Suzuki V-Strom 1050 DE: Exploring the limits

THE Suzuki V-Strom 1050 DE isn't exactly a new player on the scene, but the 2024 update transformed it into a more compelling option for adventure riders.

For the readers' benefit, name V-Strom combines V referring to the bike’s engine configuration with the German word Strom meaning power.

Meanwhile DE means Dual Explorer.

Having spent a good chunk of time behind the handlebar, the V-Strom 1050 DE strikes a balance between rugged and refined.

The beak remains a signature of its adventure heritage while the overall aesthetic leans towards a more modern, muscular stance.

The 21-inch front wheel and increased ground clearance are a clear giveaway of its off-road intentions, and the large windscreen promises comfort on long hauls.

The instrument cluster, however, feels a touch dated compared to the competition's fancy TFT displays.

Twisting the throttle awakens the familiar V-twin engine, a proven performer with a smooth, linear power delivery.

It's not the most exciting motor in the class, lacking the raw thrust of some rivals.

But what it offers is user-friendly grunt that pulls effortlessly at any gear.

When I powered through twisty backroads, the V-Strom 1050 DE feels surprisingly nimble.

The front wheel doesn't hinder agility as much as I would expect, and the revised suspension with longer travel provides confidence when pushing hard on corners.

Feedback through the handlebar is excellent, and the rider aids, like lean-sensitive ABS and traction control, inspire trust without being intrusive.

Speaking of the suspension, it's close to perfect.

Fully adjustable, it soaks up bumps and imperfections with aplomb, whether I am navigating city streets or tackling loose gravel trails.

This translates into a superbly comfortable ride, even on extended journeys.

The brakes are equally impressive, being strong and predictable with good feel at the lever.

The V-Strom 1050 DE won't win any awards for the quickest lap times but that's not its purpose.

The long-travel suspension absorbs mid-corner bumps without unsettling the chassis, and the wide handlebars offer excellent leverage for steering corrections.

While the 21-inch front wheel might introduce a touch more sluggishness compared to a sport-tourer, it provides a reassuring sense of stability, especially on uneven terrain.

Don't expect razor-sharp flickability, but rather a composed and planted feel that allows you to enjoy a spirited pace on twisty roads.

While the V-Strom 1050 DE isn't a horsepower monster, its torquey 1,037cc engine delivers satisfying grunt to me on the highway.

Overtaking is a smooth affair as the ample torque pulls you past without needing frantic gear changes.

While hitting the highway, the V-Strom 1050 DE transforms into a capable tourer.

The wind protection from the windscreen is excellent, reducing wind fatigue to a minimum.

The comfortable riding position and well-padded seat allow me to clock the distance without complaint.

The smooth and refined engine is effortless at highway speeds, and the well-calibrated cruise control makes the whole long distance ride enjoyable.

While the focus may be on adventure riding, the V-Strom 1050 DE does well in city environments too.

The low-speed manoeuvrability is surprisingly good for its size, and the wide handlebars offer excellent leverage to me when navigating tight spaces.

The torquey engine makes filtering through traffic a breeze, and the light clutch action reduces finger fatigue in stop-and-go situations.

The V-Strom 1050 DE isn't lacking in the electronic rider aids.

Suzuki's Motion Track Anti-lock & Combination Brake System (ABS) ensures controlled stopping power even in panic situations, with lean-sensitivity for added confidence when cornering.

The Slope Dependent Control System adjusts braking based on incline or decline while the Load Dependent Control System adapts to the weight you are carrying.

The star of the show, however, is the traction control system with its unique Gravel mode.

This mode allows for a degree of rear wheel slip, perfect for maintaining control on loose surfaces often encountered on adventure rides.

The V-Strom 1050 DE allowed me to tailor the motorcycle's performance to my preferences and riding conditions through its Suzuki Drive Mode Selector (SDMS).

This system offers three distinct power delivery modes – A, B and C.

A mode provides the sharpest throttle response, ideal for experienced riders seeking maximum performance on twisty roads.

B mode offers a more moderate throttle response, well-suited for everyday riding or varying road conditions.

C mode delivers the softest throttle response, perfect for slippery surfaces or for riders prioritising a smooth and manageable power delivery.

Furthermore, the V-Strom 1050 DE (unlike its non-DE sibling) boasts a unique Gravel mode within the traction control system.

This mode allows for a controlled amount of rear wheel slip, which can be beneficial when tackling loose gravel roads.

This additional level of adjustability allows riders to fine-tune the V-Strom 1050 DE's character for a truly personalised adventure riding experience.

Despite its adventure-ready stance and increased ground clearance, the V-Strom 1050 DE manages to mask its weight surprisingly well when the bike on the move.

But when the bike is on idle, backing the bike out was a challenge to me.

I hope the new 1050 DE will be much lighter.

In conclusion, the 2024 V-Strom 1050 DE, priced at RM88,888, is a compelling choice for riders seeking a versatile and comfortable adventure touring motorcycle.


Suzuki V-Strom 1050 DE
Engine: 1,037cc, liquid-cooled, four-stroke, 90-degree V-twin
Maximum power: 106hp at 8,500rpm
Maximum torque: 100Nm at 8,000rpm
Transmission: Six-speed
Suspension: Front KYB 43mm forks, fully adjustable; rear KYB shock, pre-load adjustable
Brakes: Front 2x310mm discs with four-piston radial Tokiko calipers; rear 260mm disc with twin-piston Tokiko caliper
Features: Suzuki Drive Mode Selector, ABS, Slope Dependent Control, Load Dependent Control, Traction Control, Cruise Control, Suzuki East Start
Fuel capacity: 15 litres
Wet weight: 252kg
Price: RM88,888 (without registration and insurance)
Autos Suzuki
CarSifu's Rating: 5.4