The V-Strom 250 has been the perfect first adventure bike for Will Sandilands but has he outgrown it?
It’s been three months since the baby V-Strom came to live with me. I think I’m the fifth member of the ABR team to have the privilege, and I’m certainly the least experienced of those five, so it’s fair to say I’ve felt some pressure to do the job and the bike justice. These three months also happen to be my first with a full license too, meaning the V-Strom has taken me on my first group rideouts, first (albeit very tame) off-road adventures, and first motorway journeys.
In fact, the 250 has helped me through a whole heap of firsts, not least of all my first minor spill. Fortunately, that was at 5mph during my inaugural ride on gravel meaning neither the bike nor I were badly hurt due to my lack of experience. Another first was riding in the warm weather. I did my test in mid-January and only in recent weeks have I been able to go out without the heated grips on. I don’t want to sound like too much of a fair-weather biker, it’s hardly the most adventurous image, but riding is even more fun in the sunshine and all my experience of this has been on the V-Strom.
The consequent and inevitable attachment I’ve developed for this machine makes it hard for me to review unbiasedly, but this in itself is still a testament to what an enjoyable bike the V-Strom is. It won’t shock you then when I go on to say that for a younger chap that is going to make mistakes like mine or anyone looking for something more manageable than the mid to large-capacity adventure bikes, I think the V-Strom 250 is a hard bike to beat. So, let us take emotion out of it.
No matter how much fun we have shared, I cannot wait for a larger-engined bike. Does anyone get into biking and not want to experience the raw power and excitement associated with it? I am looking forward to accelerating with some oomph and not watching as my mates get smaller and smaller as soon as we hit an open stretch of tarmac. The idea of getting up to motorway speeds and not feeling like the bike is fighting to keep there is also endearing. I expect this makes for more enjoyable long-distance trips and that was the main thing I wanted from my biking career.
Ultimately, I now feel far more comfortable and confident on a bike. I have learnt things I wasn’t aware I needed to learn, and I have the Suzuki V-Strom 250 to thank. I am excited for a summer of biking, whether that be riding to the ABR Ireland Rally, or chilling out at the ABR Festival in July, so come and find me and I will introduce you to my current favourite machine in the world, unless I get something bigger first…