Suzuki V-Strom 800 Tech test: Introduction, positioning and rivals
The Suzuki V-Strom 800 Tech (83 HP, €10,699) is the latest motorcycle in a saga that dates back to 2002, when the first V-Strom 1000 appeared. However, the real best-seller, the VŚtrom 650, was a long time coming until 2004, the date from which the model has been marketed and which will continue to be sold as a cheaper option as long as it can continue to comply with the strict environmental regulations that govern.
In 2020, the V-Strom 1050 was presented, inspired in its design by the DR Big of the late 20th century. This same year, the 1050 has been split into two versions, the V-Strom 1050 DE and the V-Strom 1050 Tech, with 21 and 19-inch wheels respectively.
With the appearance in 2023 of the V-Strom 800 DE, it was only a matter of time before the V-Strom 800 Tech version that we bring to our page today appears.
It is a motorcycle designed to go further and faster within the medium trail segment. Among its rivals there is a newcomer such as the Honda Transalp 750 (91 HP, €10,900), although it has a 21-inch front wheel, the same as the KTM 790 Adventure (95 HP, €11,323), the Aprilia Tuareg 660 ( 80 HP, €12,020) or the Husqvarna 901 Norden (105 HP, €14,925). All of them have a more rural connotation and except for the KTM 890 SMT (105 HP, €14,275) with 17-inch wheels, none of them have an asphalt version.
The YaYamaha Tracer 7 (73 HP, €10,999) also has a 17-inch front wheel, as does the BMW F 900 XR (105 HP, €12,920) or the Triumph Tiger 660 Sport (81 HP, €9,695). With the same 19-inch front wheel we will only find the BMW F 850 GS (95 HP, €12,700) and the Triumph Tiger 850 Sport (85 HP, €12,195).
As you can see, it is a very large sector and with many different configurations. The V-Strom enjoys a very effective compromise between power, ease of use, versatility and one decisive factor: price.
Suzuki V-Strom 800 Tech test: Features, equipment and philosophy of the Suzuki V-Strom 800 Tech
Suzuki has been absolutely right in varying its strategy with respect to its trail models, specializing its product with different configurations to adapt to different users. His sister, the V-Strom 800 DE, has proven to be a great trail bike, whose benefits are already becoming popular among fans.
One of the secrets is that either of the two models (the DE and the Tech) can “play” in the other’s field, but they respectively stand out in their specialty. This has allowed, in the case of the V-Strom 800 Tech, to reduce the price to €10,699, thinking about those who will not step on the field and who will not need suspensions with the adjustment capacity of those of the V-Strom 800 DE .
That does not mean that its components are worse, but rather adapted to the use expected of the motorcycle. Without going any further, the brakes on the V-Strom 800 Tech are magnificent, with impeccably functioning 4-piston radial calipers.
The appearance of the bike also varies from the DE. Straight lines are accentuated and although it is a matter of taste, in my opinion it enjoys a more proportionate and organic design than its country sister.
The most important thing is that they enjoy the same power unit, the fantastic new 776 cc inline twin that also equips the GSX8-S. With the crankshaft timing at 270º, the sensation is that of enjoying a V-twin, which is why the letter V remains in its name.
The engine is so easy and elastic that it has not even needed to change the developments. With a double balance shaft and a redesigned intake system, its ability to increase revs and refined feel give it a prominent place among the engines in its category if you like engines that deliver their best in the first ⅔ of the rev counter and which also stretches to the end.
The actual consumption is around 5 liters per 100 kilometers. No one would say that its tank measures 20 liters, but doing the old woman’s calculations, its real range is around 400 kilometers, an outstanding figure.
The chassis part does not present changes in terms of chassis and subframe (tubular steel) compared to the DE, but it does in the suspensions, signed by Hitachi Astamo (that is, Showa). The travel is reduced from 220 mm OD to 150 mm in the shock absorber (adjustable in preload and rebound) and fork (non-adjustable). Thus, the ground clearance is reduced from 220 to 185 mm and the seat height from 855 mm to 825.
Being a narrow motorcycle, it is very easy to reach the ground with both soles of the feet for someone of my height (178 cm). The brakes are magnificent, with double 310 mm discs bitten by 4-piston radial calipers at the front and a single 260 mm disc at the rear.
The electronics are the same as in the DE, summarized in the SIRS (translated, Suzuki intelligent system) and which is summarized in three engine modes (SDMS) and three levels of traction control. It has an electronic accelerator, which is why the non-inclusion of cruise control is not understandable, a fundamental element in a motorcycle of a tourist and practical nature. It also has an Easy Start starting system and rpm assistant for driving at low speed.
But the star, without a doubt, is the standard quickshifter transmission, which works exquisitely and mitigates the relative hardness of the clutch lever. There is also no variation in terms of instrumentation, identical to that seen in the 800 DE. It is very easy to read and it is not necessary to navigate through menus and submenus as all the options and variations are clearly visible.
Suzuki V-Strom 800 Tech Test: How the Suzuki V-Strom 800 Tech Goes
If the performance of its engine sisters (GSX8-S and V-Strom 800 DE) have been the surprises of the season, the same can be said of the V-Strom 800 Tech. It shares the benefits of ease of use that the twin-cylinder, but it stands out especially in what it is intended for.
As soon as you get on it you can notice that the position is a little more sporty than on the DE, with the footpegs slightly set back and raised compared to that and the handlebars, very wide, a little further away. After a route of more than 200 kilometers, my body asked me for more. The seat goes unnoticed, in the good sense of the term, because you hardly notice it, it is so comfortable.
The running sample is very easy. The bike feels natural from the beginning, it seems like you’ve known it all your life and it doesn’t present any difficulties. The feel of the controls is very good, except for the already mentioned hardness of the clutch lever, which does not transcend thanks to the quickshifter. We will only perceive it in traffic jams in which it has to be used continuously.
In the presentation, carried out by the Sierra de Alicante, we were not able to test it in urban use, but it is not difficult to perceive that it is an ideal motorcycle for daily use. What we were able to verify are its dynamic qualities at a more than light pace, where the effectiveness of the motorcycle with respect to its image is surprising.
Corner entry is natural and the front axle conveys a confidence on par with its sister, the GSX8-S, that is, magnificent. With the V-Strom you can ride at really high speeds. But if what you like is riding at a leisurely pace, the V-Strom is ideal for that. Suspensions and brakes are up to par.
Perhaps I could perceive some movement of the rear axle in very sporty driving, but we also did not have time to “mess around” with the adjustment possibilities of the rear shock absorber. What there is no doubt about is that it is a very fun motorcycle that we will put into context in the comparisons that are to come in a short time.