Closer Look at the 2014 Suzuki V-Strom 1000

October 21, 2013
Bart Madson
By Bart Madson
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Bashing away at the MotoUSA keyboard for nine years now, Madson lends his scribbling and editorial input on everything from bike reviews to industry analysis and motorcycle racing reports.


Suzuki has released more information on its 2014 V-Strom 1000 at the inaugural AIMExpo in Orlando. Debuting as a concept model at the 2012 Intermot show in Cologne, the new Strom officially broke cover last month – prompting MotoUSA’s 2014 V-Strom 1000 First Look feature. But the AIMExpo, where the Japanese marque also hosted its annual dealer meeting, saw Suzuki dish out more details on the production model.

The 2014 V-Strom 1000 features several key performance upgrades for a bike that has gone mostly unchanged since its 2002 model year debut. Suzuki’s technical presentation to the media explained the inner workings of the company’s first-ever traction control system, the Strom’s larger displacement engine and slipper clutch, as well as its new suspension and braking components. However, Suzuki has left one critical 2014 specification blank, as the new V-Strom’s MSRP is still to be determined.

The yellow parts in this illustration are the revisions for the V-Stroms 90-degree V-Twin.
The new V-Stroms boost on the bottom end is dramatic when interposed against its predecessor.
The yellow parts in the top illustration are the revisions for the 2014 V-Strom’s 90-degree V-Twin.The peak power boosts are modest but the power gains off the bottom end are more dramatic as seen on the dyno against its predecessor.


Suzuki bumped displacement on the Strom’s 90-degree V-Twin from 996 to 1037cc via 2mm wider bore. The larger diameter pistons retain the same weight and rigidity of the previous model, while thinner piston rings reduce friction to enhance efficiency. The cylinder head has been altered as well, with twin iridium spark plugs replacing the single plug configuration found on the predecessor.

The V-Strom continues to utilize Suzuki’s Dual Throttle Valve (SDTV) system, in which the rider controls the primary valve with the ECU modulating a secondary valve. Unlike some of its 1200 rivals, the system is not ride-by-wire, so no cruise control.  Fuel injection now makes use of 10-hole injectors, up from 4-hole, to enhance combustion efficiency. The system also incorporates feedback from an O2 sensor, which now meet Euro 3 emissions requirements – the V-Strom 1000 having been pulled out of the EU market in 2009 for this reason.

A single exhaust can replaces the dual-pipe layout of the previous model, the system sourcing a butterfly valve to manipulate backpressure for engine performance. The more compact exhaust also nets a 10.4 pound weight reduction and lowers the center of gravity. The engine’s cooling system reduces weight too, by 2.8 pounds, as a larger capacity radiator allowed engineers to ditch the older bike’s oil-cooler.

Other engine changes include a heavier flywheel with 15% more inertial mass for improved traction and smoothness in the lower revs. The V-Strom also sources a new open-type rectifier that cuts the magneto when not generating electricity, reducing mechanical losses and subsequent claims of increased low and mid-range torque.

As for those power numbers, Suzuki claims 99.2 horsepower at 8000 rpm, up from 95.5 at 7600 rpm. The new Strom’s 76 lb-ft of torque mark a 1.5 lb-ft increase, but that peak torque now comes in at 4000 rpm instead of 6400. Overlaying dyno charts shows how much the V-Strom 1000 has improved off the bottom in particular, with an extra surge up top after the previous model signed off producing the extra 3.7 ponies. Improved power on the bottom and mid-range was a consistent top request from V-Strom riders when Suzuki surveyed them while researching the redesign effort.

The Suzuki Clutch Assist System  SCAS  provides slipper functionality to smoothing downshifts with the assist function lightens lever pull  with Suzuki claiming 13  less pulling effort.
The Suzuki Clutch Assist System (SCAS) provides slipper functionality to smooth downshifts with the assist function lightening lever pull by 13%.
The TC works by monitoring the input of five sensor inputs: front and rear wheelspeed  throttle position  crank position and gear position. Every four milliseconds those inputs are analyzed by the ECU  which controls engine output by cutting ignition and modulating fueling via the SDTVs secondary throttle valve.
The traction control system adorning the 2014 V-Strom 1000 is Suzuki’s first-ever for a production model.


The 2014 model sources a six-speed transmission with revised gear ratios and a completely new clutch. The Suzuki Clutch Assist System (SCAS) provides slipper functionality to smoothing downshifts – with slipper clutches sourced in most of its ADV rivals. The assist function lightens lever pull, with Suzuki claiming 13% less pulling effort.


Suzuki debuts its first-ever traction control system aboard the new V-Strom 1000 – an announcement that generated some of the most positive reaction from dealers at the bike’s reveal in Orlando. The TC works by monitoring the input of five sensor inputs: front and rear wheelspeed, throttle position, crank position and gear position. Every four milliseconds those inputs are analyzed by the ECU, which controls engine output by cutting ignition and modulating fueling via the SDTV’s secondary throttle valve.

The system adjusts its ECU assistance based on the rider controlled TC setting. Mode 1 allows for some wheelspin, with the more restrictive Mode 2 cutting in earlier. Riders can also turn off traction control if desired. Changes can be made on the fly, but only with the throttle closed.


At 502 pounds, the new V-Strom claims an 18 pound weight reduction thanks to the aforementioned exhaust and cooling system changes combined with a redesigned chassis. The redesigned twin-spar aluminum frame dropped weight by 13% but managed to increased rigidity by 33%. A longer swingarm stretches wheelbase by 20mm (0.79 inch), but actually shortens the distance between the pivot point and front axle by 6mm (0.23 inch).

Suzuki promises the revised chassis geometry will increase stability. A claim which Suzuki development riders at the AIMExpo seconded, stating the more consolidated weight distribution, from the new exhaust and stacked headlight, also contribute to a much improved handler.

Wheels are new for 2014, with lighter 10-spoke cast aluminum hoops from Enkei featuring larger axle shaft diameter (25mm front and 28mm rear up from the 20mm axles on the previous model). Dimensions for the 19-inch front and 17-inch rear are carried over, but the OE Bridgestone tires (BW501 front and BW502 rear) have a higher speed rating.

The stacked headlight assembly features a high beam thats 18  brighter than the previous model.The more compact exhaust also nets a 10.4 pound weight reduction and lowers the center of gravity.Suzuki bumped displacement on the Stroms 90-degree V-Twin from 996 to 1037cc via 2mm wider bore.


The 2014 V-Strom sports a 43mm Kayaba inverted fork, which replaces conventional, non-adjustable sticks from Showa. The Kayaba unit offers three-way adjustment for rebound, compression and preload.
The rear shock settings are tweaked to mate with the new fork, which features convenient remote dial to cycle through the 20-click preload settings.


The new DL1000 also features standard ABS from Bosch. Suzuki claims only 2.3 pounds  1050 grams  are added by the control unit and sensors  which monitor wheel rotation 50 times per second.
Bosch ABS is standard on the 2014 Strom and, unlike the traction control system, it can’t be disabled by the rider.

Brakes are another area where the Strom claims improved performance. Radial-mount four-piston Tokico monoblocs pinch dual 310mm rotors up front, replacing conventional two-piston calipers. The monobloc configuration, which sources larger diameter pistons as well (32/30mm instead of 30/30mm) promise stronger initial bite.

The new DL1000 also features standard ABS from Bosch. Suzuki claims only 2.3 pounds (1050 grams) are added by the control unit and sensors, which monitor wheel rotation 50 times per second. Off-road riders, however, will furrow their brows that unlike the TC system the ABS can’t be switched off.


Behind the controls Suzuki altered the riding position to be more relaxed, moving the handlebar back 34.2mm (1.35 inch) and the footpegs back 15mm (0.6 inch). The pillion accommodations have likewise been altered, the pegs raised 33.1mm (1.3 inch) up and forward 7.7mm (0.28 inch), with improved passenger comfort the stated objective. No final spec has been set for the Strom’s seat height, but similar to the V-Strom 650 redesign, Suzuki touts the more slender seat profile and shape of the fuel tank makes for an easier reach to the ground.

At the AIMExpo display we sat astride the redesigned Strom and it gave the impression of a comfortable rider’s triangle. Our hazy recollections of the older model were a tallish seat, with this one feeling quite easy to straddle flat-footed with our 32-inch inseam.

The V-Strom 1000s instrument cluster was updated and includes analogue tachometer and a host of digital information including fuel  speed  range on remaining fuel  traction control mode  battery voltage  coolant temperature  trip meter and gear indicator.

Rider comfort is further enhanced by an adjustable windscreen. The angle of the screen can be set at three positions from standard down 7.5 degrees and then 15 degrees. It does this without tools, employing a ratchet system with the rider pulling down from standard to the other two angle, resetting to the standard setting after pulling once more in the lowest angle. It’s simple to adjust, and while we were tinkering with it while stationary on the display floor, it should be easy to adjust on the fly. The height of the screen can also be adjusted, with tools, moving up progressively 15mm and 30mm from standard.


Instrumentation gets a thorough facelift for 2014. The wide dual analog speedo/tach with inset LCD is a replaced by a single analog tach with a right-side digital speedometer above a larger LCD console. The Strom’s display carries over the digital fuel and engine temperature gauges but now features a gear position indicator as well. The bigger Strom also showcases some of the data that made its debut on the Wee Strom redesign in 2012, namely a freeze indicator light, ambient air temperature and the ability to adjust the display’s backlight. The stacked headlight assembly features a high beam that’s 18% brighter than the previous model. Meanwhile the taillight is LED.


This new V-Strom looks more like the GS than the old V-Strom. In fact, it looks a lot like the GS, supposing the Beemer had its Boxer cylinder heads trimmed off. This is due to the beak, which Suzuki insists is a call-back to its ‘80s-era Dakar racers of yore. Whatever the true rational, to say its styling has improved is a colossal understatement. (For a more biased and hysterically candid reckoning of the old V-Strom 1000 read our Memorable Motorcycle editors series latest installment: Suzuki V-Strom 1000 After Four Years.)


Suzuki will support a host of accessory options for the V-Strom 1000. One of the more prominent upgrades are a three-piece luggage system – one of the mandates from the aforementioned customer survey. The panniers and topcase are notably compact (a marked contrast to the wide bags developed for the V-Strom 650), matching the width of the handlebar. Storage volumes are 35 liters for the topcase and 26 and 29 for the right and left panniers respectively. The luggage can be keyed to the ignition and detached without tools.

Further accessories from the Suzuki catalog include hand guards and heated grips, touring windscreen, low and high seat options, centerstand and fog lamps – as well as various engine guards and skidplate options.

Suzuki’s Global V-Strom Sales
2014 Suzuki V-Strom 1000.
The V-Strom has cultivated a loyal following in its decade of existence. Suzuki reports it has sold 46,300 V-Strom 1000 since its 2002 model year debut. Surprisingly, the V-Strom 650 has outsold its big brother by three to one, with 148,500 units moved since its 2003 debut (having been significantly redesigned for the 2012 model year). One reason for the disparity, besides the Wee Strom being a terrific little all-rounder, is the V-Strom being pulled from the European market in 2009 for emissions. The DL1000 went missing from the US lineup for a time too, a victim of Suzuki’s dismal results during the Great Recession. As for the Wee Strom, it has been a strong seller in its segment, with Suzuki claiming best-selling status in the 650-800cc dual-purpose segment since 2004. Only Honda’s NC700X and Triumph’s Tiger 800 have been able to eclipse it in recent years.


The most conspicuous absence on the 2014 V-Strom spec sheet is MSRP. Pricing has yet to be announced, with Suzuki not exactly in a hurry to place a dollar amount on its wares (the 2013 GW250 debuted at last year’s dealer show and only received its $3999 MSRP at this year’s event). The last offering of the old V-Strom, back in the 2012 model year, sported a $10,999 pricetag.

Similar to the V-Strom 650, this bigger V-Strom will be available in an Adventure spec as well. This bike, also sporting a black colorway like its Wee Strom counterpart, will offer standard accessories including: hand guards, touring windscreen, side case set and brackets, crash bar and aluminum skid plate. Like the base model, the 2014 V-Strom 1000 Adventure doesn’t have an MSRP yet, though Suzuki reps promise the Adventure’s accessory package will be a bargain compared with adding the same accessories piecemeal. On that note, Suzuki is giving its dealers leeway in offering to fab up the Candy Daring Red and Glass Desert Khaki colorways in Adventure trim as well.

The 2014 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 is expected to arrive at dealer sales floors starting in March, with MotoUSA aiming for a first ride review as soon as they get off the boat in late February.

UPDATE: Suzuki will price the base model 2014 V-Strom 1000 at $12,690 with the Adventure ringing in at $13,999.