While the BMW R 1250 GS, like many Western European countries, is not threatened by any model in the Hungarian market, the manufacturers are fighting for 2nd place. And the V-Strom 650 holds the silver position strongly, as after a rather strong sales volume of 163 units last year, the machine will sell well this year as well, with 138 units found for the first week of October. Yet the basic design has been essentially unchanged for 4 years: the upgrades have been exhausted with a bit of exaggeration to get the V-Strom new colors and a Euro-5 block. Then why do Hungarians love it so much? Well, the first thing that can entice buyers to trade is the price. The price of HUF 2,899,000 for the entrance and the HUF 3,099,000 for the XT with laced wheels is also a bomb offer on the market, as – for comparison purposes – Japanese manufacturers offer scooters of typically 4-500 cm3 for this amount.
Although it can be noticed during the introductory phase that the V-Strom 650 (a simple swingarm and instrument cluster) is not a high-tech engine, doubts quickly fade into the saddle. Thanks to the seating position, the driver immediately feels comfortable, as despite the fact that it is an off-road engine, the seat is very well-shaped. In fact, the passenger has a lot of good things to do! After launch, it turns out that due to Euro-5 standards, the 650 block is no longer as enthusiastic as it used to be, but the character of the V2 is downright pleasant. It absorbs gas well in the most commonly used speed range, and unless we take full advantage of the load capacity, there can be no complaint about the dynamics. The big advantage of the 70-horsepower powerplant is clearly the economy, as the average per 100 kilometers can be kept below 5.0 liters even with a sportier driving style.
Although the XT version with its densely spiked rims, hand guards and belly armor brings the style of an adventure engine through the ditch-bush well, it is not for hard terrain, poor quality roads are very well tolerated by the chassis. Although it has its limitations when driving at high speeds (slightly rocking), the whole engine has predictable behavior and the 216 kg ready-to-drive weight makes it easy to steer in the city – you never feel foreign in heavy traffic. Not least because it automatically raises the speed in some gears when the clutch is retracted, so you don’t have to worry about suffocation. Add to this the fact that the V-Strom’s windshield is correct and can be upgraded from the list of options as top-of-the-line tours, and the whole picture can be seen as a successful model. While not for performance hunters and fans of technical delicacies, the type represents the golden mean in many ways.
I LIKED IT
• reasonable price
• comfortable seating position
I DID NOT LIKE
• simple construction in some places
It is not the engine whose knowledge or power drops a person’s chin, but its versatility and price / value ratio make it clear why it is so popular. And last but not least, it proves that you can ride a good bike without state-of-the-art technology and 150 horsepower!
Suzuki V-Strom 650XT
Stroke volume: 645 cm3
Cylinders / valves: V2 / 8
Max. Power: 52 kW (70 hp) 8800 / min
Max. Torque: 62 Nm 6500 / min
Wheelbase: 1560 mm
Seat height: 835 mm
Fuel tank: 20.0 l
Rubber front / rear: 110/80 R19 / 150/70 R17
Ready to weigh: 216 kg
Test consumption: 4.9 l / 100 km
Base price: HUF 3,099,000
Source: Autó-Motor by www.automotor.hu.
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