adventure motorcycles

Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT - Detailed Technical Specs and Honest Review

Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT - Detailed Technical Specs and Honest Review

Suzuki ventured into the large-displacement adventure motorcycle market by launching the V-Strom motorcycle in 2002. Ever since its release, the V-Strom not only became a staple model in the Suzuki yearly motorcycle listing but also became a preferred two-wheeler for many riders. Offering manageable power, easy handling, and classic adventure bike looks, the V-Strom is nothing special; however, its practicality, reliability, and simplicity attract almost all generations of riders, establishing itself as a perpetual favorite.

Despite its shortcomings, the Suzuki V-Strom emerged as one of the most loved bikes by the manufacturer. For this reason, the brand has introduced very few changes and upgrades in the original V-Strom platform, when introducing newer models. However, the Suzuki V-Strom 1050 was a completely redesigned model, launched in 2020. Inspired by the Suzuki DR-Z Dakar racer and Dual Sport DR series, this rugged dual sports motorcycle featured multiple high-tech features, such as traction control with four sensitivity levels, three mode S-DMS, LCD dashboard, and drive-by-wire dual electronic throttle assemblies.

Along with this base model, Suzuki also introduced the V-Strom 1050 XT, a higher-equipped trim of the base model. If we compare the 2020 V-Strom 1050 with the V-Strom 1050 XT, the base model lacks the Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), advanced traction control, and ABS. Plus, the base model lacked the highly important cruise control and Hill Hold Control System. The main purpose of developing the 2020 V-Strom 1050 model was to provide a simple motorcycle completely stripped of all the complex electronic systems. On the other hand, riders who demanded sophisticated electronics could choose the 1050 XT model. It is worth mentioning here that Suzuki has introduced the 2023 and 2024 V-Strom 1050 models as well. And these models are just as electronically advanced as the 2020 and 2022 V-Strom 1050 XT models, if not more.

While Suzuki in its conscious had created a dual nature adventure style motorcycle, loyal Suzuki fans developed their ways to categorize this machine and justify its use based on individual preferences.

Undoubtedly, the V-Strom 1050 XT offered a winning combination of power, practicality, performance, and comfortable ergonomics. But is the V-Strom 1050 XT an ideal bike to serve the purpose it is designed for? Continue reading this article for an honest review of the bike’s street riding, off-roading, relaxed on-road touring, and high-speed sport touring performance and capabilities. 

1. Suzuki V-Strom 1050 XT: An Overview

Suzuki V-Strom 1050 XT: An Overview
Photo Credit: @suzukicycles

The V-Strom 1050 ‘XT model’ was an updated model of the V-Strom 1000 with changed styling and improved electronics, designed for explorations both on and off the road. Hence, this variant came decked with impressive improvements and accessories, such as a six-axis Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), ABS, cruise control, traction control, accessory bar, adjustable seat, LED turn signals, adjustable windscreen, aluminum under cowling, 12-volt DC charging socket, center stand and a knuckle cover. To make the bike more attractive to riders and pleasing to the eyes, vibrant multiple-color paint schemes were introduced, which were inspired by the brand’s DR-Z models. 

The XT version also had an adventure touring variant, the V-Strom 1050 XT Adventure, which in addition to all the technological improvements and accessories, also comes with hard aluminum Suzuki luggage, fog lights, and heated grips. Since its launch in 2020, Suzuki has only manufactured this bike in the 2020 and 2022 model year, not because the bike was not received well by the motorcyclists, but because the brand was focused on designing a more off-road-centric model, the Suzuki V-Strom 1050 DE for the 2023 and 2024 model year. True to its V-Strom roots, the 1050 XT has already proven itself to be a Universal Japanese Motorcycle in the contemporary motorcycle world, but since it is better suited for paved roads instead of gravel paths and rugged uneven terrain, the 1050 DE is the right replacement for this bike. 

2. Suzuki V-Strom 1050 XT Detailed Technical Specs

Suzuki V-Strom 1050 XT Detailed Technical Specifications
General Information
Manufacturer Suzuki Motor Corporation
Official Website Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT
Motorcycle Type/Category Adventure Dual/Sport
Launched In 2020
Production Status Discontinued After 2022
Base MSRP 2020 V-Strom 1050 XT $14,799 Destination Charges ($395)
Base MSRP 2020 V-Strom 1050 XT Adventure $16,999 Destination Charges ($395)
Base MSRP 2022 V-Strom 1050 XT $14,849 Destination Charges ($440) Freight Surcharge ($150)
Base MSRP 2022 Model V-Strom 1050 XT Adventure $17,049 Destination Charges ($440) Freight Surcharge ($150)
Warranty 12-month unlimited mileage Limited Warranty
Suzuki Extended Protection (Warranty Extension) SEP program for longer coverage periods
V-Strom 1050 XT Engine
Engine Type V-2 Four-Stroke
Other Details 90-Degree V-Twin Engine
Displacement 1037 cc
Bore 100.0 mm/ 3.9 in
Stroke 66.0 mm/ 2.6 in
Compression Ratio 11.5:1
Cooling System Liquid-Cooled
Starter System Electric
Cylinder Arrangement Two Cylinders
Valve Train Four Valves per Cylinder
Lubrication System Wet Sump
Fuel Delivery System ECM Programmed Fuel Injection System 10-Hole Fuel Injectors
Fuel Control Double Overhead Cams (DOHC)
Exhaust System Single-Silencer Exhaust
V-Strom 1050 XT Performance Figures
Maximum Horsepower 100 hp at 8,000 rpm
Maximum Torque 103 Nm at 4,000 rpm
Claimed Top Speed 130 mph
Claimed Acceleration (0-60 mph) 3.9 secs
Estimated Mileage 53.8 mpg (approx.)
V-Strom 1050 XT Drivetrain
Transmission System Six-Speed Constant Mesh
Clutch Wet; Multi-Plate Type, Hydraulic-Operated
Final Drive Chain Drive; O-Ring Type, RK525SMOZ8, 116 Links
Primary Reduction 1.840
Final Reduction 2.410
V-Strom 1050 XT Gear Ratios
I 3.000
II 1.930
III 1.500
IV 1.230
V 1.090
VI 1.000
V-Strom 1050 XT Chassis
Frame Twin-Spar Aluminum Frame
V-Strom 1050 XT Wheels/Tires
Tire Type Tubeless
Front Tire Size 110/80R19 (M/C) 59V
Rear Tire Size 150/70R17 (M/C) 69V
Wheels Spoke-Style
V-Strom 1050 XT Suspensions
Front Suspension Inverted Telescopic Fork; Coil Spring, Oil Damped
Front Wheel Travel 6.3 in
Rear Suspension Link-Type; Mono-Shock; Coil Spring, Oil Damped
Rear Wheel Travel 6.3 in
V-Strom 1050 XT Brakes
Anti-Lock Braking System Standard ABS
Front Brake Tokico; Four-Piston Calipers; Twin Disc
Rear Brake Nissin; Two-Piston Calipers; Single Disc
V-Strom 1050 XT Dimensions
Overall Height 1465-1510 mm (57.7-59.4 in)
Height Depends on Windshield Setting
Overall Length 2265 mm/ 89.2 in
Overall Width 940 mm/ 37.0 in
Fuel Tank Capacity 5.3 US gal/ 20.0 L
Weight Carrying Capacity 37 L
Seat Two-Piece Seat
Seat Height 850-870 mm/ (33.5-34.25 in)
Seat Height Depends on Rider’s Seat Settings
Trail 109 mm/ 4.3 in
Wheelbase 1555 mm/ 61.2 in
Rake Angle 25.7°
Ground Clearance 160 mm/ 6.3 in
Curb Weight 544.6 lb/ 247 kg
V-Strom 1050 XT Electrical Systems
Alternator Three-Phase A.C. Generator; 490W
Ignition Transistorized Electronic Ignition
Battery Capacity 12V- 12Ah
Head Light LED
Tail Light LED
State-of-the-Art Tech Package & Premium Ride Systems
Suzuki Intelligent Ride System (S.I.R.S)
Rider-Selectable ABS Sensitivity
Motion Track Anti-Lock and Combination Brake System Two Modes of ABS for Different Levels of ABS Intervention:
  • Mode 1: Minimal Intervention
  • Mode 2: More Intervention Than Mode 1
Hill Hold Control System
Load Dependent Control System
Slope Dependent Control System
Controller Area Network Technology (CAN-Wiring)
Standard Cruise Control System
Ride-By-Wire Throttle System
Suzuki Drive Mode Selector (S-DMS) Three Modes for Different Throttle Responses:
  • Mode A: Sharp
  • Mode B: Moderate
  • Mode C: Soft
Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) Six-Axis Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU)
Traction Control System Four Ride Modes
  • Mode 1: Lowest Traction Sensitivity
  • Mode 2: Moderate Traction Sensitivity
  • Mode 3: Highest Traction Sensitivity
  • Mode 4: OFF
Standard Windshield Bolt-on; Adjustable
Standard Luggage Aluminum Side Panniers (Available with V-Strom 1050XT Adventure Trim)
Optional Accessories
High Profile Seats
Low Profile Seats
Luggage Bags
Heated Grips
Auxiliary Lights

2.1 Suzuki V-Strom 1050 XT Model Colors

2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050 XT Color Options
Champion Yellow No. 02 Champion Yellow No. 02
Pearl Brilliant White/ Glass Blaze Orange Pearl Brilliant White/ Glass Blaze Orange
2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050 XT Adventure Color Options
Glass Sparkle Black Glass Sparkle Black
2022 Suzuki V-Strom 1050 XT Color Options
Metallic Oort Gray No.3/ Glass Sparkle Black Metallic Oort Gray No.3/ Glass Sparkle Black
2022 Suzuki V-Strom 1050XT Adventure Color Options
Champion Yellow No.2/ Glass Sparkle Black Champion Yellow No.2/ Glass Sparkle Black 

3. Suzuki V-Strom 1050 XT’s Engine & Performance

The Suzuki V-Strom 1050 XT is powered by a liquid-cooled V2 four-stroke 1037 cc 90-degree V-Twin engine that generates 106 hp of horsepower and 77 ft-lb of torque. The 90-degree or the L-Twin engine of the V-Strom 1050 XT dates back to the 1990s when Suzuki launched the TL-1000. Unlike the L-Twin engine of the V-Strom 650, the engine of the 1050 XT features gear-driven camshafts that give the engine its unique sound. The sound of the air intake is quite satisfying, but the sound of the exhaust is not as audible as most riders would prefer it to be. The 1050 XT engine feels every bit of the claimed horsepower and torque on the road.

Another upside of the V-Strom 1050 XT L-Twin engine is its ideal primary balance, which eliminates the need to install an engine counterbalancer system. This engine design feature helps reduce weight and ensures that the bike runs very smoothly at all rpm. True to the claim, the riders do not feel any vibration through the handlebars at any speed, offering tough competition to highway cruisers. 

The torquey Suzuki V-Strom 1050 XT motor allows you to ride the bike in third or fourth gear for a long while. Even at 70 miles per hour, you can continue riding this bike in third gear. Due to the tall gears and smooth power delivery, it never feels that the engine is strained or working hard to maintain the pace. Thanks to the powerful and robust engine, riding at 90 miles per hour is a possibility on this motorcycle. The smooth transmission system allows for quick and easy gear shifting; however, the presence of a quick shifter could have further enhanced the experience.

Unfortunately, the V-Strom 1050 XT lacks a quick-shifter. The slip-assist clutch also gives you smoother gear shifts, and if you apply hard downshifts for cornering, you don’t have to worry about locking the rear wheel and getting into an accident. 

Suzuki V-Strom 1050 XT Mileage and Fuel Range 

On average, the V-Strom 1050 XT offers 45-55 mpg of mileage. Even if you ride this bike aggressively, you will still get good fuel mileage out of the engine. The 5.3 US gal fuel tank gives a range of around 200-250 miles before you need to refuel. 

4. Suzuki V-Strom 1050 XT’s Chassis

The V-Strom 1050 XT is a versatile two-wheeler designed to tackle varying terrains and cater to different riding styles. Its smooth power delivery, flickability, ergonomic comfort, and effortless handling make it an excellent all-around road bike. This utilitarian two-wheeled machine when equipped with a tall adjustable windshield makes high-speed riding a highly enjoyable experience.

When it comes to riding on twisties, the V-Strom 1050 XT performs equally well, offering a fun and nimble performance that keeps you interested even though the power generation is much less than that of a sports bike. The rear-view mirrors offer a clear view, offering much-needed traffic and situational awareness on both winding and traffic-dense roads. The exceptional flickability of this bike eliminates the need to buy a specific bike for a particular setting, which is a plus if you are someone who enjoys sport touring on serpentine roads, power cruising on highways, and navigating traffic-dense roads.

On the other hand, when it comes to off-road riding, the V-Strom 1050 XT’s performance is limited to gravel roads, smooth fire roads, and dirt trails. It can handle a wide range of terrains but nothing too challenging or extremely rugged. It is also advisable not to ride this bike in sand or soft dirt sections as its front end gets stuck in the sand, throwing the rider off the bike.

The 33.5-inch seat height is adjustable and the wet weight of this bike is approximately 544 lbs, excluding the weight of the rider, passenger, and luggage.

4.1 Suzuki V-Strom 1050 XT Suspension

The front fork of the V-Strom 1050 XT has adjustability for preload, compression damping, and rebound damping, while the rear shock is only adjustable for rebound damping and spring preload.

The Suzuki V-Strom 1050 XT suspensions are firm which is a huge downside for dirt riding. However, the firm suspension setup offers much support for long-distance touring. Considering the V-Strom XT is designed for adventure both on and off the road, many riders will be disappointed that its 6.3-inch wheel travel is not enough for extreme off-roading.

The upside of the V-Strom 1050 XT suspension setup is that it helps keep the seat height low and provides better control and damping for aggressive sport riding and street riding.

V-Strom’s suspension setup is not known for its off-road performance. Even when you ride on a relatively flat gravel path, you will feel every single bump and irregularity in the path due to the V-Strom’s street bike suspension. Offering a relatively smaller wheel travel, the V-Strom 1050 XT is not designed to offer a plush off-road riding experience. It is designed for paved asphalt roads with occasional rides on back-country roads or gravel paths. 

4.2 Suzuki V-Strom 1050 XT Braking System

The Suzuki V-Strom 1050 XT has a powerful braking system equipped with standard ABS. On the front, there are Tokico monoblock radially-mounted dual disc brakes, while on the rear, you get Nissin single disc brakes. The braking system is the bike’s attribute along with its engine. They are powerful and also very easy to modulate for traction management and enhanced precision while off-roading.

Although the bike offers ample leverage for cornering; however, if you remain unable to control the bike while cornering, the standard ABS helps you maintain control of the bike. However, it is always advisable not to over-rely on the ABS system and avoid riding on roads that require advanced riding skills.

This bike has linked braking and when you squeeze the front brake lever to apply the front  brake aggressively, the motorcycle will automatically apply some brake to the rear as well even if you don’t use the rear brake lever. This braking system helps balance out the suspension and load on the bike, ensuring better braking control and superior stopping power. The linked brakes work in sync with the IMU and ABS and they help you to come to a smooth halt. It is worth mentioning that the linked-braking system has a subtle effect and is not as aggressive as many like it to be. Therefore, it is advisable not to rely too heavily on this feature and be alert when you do need to apply brakes.

4.3 Suzuki V-Strom 1050 XT Wheels and Tires

The V-Strom 1050 XT is equipped with tubeless tires that work well on paved roads; however, these tires are not very off-road friendly as they tend to damage the rims quickly. On paved roads, these stock tubeless tires reduce the risk of punctures, offering peace of mind and reliability during long-distance tours.

As for the tire size, the V-Strom 1050 XT has a 110/19 front tire and a 150/17 rear tire, both are good standard-sized bikes. The V-Strom lineup has always been designed around these tire sizes as they give it a better off-road ability and improve handling on the road.

4.4 Suzuki V-Strom 1050 XT Seat Height, Riding Position, & Comfort   

The V-Strom 1050 XT offers an upright riding position and a comfortable seat, allowing riders to ride this bike for hours at different speed ranges without getting sore or tired. At first, the seat does not feel very comfortable, but as you ride the bike, you realize that the seat is purposefully designed to provide support to the riders for all-day riding.

The high-rise, large-diameter, tapered aluminum handlebars and wide footrests further enhance the riding comfort, helping them maneuver the bike on varying terrains and road conditions. Rubber inserts help not only reduce vibration to offer a smooth riding experience but also provide a strong foot grip, allowing riders to stand on the bike on dirt tracks. Moreover, the sides of the seats feature textured high-grip material that keeps the rider and passenger connected to the bike when the roads become bumpy or irregular. This high-grip material also offers comfort when riding the motorcycle on off-road trails. The stock windshield provides adequate wind protection but for optimal wind deflection and comfort, it is best to opt for an aftermarket fairing with a tall windshield.  

4.5 Suzuki V-Strom 1050 XT Styling

When it comes to the styling and aesthetic appeal of the V-Strom 1050 XT, it is difficult to establish whether it is a good-looking bike or plain ugly. Due to the subjectivity of aesthetic appeal, one can neither label its styling as impressive nor lackluster. Suzuki sure has a bold outlook that harkens back to the brand’s single-cylinder 800 cc DR-Big model. The vibrant color scheme is quite eye-catching and the blacked-out parts help augment its rugged dual-sport personality.

4.6 Suzuki V-Strom 1050 XT Electronic Package and Lighting

Suzuki V-Strom 1050 XT features sophisticated electronics, known as the Suzuki Intelligent Ride System (S.I.R.S). This high-tech system includes an ABS system, traction control with four levels of sensitivity, hill hold control system, motion track anti-lock and combination braking, six-axis IMU, cruise Control, drive mode selector (throttle response modes), easy start, load-dependent, and slope dependent control systems. All of these electronics work in sync to ensure a comfortable, safe, and smooth riding experience. If you do not want all these electronics in the V-Strom 1050 XT model, you can opt for the 2020 base V-Strom 1050.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to switch off the AS completely on this bike, but you can reduce its intervention by setting it to mode 1. When riding in the cruise control mode, riders don’t have access to change the trip computer display. When riding off-road, the highest level of traction control intervention prevents the bike from sliding around. Since the V-Strom features road-friendly tubeless tires, the traction control system comes in handy, especially if you are riding at full throttle. The traction control and ABS offer more confidence when riding this bike off-road, but even these features cannot eliminate the bike’s limitations when it comes to extreme off-roading.

In addition, the V-Strom 1050 XT features an LCD dashboard that displays a speedometer, tachometer, dual trip meter, average fuel consumption, gear position indicator, and other important information. Since most riders prefer TFT displays, the LCD display can be considered a downside of this bike.

For optimal lighting and visibility, the bike features LED headlights, turn signals, and tail lights. A 12-volt DC socket is also located under the pillion, allowing riders to charge their cell phones and other electrical devices at camping sites and while riding.

4.7 Suzuki V-Strom 1050 XT Major Shortcomings

Though the 1050 XT is one of the most evolved models in the V-Strom lineup, there are still many aspects of this bike that require improvement. The most prominent is the LCD dashboard. The LCD dashboard is too small with a lot of information cramped in it. Moreover, the screen does not have enough contrast which makes it difficult to process all the information in just one glance. Looking at the screen for a longer time poses a safety risk when riding the bike.

Another shortcoming of the bike is its windshield which comes with a bolt-on design. The windshield cannot be adjusted while riding the bike, which is a huge downside. When riding the motorcycle, the speed of the vehicle and wind tend to change, making it necessary to adjust the windshield, but having to stop the bike and go around the front to move the windshield upward or downward can become a nuisance.

Suzuki has equipped this bike with wide handlebars, but they should have been taller to further improve the ergonomics. Average and tall riders (about 5 ft 9 inches and taller) need to invest in handlebar risers to adjust the bike’s riding stance. Similarly, seat adjustment is a tedious and time-consuming task on this motorcycle. To adjust the height of the seat, riders have to unfasten all the bolts, remove the brackets, put adapters in place, replace smaller bolts with longer bolts, and then raise the seat. Luckily, you can remove the passenger seat with the key, but not having the same facility for the rider’s seat is just frustrating and a huge design lapse. 

5. Suzuki V-Strom 1050 XT: A Quick Look at Pros and Cons

Suzuki V-Strom 1050 XT
Pros Cons
Powerful engine with ample torque production Suspension system does not support off-road riding
Excellent braking system ABS does not switch off
Suspension system is well-suited for all types of on-road riding, including aggressive sport riding Lacks a quick-shifter
Long fuel range Old school LCD dashboard
Comfortable seat height and ergonomics Lackluster aesthetics
Advanced electronic system The suspension system does not have enough wheel travel to cope with harsh off-road terrain
The stock Bridgestone battleax adventure A41 tires are tubeless; ideal for long-distance tours and suitable for mild off-roading The tubeless tires do not support extreme off-roading
  Bolt on adjustable windshield is difficult to adjust when riding

5.1 Suzuki V-Strom 1050 XT: Worth Buying or Not?

Overall, the Suzuki V-Strom 1050 XT is a great bike to buy, provided it resonates with your riding style and riding needs. Although the motorcycle has an adventure motorcycle/dual-sport avatar, it is more of a sports touring motorcycle, perfect for crushing miles on the freeway and navigating twisties and winding roads. The engine’s performance is beyond expectations in all aspects, including its power generation, torque production, sounds, gear-driven camshafts, and relaxed feel at high speeds.

The braking system, tires, suspension system, and electronics package also support aggressive sport riding, urban action, mild off-roading, and touring. However, if you are into extreme off-roading, then this bike is not the right machine for you. Most of the bike’s flaws can be fixed using aftermarket parts, such as handlebars, fairing, tall and adjustable windshield, risers, crash bars, a plush seat, and luggage bags including side cases, tail bags, and tank bags. The low maintenance and greater reliability are also some of the commendable traits of this bike, making it a worthwhile investment.

6. Last Words  

By designing the V-Strom 1050 XT, Suzuki has showcased the potential of the V-Strom motorcycles as reliable all-terrain bikes. Due to the improvements and thoughtful upgrades the V-Strom bikes have received over the years, they have become one of the favorite bikes of both off-road adventure seekers and highway cruising enthusiasts. The V-Strom 1050 XT is another step in the right direction by the Japanese motorcycle manufacturer. Though the bike is not a high-performer off-roads, it is an overachiever on the road.

The smoothness of the engine, reliable braking system, simple yet sophisticated electronics, bold unconventional styling, and an affordable price tag make this bike a worthwhile investment. The competition in the adventure motorcycle segment is indeed fierce and adventure bikes of other brands have received revolutionary changes, while the V-Strom is lagging in terms of competition. When compared to the Honda Africa Twin, the Ducati Desert X, the Triumph Tiger 900, the Kawasaki Versys 650, and the BMW F850GS, the V-Strom cannot be deemed a complete off-road machine. But if you are a street touring rider who enjoys riding occasionally on smooth gravel roads to find dispersed camping sites and hiking trails, then this bike is the right two-wheeler for you.

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