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Suzuki V-Strom 650 XT [2017-2018]

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Key specs
  • Displacement645 cc
  • Transmission6 Speed Manual

Last known Avg. Ex-showroom price

₹ 7,45,640

Suzuki V-Strom 650 XT [2017-2018] is now discontinued in India.

Suzuki V-Strom 650 XT [2017-2018] Summary

V-Strom 650 XT [2017-2018] key highlights

Engine Capacity 645 cc
Transmission 6 Speed Manual
Fuel Tank Capacity 20 litres
Seat Height 835 mm

About V-Strom 650 XT [2017-2018]

The V-Strom series of motorcycles are the adventure-touring motorcycles from Hamamatsu. The 650 is the middleweight product, and sits below the V-Strom 1000. It has both a tarmac-biased version and an off-road capable one called the XT. The XT adds spoke rims, hand guards and an engine bash plate. The V-Strom 650 has ABS and traction control as standard. The engine is a liquid-cooled V-twin that displaces 650cc and has extremely accessible torque. Figures lie at 645cc, two cylinders, and 71bhp/62Nm. The V-Strom XT is the only middleweight adventure tourer in its price range that offers traction control.

The V-Strom 650 competes with the likes of the Kawasaki Versys 650 and the SWM Superdual T.
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Suzuki V-Strom 650 XT [2017-2018] Review

The V-Strom can do it all. It might do some things really well, and some things without finesse, but it isn’t going to stop unless you hit a wall or drop off a cliff. And in that sense, this bike has got its purpose bit well sorted. 

Introduction

Pros - Ease of riding, low speed ride, traction control

Cons - High speed ride, non-adjustable Suspension

We have had the V-Strom 1000 in India for sometime now. It is a tall, expensive, and capable adventure tourer. But, it is in a space that has even taller, more expensive, and well, more capable alternatives. The latter set is also sexier, more tech laden, and has more desirable badges. No wonder, the V-Strom 1000 hasn’t really sold very well.

This though, is the less tall, less expensive, but possibly more capable V-Strom. It’s called the V-Strom 650 and it isn’t exactly related to the taller version in any way apart from the name. And possibly the styling. The 650 has completely different mechanicals – different chassis, different suspension, different levers, bars and switches – and, it has a different engine. Of course.

It’s also more off-road focused. And that’s because while we do get the normal, alloy wheeled, road-tyred version of the 1000, the 650 is only sold in India in the XT trim. And that means more durable wire-spoked wheels, on-off-road tyres, and some plastic protection for the engine and pipes, and some for the rider’s knuckles as well. That tail box you see, though – and the metal engine guard – are optional extras.

Quality

 

The V-Strom 650 XT costs just under Rs 9 lakhs on the road in Mumbai. So, it’s not what we’d term cheap. And neither is the stuff that Suzuki uses to put it together. The plastic all round – and there’s plenty on the 650 – is quality stuff. It doesn’t seem like it would fade too much over time, or crack, or even come loose. The paint quality is spot on, and everything from the piping to the wires to the seat fabric and the metal used, all exude a quality feel. 

Operability is good too. The switchgear has a crisp feel, the grips feel good to the touch, the chunky preload dial is easy to use, and the adjustable hand levers and the footpegs, all have that skilled-machined look to them, which adds to the V-Strom’s upmarket aura. 

Comfort

One of the first things that strikes you about the V-Strom is the ease of accessibility. The rider seat height is low, and the pillion’s perch isn’t up in the sky either. So, swinging a leg over to get astride, even in tight riding gear, comes easy. That’s one fear regarding ADVs now out of the way.

Next up, if you are the average Indian height or taller, you will get at least one foot firmly on the ground courtesy the relatively low seat height, and the 650’s narrow waist. Also, the rider’s seating triangle is well sorted. The handlebar is high but not far; the footpegs are a bit rearset, but not high; and the seat, as we mentioned, is low but it is also wide and comfy enough even to hold heavy-set people.

It’s also got a good low speed ride, does the V-Strom 650. Now, it runs basic suspension – non-adjustable telescopic forks upfront and a linked type monoshock with preload adjustment at the rear. And the setup is on the softer side. So, the V-Strom glides effortlessly over mild undulations, road joints, small bumps, and through shallow potholes, making it lovely to ride in the city. 

But, pick up speed, or encounter a deep pothole, or even ride over ruts in the road, and that front tends to bottom out quite easily. Moreover, even though it has travel, the front does tend to skip over a longer and uglier broken patch of tarmac, which might be unsettling to a few, especially given this is the XT.

Performance

That soft front affects the way the V-Strom handles around the twisty stuff as well. That, and the fact that it uses a 19-inch front, weighs in excess of 215kg, and sits on a wheelbase that’s longer than 1550mm. The turn-in on the bike, as a result, is slow. And, it takes effort to get it to change directions. Thankfully, it has a wide-enough handlebar, which helps with leverage.

But, even when leaned over, the front doesn’t lend a lot of feel. And as soon as you start getting on the throttle that feel begins to diminish. It’s best then to be progressive and not aggressive when riding the V-Strom around the twisty stuff. It also helps to trail brake a bit to keep that front from moving too much on its right side up forks.

Off-road, the V-Strom is friendly. Now even though we won’t call ‘dirt’ its natural preying ground, it’s happy taking on small jumps, sliding its rear on power, and even negotiating through some tight and tricky stuff at slow speeds. It’s got good balance; it feels natural to stand up and ride; and there’s no abruptness in the functioning of the throttle or the brake or even the clutch, which makes it predictable and stable on the loose stuff.

 

Then there’s the engine. A torquey, friendly, and excitable V-Twin, which has a good aural note going for it too. In terms of output figures – max power is around 70bhp, while the peak torque is rated just under 70Nm. With the latter peaking at 6,500rpm, it does give the 650 a handsome low and mid-range oomph. 

You can open the throttle from as low as 3,000rpm, and even then you wont find the 650 struggling to gather pace. And because there’s so much grunt in the mid range, one can keep the V-Strom between 4-6k rpm all day long, no matter what gear, and have an effortless ride all day long. And if you are interested, courtesy its tall geared, slick shifting 6-speed gearbox, the V-Strom is only sitting at 4,000rpm in 6th when doing 100kmph. 

Technology

The Suzuki V-Strom 650 packs in decent technology for its price. For starters, it is one of the very few ADVs on sale that offer tubeless tyres on spoked wheels. It also gets a two-stage traction control system. And a smart and handy thing called Low RPM Assist, which essentially makes it more difficult to stall the bike at slow speeds. It’s especially helpful in the city, and off-road as well. 

Other bits include an adjustable brake lever, a 12V-charging socket, and an adjustable front windscreen. The latter can’t be adjusted on the fly though. The V-Strom also has a decent array of rider information. It shows instantaneous and average fuel economy, range on a tankful, the gear selected, ambient temperature, and of course, your regular readouts including trip, tacho, and speed.

Fuel Efficiency

The V-Strom 650 returned 23.7kmpl on our test route, which, honestly, isn’t good or bad, just average for the engine capacity and weight the bike hauls around. But, with a 20-litre fuel tank, you’d probably tire out before the fuel runs out, making you the weak link when it comes to taking breaks on a ride. 

Fitness of Purpose

The V-Strom 650 is an ADV. Or an adventure tourer. And an ADV has a very simple purpose. It’s your go-to-tool for all your travel needs. Straight, boring roads? Check. Adventurous trails? Check. No road? Check. Endless twisties? Check. An ADV must ‘check’ anything and everything that comes in your path.

The V-Strom can do it all. It might do some things really well, and some things without finesse, but it isn’t going to stop unless you hit a wall or drop off a cliff. And in that sense, this bike has got its purpose bit well sorted. 

Our take

Yes, the V-Strom is an ADV. And it serves that purpose to the tee. It might not be the best at its job, especially off the road, but it does get the work done. It has an agreeable engine – torquey, aurally good, and refined for the most part. It is comfortable – upright seating ergos, plush low speed ride, and decent wind protection. And it’s accessible – low seat height, manageable power, and easy to ride, even in the city. If anything, we’d say that it could have been priced a little lower.

Photography by Kapil Angane

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Suzuki V-Strom 650 XT [2017-2018] Colours

V-Strom 650 XT [2017-2018]

Specifications

  • Power & PerformancePower & Performance

    Fuel Type Petrol

    Max Power --

    Max Torque --

    Cooling System Liquid Cooled

    Transmission 6 Speed Manual

    Transmission Type Chain Drive

    Emission Standard --

    Displacement 645 cc

    Cylinders 2

    Bore 81 mm

    Stroke 62.6 mm

    Valves Per Cylinder 4

    Compression Ratio --

    Ignition --

    Spark Plugs --

    Gear Shifting Pattern Gear Shifting Pattern --

    Clutch --

    Fuel Delivery System Fuel Injection

    Fuel Tank Capacity 20 litres

    Reserve Fuel Capacity --

    Riding Range Maximum distance a petrol bike can travel on a full fuel tank and an electric bike can travel on a full charge --

    Mileage - ARAI --

    Mileage - Owner Reported BikeWale collects mileage information from bike owners to provide you with the actual mileage that you might get. --

    Top Speed --

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  • Brakes, Wheels & SuspensionBrakes, Wheels & Suspension

    Braking System CBS, IBS, SBT, UBS, HBS - Combined braking of both front and rear wheel | ABS - Anti-lock braking system which can be just for front wheel (single channel) or both wheels (dual channel) or can be switched off (switchable) | E-ABS - Electronic assisted braking system | Standard - Cable operated --

    Front Brake Type Disc

    Front Brake Size 310 mm

    Rear Tyre Size 150/70-R17

    Tyre Type Tubeless

    Radial Tyres Yes

    Rear Brake Type Disc

    Rear Brake Size 260 mm

    Calliper Type Front-Dual, Rear-Single Piston Calliper

    Wheel Type Spoke

    Front Wheel Size 19 inch

    Rear Wheel Size 17 inch

    Front Tyre Size 110/80-R19

    Front Tyre Pressure (Rider) --

    Rear Tyre Pressure (Rider) --

    Front Tyre Pressure (Rider & Pillion) --

    Rear Tyre Pressure (Rider & Pillion) --

    Front Suspension Telescopic Forks

    Rear Suspension Link Type, with Adjustable Rebound and Spring Preload

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  • Dimensions & ChassisDimensions & Chassis

    Kerb Weight --

    Overall Length 2,275 mm

    Overall Width 910 mm

    Wheelbase 1,560 mm

    Ground Clearance --

    Seat Height 835 mm

    Overall Height 1,405 mm

    Chassis Type --

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  • Manufacturer WarrantyManufacturer Warranty

    Standard Warranty (Year) --

    Standard Warranty (Kilometers) --

Features

Odometer Digital

DRLs (Daytime running lights) --

Mobile App Connectivity --

Pillion BackrestNo

Pillion GrabrailYes

Pillion SeatYes

GPS & Navigation --

USB charging port --

Front storage box --

Under seat storage --

AHO (Automatic Headlight On) --

Speedometer Digital

Fuel Guage Yes

Tachometer Analogue

Stand Alarm Yes

Stepped Seat Yes

No. of Tripmeters 2

Tripmeter Type Digital

Low Fuel Indicator Yes

Low Oil Indicator Yes

Low Battery Indicator Yes

Pillion FootrestYes

Digital Fuel GuageYes

Start TypeElectric Start

Shift LightYes

KillswitchYes

ClockYes

Electric System--

Battery--

Headlight Type--

Headlight Bulb TypeHalogen and Bulb Type

Brake/Tail LightLED Taillamp

Turn SignalYes

Pass LightYes

Additional features--

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