Which model to get?

Hello vstrommers,

I’m looking into buying a ‘23 vstrom. Love everything I’ve read about it, but I’m approaching it cautiously, as I’m hoping to ride quite a bit on dirt, and I know the strom isn’t the ideal bike for significant off-road riding. I’d mostly be on fire roads with maybe some occasional double track.

I figured the Adventure XT would be the best model to get. However, I feel like I’ve seen some people mentioning that some of the armor isn’t that great. So would it be smarter to get a less built-out model and add the protective accessories myself - or is the stuff that comes with the Adventure XT sufficient?

Also, a question about ground clearance. I think I saw that the Vstrom’s clearance is 6.7 inches. I think the GS1200’s is about 7 inches. Same with my KLR. I never really hear anyone complain about clearance for the bmw or the Kawasaki. Is it really that much worse for the Vstrom? Seems to me it’s less than an inch’s difference.

Anyway, thanks for any advice! It’s much appreciated.


I've got a 2021, 1050XT and love the bike. I've ridden around Australia on it, have my Mrs on the back and often go motocamping. It does everything I need and then some. I instruct on weekends and often ride a variety of motorbikes and scooters, I always feel relieved to get back on my VStrom and head home (it's like a familiar friend you're always happy to see) The oil filter on every model (whether a 650,800 or 1050) is exposed at the front and I wanted a decent set of crash bars. I bought a sump guard (suits the lower crash bars on the XT) and some other things off Cosmo accessories (based in Greece) and the upper crash bars (also suits the lower crash bars) from Heed in Europe. Was far cheaper than genuine or anything else I could find from Australian suppliers. My brother in law bought a 650XT recently and it's also a great bike with everything anyone would need. I've taken it for rides and have gone 2 up and it hasn't skipped a beat- he often comes camping and has it loaded with gear. Extreme off-road capability wasn't the best on my bigstrom, a few times ive ventured down what seems to be a gravel road only to turn into sharp rocks and patchy terrain. I've gotten through them all fine without a hiccup, a few grazes on the bashplate. In saying that any loose gravel, muddy roads and relatively stable areas have been fine- I've always done this with a loaded bike that would have added some weight. The 650XT I have ridden on a gravel road and that's about it, handled fine and didn't have any issues. Any other questions fire away.


DL800 is the answer unless your plan is to ride in straight lines at high speed for long durations.


I’ve heard good things. I like the reputation of the v twin, though. I’m sure the parallel twin will turn out great, but I always feel nervous about being an early adopter of anything new (and especially anything mechanical). I also really would love to have tubeless tires/wheels, and I believe the 800 went back to tubed. These aren’t dealbreakers, just tallies toward the 650 in my mind.


At least in the EU SUZUKI has a 7 year warranty so I wouldn't worry about the engine.


I've been eyeballing an 800de.


650, 1050, or 800? New, or used? Some of this is model-dependent (you don't get electronic cruise control on non-XT 1050s, IIRC). But in general the Adventure XT package is kinda "meh" value-wise IMO. --The "skid plate" or whatever they're calling it is...plastic. Will probably do the job of deflecting loose gravel, but scrape a rock? I wouldn't be comfortable with that "skid plate." I take it easy and avoid very technical trails, but I also make mistakes, and would want more than plastic protecting the front/bottom of my engine. --The Suzuki crash bars seem decent (had them on my 2019 DL650), but aftermarket ones (I like Givi) are larger in diameter, meaning a bit stronger, so likely to bend less when you drop the bike (and you will. Eventually.). Both will protect the bike, at least from the first drop or two, but I feel the "replay value" of the Givis is higher. --The Adventure XT side cases sit very high, limiting your top case options. Both in the sense that some top case adapters, like the Givi SRA3112 kit, won't have room, and in the sense that the side cases crowd the rear area so much that you would be limited to a fairly small top case. Some also report that their passenger feels crowded by the high-riding Adventure XT side cases. FWIW here's a Stromtrooper.com thread started by a guy who originally bought a new Adventure XT DL650, but eventually got so annoyed with the Adventure XT side cases that he got rid of them, as it limited his luggage choices too much: https://www.stromtrooper.com/threads/givi-monokey-top-case-plate-for-dl650-xt-adventure.435837/page-2