Yellow and black, so gay. Like Maya the Bee. Forgive the not serious register, but it’s all the fault of the Suzuki V-Strom 650 XT: a bike that makes you smile, even in late October days. On the contrary. Thanks to the lemon-yellow version of the trial version, call for a good mood as soon as you lift the garage door. In appearance, the2021 edition changes little compared to that of 2004, renewed in 2012 and 2017. But chassis, electronics and a pinch of pepper in the engine have always kept this model current, which in 2007 had even reached the second place in sales, behind the Bmw 1200 GS .
It has a reassuring aspect, an engine with enough power to entertain (71 horsepower), but without worrying. The glance reflects the nature of this bike: solid, without frills (even too much), ready for anything and never in trouble. To stay on the playful tones, do you know what the climax is for the Suzuki Maya Ape? Simple: flutter on the mountain roads with two wild boars on your back. We are talking about the rider and passenger of this test, who together stop the scale not too far from 190 kilos of dry weight of the V-Strom.
How are you
Let’s start right from here, from the “trial of the two wild boars”. Already in the departure on the plains, Suzukina (only because she has an older sister 1050) shows her character. The maximum engine speed is 10 thousand rpm, but at 3500 the gears enter smoothly and without loss of power. And a smile begins to emerge, because it is a pleasure to travel without the nightmare of engine voids. Then, the climb begins. In some places, up to 10 percent. Curves and hairpin bends. The response of the V-Strom makes you laugh under the fangs, pardon the mustache, the two boars. Same changes, same thrust. If we want to be picky, the ideal is around 4000 rpmto have more momentum just get to 5000. Point.
The saddle is comfortable and does not tire even on trips of a few hours. Despite the “superload”, suspension and chassis they absorb the roughness as you would expect from a maxienduro, the wheels barely convey the sensation of cracks and cracks in the asphalt. The V-Strom slips into the curves with confidence. Never a hesitation, never a jump. Nothing. Precision and softness: pure fun, without worries. When you downshift a gear or close the throttle to take a bend, it is as if the V-Strom by magic has already found the right speed to “enter”. And to have fun, you don’t need to “tinker” with the three levels of traction control, to be used perhaps when the asphalt is wet or off-road.
All this also applies to solo driving. With another paradox: halved weight, slightly higher performance. And all this, with an average of 23 kilometers with a liter. Another smile.
The windshield plexiglass is adjustable, but only by loosening four bolts. Stuff from the 80s. The competitors have knobs, electric drives, or even just the ability to adjust in two positions using one hand. Who knows, maybe the 2022 model ready for Eicma will have this improvement, even if only as an option.
And then, there is the dashboard. Half analog, half digital, with liquid crystal displays like 1980s watches. That won’t change, apparently. Pity. Let’s be clear, there is everything that needs to be there, including outside temperature and the gear indicator, there is also something that may never be useful, like the voltage meter. But in 2021, we could expect a “TFT” display more or less as large as that mounted by various competitors.
The balance of the V-Strom is marked by essentiality. Perhaps this is the reason for the few concessions to “modernity” in aesthetics and style. But her qualities are other: elastic and ready to shoot when neededand, it cuts the curves like the blade of a katana. The Suzukina is always there, she never abandons you, ready to help you in any circumstance. Here, the V-Strom is a little samurai. And as such, she deserves a martial salute: «Domo arigato gozaimashita», thanks for everything, it was a pleasure to have made your acquaintance.
Suzuki V-Strom 650 XT: 9,340 euros