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ADV NewsSpied: Next-Gen Suzuki Middleweight V-Strom Caught Out Testing

Spied: Next-Gen Suzuki Middleweight V-Strom Caught Out Testing

Looks like big changes are on the way… should we now call it the P-Strom?

Published on 09.02.2022

It’s been a minute since Suzuki introduced a completely fresh motorcycle of any stripe, and judging by these fresh spy shots captured on Italy’s famous Stelvio Pass, that dry spell may be about to end. Along with it, would be the end of a nearly 20-year run for the V-Strom 650.

While the 650 ‘Strom, first introduced in 2004, has a faithful following that includes many adventure riders, there’s definitely room in the market for a more off-road capable, competitive middleweight version, and this test mule looks like it might scratch that itch. While in the past Suzuki has been more comfortable competing in the arena with street-focused rivals like the Kawasaki Versys 650 and BMW F750GS, from what we see in the spy shots they are looking to move more towards dirt-focused rivals like Yamaha’s T7 or Tuareg 660.

And by the time it gets here, it’s likely to have even more rivals, including the rumored Honda XL750 Transalp that saw a new trademark filing on August 12, 2022.


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First big change for Suzuki’s new ride? From what we can see, the engine will no longer be the V-configuration but rather a parallel twin, expected to be 700cc’s, that’s been on the drawing board for many years. According to a technical article written by veteran gearhead Ben Purvis for bennetts.co.uk, this mill first appeared as a turbocharged 588cc all the way back in 2013. 

Two years later the engine was shown at the 2015 Tokyo motorcycle show as a still turbocharged 700cc called XE7. In ensuing years, patents of both turbocharged and normally aspirated versions of the 700cc engine, situated in a variety of frames, have ebbed and flowed, but never stuck. Until now, that is. 

Suzuki V-Strom 700 parallel twin Spied Testing
Photo: Kanyarfoto

So, in the photos we see a new (normally-aspirated) parallel- twin engine nestled in a new frame. The swingarm also appears to be different, at least in its more rounded shape, while a switch to a new upside fork dampens the front end. The most interesting detail for adventure riders looking for a competent new middleweight might be the test bike’s dirt friendly 21 -inch spoked front wheel and 18- inch spoked rear, promising a true off-road intention. 

Considering how the current V-Strom 650 is sold in a standard style, as well as XT Adventure variant, it will be curious to see if multiple version of this bike are presented from the get-go, as Suzuki did when it launched it revitalized 1050 series as a basic, XT and XT Adventure version in 2019. Another curiosity will be whether the V-Strom name lives on after the V-twin element is gone. 

Despite the 650 ‘Strom’s faithful following and the cool custom adventure bikes it’s inspired, including the super cool Dark Evo 2 DIY off-road kit sold by Trail Découverte Concept, it might be the right time for Suzuki to totally reinvent its middleweight adventure entry. 

Visually the new middleweight from Suzuki has the adventure beak, though it appears more squared off than the pointy nose found on the current model, giving it more familial resemblance to the V-Strom 1050. Likewise, the headlamp looks more modern with a square shape. The fairing appears more streamlined, though it’s tough to be certain with the camouflaging wrap. 

Because we only have the left side view we don’t know what the exhaust looks like, but we can tell the brakes seem to be carried over from the current bike, while the skid plate appears wider and more robust than what comes on the current XT Adventure. 

Suzuki V-Strom 700 parallel twin Spied Testing
Photo: Kanyarfoto

The photo by the way, which first appeared in Italy’s Motociclismo, was not captured by a magazine, but instead, by Kanyarfoto, an outfit that photographs tourists riding on Europe’s famous passes, the same way Killboy shoots photos to riders on the infamous Dragon in Deals Gap, North Carolina.

Suzuki has yet to make a formal announcement about the new bike, but we do anticipate this V-Strom 650 successor to be a 2023 model shown off at this year’s EICMA show in Milan next month. Just the fact that it was running around on the crowded Stelvio Pass, one of the most famous bucket list rides for motorcyclists the world over, means Suzuki is primed for some publicity. 

Author: Jamie Elvidge

Jamie has been a motorcycle journalist for more than 30 years, testing the entire range of bikes for the major print magazines and specializing in adventure-travel related stories. To date she’s written and supplied photography for articles describing what it’s like to ride in all 50 states and 43 foreign countries, receiving two Lowell Thomas Society of American Travel Writer’s Awards along the way. Her most-challenging adventure yet has been riding in the 2018 GS Trophy in Mongolia as Team AusAmerica’s embedded journalist.

Author: Jamie Elvidge
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7 thoughts on “Spied: Next-Gen Suzuki Middleweight V-Strom Caught Out Testing

  1. They should come up with a new name. Strom is so tired. Also I hope they kept a close watch on the weight and ground clearance. Then the T7 might have a real competitor.

  2. When one of these manufacturers manages to get the wet weight under 400 pounds, I might be interested. Manhandling a 500 pound bike around on dirt does not appeal to me.

  3. Suzuki was so cool on the 80s – I was proud to race their RM water cooled MX bikes which bristled with innovation. In recent times I find myself walking out of Suzuki shops baffled my the mediocrity of it all. So VStrom has to be the all time fail name – should have milked the Katana name to Katana-X. Adv bikes in 2023 – sun 750 parallel twins? Aprilia and T7 or the ugly K850R ok here comes Suzuki 5 years late to party and they are going with a GS look? I suppose, they never raced Dakar as a Team or even know what Rally Raid bikes look like… ? And Kawasaki? Yeah… Worse-us conservatism

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