Jaco Van Der Merwe

By Jaco Van Der Merwe

Head of Motoring

Suzuki V-Strom 800 offers a comfortable ride without limits

This adventure bike bridges the gap between its 650 and 1050 siblings.

Adventure bikes are very similar to leisure bakkies. They are comfortable, offer a variety of uses and a choice of models to suit everyone’s fancy.

Suzuki offers a choice of four adventure bike derivatives; the 250SX, DL650SA, DL800DE and 1050DE, sold under the V-Strom badge. The V referring to the layout its twin parallel cylinders, and the Strom being the German word for steam or power.

The Citizen Motoring recently spent a week on the Suzuki V-Strom DL800DE, the youngest of the adventure family after its introduction in 2022.

Bridging the gap

The R199 000 Suzuki V-Strom 800 offers a good compromise between the lesser powerful and lighter 650 and more powerful but pricier 1050, which costs R259 000.

It features a gem of a 776cc four-valve two-cylinder liquid-cooled DOHC engine. The mill is mated to six-speed constant mesh clutch and produces 61.9kW of power and 78Nm of torque.

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One of the highlights of the 800 is the standard bi-directional Quick Shift system, which allows you to change gears in both directions without having to operate the clutch. This ensures exceptionally smooth acceleration and deceleration optimised by automatic blipping and engine braking.

The Suzuki V-Strom 800 features Showa suspension, inverted telescopic coil spring in the front and link type coil spring at the rear, both allowing for adjustable 210mm wheel travel.

Suzuki V-Strom 800 an easy ride

In front the bike features a 21-inch spoked aluminium rim, with a 17-inch wheel at the rear. Stopping power is provided by two 310mm discs with two-piston callipers in front and single calliper 260mm disc at the rear.

The ABS system has two settings, regular and minimal intervention. ABS can be switched off at the rear to provide greater control for off-road conditions.

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Suzuki V-Strom
The digital instrument screen is crystal clear. Picture: Jaco van der Merwe

We did not take the bike off-road, but did spend some quality time with it on where most them will spend most of their lives: the open road. The Suzuki V-Strom 800 is a very comfortable touring machine which apart from the ABS settings offers a choice of three throttle settings and four traction control settings. Put all of these together and you have a choice of anything between a rapid racer to a relaxed Sunday ride.

And somewhere in-between, it is also a very comfortable daily commuter.

Over 454km, we managed to achieve very decent fuel consumption of 4.7L/100km, which will give you a range of over 400km on its 20-litre tank.

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On the heavy side

What confused us was the Suzuki V-Strom 800’s kerb weight. At 230kg it is all of 22kg heavier than its direct rival in the Honda stable, the TransAlp. While the weight is of no concern when on the move, in terms of power delivery and handling, manoeuvring it around parking spaces is challenging. While a lower seat is available, the standard rather highish 855mm seat meant that even 1.82m tall frame had to move the stationary bike around on my toes.

Our test bike had the optional rally decals stuck over the Gloss Sparkle Black paintwork, which we thought worked well together with the black accents and golden rims and fork. The decals and top box were the only optional fittings, with the standard spec list inclusive of LED headlights, engine bash plate, knuckle covers, a very crisp digital instrument cluster and USB port.

Suzuki’s official slogan for the V-Strom 800 is “Advance your Adventure”. Whether you are upgrading, downgrading, migrating sideways or even brave enough to start your riding career on one, you will not be disappointed.

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