Suzuki planning big dealer push with V-Strom

Publish Date: 
Feb 25, 2014
By Bruce Steever

With the launch of the new 2014 DL1000 V-Strom, Suzuki is betting that its revised sport-adventure-tourer will fit a variety of riders.

And the OEM will be pushing the new machine hard for the coming year.

According to Suzuki, the new DL1000 is the result of customer surveys in the United States and abroad aimed at identifying the strengths of the previous model and identifying consumer requests for updates.

V-Strom riders appreciate its versatility and agility, but at the same time were looking for improved low-end power, high-speed stability, reduced weight and bulk and greater accessory options. A heavily revised V-twin, now enlarged from 996cc to 1037cc, moves peak torque from 6,400 rpm to a more accessible 4,000 rpm, while chassis changes improve stability and reduce weight by nearly 20 lbs. New ABS-equipped brakes improve performance. Suzuki’s first traction control system makes its debut as well.

Despite all the changes, what may make the DL1000 special is its niche in the adventure-touring segment.

Suzuki presented the media with a graph charting all the key players in the ADV segment, with weight on the Y-axis and power on the X-axis. Middleweight adventure machines such as the Transalp 700 (not sold in the United States) and Suzuki’s own DL650 V-Strom occupied the lower left of the graph, while the larger, predominantly European, models such as the R1200GS and KTM 1190 Adventure took up the upper right of the graph. And dead center in the ADV class, combining a 99 hp output with a claimed 502 lb. wet weight, is the new V-Strom.

Suzuki believes the new DL1000 will attract buyers looking to move up from the middleweights, riders looking for a lighter option than the competition, and with an aggressive MSRP of $12,699, riders of all sorts looking for a full-size but affordable do-it-all machine.

“The bike is what it is because that’s what the consumers wanted,” said Steve Bortolamedi, communications manager for Suzuki Motor of America Inc. (SMAI). “It’s dramatically improved from the previous version. We’ve done a lot of research and interviewed a lot of consumers in developing the new V-Strom 1000. We’re also trying to create the best balance of value for the consumer as well as profit for the dealers. Value models are still what’s selling and carrying the industry right now.”

Suzuki will be pushing the V-Strom to ensure the market gets to know the new machine. But while the DL1000 is the only full-size new model for Suzuki in 2014, Suzuki doesn’t plan to put all its eggs in one basket.

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