2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050 First Look

Retro-inspired revamp for Suzuki’s big adventure bike.

Suzuki’s 2020 V-Strom 1050, V-Strom 1050XT, and V-Strom 1050XT Adventure pay homage to the original DR-Big with a flat beak and square headlight, but update the large-capacity V-Strom with more power and tech.
Suzuki’s 2020 V-Strom 1050, V-Strom 1050XT, and V-Strom 1050XT Adventure pay homage to the original DR-Big with a flat beak and square headlight, but update the large-capacity V-Strom with more power and tech.Suzuki

Following the success of its reborn Katana Suzuki has gone down the retro route with its new V-Strom 1050 – taking inspiration from the pioneering DR-Big of the 1980s. Rumours of a DR-Big revival have been rife this year but anyone hoping that it would include the return of a massive single-cylinder engine will be in for a disappointment; the engine here is an updated version of the motor that has powered the V-Strom since its inception. While Suzuki has changed the name to V-Strom 1050, the actual capacity is unchanged at the same 1037cc used since the bike's last major rework in 2013.

Although the displacement remains the same the 2020 V-Strom 1050 engine puts out an additional 6 horsepower.
Although the displacement remains the same the 2020 V-Strom 1050 engine puts out an additional 6 horsepower.Suzuki

It’s been updated for 2020, though, with a power increase from 100 horsepower to 106 horsepower thanks to new electronic throttles, higher compression pistons, and revised cam profiles that increase lift and reduce overlap. As a result the V-Strom 1050 – a global model – now meets the latest Euro5 emissions limits that come into force in Europe next year.

Three Models Of 2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050

As with the last generation of V-Strom 1000, the new V-Strom 1050 comes in three distinct versions. The base bike is road-oriented, with cast alloy wheels and lower-spec electronics. It's accompanied by the wire-wheeled V-Strom 1050XT that brings a more rugged look and a suite of rider aids based around a six-axis IMU for cornering ABS and traction control. The base model also has ABS and three-mode TC, but they're not lean-sensitive like the XT.

The base 2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050 does have ABS and TC, but not of the lean-sensitive variety.
The base 2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050 does have ABS and TC, but not of the lean-sensitive variety.Suzuki

The XT’s electronics also include a hill-hold system and rear wheel lift control, as well as a combined brake system that automatically applies a level of rear brake pressure when you apply the Tokico Monoblock front stoppers. The level of rear brake is automatically adjusted to suit the bike’s load. XT models also get cruise control, which is lacking on the entry-level version, and a center stand as well as a 12V under-seat electrical outlet to accompany the instrument-mounted USB charger that’s fitted to all 2020 V-Strom 1050s.

The most eye-popping colors and graphics are available on the V-Strom 1050XT models, but the XT also get lean-sensitive TC and ABS to up the capability and safety.
The most eye-popping colors and graphics are available on the V-Strom 1050XT models, but the XT also get lean-sensitive TC and ABS to up the capability and safety.Suzuki

At the top of the range sits the V-Strom 1050XT Adventure, which includes Suzuki’s quick-release, 37-liter aluminum side cases as standard along with heated grips.

2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050 DR-Big Styling

The ‘beak’ might be an adventure bike trope these days but it’s worth remembering that it’s a look that was pioneered by Suzuki’s DR750S ‘DR-Big’ back in 1987. And the latest V-Strom reclaims that heritage with a ruler-straight front protrusion that merges directly into the tank and side bodywork, just like the original of nearly 33 years ago.

The top-of-the-range V-Strom 1050 XT Adventure builds on the 1050XT with 37-liter side cases and heated grips.
The top-of-the-range V-Strom 1050 XT Adventure builds on the 1050XT with 37-liter side cases and heated grips.Suzuki

A rectangular headlight inset into the top surface of that beak is another clear homage to the DR-Big, but in the V-Strom’s case it’s an all-LED unit. And where DR-Big riders made do with the smallest of wind deflectors, the V-Strom gets a large, adjustable screen. Here, the XT benefits from a quick-adjust system that lets you alter its position by hand from 11 different settings. Despite looking similar, the base version has just three positions, and you’ll have to break out the tools to move it.

On board, there’s a new LCD display that includes all the information that you’d expect to find on a bike in 2020; as well as speed and revs it will tell you gear position, fuel consumption, range and traction control mode. The lack of Bluetooth phone integration seems like a glaring omission on a bike like this, however.

A new LCD dash brings the V-Strom 1050’s dash into the modern era.
A new LCD dash brings the V-Strom 1050’s dash into the modern era.Suzuki

Familiar chassis

Underneath all the 2020 updates, the bones of the V-Strom are still familiar. The aluminum frame is the same as the previous model, and key geometry including the 61.2-inch (1,555mm) wheelbase is unchanged. Curb weight rises a fraction, from 511 pounds (232kg) to 520 pounds (236kg) for the base model. The XT weighs in at 545 pounds (247kg) without the XT Adventure’s detachable panniers in place.

The 5.3-gallon fuel capacity is also unchanged, as are wheel and tire size; 110/80R-19 at the front, 150/70R-17 rear.

Suzuki's big V-Strom has always been friendly, straight-forward adventure-tourer. The V-Strom 1050 continues that trend with more character and features. Pricing is TBA at the time of introduction.

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