Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom, Japanese Grand Touring

When our Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom arrived some five months ago, I immediately made comparisons to BMW's esteemed R1200GS. At a spec-sheet level the Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom is a pretty close match for the BMW Boxer, and this Grand Touring version comes with topbox, panniers, heated grips and center-stand for more than 200,000 Baht less than a similarly equipped BMW GS.

What 5400 kilometer have shown is that while the perky, comfortable V-twin hasn't quite the composure, abilities and overall performance of the German market leader, it's certainly not 200,000 Baht worse.

Yes, the brakes are lacking and the handling isn't as sure-footed, but the Suzuki V-Strom has made covering 160 kilometers a days on all types of road effortlessly brisk and ache free, and it has enough of a naughty side to pander to my silly side. Who cares if it isn't as popular as the German? It's a blood good bike for the price, and I'd happily take the saving over the BMW GS's slight extra ability.

But is it really a saving? Yes, the purchase price is lower, but what about everything else? Over 5400 kilometer the Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom, fuel consumption is about 6.0 liter per hundred kilometers, where the BMW takes 5.60 liter for hundred kilometers. On spare parts the Suzuki can save you a fortune, as BMW parts are the costly side.

The Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom is powered by a 996cc, 4-stroke, liquid-cooled V-twin, 90 degree, DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder engine. It gets its juice from a electronic controlled fuel injector and is ignited by a transistorized electronic ignition system. And the Suzuki V-Strom delivers around 98 horsepower at 7600rpm.

The soft suspension is pretty basic but gives a comfortable ride. The remote rear preload adjuster is a nice touch. We've gone for full rear preload and pulled the forks through the yokes by 10mm to get more weight on the front, adding composure and giving sharper steering. A well-padded seat and spacious riding position give all-day comfort for both rider and pillion.

The two-piston sliding calipers brakes aren't the greatest, especially with so much weight to stop. What power and feel there is becomes reduced in wet conditions, and they deteriorate briskly if allowed to get crudded-up with road filth.

Related Article: The Suzuki DL1000 V-Strom Fuel Range

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