Suzuki DL650 V-Strom

Suzuki DL650 V-Strom

The Suzuki V-Strom DL650 is a mid-weight dual-sport motorcycle sold worldwide and introduced to the US in 2004.

Unlike specialized motorcycles, the V-Strom 650 trades strength in a single area for adaptability to a variety of riding conditions: commuting, cruising, adventure touring and — to a lesser degree — off-road riding. In this respect, the DL650 resembles a UJM with a broad character taking the place of specific strength.

The name V-Strom combines V referring to the bikes engine configuration with the German word Strom, meaning stream or current. To differentiate the DL650 from the DL1000, users have nicknamed them Wee and Vee, respectively, with the common variation Wee-strom for the DL650.


A 6-speed transmission mates to the fuel-injected and slightly retuned 645 cc liquid cooled, 4 stroke V-twin engine from Suzuki’s own SV650 sport bike. An upright, standard riding posture and 427 lb (194 kg) dry weight contribute to the bike’s handling characteristics.


The engine is a 90-degree, liquid cooled, 4 stroke V-twin, with 81mm bore and a 62.6mm stroke, four valves per cylinder, and intake and exhaust valving each with their own camshaft. More relaxed cam profiles over the SV engine boost the power between 4,000 and 6,500 rpm — along with slight changes to the airbox and exhaust. Relative to the SV, the crank inertia (flywheel effect) is also increased by 4%  via a redesigned starter clutch. As well, the DL650 engine uses a plastic outer clutch cover and engine sprocket cover for reduced weight and noise.

In a significant departure from the SV engine, which uses cast iron cylinder sleeves, the DL650 uses Suzuki’s proprietary SCEM (Suzuki Composite Electro-chemical Material) plated cylinders, a race-proven nickel-phosphorus-silicon-carbide coating for reduced weight and improved heat transfer, allowing for tighter and more efficient piston-to-cylinder clearance, similar to a Nikasil coating.

Engine electronics

The DL650 employs sophisticated engine electronics for starting and throttle control and uses Suzuki’s AFIS (Auto Fast Idle System), eliminating a fast-idle control. The engine control module (ECM) reads engine information (ie, coolant temperature) via a 16-bit central processing unit (CPU) — controlling the fuel system’s dual throttle bodies and contributing to strong acceleration up to a rev-limited 10,500 rpm.


The DL650 employs Suzuki Dual Throttle Valve (SDTV) fuel-injection and exhausts via a two-into-one exhaust system with a catalytic converter in the muffler. European models meet Euro 3 emissions specifications. In the US, a “PAIR” air injection system reduces CO and HC emissions.


A twin-spar aluminum frame and swingarm accommodates rear Showa mono-shock with a hydraulic preload adjuster. Front Showa shocks are pre-load adjustable. The DL650 uses a 19″ front wheel, 17″ rear wheel.

Instruments and bodywork

The bike’s instrument cluster includes a compact analog step-motor speedometer and tachometer (both with LED illumination) and a digital LCD unit with odometer, tripmeter, coolant temperature gauge, fuel gauge, LED neutral, digital clock, turn signal and high beam lights and an oil pressure warning light.

An adjustable windshield allows movement of 50mm. A small underseat compartment, suitable for small tools, gloves, or an owner’s manual, can be accessed by removal of the seat, via a keyed lock located at the rear of the bike, just below the built-in rack.

Global sales and manufacture

Sold in Europe, Oceania and the Americas, the DL650 competes with the Aprilia Caponord and Pegaso, BMW F650 Series, and most directly, the Kawasaki Versys.

The Suzuki DL650 is manufactured at the Suzuki’s ISO14001 certified plant in Toyokawa, Japan.

European model 2004 DL650, note the lack of small round side reflectors, shown with aftermarket crashguards, belly-pan, centre-stand and windscreen.


  • Named one of the “ten best” bikes under $10,000 by Motorcyclist (USA) magazine, October, 2007 — beating out, among many others, the V-Strom 1000.
  • In a September 2006 article, Cycle World magazine wrote “the DL650 may just be the most shockingly competent machine in the world today.”
  • A 2004 article from said “it was hard to imagine another machine with a competitive versatility-per-dollar ratio.”
  • Twice consecutively, the DL650 has earned the title “Alpenkoenig”, winning Motorrad magazine’s (Germany) grueling trans-alp multi-bike test in 2005 and 2006.

Model Year changes

2007 Changes

  • Optional ABS (anti-lock braking)
  • Wheelbase increased from 60.6 in (1539 mm) to 61.2 in (1554 mm) with an increase in the swingarm length by .597 in (15 mm)
  • Dual sparkplugs at each cylinder, for increased combustion efficiency and improved emissions.
  • Revised underseat tray to accommodate ABS
  • Graduated Chevron Tank Graphic (previously, Lightning Bolt)
  • New rubber boot protectors at swingarm pivot
  • The hazard switch was moved outboard of the Hi-Lo beam switch and changed from a rocker to a button
  • The kill switch is larger and the starter button is a larger sprung rocker switch instead of a button.
  • Luggage rack revised from silver to black.
  • Deletion of idle adjustment screw (requiring special tooling for throttle body synchronization).
  • Dry weight increases from 418 lb (190 kg) to 427 lb (194 kg)

2005 Changes

  • Frame & swingarm changed to Black, Silver before. Lightning Bolt tank graphic added. Headlight interrupt when starting added.

US colors MSRP

  • 2008 DL650: Yellow, Matte Black MSRP: $6699
  • 2008 DL650-ABS: Matte Black MSRP: $7199
  • 2007 DL650: Gray (Oort Gray Metallic), Blue (Pearl Vigor Blue). MSRP: $6699
  • 2007 DL650-ABS: Gray (Oort Gray Metallic) MSRP: $7199
  • 2006 DL650: Red (Pearl Crystal Red), Silvery Blue (Euclase Silver). MSRP $6699
  • 2005 DL650: Red (Pearl Crystal Red), Blue (Candy Grand Blue). MSRP $6699
  • 2004 DL650: Black (Pearl Nebular Black), Blue (Pearl Medium Blue #2). MSRP $6599

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