After a one-year hiatus, the V-Strom 1000 returns with new features (and renewed focus and vigor) for 2018. Two models are now available, including the street-focused V-Strom 1000 and an adventure hound, the V-Strom 1000XT, both powered by Suzuki’s familiar 1,037cc 90-degree V-twin. Following in the tire tracks of the latest superbikes, both models get a new five-axis Inertial Measurement Unit—a multi-axis accelerometer that feeds dynamic data to a microprocessor—which helps riders maintain control even if they brake while cornering. Combined braking and ABS is a critical part of this mix.
The big V-Strom’s upright seating position and roomy ergonomics have long endeared it to long-distance riders, and for ’18 a new fairing with a 1.9-inch-taller windshield—easily adjustable on the fly, as before—reduces buffeting, further improving the ride experience. Specific to the V-Strom 1000XT are wire-spoke wheels hosting tubeless dual-purpose radial rubber, a tapered handlebar with handguards and bar-end mass dampers to quell vibration. The penalty for choosing the 1000XT over the 1000 is minimal, just 3 pounds and a few hundred bucks.
Likes: Roomy seating, more than a liter of V-twin vigor, and sophisticated electronics.
Dislikes: We like dirt but the stock tires don't, all that much.
Verdict: Not the biggest ADV extant but definitely among the best.