Thursday, April 5, 2012

2012 Montreal Moto Show: Suzuki



Best new 2012 adventure bike?

Yes, I’m talking about the Adventure version of the V-Strom 2012 (or EXP as seen on this picture).

I still keep a great impression of when I first sat on this bike.  The seat: the best I have tried so far (I hope that it was not an aftermarket seat!) and the riding position is perfect.  Everything seems to fit and even the size of the bike is just right.  

The style… definitely Japanese.  Every time I look at it, I can’t help thinking about  Ultraman (Winking smile) probably because of the headlights…but not ugly - I like it.

The aluminum panniers from SW-Motech (rebranded for Suzuki) are well assorted.  Yes, I want this bike!

But I must keep my head cool and also mention the negative aspects:

  1. The weight: it is too high.  This motorcycle should lose between 40 to 60 pounds, and that would still be much more than the BMW Sertao.
  2. The valve adjustment cycle could be better; if I recall it is around 10000 miles.  The new reference is the Super Tenere with 24000 miles.  Yamaha has set the bar high.

By the way, the people at Suzuki used racks that hold the motorcycle straight on some of their demos.  It gives a much better idea of the riding position when you can put your feet on both pegs.



I could not pass by the venerable DRZ-400 without having a peak at it.  It’s no surprise that this bike is so appreciated by people who prefer dust to asphalt without excluding the later.  And when I say dust, I mean a lot more than gravel roads.  This bike seems to be able to pass anywhere.  Its 400cc engine has more torque than smaller 250cc dual sport bikes for a similar price - which is a big advantage.

The ground clearance is pretty high and this is surprising when you first sit on it.  I don’t know if we can speak of comfort with this type of motorcycle: if you are always sitting when riding, it is most likely not the kind of bike you need.  However, if you travel more than 50 miles on paved roads before accessing your trails, the ride may seem a little long.

I like this bike even if it is not as modern as others in the same category.  But this is a genuine dual sport motorcycle – so a great week-end bike to hit the trails, period.

Last stop: BMW

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