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Coming Soon: Suzuki Adventure Touring Bike?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Suzuki has released a teaser silhouette of what they are calling a new Middle-Class Motorcycle. The official Suzuki site appears to be following the lead of rival marque Triumph which strung out the unveiling of its Tiger 800 for what seemed like a year. Hopefully, Suzuki will not follow suit and some details will be revealed sooner rather than later. As it stands right now, this is what we expect to see.

The presentation of the Middle-Class Motorcycle is limited to a line drawing and some tag lines which hint that this could be a middleweight adventure touring motorcycle. It would seem logical that Suzuki will play off of the success of the street-biased V-Strom and build a bike modeled after the V-Strom 1000 or V-Strom 650, possibly meeting somewhere in the middle with an all-new new challenger for the venerable BMW F800GS or the new Triumph Tiger 800 XC.

However, we could be reading too much into the Middle-Class aspect of the promotion in an attempt to keep us off the path. This could very well be the long-awaited off-road version of the V-Strom 1000 which would go head-to-head with the BMW R1200GS Adventure, KTM 990 Adventure and the all new Yamaha Super-Tenere. No matter which way they go, it should add another AT bike into the mix for our upcoming Adventure Touring Shootout.

If the line drawing is true to form, the new Middle-Class Motorcycle will be more sporty looking than the V-Strom series with a distinctive ADV element to its design that looks like a modern take on the V-Strom profile. Sporty lines of the tail section don’t reveal any saddlebags so we will be forced to wait and wonder: What is Suzuki up to with this new Middle-Class Motorcycle? Let us know what you think about this soft launch or better yet, what you would like to see from Suzuki.
2011 Suzuki V-Strom 650 ABSThe Yamaha XT1200Z Super Tenere is available only as a first edition in 2010.Triumph Tiger 800XC
Will the new Suzuki Middle-Class Motorcycle be the evolution of the V-Strom or a challenger to the latest generation Adventure Touring bikes like the 1200cc Yamaha Super-Tenere or the 800cc Triumph Tiger? Or will it be something else all together?

The second round of Suzuki Middle Class Motorcycle imagery has been released. The bike is clearly an evolution of
the V-Strom at this point. The only question left to answer is whether or not it will be off-road capable.

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edwardcating   June 13, 2011 08:18 PM
What I would like to see is simply the introduction into the U.S. of the V-Strom 650XP (as introduced into the U.K.) It comes with the requisite bags, protective shields, etc. I think they would have a winner, and the parts bin mentality is not affected.
Hutchy   June 8, 2011 08:19 AM
I am hoping to see a rival to the Multistrada as well. Honda is going to release something that is in that vein so I am thinking Suzuki is going to as well. They released more of these teaser images so all I can do is provide them to you as they are made available to us. Obviously, there's no word on the engine just yet.

Using the Suzuki parts-bin philosophy I have to assume this will be based on the 1000cc V-Strom engine with an updated bit of styling and hopefully some adventure touring functionality. Maybe some quality saddle bags, maybe some optional electronics (Power adjustable wind-screen, heated grips/seat, etc)? Remember that Suzuki is featuring ABS on their bikes now too.
mandude   June 6, 2011 10:05 PM
There are already plenty of very dirt-capable adventure bikes available --KTM's, BMW GS, Tenere, etc. What we need is some competition with the Multistrada 1200. A cheaper version maybe? Ducati has it right by assuming people don't want a sport-tour that weighs 700 lbs. If it happens to go offroad, cool, whatever.
curley   June 3, 2011 08:17 AM
Suzuki is broke - ever since GM pulled out The big Vstrom has clutch issues - tooling and develop would be needed ($) The WeeStrom is originally based on a 400cc engine - to make it 800cc would require tooling and development ($) A cross between a Bandit and a Vstrom might be their path, but I would guess due to $ and existing tooling a Boulevard C50 (800cc and shaft drive) might meet their GM/Parts bin strategy...I really like my Vstrom ...I hope I'm wrong - but who knows what innovations (chance) they may try in order to start making $....I know they're pushing their cars - I hope they don't become another Honda
loadedmind   June 3, 2011 07:14 AM
Whatever Suzuki decides, I hope its mpg is close to the DL650 VStrom's with a decent-sized gas tank. One of the biggest turn-offs for me when considering the Triumph Tiger 800XC was the measly fuel capacity. Slap a VStrom in a KLR chassis and I think you'd have a golden combination.
kingrider   June 3, 2011 07:13 AM
I'd really like to see the V-Strom increased to about 750cc. This would put it in a competitive market with the Triumph and BMW without increasing the overall size of the bike much. It really needs to be off-road capable. If it's not truely dirt-worthy it's not going to be successful.
So, is Kawasaki on notice here? The ol' KLR is getting dusted by all these new additions to the market.

Just my two cents worth.

Bookum   June 3, 2011 06:05 AM
Well the sketch, for what it's worth, looks like a current V-Strom with side vents. Hopefully we won't be strung along for months only to see something that even a non-enthusiast could have easily predicted. Unfortunately I'm a pessimist so my prediction is a 800 V-Strom with some slightly updated bodywork and not much else. Hopefully I'm dead wrong but only time will tell.