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2012 Suzuki V-Strom 650 ABS First Look

Sunday, June 26, 2011
2012 V-Strom 650 ABS
The 2012 Suzuki V-Strom gets revised intake valves and cam profiles, but its 645cc engine remains mostly unchanged.
The orchestrated teases and leaks are over… at least for Suzuki’s “New Middle-Class” adventure-touring rig. Surprise, surprise, it’s the new 2012 V-Strom 650 ABS. Following the accidental leak of its specs and photos, Suzuki at last delivers the full details of its latest Wee-Strom – featuring a styling update, retuned engine and 13-pound weight reduction.


The unchanged 645cc displacement (81mm bore x 62.6mm stroke) may deflate expectations of riders hoping the much-hyped mystery ride would be a new head-to-head challenger with the F800GS and new Triumph Tiger 800 XC. But the unchanged displacement doesn’t mean Suzuki has been idle, with the liquid-cooled V-Twin getting interior upgrades.

Valves are larger, with 31mm intake and 25.5mm exhaust, and actuated by revised cam profiles. The crankshaft is new too, as are the iridium plugs. Cylinders get the Suzuki Composite Electrochemical Material-plated (SCEM) treatment, PR speak that promises reduced friction and improved abrasion resistance. All the revisions claim an improvement in low to mid-range torque production. Suzuki’s dyno comparison with the preceding model also reveal a more robust top end.


2012 V-Strom 650 ABS
One of the biggest change is to its appearance as it features reshaped front headlamps and fuel tank.
The most recognizable change to the V-Strom is the styling refresh. Finned black resin side cowlings anchor the front end look and also serve a practical purpose – improving cooling airflow for the radiator and redirecting heat away from the rider legs. The front headlamps are also reshaped, as is the fuel tank. The slightly repositioned muffler gives a nominal refresh of the rear end.


Suzuki claims improvement to wind protection via three-way adjustable windscreen. Compared to the current model the screen is moved back 1.2 inches, with three fixed adjustment settings. The slimmer profile of the fuel tank also looks to improve rider comfort, though at the expense of some extra gas – the fuel capacity a half-gallon lower at 5.3 gallons. The seat is 0.6 inches taller now, at 32.9 inches, though Suzuki promises the perch’s shape makes it easier to reach the ground. There are also low and high seat options, which raise and lower the height by 20mm (0.8 inches) in either direction.


The lower fuel load contributes to the lower claimed curb weight, a full 13 pounds lighter than the previous model. Also lightening the load is the new rear carrier of the exhaust, now black resin instead of aluminum. The ABS system is also lighter (1.5 pounds) than the previous unit (3.3 pounds).
2012 V-Strom 650 ABS
Scheduled to hit showrooms mid-November, the 2012 V-Strom's MSRP is still to be determined.


A new instrument cluster utilizes a left-side analog tach with right side LCD display. The LCD includes digital speedo, gear position indicator and fuel gauge. Riders can also shuffle through info via convenient switchgear button at the right handlebar.


Suzuki says the new Stroms should hit dealer floors by mid-November. MSRP is still to be determined, as is pricing and availability of accessory options. The 2012 V-Strom 650 ABS will be available in the orange and black colorways. The white colorway originally leaked on the global Suzuki site will not be imported to the American market for 2012.
2012 Suzuki V-Strom 650 ABS Photos
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themountain   October 20, 2012 08:12 AM
"This Suzuki i would ride anywhere, not so the GS."
I certainly would doubt that after 25000+km ;)
whittaker   August 31, 2011 02:48 PM
Not a good idea to get an F800 and go offroad. My 2010 could barely cut it on pavement. Never had such an unreliable bike. Sold it thank goodness. Reliability is everything. This Suzuki i would ride anywhere, not so the GS.
XCSUR4   August 16, 2011 08:46 AM
A high percentage of Dual sport riders surveyed said they 'rarely go off road'. I think this bike will sell, good power, Great price! If you really want to ride offroad, like me, get an F800.
Poncho167   June 30, 2011 04:41 PM
This has little to nothing in common with either the Triumph or BMW mentioned. A V-Strom is a street bike with a high muffler. This is not something one would take off a road unless it was a smooth dirt trail. Don't fool yourself with this.
JC   June 27, 2011 11:49 AM
Depends on how much they wind up selling for. Those Euro bikes are an easy $10K. Still, this one has plastic luggage mounts, exposed engine, no skidplate, 3-spoke cast wheels and non-switchable ABS... Looks like it's going to be a great adventure touring bike as long as your adventure doesn't head off-road. Hopefully it proves me wrong. Can't wait for a test unit!
Tessier   June 27, 2011 09:29 AM
It looks like something Kymco would make. For some reason I think Triumph and BMW's middle weight adventure bikes will out sell this turd.