V-Strom for the traveler

The V-Strom 650 ASE ABS adds hard-shell side cases and a top box and lists for $10,199. The V-Strom 650 A Expedition ABS is $10,899.

The 2012 Suzuki V-Strom 650A Expedition ABS latest generation version marked its 10th anniversary with improved low-to-midrange response

Just 10 years ago, Suzuki aimed the V-Strom 1000 at Europe (‘V’ for its V-Twin engine, ‘Strom’ German for current or stream). The endearing qualities of this rough-and-ready, all-rounder created a cult following.

That loyalty was rewarded with a revised V-Strom 650 lineup for 2012, featuring across-the-board improvements—standard ABS braking, more power, stiffer suspension traits and edgier styling in a choice of touring packages.

A new 645 cc V-Twin engine, same-sized but based on the Gladius power unit, offers better fuel economy, reduced emissions and, most importantly, a bump up in low-to-mid rpm range power and torque.

Suzuki engineers reduced the overall weight of the 2012 V-Strom 650. The bike is slimmer up front with both ends snubbed in for a more compact look. The awkward oil cooler in front of the engine has been eliminated.

The between-the-thighs seat front and fuel tank are both narrower, allowing for easier reach to the ground despite a taller seating position (+15 mm, about half an inch, with 25 per cent more padding).

The base V-Strom 650A ABS lists for $9,099. The V-Strom 650 ASE ABS adds hard-shell side cases and a top box and lists for $10,199. The V-Strom 650 A Expedition ABS is $10,899.