‘IT’S A BEAUTY AND A BEAST’
The 650 V-strom is capable but its unique looks split opinion
I’m five months and almost 6000 miles into my year with the Suzuki V-strom 650XT and ever since I took delivery of it, perhaps even before, I’ve had this one little niggle that won’t go away.
In many ways, the V-strom has exceeded expectations. I knew it would be a super-practical tourer/ commuter, but feared it might be a little on the dull side. However, it’s punchy enough to be enjoyable, while also nailing those less adventurous essentials.
My commute is 68 miles of predominantly motorway riding, but more and more with this bike I find myself looking for twistier ways home, even if it means adding 20 miles to the trip. I expected to get bored, but I haven’t yet.
It’s not a bike that attracts flocks of people when you rock up at a bike meet, in fact, it largely goes unnoticed. This is a bit strange as last year I was riding the extremely practical but slightly boring Honda NC750X and that got loads of attention, but in my eyes the V-strom XT is a better-looking bike.
Sometimes I’ll look at the bike and think it looks great, the gold spoked wheels are stunning (but a pain to keep clean), the banana yellow tank stands out as it glistens in the sun and the plastic finishing on the bike’s nose looks smart when it’s polished and sparkling.
Then there are other times when I’ll look at the yellow and think it’s ghastly, or that there’s too much cheap-looking plastic hiding the highly capable 650cc V-twin engine. The oddly-placed decals can look tacky too.
I like the aggressive adventure styling and the Suzuki luggage kit helps make it look complete. It also doesn’t look like a mid-capacity bike either and at first glance it’s hard to tell the difference between the 650 and 1000cc V-stroms, which is quite cool. So, I can’t quite make my mind up on the bike’s looks. Let me know what you think....
‘I find myself looking for twistier ways home, even if it means adding 20 miles’
Can a bike be just a bit too yellow? Those wheels are ace but a bitch to keep clean
Oli goes off hunting for the twistiest route home