Vstrom 1000DL – A Surprise

Suzuki V-Strom 1000DL at the beach

For the past 6 months Motorbike World has had a 2016 VStrom 1000DL for daily use.

In that time, we have put over 16000km on the bike, so fair to say we know it pretty well.

There were a few colors to choose from, but being kiwi I went with black. The looks do take some getting used to, but now every time I see this bike, I have a grin from ear to ear.

We added a few accessories to the stock bike.
• Puig windscreen – made a massive difference – the stock screens are terrible, though the 2017 / 2018 models are improved.
• Heated grips – think what you want….
• Fog lights – cause they look cool and because I ride in Auckland city – enough said.
• Crash bars
• Radiator guard
• Touratech sump guard
• Givi Top Box
• GPR exhaust – probably my favorite change. The stock exhaust is so ugly it should be illegal.The GPR sounds amazing and removes a couple kg as well.

The bike has been used on motorways, secondary roads, gravel roads, fire trails and off-road. I gotta tell ya. I love it. If you want the specs, I’ve noted them below. I’ll tell you what I think, as a rider, as a motorcycle enthusiast, as someone that must be passionate about my bike, or she’s gotta go.

This ones a keeper!

Not pretty, but curvy, and oh so much fun.
This bike is not a screamer. You don’t rev it to the red line. Anything over 5000 rpm is a complete waste of time.

Open the throttle, change up and quicker than you think you will be breaking the speed limit. It doesn’t feel fast. It doesn’t look fast. But it’s fast, fast enough to lose your license anyway – and who needs more than that, unless you’re racing, or got a death wish.

She growls, and rumbles and delights in movement. The Suzuki off road heritage comes through – in many ways this is like a big dirt bike. But she leans to, oh does she lean. You have to try pretty hard to scrape a peg here. There are not too many riders or bikes that could get away from the VStrom if you really want to keep up.

Of course, then when the road ends you can keep going. Oh sure. She’s doesn’t have the dash of the BMW GS, or the hardcore get it done feel of the KTM. The ground clearance is too low. Stock, the suspension is too soft. She has alloy wheels not spokes. But as long as you have a sump protector on, you will be surprised where she can get you. It comes from that low-down torque – like a tractor she’ll keep on rolling. Add to that the Vstrom is not a heavy bike – at least not if you are used to riding a big GS. Yeah – she can go off road.

There are not too many electronics. Traction control – 3 settings, including off. You do need to turn it off on gravel roads if you want to go anywhere.
ABS which you can’t turn off. It does work well, but you will need to adjust you riding style for it off-road.

The seat is actually pretty good. I’ve done over 500km in a day and couldn’t complain. Its stock, but it’ll do. The riding position is great. Gives you good visibility, allows you to lean the bike over, and you don’t get sore knees, well, I don’t anyway.

What else can I tell you. Well you can get 400km out of tank, but not much more than that.
The rest of it’s just emotion right.

If you give this bike a chance, you will have fun. It unavoidable. It encourages you to do things. To jump off that curb. To accelerate past that car when perhaps you shouldn’t, to explore that gravel road. To keep up with that sports bike. All without complaining. Without stuff breaking. It’s a Suzuki. They don’t break. Push the button and ride. And smile. Ride all day – that’s what she’s made for.

Commute, tour, adventure, whatever. The Suzuki Vstrom can do it all and do it well.

I wasn’t a believer. I thought they were boring, slow, ugly and cheap.

I wasn’t right about any of that. They’re fun, quicker than you need, and fantastic value for money. Are they ugly – well, I’ll let you decide.
Me, I’m off for a ride!



Engine Type

 V Twin



Engine Stroke






Valves Per Cylinder


Valve Configuration


Bore (mm/in)

 100 / 3.94

Stroke (mm/in)

 66 / 2.6

Displacement (cc/ci)

 1037 / 63.3

Compression Ratio




Fuel Requirements


Fuel Type


Fuel Injector




Carburetion Type

 Fuel Injected


Transmission Type


Number Of Speeds




Primary Drive (Rear Wheel)


Primary Drive (Engine / Transmission)




Wheels & Tires:  

Wheels Composition


Tube / Tubeless




Front Tire Width


Front Tire Aspect Ratio


Front Tire Speed Rating


Front Wheel Diameter


Rear Tire Width


Rear Tire Aspect Ratio


Rear Tire Speed Rating


Rear Wheel Diameter


Front Tire (Full Spec)

 110/80 R19M/C 59V

Rear Tire (Full Spec)

 150/70 R17M/C 69V


Brake Brand Name


Front Brake Type

 Dual Hydraulic Disc

Front Brake Diameter (in/mm)

 12.2 / 310

Rear Brake Type

 Hydraulic Disc

Rear Brake Diameter (in/mm)

 10.2 / 260

Anti-Lock Brakes


Linked Brake System Front to Rear



Front Suspension Type

 Inverted Fork

Front Suspension Size (in/mm)

 1.7 / 43

Front Adjustable Fork Pre-Load


Front Adjustable Rebound Damping


Front Central Suspension Strut


Front Suspension Brand Name


Steering Damper


Rear Suspension Type

 Twin Sided Swing Arm

Rear Adjustable Shock / Spring Pre-Load


Rear Adjustable Rebound Damping


Number Rear Shock Absorbers


Rear Suspension Material


Air Adjustable



Steering Control


Technical Specifications:  

Length (ft)


Width (in/mm)

 34.1 / 865

Wheelbase (in/mm)

 61.2 / 1555

Ground Clearance (in/mm)

 6.5 / 165

Length (ft/ft)


Length (ft/in)


Wet Weight (lbs/kg)

 502.7 / 228

Fuel Capacity (gal/l)

 5.3 / 20.1




Seat Type




Seat Material


Seat Location

 Driver and Passenger



Seat Height (in/mm)

 33.4 / 850

Number Of Seats


Backrest Logo Plate


Grab Rail or Strap





Body Material


Hand Grips


Foot Peg Location

 Driver and Passenger



Chain Guard


Drive Shaft Guard


Fork Guards


Saddle Bag Guard


Belt Guard


Brush Guard


Heel Guards


Light Guard


Side Cover


Front Fender


Rear Fender


Stand Type




Upper Fairing



Digital Instrumentation






Trip Odometer


Trip Computer




Temperature Warning Type


Fuel Level Warning Type



Warranty (Condition)


Destination Charge



Generic Type (Primary)


Manufacturer Country


Manufacturer Recommend Minimum Age


Parent Company


Display Name

 V-Strom 1000 ABS


Windshield Mounts


Paint & Finish:  



Decal Kit



Rearview Mirrors


Windshield Lowers


Height Adjustable







Rear Rack



Halogen Headlight (s)


Headlight (s)





Power Outlet


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