Now, both these bikes might be ADVs with off-road focus dripping through their spoked wheels and the tall stance. But, these can be used on the road without bother. In the city, the Suzuki feels slightly better on account of a lighter, more progressive clutch, and a lower seat height. But, the TRK isn’t bad either. It is heavy, but its balance point is easy to find. And then on, it’s not too difficult to pilot or even park.
The Suzuki is also the better handling motorcycle. Sure, it’s not exactly effortless or intuitive when it comes to changing directions in a hurry. But, after the TRK, which feels a little vague, a little lazy, and more work around the really quick sections, the V-Strom comes across as lighter, sportier and more fun.
The TRK does have a plusher ride quality, nonetheless. So, on sections where the V-Strom’s front end would judder and shake and send unruly vibrations up the rider’s hands, the 502X keeps its calm, and just carries on. And that makes it nicer to ride on dirt as well.
Whether you choose to jump it over a crest, or hop over logs, or just keep it pinned over a section of broken rocks, the TRK’s suspension never protests. It just always feels up to the bidding. Moreover, its better stand-up-and-ride ergos and more balanced weight distribution only help its cause on the rough stuff.
The Suzuki is more playful on dirt thanks to its higher output figures. You can slide it at will in first or second; you can negotiate climbs and rock minefields with ease; and if you aren’t mechanically too sympathetic, you can jump it over crests with abandon as well. And, I mention mechanical sympathy here because the V-Strom’s soft suspension means that it tends to bottom out quite soon, and quite often.