Long-termer: Suzuki V-Strom 650A – Motorcycle news, reviews & riding tips…

16 Apr 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Long-termer: Suzuki V-Strom 650A – Motorcycle news, reviews & riding tips…


Long-termer: Suzuki V-Strom 650A

The LAMS version of Suzuki’s extremely popular 650 adventure bike has made its way to the Bikesales garage for a few months, and it’s been an instant hit

When word got out at the 2013 Australian Motorcycle Expo in Sydney last November that Suzuki was releasing a learner approved motorcycle scheme (LAMS) version of its popular V-Strom 650, it answered a question that many people had been asking for a long period of time.

The machine finally went on sale in January, 2014, up against a number of bikes in the sub-660cc adventure space, including the Honda CB500X and, to a lesser extent, the Kawasaki KLR650 single.

The LAMS 650 V-Strom – officially known as the V-Strom 650A – has a power output of 47hp (35kW) to fall under the 150kW per tonne LAMS ceiling, and retails at the same price as the current full-powered (68hp, 69Nm) model — $11,290.

The current 650 V-Strom is already a heady performer for Suzuki, and was the third biggest selling adventure bike in 2013, behind the KLR650, G 650 GS and BMW R 1200 GS. With the LAMS version to provide even more widespread appeal, Suzuki will be looking to catapult straight to the top of the adventure bike charts in 2014.

We’ve been riding the V-Strom 650A for a few weeks now, and it’s covered some terrain, starting with an appearance at the action-packed Phillip Island world superbike opener, and then just last weekend as the ultimate park-in-a-tight-spot machine at the Melbourne F1 round, where space is at an absolute premium. In between times, it’s been a loyal commuter for a number of Bikesales staffers.

We’ve already touched on the new-generation 650 V-Strom’s refined engine, taut chassis and effective suspension and brakes in past reviews, including the Croatian world launch in 2011, and that’s what you get with the 650A – the only difference is that the 90-degree V-twin has a milder temperament and throttle response – but still a similar beat — with the 47hp powerplant.

However, in the city the differences between full-power and LAMS less are less obvious, as balls-out throttle-to-the-stops acceleration isn’t going to get you far when the next car is 20 metres ahead in a slow-moving queue. In a material sense, that still makes the powerplant as defining as it’s always been, but without the sugar ‘hit’ at the top.

I can live with that, as the engine is still flexible and dependable – you never feel like you are rolling the dice when embarking on a quick overtake, for example. It’s no wonder that Suzuki has already sold a gazillion of these engines in SV650, SV650S and SFV650 (Gladius) mode, as well.

Fuel consumption has so far been excellent, hovering around 4.5 litres per100km, which means that you can travel 350km without even thinking about petrol bowser – and then you’ve still got a meaty five-litre buffer up your sleeve.

Our test unit has covered about 5000km, and the only issues at this stage are a build-up of surface rust on the chain, which we’ll be tending to very shortly — routine stuff — while the left-hand side mirror has got a crack in it – and we haven’t dropped it once, I promise. We’ll be getting that fixed, as well as fitting some luggage for some longer haul flights.

Stay tuned for regular updates.

AJS Model 30 650

SPECS: V-STROM 650 ABS

ENGINE

Type: Liquid-cooled, four valves per cylinder 90-degree V-twin

Capacity: 645cc

Bore x stroke: 81.0mm x 62.6mm

Compression ratio: 11:2.1

Clutch: Wet

CHASSIS AND RUNNING GEAR

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