Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Suzuki recently launched their new V-Strom 1000

Suzuki recently launched their new V-Strom 1000 “Enduro-Tourer” on to the Australian market with a very competitive.The Cagiva actually uses the same Suzuki TL1000S based engine as the V-Strom.

V-Strom = 'V' for the V-Twin and 'Strom' apparently means 'stream of wind' in German. Another addition to the silly name department...

The 996cc V-Twin has a good reputation as a strong powerplant through the middle ranges, a fact which has been amplified further on the V-Strom. Albeit at the expense of a little top-end power.

Suzuki claim 98 horsepower from the retuned engine. Intake valve size has reduced from 40mm to 36mm but the exhaust valve diameter remains the same. Those valves are operated via camshafts with considerably less lift than the TLS items.

We are not sure why Suzuki stuck the 19-inch front wheel on there, really. We can only surmise it was a style thing; imagine how heavy the front would look perched over a normal 17-inch wheel. You'd expect less grip from a 110-section tire on a 2.5-inch rim than you would from the typical 17-incher, but the bigger wheel's contact patch is slightly longer, at least, and in fact you can go ahead and fling the DL into corners with your classic wreckless abandon. Not that you really do. Something about the DL feels enough like an overgrown dirt bike that you don't ride it like a sportbike so much (ie, really trusting the front to grip). Instead, you find yourself sidling up to tight corners slower and slightly sideways, and waiting for the magical moment when you whack the throttle open again. If you're leaned over enough or if the exit's a little dirty, so much the better; the DL spins up the rear semi-knobby and scoots out, bar waggling, in a highly inflammatory manner, and again, you're in complete control thanks to that wide handlebar. It's as safe as sex with a handcuffed opponent.

Your brakes are not exactly cutting-edge either--two-piston slide-type calipers grab the front 310mm discs. Yet again, in finest dirt-bike style, you find yourself using the rear more on the DL than upon your typical sportbike, and with the bike's long-travel suspension, really grabby brakes wouldn't be completely useful anyway.

Naturally, Suzuki's engineers couldn't be content with just leaving the perfectly nice TL twin alone and sticking it in there, that would've been way too easy. To make it more suited to "adventure touring use," DL intake valves were shrunk 4mm to 36, and different intake and exhaust cams have less duration and lift than the TL pieces. (Suzuki's nice idler-gear cam drive system remains in place, which lets you lift the cams right out for valve adjustments without having to disturb the chain at all.) While they were in there, the DL got forged aluminum pistons instead of the TL's cast ones, and new, shot-peened rods, both of which changes combined reduce reciprocating weight by 90 grams.

The DL's throttle bodies got shrunk too, all the way from 52 to 45mm, and inside them you'll find the same Suzuki Dual Throttle Valve System used on its GSX-Rs: your right paw activates the lower butterfly in each throttle body, and the bike's 16-bit computer opens the upper one as it sees fit. It's effective, too; the bike has very nice power delivery from down low, and Suzuki's claim that SDTV helps fuel mileage seems borne out by the fact our bike averages around 44 mpg in normal use, giving it a range of well over 200 miles.

It's a tasty motor indeed, matter of fact, which begins cranking out over 60 foot-pounds of torque down at 4000 rpm (Aprilia's CapoNord only makes 57.6 foot-pounds at its 6800 rpm peak), and revs on to produce a class-leading 91 horses at 8200 rpm, too. Combine that power with the DL's light weight, and you're looking at the most potent adventure tourer by quite a ways--and yet... what would've been so wrong with leaving the TL engine alone and giving the world a 115-horsepower adventure tourer? We know not.

In the gearbox, too, a bit of reshuffling took shape: the DL has a shorter second gear than the TL (nice for off-road use), and an overdriven sixth instead of the TL's 1:1 top gear. A 41-tooth sprocket, then, gives the TL an overall ratio of 4.049 (4.049 engine revolutions per rear tire revolution) to the TL's 4.11 ratio. (Our bike more than occasionally hangs fire on the 2-3 upshift.)

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