of C-Strom, the rest of the bike deserves its moniker. The 100 cc engine is redlined at 11600 RPM, and readily pushes the bike over 60 MPH. The C-Strom feels out of place on an Interstate Highway, but is thoroughly legal there. Its proper place is on Florida's many State and County Roads, especially the twisty ones. Because the little engine can cope with only slight hills and only modest headwinds, Florida's generally flat landscape and benign weather are just the place to enjoy this keen performer. I wish I had better skill at curves and corners, because this bike really holds the road well, and a skilled road-racer would enjoy pushing the bike to its limit. Unfortunately, I am not permitted to let anyone else ride it, but y'all can watch all you like.
I feel honored to be one of the few writers chosen to promote this innovative bike, and I look forward to seeing the C-Strom at dealers in 2011, or perhaps the second half of 2010. If the Florida Stromtroopers organize a ride, not too far from Sarasota, I would be pleased to participate. I hope rodK can be persuaded to ride my Wee-Strom on such a ride.