An ADV icon is rebooted
>Even Suzuki probably didn’t see this coming. Today, the V-Strom 650 is officially an adventure bike icon and one of the best-selling bikes in that genre. When
it came out in 2004, though, it was probably seen as a risky
gamble. In the U.S., Americans had never been particularly
drawn to the whole Dakar bike image, and no one really took
off-road excursions seriously for twin-cylinder street bikes.
Over the next 13 years, it has become one of the few success
stories to come out of the 21st century Japanese motorcycle
industry. It not only capitalized on the growing adventure bike
boom, but the V-Strom helped create it.
The latest DL650, which is a late 2017 model, represents
the second big change in the bike’s history. Back in 2012, it
got a new look and a number of updates. In 2015 the XT version was restyled to look more like the DL1000 with the beak-look fairing. Now, both the standard and the XT versions have
that styling, along with some fairly substantial motor changes.
On top of that, the 650 now has traction control as standard