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Suzuki V-Strom 650

Suzuki V-Strom 650

4.8 from 39 reviews

See the Best Enduro Bikes in 2019 as rated by Australians on ProductReview.com.au.

Greed gets you in trouble this bike gets you there

Purchased the first Suzuki 4 stroke GS750 after years of Hondas and was hooked. My 650 vstrom abs 2012 is without doubt the best money can buy. Its seat was a pain in the butt so found a site on the web instructing how to make your own on the standard base and now a brilliant seat. Lift the screen to its top position as cruising is a breeze. We travel two up most of the time and it is loaded down to the gun rails yet it barely notices it. The victorian alps loop over Falls Creek is a blast and the only difference from cruising is using more revs and heavy engine braking. This engine excels at this. Most servicing is a breeze except the engine valve shims. It can take 4 hrs to do as it takes so much time to get at them . Checked them twice in 55,000 k and still original shins. I am not looking forward when they do need adjusting as it will add on another hr or so, still most riders today never touch there own engines so not an issue for them. The Trail Wing tyres are perfect and hold at full tilt but deadly on clay base gravel roads when wet as they literally become slicks. The abs is brilliant and in 48 yrs of riding motorcycles this is the first one l have had the courage to brake into a corner apex without any fear of losing the front end, don't try that on dirt though. The height of the seat is a watch out, as even at 5' 10'' l had to put thicker soles on my boots to get better leg spread when still or unloaded. It on a cambered surface it can give you a bit of a fright when you feel no road under your foot when you expected it. Anybody wanting more power will only be able to use it in a straight line and in the curves will only be able to keep up with the Suzuki and spending more on a bike is in my opinion a misplaced ego trip. Well done Suzuki on this gem.

Date PurchasedAug 2012

Simply perfect for may needs

Just as the previous reviewer, this is the best bike I had in nearly 40 years of riding. Disregard my suggested areas for improvements that will give it features of a $20K bike - at the price, it is simply brilliant.
Overall impression:
• Power is more than adequate for one-up touring.
• Fuel economy and range - according to my Fuelly database, I'm averaging 3.9L per 100km. That means that I regularly get 450km per tank, with some reserve left.(My previous bike RF900R was getting 180-220km).
• Instrumentation is modern and informative.
• Sitting position is adequate, straight and relaxed but the seat is firm (I have 80kg). It is also high which makes sightseeing easier.
Essential improvement: windshield sucks. $200 Givi replacement, which is adjustable, fixes the problem. Some form of luggage is needed.
Optional improvements, (in no particular order) if you have a $1000 to spare:
• Oil filter sticks out like proverbial – it is exposed and vulnerable. Proper Australian bash plate from B&B is indestructible.
• Headlight guard saves money (mine is Touratech but there are identical alternatives at half the price).
• I have installed Givi engine guard, it already paid itself off when it protected the fairing from one stationary fall.
• $ 50 ebay auxiliary lights for night driving, mounted on the engine guard.
• Centre stand is on my list as well.
• Mobile phone/GPS charger and brackets, if you’re so inclined.
• Sheepskin seat cover might be helpful. As an experiment, I am going to make mine with a $20 seat warmer from ebay.
• Handlebar risers will improve my sitting position, I’m 5’10”
• Barkbusters

Date PurchasedAug 2016

Top Bike love it

Talk to anyone that knows bikes about the V Strom and you will only hear things like bulletproof reliable dependable handles well and It’s all true.
They tick all the boxes. Very good on the road and soft off road work.
I was going to use this bike as a stepping stone to a BMW 1200 GS but pretty sure I will stay with the 650 V Strom maybe the 1000 V Strom one day if they ever come out with cruise control.
If you’re thinking about this bike just get it at worst sell it and get your money back as they hold there value.
As they have been around for a while aftermarket bits are easily added to get the bike to work just right for you. Dropping the pegs and fitting a tall seat with adjustable screen are the best mods I have done to fit my tall frame
10/10 well done SUZUKI

Date PurchasedSep 2018

Best bike I've ever owned.

I bought my V-Strom 650-XT in November 2016, after a quick test ride, only to see why the V-Strom is so popular.
I love the bike even more now than I did back then & this is why:

*Very comfortable for long distances (have done multiple 850km/12hr rides with no discomfort)

*Handles surprisingly well for such a tall/kinda heavy bike (have managed to keep up with multiple sport bikes in corners) & when fully load handling is not at all affected.

*A rather good amount of torque for its displacement.

*Decent fuel economy (I avg 3.9-4.2L/100km general riding, 4.6L with full touring kit fitted & 5L offroading)

*Suprising off-road performance/handling for a road based ADV bike (though I do have MITAS E-07's fitted), I do take it on 4-WD only tracks where it honestly shouldn't go but the Strom always makes it!

*Typical butter-smooth Suzuki gear-box.

*Tubeless spoked rims

I have added a fair amount of accessories, mostly luggage & off-road protection kit.

Coming up on 2-years & 16,500km of ownership, with many adventures ridden, I can wholeheartedly recommend the DL-650 to any rider, looking for a comfortable, inexpensive, reliable, do-it-all motorcycle.

It may not be the best looking bike, but it certainly is one of the best that you can buy.

Date PurchasedNov 2016

650 V Strom, 2006 model

Fantastic bike. Maybe not the most eye catching bike around but these are brilliant all rounders. Ugliest bike Ive had, but by the far best after 40 years of bike riding. There are 18 others in the garage, but the Strom is the best. Ive found it to be very reliable, easy to service, parts are cheap and available, and for $265 reg in NSW a year its a bargain commuter.

Date PurchasedApr 2015

A good example of a well thought out product

Purchased a 2017 vstrom 650xt with 1600km on the clock a month ago.Previously i had done a lot of research on mid range motorcycles, and this seemed to be the machine for me.
So far i have travelled 2000km,and it has exceeded my expectations, i am delighted with it.It is very easy and user friendly to ride,i use it for touring,as well as around town commuting,ect.
The controls,instrumentation, even down to the mirrors, are well thought out and practical. The seating,for driver,and pillion, is comfortable, and a good riding position, eliminates fatigue.Power,and handling,are good,it feels very sure footed and predictable, one feels really confident,when riding this bike.

Date PurchasedMar 2018

Solid and (reasonably) dependable

This is my 3rd bike and my first Fuel injected machine. I purchased this bike second hand and for the most part it behaves like a new bike, typical Suzuki strong and reliable.

My only complaint would be the MY2007 (K7) non-ABS model does seem to have a known issue with Throttle Position Sensor wear at around 25000km+ (depending on how the bike is ridden) so if you spend lots of time commuting at city speeds you can expect to have to spend a little money replacing a ~$110 part plus labor.

Otherwise an all round good bike, part Street, part Dirt. all Fun. As you can expect its not Hyabusa on the road nor is it a DRZ in the dirt however with the correct application of tyres and will this bike will take you most anywhere.

Date PurchasedFeb 2018

Cant live without my baby

I love this item. and enjoy using it, it has endless amounts of power.
My son also loves riding it with me, he enjoys the back, while I like to ride up front
it's a great investment and well worth purchasing.
Thanks Suzuki for the great item and a wonderful ride.

Date PurchasedJun 2005

Good all Round Bike

I have purchased this bike around 4 months ago and have ridden it 10,000km since then.
The pros:
All round this bike is great. In terms of comfort, the seat is plush and the riding position upright. You can ride several hundred km's on it with no worries. The adjustable front and rear suspension makes it easy to tailor the bike to your weight. fuel economy is ~4.5L/100km on the highway and ~5.5L/100km city riding. Engine is my favourite part of this bike, the 650cc EFI V-twin makes great power all through the rev range and had enough horsepower to carry me, my partner, camping gear, clothes, water etc without much of a problem.

The cons:
Seat is plush but everything on this bike is HIGH. I am 6'1'' however I struggle to plant my feet flat unless the bike is loaded down. The weight is very high up and unfortunately this leads to my biggest problem - it can not handle dirt riding. The only dirt riding this bike can do are smooth and compact dirt roads at best. The front tyre washes out at the first sign of loose gravel and as the weight is high up when the bike tips it takes a monumental effort to stop. I strongly advise people not to purchase the Karoo Metzler tyres for this bike as they are bad both in dirt and on the road. The only mechanical issue was the speedo unit contacting the front wheel magnets which results in a chirping noise (apparently a common problem) however it was not too much effort to pull the front tyre off and grease the part to fix the noise.

I have ridden this bike comfortably across Australia with little issue however if you plan on taking this bike on anything more serious than nice dirt roads then you should consider other options.

Date PurchasedNov 2017

great bike

purchased for dual rides, Wife enjoys being on the back, more comfortable than the old bmw k1100 lt (had poor seat)
Tyre's a bit dear as they are not a common size, (500-600). Going to risk some Shinko e 705 for 350.
Bike is tall and on the heavier side. Had an issues with lights wiring.

Date PurchasedMar 2016

What a great bike

Bought my bike new in April 2007 and just sold it about 6 months ago - should have done a review before now .... it was such a wonderful bike
I rode mainly on the road, although the bike was quite capable in basic rough going - I am not a dirt rider, and not confident there, so would not have done the bike justice
Did some 1000km days on the bike and pretty relaxed at the end of the day - so seat comfort quite good although I did add a sheep skin cover and also tried an Air Hawk at times for longer rides.
The performance was excellent and fuel consumption amazing at under 5L per 100km in good conditions.
Luggage capacity was great - I had a top box, but added soft bags, loaded up the seat and whatever, for trips to Phillip Island and it did great
It is not good for shorties - I am not that tall, and in some situations struggled to touch ground confidently when stopping. But probably a lower seat height can be arranged
My wife found pillion seating not too bad - but not as comfy as our previous bike BMW K series.
Only issues I had were rear wheel bearings going after 2 years and not covered under warranty, and the rear shock going out of the blue after about 7 years - bought a second hand Ohlins shock and it was a big improvement on the original....recommended if you can get one a bit cheap.
Anyhow....absolutely loved the bike, it was sad to see it go- had to go due to bad hip (replacement needed) and feeling like at my age probably need something closer to the ground - cruiser style perhaps

Date PurchasedApr 2007

Rode it across Australia - no worries!

Had the bike for over a year now. Managed to do over 30000km in that time. It's super reliable and super simple so when things do need fixing it's generally quite easy. The bike has plenty of power to ride 2-up in any situation and also has plenty of space to strap on weeks worth of luggage. Would recommend.

Date PurchasedJan 2016

Pretty good,reliable,economical to run,all rounder.

Bought the bike as a all round tourer when I rekindled my love with motorbikes and I am pretty happy with her,can go where the noisemaking Harley's can't.Not the most attractive looking bike but I am also not the most attractive looking bloke.But we both get serviced regularly.
Can keep up with all my mate's in my motorcycle club,have a huge range of 400 km plus,per tank.When riding conservatively,I get away with less than 5 l a 100 km.Done more than 70 000 km,never missed a beat,just changed chain and sprockets at 55 000 km,still got the original battery,but lowered the bike a bit. Only ride for leisure,but even than one might get wet,but she offers quite a bit of protection and got all the power I ever need.
Had,BMW,Honda,Kawa,and Yamaha years before,but she is just perfect for me.
In case I win lotto,I will swap her for the new version with ABS.

Date PurchasedFeb 2008

Impressive bike

Bought a 2012 650 strom in 2014, has nearly 60k on it now, used for touring, dirt roads, tracks, spirited twisty blacktop and has been a satisfying problem free ride, I mean zero problems, nothing, runs perfectly. For a 650 it never feels lacking in power, has good torque at low revs and nice power up to the redline to keep it fun, very smooth engine and sounds good with a pipe. Not the most attractive looking machine, makes up for it though in delivering a great ride over many different road surfaces. There are heaps of mods and information available too, and they are quite cheap to buy used. I don't think you could go wrong with one of these bikes, makes changing to something else hard to justify. it's easy to service yourself, no fancy oil needed, however the owners manual has not been changed from the earlier model, no need to change the iridium plugs at 12k kms.

Date PurchasedFeb 2014

Gotta love it !

Just picked up my 2016 vstrom 650 XT and am very , very impressed. Did a lot of research before purchasing and the bike has lived up to every accolade it has received in numerous reviews I had read . Power , comfort , features , fuel economy... the list goes on . I have no doubt I have found the perfect all rounder and at a price that is hard to beat or match compared to other makes and models on the market . I now know why Suzuki have sold a squillion of these around the globe !

Date PurchasedApr 2017

The best bike EVER!!!!

I purchased my Suzuki V-Strom in December 2009 and just yesterday I clocked 200,000 km. Yes, that is correct and I have a picture to prove it.

I live in Gembrook, Victoria and I ride to/from work in Melbourne CBD “EVERY DAY” no matter the weather (150 km return trip).

I started to work in Melbourne CBD in January 2010 and I didn’t want to take public transport to go to/from work. I always had motorbikes and I thought that it was going to be a great idea to ride a motorbike to/from work so I can save time and enjoy my passion.

The challenge was to find a reliable motorbike that could last long enough to make this economical and safe. After a lot or research I decided to buy a Suzuki V-Strom from “Peter Stevens” dealer in Dandenong – Victoria.

To cut a long story short, after 6 and a half years of riding almost 150 km every day (return trip) I can say that this is the BEST MOTORBIKE EVER!!!!

It has been very reliable since the only problem that I had was with the “Stator”. Unfortunately they didn’t last very long. I had to replace it a few times and when they die, the whole bike just died there and then.

Apart from that, everything else has been perfect and after 200,000 km still runs like new. Still has a lot of power and I know that it will start every morning to go to work and every afternoon to come back home.

I always made sure that the bike was serviced regularly (every 10,000 km). I take my bike to a local mechanic, Powerhouse Motorcycles in Pakenham. They always do a fantastic job looking after the bike and teaching me how to look after the bike too.

Definitely my next bike is going to be a Suzuki V-Strom, however I think I still have a couple of more years out of this beast.

Date PurchasedDec 2009

Great Ride & Bang For Your Buck

Was looking around for a medium sized bike that was capable of touring plus good around town.
Test rode a BMW F800GS and must say was very disappointed with it's performance on the tar.
Decided to take a look at the V Strom 650 - now I can see why they have such great reviews!
Comfortable, fun to ride, smooth acceleration & the 650 V Twin is a punchie little motor.
Haven't done any big trips yet but It seems like it would gobble up the K's no worries.
And the price... 4k cheaper than the BMW and in my opinion a much nicer bike to ride.

Date PurchasedNov 2016

Great fun for little money

I am onto my second V-Strom 650. Owned a 2009 ABS model first and loved it. Didn't think the new model (released 2012) would be much different, but one test ride had me sold on the spot. The newer version is better in virtually every way. It feels much slimmer, lighter and has a more comfortable seat. The engine has much less mechanical noise and has a more meaty mid-range making it feel like a bigger capacity (800 almost). In a straight drag, the old bike was a quite a few bike lengths behind my old man's TDM900 after 400 metres, whereas my 2013 model (with a Barrett aftermarket exhaust) is neck and neck. Economy is improved (which off-sets the 2 litre smaller tank) and ridden with care, 500kms + from one tank is doable. Ridden with spirit, you still see close to 400 easy.
Update - I just completed a week long economy run where I purposely rode gently and avoided the freeway. Pretty much keeping to no more than 4 thousand RPM. Filled up with 518km showing on odometer. Still had just over a litre left. That's 3.6 ltrs/100km or a theoretical range of just over 550km. Must admit it was hard not to rev out that sweet V-twin. Won't be so careful on the next tank.
Update 2 - Just returned from a 2 night ride out west where a Street Triple Triumph came along. At no stage of the little 'Strom embarrassed or unable to keep up. The Triumph rider (who was no where near as fresh as me after 500km days) was suitably impressed.

Date PurchasedFeb 2016

Plain Jane with a great personality.

I have recently acquired a 2007 Vstrom 650. I have owned a few bikes and was hesitant about this one, because I had never quite got past her plain exterior. For me a bike is like a women. I need to have that initial attraction in order to initiate a relationship. That probably makes me sound shallow, but I'm convinced most of us operate that way, at least unconsciously. It's the same situation with the Vstrom. I had found all the reviews and articles singing her praises, from the sparkling engine to its comfort, but I just saw a plain Jane. But I decided to buck my trend and lashed out, albeit tentatively, and purchased a 2007 non-abs Wee Vee in stunning red, in immaculate condition, with panniers, givi box and a whiz bang after-market windshield. We met in the garage and I must say all my fears about her looks began to surface, like a bad Chicko roll after riding a roller coaster. She's lucky the light was poor. I ummed and arghed, I scratched my chin and wiped the back of my neck, I looked under her skirt and checked out her face. Everything seemed in the right place. What to do? Then I thought, 'you only live once and it's only 5k, so what the hell. At least then I can cross the old girl off my bucket list'. I shook hands with her father, handed over the dowry and the new bride and I set off. I must say my initial Impressions were not positive. Seemed to tall, bit gangly, a bit flighty, a tad awkward. I was underwhelmed. I got home and thought ' What have I done' you know, like waking up next to the girl that looked delightful in the club and realising that the lighting made her look like Princess Fiona, but dawn brings Shrek. I sat there shaking my head. Oh, well, you live and you learn. It's a 5k lesson. Cheap in the long run, I mused. Yet over the next couple of days, then weeks, she really began to grow on me. The initial fears gave away to a kind of eager anticipation, a desire to be around her, to spend time with her. Like a plain Jane who grows more attractive the more you grow to know her, to fall in love with her personality, to look forward to seeing her, to finding yourself talking about her to others, to shopping for her...yep, I think I'm in love. The reviews were right, people: she ain't the prettiest, nor the fastest, nor does she have all the bling her cousins have, but by God, she is the girl for me. Fast off the mark, comfortable in the sack, nimble as a ballerina, and doesn't skull her fuel. And it's as if she knows all this and is just so damned grateful to be on a date she tries her darnedest to please her beau. And she does. Baby, I luv ya. And you will too. Go grab her sister and enjoy pure, unadulterated fun. Maybe, just maybe, this is a marriage that will do more than survive, it will thrive.

August 26th 2017 Update:
Recently purchased 2012 VStrom 650 with ABS. Really smooth through the gears, with plenty of get up and go. It's not gonna pull your arms out but will take most cars at the lights. Very comfortable seat and fantastic suspension just soaks up the bumps. The dash provides any and all important info, including time, temp, gear, fuel, etc. I get close to 500 kms with $20 and the ride is the best of all the bikes I've owned and I've owned a few! Sits on 110kms at 4500revs, which is fantastic. You sit nice and high and can see over most cars around you. Brakes superb and feels very planted in the road, especially round corners, which it takes as if on an invisible rail. Can't really fault it. Bullit proof engine, looks nice, fast enough, loads of accessories, plenty of spare parts and a worldwide fan club. Do yourself a favour and get one.

Date PurchasedMay 2015
Just a follow up. I replaced stock windscreen (absolutely hopeless) on a new V Strom I have just purchased with a Givi Adjustable Airflow windscreen. A breeze to install, even if you are a complete gimp in the mechanics area, and works an absolute treat. Not cheap, but compared to feeling like you have a seat on Auntie Em's porch when the tornado carries away her house, it's well worth it. Adjustable is its name and adjustable is what it is. The position can be changed in seconds without tools, so if the height is an issue, simply pull over and adjust and you're away in 30 seconds. Highly recommend.Recently upgrade to the 2012 ABS model of Vstrom 650. Even better, smoother and fun to ride.

2006 model, suffers from the vstrom surging

I bought a second hand 2006 model with 24,000km. I had the throttle bodies synced and throttle position sensor adjusted. It suffers from the Vstrom surging (650 and 1000 suffer from it, google it). Apart from that, it is a very comfortable bike, gets to 110km easily and very smooth. Heaps of aftermarket parts for it. There are lots of forums as well. stromtooper.com and vstrom.info The surging seems to be a common problem due to running very lean in low revs.

Also, they have the fuel filter in the tank. Some years models have a non replaceable filter that may require a new pump as well. I have just done the conversion to an external fuel filter so I can change it whenever I want to. Only certain year models can do the conversion as you have to drill a hole in the OEM filter housing in the tank. Don't know why Suzuki went with this type of pump/filter combination.

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Questions & Answers

I am looking at getting a brand Strom 650xt just need to know can I cruise at 110ks 2 up for long distances I wheigh 90kgs and my girlfriend is around 55kgs
4 answers
Yes very much so I have the lams bike and can do 160 km on the track. The other thing is they go round corners very well.I am 54 years old and prefer comfort. The bike is fantastic for one up, I do 900-1200km a day, no problem. It could do two up but you'd probably get sick of noise and vibrations. Get a 1000 V-Strom. Get some cruise control device as well.Thank you very thats what I thought

What the best fitting panniers for a 650 Strom???
2 answers
Depending on the budget and application. If you can afford it, for road touring, Givi Trekker Outback set is fantastic (top box, side cases, bike-specific mounting frame). For off-road, the same top box will do, but I'd go for soft panniers (eg Gearsack) on the side that will survive falls much better than the rigid ones. For lower budget, I can recommend the largest RJays top box which fits the helmet, wet weather gear, spare parts, food etc. Combined with soft panniers as they are cheaper.I used the Givi Monokey Cases which are the hard ones and yes they full apart when you hit some thing hard. One of them is now held together with hinges from Bunnings. Being able to lock them was important for me. But can see why soft ones may be a better way to go.

I'm planning a year+ tour around North America. Has anyone tried something like this on a V-strom 650? Any ideas or suggestions? Thnx.
3 answers
Haven't been to N America,so can't help there.However I think the vstrom would be an excellent choice,I have mine fitted with Givi panniers,and riding with a pillion,I find it has plenty of power,and is a good allrounder.Get ready to have some fun with that bike...I'm in the midst of a country wide tour...started in early July in Florida, snaked my way to Fargo, ND, turned back down south, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Colorado,Utah, Nevada, California...currently in Tucson, AZ...12,000 plus miles on the trip and not a single issue....perfect bike for touring, I have givi trekker cases, skid plate, crash bars, auxiliary lights, hand guards and top case, etc...having a blast so far, already planing to ride to Alaska next year...Enjoy the ride and be safe.Thanks for your replies! That's the feeling I've got about the bike. I went to Canada for a weekend trip (675 miles each way) and it was an excellent bike! Ray, it sounds like you are in the midst of an adventure of a lifetime. I've got the Givi hard cases and am planning the trip now. Thanks again!


Suzuki V-Strom 650
CategoryEnduro Bikes and Sport Touring Bikes
Release dateMay 2007
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