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Suzuki Steps It Up With A New V-Strom for 2020

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Suzuki left little to the imagination with its third “teaser” video of what’s most definitely a new-for-2020 flagship V-Strom, expected to be revealed next week at the Milan Motorcycle Show. 

And boy, it’s about time for a revision of the big V-Strom, with the last overhaul dating back to 2014 when the current model replaced a far more ponderous DL1000. It’s also timely, with a slew of updated adventure bikes coming around the bend, threatening to leave stale designs in the dust. 

2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1000

So what are we looking at in the revitalized ’Strom? A decidedly more stylish look, with a broad, manually-adjustable windscreen and more-modern fairing wrapping around what appears to be a generously-sized fuel tank. The rectangular headlight is more vintage in appearance than vogue, undoubtedly a throwback to Suzuki’s early DRs of the late 80s and early 90s, bikes that employed big singles (a 650, later replaced the massive 800), which earned the model the endearing nickname DR BIG. 


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The first Katana sported an identical headlamp to the DR Big, which back in the day was more about saving cost than styling strategy. It must have been a leak regarding the retro-style rectangular headlamp that spawned rumors of DR BIG’s return, but it’s now very clear the headlamp and similar color scheme are the only shout-outs to the line’s heritage. 

Suzuki-DR-Big-1024x683.jpg The new V-Strom is inspired by the DR Big of the late 80s and early 90s.

As seen in teaser #2, it’s clear the new V-Strom will run its same 90-degree V-twin configuration, though we expect a possible bump in displacement and other tweaks ahead of new Euro 5 emissions regulations set to go into place. 

The large TFT-type screen, a replacement for the current, partly analog display, is clearly visible in the new video, promising a new level of electronic functionality from the model, including implementation of the rider modes and electronic rider aids, items like the advanced traction control, smart suspension, hill-start assist, and dialable ABS now standard on many top-of-the-line adventure tourers. 

2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1000

Suzuki’s upcoming  ADV bike has new handguards and mirrors, LED turn indicators and a beefy, tube-style engine guard that hints of a bike with more off-road intentions than its predecessor. There is also an engine skid plate, although it appears to leave the front header, which wraps under the bike, exposed.

In teaser #3 the new V-Strom’s wheels appear to be spoked, though in early spy shots out of Italy, test mules nearly identical to the bike we see in the new video were fitted with cast wheels. There’s also a possibility the new Suzuki is wearing a 21-inch front, further solidifying its intention for more serious off-road adventuring. 

2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1000

Toward the rear we can see the seat is now a two-piece unit and passenger grab rails are more streamlined while the boxy silencer, so recognizable on the current V-Strom remains.

I remember cutting my dual-sport teeth on Suzuki’s big thumper, DR BIG, back in the early nineties. It wasn’t always pretty, but the bike got you off the highway and pointed toward entirely new horizons. This latest V-Strom will deliver an entirely different world of adventure, but kinda cool a DR BIG-inspired headlamp will light the way.

Look for more details to be revealed at the start of EICMA November 5th.

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Author: Jamie Elvidge

Jamie has been a motorcycle journalist for more than 30 years, testing the entire range of bikes for the major print magazines and specializing in adventure-travel related stories. To date she’s written and supplied photography for articles describing what it’s like to ride in all 50 states and 43 foreign countries, receiving two Lowell Thomas Society of American Travel Writer’s Awards along the way. Her most-challenging adventure yet has been riding in the 2018 GS Trophy in Mongolia as Team AusAmerica’s embedded journalist.

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