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The New 2012 Strom "reviews" thread

79018 Views 210 Replies 92 Participants Last post by  yalaharandy
Since the general 2012 Wee thread got killed I thought a thread with links to actual reviews of the new Strom (and our comments on the same) would be in order, starting with this one:

Suzuki V-Strom 650 2011 | Ash On Bikes

Edit: Here is the thread on the VSRI forum, always worth a look. Good pics.,15536.150.html
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858 Posts
Here's one that's quite negative... gotta wonder if this reviewer has actually ridden or even seen the new bike lol

Suzuki fails to impress with its new 2012 V-Strom
so, basically the guy is complaining because the bike doesn't look "cool" ..

i guess he doesn't realize that the vast, vast majority of vstrom owners either think they look fine, or don't care what they look like since you can't see the nose from the seat anyhow :green_lol:

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341 Posts
Let's wait for at least a dozen reviews or so and particularly comparisons. All too often, these writers are prone to selling roses because of the nature of their business. They are not going to get loaners if they are known to take apart those loaners in reviews. If they are doing a multi bike review, they may flower up the reviews but at least they will spit out some "better then best".

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352 Posts
I'm excited that they are calling this a new bike because now there will be more comparisons between it and competitors like the versys, gs800 and tiger 800.

It will be interesting to see how much difference the changes actually make between the old style and the new one.

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66 Posts
Let's wait for at least a dozen reviews or so and particularly comparisons. All too often, these writers are prone to selling roses because of the nature of their business. They are not going to get loaners if they are known to take apart those loaners in reviews. If they are doing a multi bike review, they may flower up the reviews but at least they will spit out some "better then best".
I agree. It's hard to tell when someone's giving an honest review, especially when magazines and websites rely on manufacturers' advertising $.

I'm sure the new bike will be fine, but overly positive (like the link at start of the thread, i believe) or overly negative ones should be taken with a grain of salt, IMHO.

Too bad there wasn't a "Top Gear"-like attitude to reviewing bikes. Those boys (in the UK; haven't seen the American version, but I'm guessing they aren't going to be as critical, at least not with Ford, GM and Chrysler) don't hold back when they don't like something, and that's refreshing. Too bad I can't aford 99% of what they are reviewing.

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2,512 Posts

i would say the bike is oviously much slimmer and with a narrow seat and more clearance be a better bike off road . also the motor is said to not have the bag of marbles loose inside sound of the old one . the wind shield buffeting probs are gone i would think . the water cooled oil cooler gets rid of the vunerable cooler of the old model . modern dash is a pluss aswell . worry of denting the expensive gas tank is also a great pluss . stupid faring that scratches when wipeing out is also gone . stock suzuki skid plate is nice as you can just get it when you buy it . crash bars seem improved . exhaust pipe looks less industrial . rear mud guard looks sporty . its obviously an improved prduct

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178 Posts
Judging from a visual standpoint it looks more svelt and a lot less pudgy. any weight loss would be a plus. Hopefully even a slight improvement in its fork performance and handling in general will make this a big step forward for the Wee. I'm not at all disappointed in the retention of the strong and economical 650 engine and am still in love with my '07 A model. I hope more people discover this bike for their travels and commuting needs. There simply isn't a better adventure touring solution out there! Just ask all those converted Beemer and other touring bike riders...

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601 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Stolen from jeeves on ADV. Didn't include his pics though.

"I was one of five lucky riders from the Croatian V-Strom forum V-Strom/KLV Adventure Riders Croatia Forum that had the opportunity to ride the new DL650 during the official presentation held in Split, Croatia a few days ago.

I have a Vee (a KLV 1000 to be precise), but have ridden the Wee on several occasions.

There has been a lot of discussion about the looks of the new Wee, but it really does look much better in real life.

So after lunch that we had at the Kamenjak viewpoint above Vransko lake (,en/) we suited up and went for a 30km ride.

The first thing I noticed is the my legs were bent slightly more in the knees, but keep in mind that the seat on my Vee is 2cm higher than on the Wee. You have a feeling of sitting "on the bike", instead of "in the bike" like on the old model.
The seat is comfortable, and there is absolutely no sliding around on it due to the new seat cover material.

The exhaust note is a bit deeper now, sounds better, especially at higher revs.

The clutch is feather light, the shifter is very, very good, no resistance whatsoever when shifting up or down.
I had a feeling I could shift all day long and not get tired of it.

Handling is as good as on the old model, very neutral.Suspension setup felt OK, but then again, we only went for a short ride.

The brakes were the biggest surprise - they are fantastic.
Two finger braking is absolutely enough in almost every situation, and the ABS gives you that extra dose of confidence when braking hard.
It only kicked in once due to some gravel on the road.
Unfortunately there is no OFF switch for the ABS.

I have four pot calipers from a SV1000 and breaded lines on my Vee, and the braking power is not even close compared to the new Wee.
The calipers and brake rotors look the same, so I presume the brake pump is stronger now.

The new engine is very good, vibrations are minimal, pulls nicely almost through the entire rev range.

The new instruments give a lot of information, including oil level indication at start up. A neat feature is that you can toggle the speedo between km/h and mph.
The gear indicator is a very useful feature, too.
On the other hand the instruments are at a lower position then on the old Wee, and it's kinda hard to see at what revs your at due to the design of the rev gauge that doesn't do a full circle like on the old model, so the rev needle is kinda low.
Didn't like the white background on rev gauge, I'd prefer it was black.

I rode a model with a stock windshield, and it seemed OK,not much difference compared to the old Wee. Unfortunately I didn't try the optional touring windshield.

All bikes had Bridgestone Trailwings (Deathwings ) tires that I really don't like, but some of the journalists scraped the pegs, so it look like the problem in more me than the tires.

Suzuki offers SW Motech TRAX, and Hepco & Becker Junior luggage, but I didn't like the way either setup looked attached on the bike.
They boxes are asymmetrical, and kinda stick too far out. Maybe Givi will offer a better looking solution in the future.

From the optional equipment list that Suzuki offers the skid plate, crash bars ,hand guards, and probably the touring windshield are a must have. The bike looks so much better with this equipment on it.

Since I ride a Vee I did want a bit more power.
I like to tour with my wife with a full set of luggage, and I have a felling the Wee would be struggling to keep up a bit under these conditions.
Don't get me wrong - this bike can go fast, but it doesn't have that hand pulling feeling like on the Vee.
After our little test ride we returned the bikes, got on our own bikes and went with the test group to the official presentation point in Split.
It was a combination of twisty local roads, state roads and freeway driving. Pretty hard driving.
At one point we were up to 180km/h, and it seemed the Wee had no problems driving at those speeds.

Since Suzuki went the 650ccm road, there is hope a new Vee could be in the works, but the rumors we head during the presentation say that won't be until 2013 or 2014.

All in all, during my little test drive, I really liked the new Wee, and if I would use it for mostly solo riding, without a doubt, this would be the bike I would buy,but for two up riding and touring
I would like a bit more HP, I would like a new Vee..

Pictures from the official presentation.
This is Igor, one of the founders and moderators on the Croatian V-Strom forum. He had a special invitation from Suzuki Europe try out the new Wee this last weekend. A real hard core V-Strom enthusiast.
Thanks to him we got to ride the new Wee. Thank you Igor! "

1) His take on the brakes is a big surprise.

2) He didn't notice much difference in the windshield. Hmmm. Of course we have the aftermarket for that.

3) The optional accessories are a nice addition.

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878 Posts
The review I've been waiting for is in, motorcycle news/MCN. These guys are the authority and objective. Bottom line, they love it.

Suzuki DL650 V-Strom 650 ABS (2011 - current) - Suzuki Motorcycle Reviews

Some quotes:

We approached the new V-Strom full of skepticism but have been swayed.
First, the restyle is a stunning success in its own right. I can’t think of any bike that looks so classy for so little money. Second, almost every aspect has been improved in terms of performance, ranging from engine and handling to manageability and range.

But what’s impressed most is how all that lot adds up to an immensely, almost peerlessly versatile package that is simply brilliant value for money.

The old V-Strom was a good, budget bike. The new one is a great bike that just happens to be at a budget price. Considering the style, finish, equipment and ability it makes even the great Tiger 800 seem pricey.

the new V-Strom an air of bikes as luxurious as Ducati’s Diavel rather than a budget-priced middleweight.

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601 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
A good thread by ib on the VSRI forum. He was one of the first to ride the new bike. Pics, film clips and links too (if you can read Croatian).

DL650 ABS L2 Test Report

Ib (Ibanujov) is an administrator on the VSRI forum who lives in Germany. Another member, agolac, from Croatia, also got to ride the new bikes and comments on it in the thread.

There is an interesting discussion on why Suzuki didn't go for an 800cc engine. According to Suzuki, that much of a displacement hike would double the registration and taxes paid in EU countries, which comprise the main market.

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27 Posts
What really means "New"?

OK, assuming that all we are talking after seeing just a few pictures, I think this is really a serious innovation in a motorcycle ...

OK, it doesn't go one thousand miles per gallon, does not brake in 2" from 100mph, the suspensions are not suitable for a landing on Mars, but in the end, is really a great bike ...

Aesthetically, I think is very well done... and (almost) all the faults that users had complained about - with regard to "old" - have been eliminated or greatly improved.

Everything can be improved and I see that each of us would like to have at his command a factory producing a "made ​​for him" bike.

In my opinion "Mamie Suzi" has chosen an excellent way of renewing... and without forcing prospective buyers to go to borrow money in the next Bank...

What more?

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174 Posts
Nice, its about time that the our gen of the strom is going in to retirement. This is when they become legends.

I am not expecting much from this new version, it looks like the same frame and suspension and probably just a few tweaks with the engine mappings but overall its the same bike. Hopefully they follow through with the SCEM coating this time around.
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