Suzuki has revealed a more powerful version of its V-Strom adventure bike for 2020 and it’s looking more rugged than ever.
The Japanese manufacturer has also packed its flagship adventure machine full of the latest motorcycle technology to help improve the riding experience.
The new model was unveiled at the EICMA motorcycle show in Milan this week. Immediately noticeable are changes to the bike’s styling. Gone is the large (some might say a little dopey-looking) oval headlight. In its place is a vertically stacked LED hexagonal light which, along with a few other stylistic tweaks such as new handguards, help give the bike a tougher look.
In fact, Suzuki says its designers were influenced by the company’s DR-Z and DR-Big dual sport bikes of the past in updating the V-Strom, aiming to create a more aggressive-looking bike. This is perhaps best seen in the striking yellow colour option which was inspired by Suzuki’s motocross and off-road pedigree. It won’t be to everyone’s tastes, but here in the ABR office, we think it looks badass.
For 2020, the V-Strom retains its 1,037cc, 90-degree, V-twin engine which has been tinkered with by Suzuki engineers to provide a small hike in power from 99 bhp to 105 bhp. The tweaks also enable the engine to meet Euro 5 emission standards.
As was the case with previous V-Stroms, the 2020 bike comes in two versions. The premium V-Strom 1050XT is packed with enough technology to send a rider to Mars, while the less expensive model, simply called the V-Strom 1050, takes a more modest approach to rider aids.
Let’s look at what the two models have in common first. They both share the same updated styling, 20-litre fuel tank (250 miles claimed), engine, aluminium frame and swingarm.
They both feature a ride-by-wire throttle and have the same three-mode traction control system and three selectable engine power modes. Both also sport 19-inch front and 17-inch rear wheels, with stopping power providing Tokico brakes and twin 310mm front discs.
Suspension on the two models comes in the form of 43mm, fully adjustable, upside down KYB forks at the front, with the rear shock preload and rebound damping adjustable. Both bikes also come fitted with the excellent Bridgestone Battlax Adventure A41 tyres.
In the past, there hasn’t been too much to differentiate the base model V-Strom with the more expensive XT apart from spoked wheels and a tapered handlebar, but that’s about to change.
In order to give the XT a more premium feel in 2020, it comes laden with enough technology and extras to enable you to bin the accessories catalogue and head off on your next adventure straight away, well once you’ve bought some luggage anyway.
On the technology side of things, the V-Strom XT comes fitted with what Suzuki calls its Intelligent Ride System. This basically means there is an onboard computer constantly monitoring and controlling a suite of electronic rider aids aimed at improving your ride.
The technology includes lean angle sensitive ABS, as well as linked braking aids which kick in if you get things wrong in a corner, or struggle to maintain control downhill. The system also features hill-hold control to prevent you rolling backwards if you stop on a slope.
The V-Strom XT also comes fitted with cruise control, switchable ABS, LED indicators, a centre stand, better-looking mirrors and engine bars. Suzuki decided not to fit either V-Strom model with a TFT dash, instead opting for an LCD display.
Here at ABR, we’ve always been fans of the V-Strom which is sometimes seen as the unsung hero of the adventure biking world. It has never been the most glamorous, powerful, or technology-packed bike, but there are plenty of satisfied owners out there who swear by the practicality, reliability and performance of the machine.
However, the V-Strom 1050 XT’s sharp new styling and technology could be about to thrust the Suzuki into the limelight. We can’t wait to ride one to find out how good the new V-Strom really is. No price has been announced as yet.
Check out the the 2020 V-Strom 1050 for yourself in this promotional video from Suzuki.