When the lockdown is over and non-essential travel becomes possible again, the Suzuki V-Strom 650XT we’ve had on long-term test will be returning home to Suzuki HQ. Before we bid it a fond farewell, here’s a reminder of why it’s such a great all-rounder.
The V-Strom 650XT had about 500 miles on the clock when we picked it up in July 2019. 8,600 miles later it’s still on the same set of Bridgestone BattleWing tyres (the rear is just beginning to square off and will soon need replacing) and average fuel consumption has proven to be 62.1 mpg. That’s with daily use on a mix of roads and distances, from running around town to long hauls around the country – or just weekly trips to the supermarket as has been the case for past six weeks.
Practical, economical utility is therefore perhaps the defining characteristic of the 650XT. It might not be super-fast or as feature-rich as its more recent siblings, but there’s no doubting it’s superbly versatile.
Relentlessly reliable (like all the V-Strom models before it), the V-Strom 650XT is eager to please and always a pleasure to ride. It’s more than capable enough to take you wherever you want to go, and more than powerful enough to keep you smiling, while never having pretensions about being the centre of attention itself.
In my interim review of the bike last November, which compared the 650XT to the 1000XT we’d tested previously, I said that, “The combined ‘less is more’ strengths of the 650XT – particularly its power to weight ratio, ergonomics, fuel economy and all round practicality – make it the best V-Strom yet and certainly the most suitable for long-distance, road-oriented overlanding.” My opinion hasn’t changed.
Whether it’s for a zero-miles model via Suzuki’s current offer (£500 discount and 4 year’s 0% finance) or a well-maintained used bike, I recommend you consider the V-Strom 650XT. It won’t let you down.
Suzuki V-Strom 650XT Specifications
|Overall length||2275 mm (89.57 in)||Overall width||910 mm (35.83 in)|
|Overall height||1405 mm (55.31 in)||Wheelbase||1560 mm (61.42 in)|
|Ground clearance||170 mm (6.69 in)||Seat height||835 mm (32.9 in)|
|Kerb mass||216 kg (476 lbs)||Fuel capacity||20.0 L (4.4 UK gallons)|
|Engine capacity||645 cc||Engine||4-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, 90° V-twin|
|Bore||81.0 mm x 62.6 mm (3.2 in x 2.5 in)||Compression ratio||11.2 : 1|
|Lubrication||Wet sump||Ignition||Electronic ignition|
|Fuel system||Fuel injection||Transmission||6-speed constant mesh|
|Power||52.0 kW @ 8,800rpm (71 PS)||Torque||62.0 Nm @ 6,500rpm (45.72 lb. ft)†|
|Front suspension||Telescopic, coil spring, oil damped||Rear suspension||Link type, coil spring, oil damped|
|Front brakes||Disc, twin||Rear brakes||Disc|
|Front tyres||110/80R19M/C 59V||Rear tyres||150/70R17M/C 69V|
Testing and review: Iain Harper