Suzuki is known for making good quality products that are reliable and built to last. It’s also one of the few manufacturers to have launched a 650 Adventure Tourer – the V-Strom 650, which is perhaps the best motorcycle in the segment. Taking a lot of cues from the larger V-Strom 1000, which didn’t do too well in terms of sales, the V-Strom 650 is a fantastic beginner motorcycle for those looking to enter the adventure-touring segment.
In terms of design and quality, the V-Strom scores pretty well, but when it comes to engine performance and ride & handling, it really shines. The 645cc 90-degree V-Twin engine produces a meagre 71bhp and 62Nm of torque, but it’s very refined and delivers that power instantly when called upon.
It isn’t lightning fast, however, but it’s really nice for highway touring. Because of its smaller dimensions compared to most other ADVs, it’s very easy to live with and also very comfortable to ride on all kinds of road surfaces. However, this is no off-road machine, and it’ll perform best when you stick to the tarmac. The plastic panels around the engine are flimsy, which is a sure indication that you shouldn’t get too excited on trails.
It’s also a pretty sharp handler, and you can have some fun throwing it around twisty sections of a nice road if you know what you’re doing. As is evident from its relatively low lap time score, it might not be the most smile-inducing ride, but, then, the particular bike we tested did have some mechanical issues.
For what it’s worth, the V-Strom still allows you to do a lot more with it than other bikes in its segment. It also managed a good X-factor score. As an overall package, it offers pretty good value for money. It’s not packed with the best in terms of technology, but, with this machine, ABS and switchable traction control are all you will pretty much need.
As mentioned earlier, this bike is for someone who is looking to enter and get acquainted with the ADV segment. In that respect, it is really a great motorcycle. With its brilliant engine and ride quality, the V-Strom is a comfortable and reliable sports adventure tourer, which is evident from its impressive total score.