The Suzuki V-Strom 650 has always been a favorite of mine. It's literally good at everything, can be found on the cheap, and is far more fun to ride than anything on the spec sheet would hint at. Unfortunately, it's always had one major problem: It's really, really ugly.
It has the kind of face only a mother could love. I push lots of new riders toward the V-Strom 650 when they ask me what bike they should get, if they even hint at wanting to go on any kind of trips, but I've learned to shut up about it as soon as I hear the phrase, "But, it's so ugly." If you haven't ridden a bunch of different bikes and felt how uncomfortable that sportbike is after a few hours or how impractical your cafe'd Bonneville is, there is just no way I can make you understand how the V-Strom's versatility overcomes its looks.
The new Suzuki V-Strom 1000 is a fantastic motorcycle, but one of the biggest things Suzuki did, at least in terms of perception, is make it look nice. The newest iteration took styling cues from the Multistrada and, outside of the paint schemes being a little wacky for me, the thing looks fantastic. Based on these parts catalogs, first leaked by Dutch site OliePeil, it looks like the V-Strom 650 is next up for a makeover.
The parts list shows a new beak-like front mudguard, wire-laced wheels, and the tires in the picture even have a more off-road tread pattern — though that may just be for dramatic effect. If the new Wee-Strom gets these three changes and manages to slim down to something a little more Versys-sized, I think Suzuki will have a real winner, given how beloved these bikes have become.
Hopefully, we'll see this new iteration launched next week at INTERMOT or at Suzuki's dealer show in Las Vegas. If not, you can be sure we'll see it come EICMA. Stay tuned starting Tuesday for our coverage from INTERMOT.