Just a day after we cracked the teaser, Suzuki has gone ahead and launched the V-Strom SX. The V-Strom SX is based on the Gixxer 250 platform but Suzuki has done quite a few changes to make it more than just a slap-on job.
What’s The Price? Who Are Its Rivals?
Suzuki has managed to price the V-Strom SX quite well, the new ADV carrying a price tag of Rs 2,11,600 (ex-showroom Delhi). Compared to the KTM 250 Adventure, the V-Strom costs around Rs 25,000 less, making it quite an attractive package. For the same money, you can also get yourself the Royal Enfield Scram 411.
It would be a bit unfair to call this V-Strom a mere cosmetic job. While the chassis and the engine remain the same as the naked, the rest of the motorcycle is quite different.
The styling of the V-Strom SX does remind us of the old simple Suzuki ADVs like the DR-BIG with their sharp small tall beak, sleek fairing and relatively large windscreen design. The LED headlight, though, is the same unit as the Gixxer 250’s.
And while the tank area might seem larger, the actual tank capacity is just 12-litres, again the same as the Gixxer 250. It arrives in three shades, Champion Yellow No. 2, Pearl Blaze Orange and Glass Sparkle Black, of which the first one does appeal to us the most.
In a typical naked-to-ADV conversion, the seat height of the V-Strom SX has gone up. It is now rated at 835mm, 35mm taller than the Gixxer. The subframe is also longer, which has increased the seating area for both the rider and pillion. Plus, there is a tail rack-cum-grab rail, which should come in quite handy for mounting luggage for tours. What will also help make your tours more convenient is the standard USB charger for charging your mobile devices on the go.
The telescopic fork doesn’t seem to be as beefy as the Gixxer’s with the forward offset axle placement making it slightly easier for off-road riding. The monoshock has seven steps of preload adjustment. What is disheartening is the suspension travel on offer, just 120mm, which is road bike territory.
So, kitting the V-Strom with the front 19-inch alloy wheel makes no sense as the suspension’s limitations will not allow you to enjoy getting dirty as much. Yes, the SX gets 19-/17-inch alloy wheels that are shod with dual purpose MRF MoGrip Meteor tyres, the same ones as the 250 Adventure. Another limiting factor for off-roading is the lack of switchable ABS.
The 249cc single-cylinder oil-cooled engine makes the same 26.5PS and 22.2Nm. The engine’s state of tune hasn’t changed but it might feel a little less peppy due to the difference in tyre size as well as the 11kg extra that the V-Strom has to lug.
The chassis remains the same construction but tweaks to the steering head have been made to suit the ADV. The wheelbase has also gone up by 100mm, which would primarily be due to the longer swingarm. Ground clearance is a healthy 205mm.
What Should Have Been Changed?
The suspension travel! Why only 120mm? That’s barely going to be enough for road usage and a little broken tarmac. Suzuki should have really hit the nail on the head with the bike and given it around 160-180mm of travel for it to be a proper all-rounder. And if switchable ABS would’ve been present, it would’ve made matters even better.
On the face of it, the Suzuki V-Strom SX seems to be more of an adventure-styled touring-oriented motorcycle that is scared of the rough stuff. No change to the motor’s tune doesn’t disappoint us one bit as its torquey nature is decent for a variety of riding scenarios. But the lack of adequate suspension travel is a big let down.