Used buying guide: Suzuki DL1000 V-strom
Often overlooked but a seriously capable adventure tourer
SUZUKI’S ORIGINAL V-STROM 1000 of 2002 never found the audience that its 650 little brother managed. After reasonable sales in its first year, from 2003 it lagged behind, then sold a third less, then half as many. By the time it was dropped from European markets at the end of 2008 (due to impending Euro3 emissions rules), sales were down to a tenth of the 650’s. Why? Well, it wasn’t the bike’s fault — it was grunty, comfortable, reliable, affordable and relatively cheap to run. But it wasn’t a BMW GS, which meant that in most markets, it didn’t stand a chance.
But adventure bikes were still big news and with the 650 dominating the middleweight class, you couldn’t blame Suzuki for having another stab at the big version. So, for 2014 we got a completely new V-strom 1000. The engine was still the same 90° V-twin layout but heavily reworked to meet Euro4 standards. The chassis was all-new, designed to allow plenty of ground clearance and the all-important adventure bike stance, while remaining slim enough at the saddle to make it easier for shorter riders to reach the floor. And the styling was sleeker and more aggressive than the original’s, with nods to the ‘beak’ on the DR750 Dr Big of 1988. A minor update for 2017 added cornering ABS but the basic package remains unchanged. Here’s what you need to know...