What do you get for your money?
There’s not a lot in the way of headline gadgets but there’s a reasonable level of sophistication. All models have switchable traction control, with two levels (one of which is so sensitive it’s almost pointless unless you’re on ice or wet clay) and the option to turn it off altogether. The ABS system is streets ahead of the older V-strom’s set-up, and the Motion Track cornering ABS system on the 2017 update version is a nice touch. Fully adjustable suspension is good too, with remote rear preload for a pillion and/or luggage. The screen’s adjustable and there’s a 12V socket in the dash to power your sat nav or phone. The seat’s NOT adjustable — higher and lower options are available but pricey. Handguards are standard but they’re a bit minimalist and don’t protect your hands from wind and rain much. Less obvious is the one-touch starting system and there’s also Low Speed Assist, which automatically raises the tickover slightly as you operate the clutch, to make it less likely you’ll stall the engine during low-speed manoeuvres. The clutch itself is also pretty clever — it has two-way ramps which allow it to act as a slipper clutch on down-changes (so you don’t lock up the rear wheel), while actively gripping the clutch plates under power, which means you can have softer clutch springs for a lighter feel at the lever. Finally, it has a very sophisticated regulator/rectifier unit, which actually turns the alternator off when not needed, which should be good for reliability long term.
2017 update looks sharp and rides well
Hardly state-of-theart but there is a handy 12V socket
Distinctive front with stacked headlight units
Three-position Adjustable screen