2018 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 and 1000XT First Look Review

Yep, you read that right. These are 2018 models… coming out in 2016. Go figure.

2018 Suzuki V-Strom 1000 ADV bike
With big torque and comfy ergos, the V-Strom 1000 is a popular steed. Cornering ABS and a better windscreen should make the bike incrementally better.Photo: Suzuki

The V-Strom 1000 is back in Suzuki's lineup for 2017, oddly listed as a 2018 model. The big ADV/sport-tourer/awesome commuter gets new styling, with a new front fender and fairing design that's meant to more closely resemble the original DR-Big, a bike that's thought to be the originator of the whole "beak" front fender style.

The bike's windscreen is height- and angle-adjustable, and has a new shape that's nearly two inches taller. That's great news, because our biggest complaint about the previous V-Strom 1000 (see why in our ADV Lite comparison here) was excess turbulence behind the windscreen. Hopefully this taller, wind-tunnel-designed piece will yield a smoother ride.

2018 V-Strom 1000 beak
Restyled for 2017… er… we mean 2018, the V-Strom 1000 has a more angular beak, with a straight line running from the front of the fender to the gas tank. It’s meant to evoke the look of the original big-bore ADV, the DR800S Big.Photo: Suzuki

ABS is now standard on both the V-Strom 1000 the 1000XT, and sees some big updates thanks to the addition of a Bosch five-axis IMU that informs the new Motion Track and Combination Brake System. The setup has a cornering ABS function as well as a linked-brake feature, wherein the rear brake is automatically applied when a certain amount of front brake pressure is reached. We're wary of what that crossover point will feel like (it was terrible on the first version of the linked-brake Kawasaki Concours 14 here), but Suzuki says the V-Strom has a new ABS control unit and pump with reduced lever kickback during ABS intervention, so hopefully that updated hardware means the linked-brake feature will be pretty transparent.

2018 Suzuki V-Strom dash and windscreen
Suzuki says that windscreen was developed in a wind tunnel. Hopefully that means it has better aerodynamics, because the previous bike’s setup jostled your helmet like a bobblehead.Photo: Suzuki

Interestingly, the IMU doesn’t appear to inform the V-Strom’s three-level traction-control system, which appears to be unchanged for this extremely early release 2018 model.

As with the updated V-Strom 650 (click here for the 2017 V-Strom 650 First Look), the V-Strom 1000's cast wheels are lighter, while handguards, larger anti-vibration handlebar weights, and a lower engine protector come standard.

The V-Strom 1000XT gets all the same changes as the standard bike, plus a tapered handlebar and wire-spoke wheels.

Both V-Strom 1000s are due in dealerships in April of 2017. Pricing hasn’t been announced, but the bikes will be available in yellow, black, and white for both models.

2018 V-Strom 1000 in white.
2018 V-Strom 1000 in white.Photo: Suzuki
2018 V-Strom 1000 in black.
2018 V-Strom 1000 in black.Photo: Suzuki
2018 V-Strom 1000 in yellow.
2018 V-Strom 1000 in yellow.Photo: Suzuki
2018 V-Strom 1000XT in white.
2018 V-Strom 1000XT in white.Photo: Suzuki
2018 V-Strom 1000XT in black.
2018 V-Strom 1000XT in black.Photo: Suzuki
2018 V-Strom 1000XT in yellow.
2018 V-Strom 1000XT in yellow.Photo: Suzuki