REVIEW RIDE: Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT Adventure

This site recently tested Suzuki’s V-Strom 650XT Adventure motorcycle, and despite certain limitations which the ADV bike has, the overall verdict is excellent. Now, its larger sibling, the Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT Adventure gets the shakedown test. 

However, things didn’t get off to a great start at the beginning. I would say it was mighty hilarious at one point, and it has to do with the V-Strom's wet weight – all 260kgs of it! That total consisted of 21 litres of fuel, 2 panniers and the bike’s own dry weight of 240kgs!  

It was no issue putting the bike upright via its main stand but the hilarious moment came when I realised trying to push it off from upright position took quite an effort. The heavier weight isn’t exclusive to V-Strom 1050XT alone as this is common with 1,000cc ADV motorcycles, and this was my third time onboard one, the previous two were BMW’s R 1200 GSA and Honda’s Africa Twin CRF1000L. 

Weight aside, the V-Strom 1050XT is a breeze to ride. Like its 650XT sibling, the bigger V-Strom is 1 of the most comfortable motorcycles ever. It feels lighter as the riding speed increases, and is surprisingly agile as well in maneuvering tactics, with the ability to lane splitting among vehicles when required, despite the presence of the 2 panniers. 

I had some difficulties in removing those panniers in the beginning – they looked like permanently attached to the V-Strom 1050XT, with no way to detach. I had to ride the bike with the panniers attached and find the 1050XT still has its agility intact.

The Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT comes factory-fitted with Bridgestone Battlax Adventure A41 type 110/80-19 (front) and 150-70/17 (rear) tyres. Unlike its sibling, the V-Strom 1050XT has a more refined engine tuning, with a torque that gives a comfortable ride during acceleration and a better balance of comfort when nearing top speeds! 

It is equally impressive in its agility on tarmac including canyons and other twisty roads. It must be mentioned that the taller seat height coupled with the 19-inch front wheel enabled me to perform lane splitting ride without interruptions during congestion. As with the V-Strom 650XT, the width of the 1050XT’s handlebars and sideview mirrors are higher than many inmoving vehicles that are stuck so there’s no worries of these accessories scraping anything. The overall width of the V-Strom 650 enables lane splitting to be carried out superbly as well. 

An updated Traction Control System that features 4 modes of adjustment, and it is joined by the new Suzuki Drive Mode Selector (S-DMS), which allows the rider to choose from 3 different engine power delivery characteristics. 2 of the 3 days I had the V-Strom 1050XT, the weather was wet, which allowed the Traction Control to be tested. 

Regardless of the weather conditions, the Suzuki Easy Start System fires the V-Strom’s engine up with just a slight press of the starter button. Suzuki’s Low RPM Assist system makes it easier for a V-Strom rider to avoid stalling the engine when pulling away from the stops or maneuvering through heavy traffic. 

The Suzuki Intelligent Ride System (SIRS) brings an extraordinary suite of rider aides to the V-STROM 1050XT. It comes with an updated Motion Track Anti-Lock and an all-new combined brake system with new six-direction IMU and rider-selectable ABS sensitivity, including 3 unique designs that help braking operation in various conditions. Each element of SIRS offers riders stress-free use and convenience during long-distance rides. 

The latest 43mm KYB inverted front fork offers a sporty yet plush ride in various conditions. The fork legs come with fully adjustable spring preload, including compression and rebound-damping force adjusters plus the single rear shock controls the movement of the cast aluminum swingarm with remote, hydraulic spring preload adjustment. Now it only takes few seconds to adjust for cargo or a passenger: the single-shock, the link-style back suspension features rebound damping force adjustment. 

An all-new Tokico Monoblock, four-piston front brake calipers are fixed with 310mm floating-mount dual discs. These efficient calipers are attached to the Motion Track Anti-Lock and Combination Brake System for greater stopping performance. In contrast, the new Bridgestone Battlax Adventure A41 tires are attached to DID-supplied spoke-style wheels with aluminum tubeless-style wheel rims. 

The V-Strom 1050XT has very good torque, enabling it to power out of situations with ease. Ultimately, it’s not the top speed but the acceleration power a rider needs in an Adventure motorcycle to make riding more pleasurable. With the V-Strom 1050XT Adventure, the choice is crystal clear. 

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