I know I said just recently that Suzuki’s new V-Strom 1050XT looked best in the orange and white paint scheme, but oh what a few tweaks can do!
The Hessler Rallye Team (HRT) in Germany are famous for their upgraded, competitive DR-Zs, Dr Bigs and V-stroms, so it’s little wonder they have turned their attentions to the new 1050 and created this V-Strom 1050XT Desert Express. Shown for the first time at the reveal of the new-for-2020 V-Strom 1050XT at Eicma in Milan, Italy, the Desert Express is based around the chassis and V-Twin engine of Suzuki’s flagship adventure machine, but uses a host of new components manufactured in-house by HRT, plus modified suspension and aftermarket bolt-ons.
Visually most dramatic is that Hessler’s Desert Express – which plays on the name given to the original DR750S – gains 30mm of suspension travel over the standard machine (up from 160mm to 190mm), with modified front forks and a new rear shock from Wilbers, plus a new HRT-made linkage.
The front forks slot into made-in-house new yokes, which also carry X-Line handlebars from MAGURA. Further HRT additions include footrest hangers – which support Suzuki RM-Z450 footpegs – rear brake pedal and gear lever, and skid plate. A new headlight protector and Zeta Rallye 1050 windscreen are copies of the original items found on Suzuki’s Dakar rally machines.
A lift kit raises the front mudguard to fit Anlas Capra X tyres, brake and clutch levers come courtesy of Probrake, and there’s a new luggage rack and number plate assembly. A Mivv silencer adds to the racey look and enhances the V-Twin rumble, and the whole package is finished in a HRT graphics kit. Available from dr-big-shop.de, the whole kit costs €3,895 and certainly transforms the V-Strom into something that looks really lithe and capable of anything.