Can these bikes really cut it off-road?
On dusty firetracks and green lanes the Suzuki doesn’t feel all that bad – but then I rode the BMW, which is a huge step forward. The off-road biased rubber and large 21in front wheel really show what the GS is capable of, giving much more confidence and grip. As soon as the terrain turns a little gnarly the Suzuki quickly hits its limits whereas the BMW simply ploughs on and kicks dirt in the face of the Suzuki. You can even switch the ABS off and there are specific Enduro (and optional Enduro Pro) rider modes on the Beemer.
You could opt for more off-road biased rubber on the V-strom but you’re still limited by the 19in front wheel and it doesn’t have the ground clearance or off-road stance of the BMW.
When you stand on the pegs on the Suzuki the fuel tank and seat are too wide and you can’t get your weight over the front – which isn’t a problem on the narrower, more nimble BMW.
The BMW’S 21in front wheel gives it an advantage off-road