Suzuki has been producing the V-Strom, in one form or another, for over 20 years (since 2002) and with over 450,000 units sold, it been a staple for the Japanese brand. Saying that, all those models have been primarily designed for the street, touted as touring motorcycles. That is, until now. Suzuki has now released its most dirt-capable V-Strom in his lineage, namely the 800DE.
For the 800DE (DE stands for Dual Explorer) launch, Suzuki chose the roads and trails on the Italian island of Sardinia in late February. The two days of riding was comprised of 80 percent pavement with 20 percent off-piste on some decomposed granite-derived dirt secondary roads, so we were eager to twist the wrist when the pavement ended. We had the twisty tarmac roads virtually all to ourselves with Sardinia still being quiet compared to the busy spring and summer peak tourist season. Dirt roads were even less busy allowing us to properly evaluate the bikes capabilities.
Before swinging a leg over the bike in person, the V-Strom 800DE technical specifications looked promising and very similar to the formula that other manufacturers have adopted. Namely, take a motor design that is or will be shared with a street model (in this case the yet to be released Suzuki GSX-8S), tune it for more manageable power curve and throttle response that will not scare the bejesus out of you when the pavement ends and ensure to pair it with a suspension package that can keep up with the motor. Saying that, the new V-Strom is a brand-new motorcycle from ground up so truly unknown how it would perform under real-life conditions.
Each OEM manufacturer offers something different, whether you’re going for an all bells-and-whistles machine or the bare bones, with middle-of-the-road capabilities on-road and off-road. Suzuki engineers at the launch said as much, namely that they are targeting the budget conscious customer that will spend most of the time on road and on minor gravel roads. They specifically mentioned that they are not targeting hard off-road type riding like a KTM 890 Adventure R, Yamaha Tenere 700 or even the Ducati Desert X.
Be sure to pick up the next issue of Inside Motorcycles at a news stand near you to read our detailed impressions of this newest middleweight entry into the adventure market from Suzuki. As a quick teaser, the bike sure surprised a lot of journalists, including myself. In a good way!
2023 Suzuki V-Strom Specifications
MSRP: Starting at $13,299
Overall length 2,345 mm (92.3 in)
Overall width 975 mm (38.4 in)
Overall height 1310 mm (51.6 in)
Wheelbase 1570 mm (61.8 in)
Ground clearance 220 mm (8.7 in)
Seat height 855 mm (33.7 in)
Curb mass 230 kg (507 lbs)
Engine type 4-stroke, 2-cylinder, liquid-cooled, DOHC
Bore x stroke 84.0 mm x 70.0 mm
Engine displacement 776 cc
Compression ratio 12.8:1
Fuel system: Fuel injection
Transmission 6-speed constant mesh
Front Suspension: Inverted telescopic, coil spring, oil damped
Rear Suspension: Link type, coil spring, oil damped
Rake / trail 28 degrees / 114 mm (4.5 in)
Front Brake: Dual disc
Rear Brake: Single disc
Tires Front 90/90-21M/C 54H tube type
Rear 150/70R17M/C 69H tube type
Fuel tank capacity 20 L
- From Mark Dzikowski