A 10.000km bike review of the Suzuki VStrom DL650XT 2018

Here we are in Bosnia, exactly 10.000km on the clock. We have been up to the Northcape and back. A combination of highways, country roads and gravel road throughout Scandinavia, Central Europe and the Balkans. The perfect opportunity to judge if this bike is up to the task it’s name. Adventure tourer.

9999.9km on the trip counter

Roads in the backcountry of Finland

I can only answer with a full yes! It is an amazing machine that will take you exploring wherever you want to in Europe. I know many people would not thing of this bike as a capable offroad machine but I beg to differ. I’m not here to convince you that it is anything like a dirt bike but I will confidently take this machine offroad throughout Europe.

Let me begin with what one of the best features that is very important to me on such a long trip, fuel efficiency. Petrol is expensive, especially in Scandinavia so being able to get 500+km out of a tank of 20L is amazing. Cruising down the Norwegian coast with a few drops left in the tank we found out the hard way how far we can go.

Not much work is needed on these machines, just some regular love and grease is all it takes to keep them running.

Second, it’s incredibly reliable. The online forums are always filled with KTMs and BMWs broken down with non-cooperative fuel pumps or alternators. No such problems with the Suzuki, you take care of it and it will take care of you. The regular oil changes and chain spray is all that is required to keep this baby purring like a kitten.

Comfort; we do long distances and long days on the bike, all day every day. It needs to be comfortable and it is.

These bikes are cheap so you have more money left for your adventures!

The costs; I’ll be honest, I didn’t pay for this bike, we got it sponsored from Suzuki so I had to google the prices but €9600 for an adv bike is a whole lot better than €15000 for a BMW that also breaks down more often….

Isn’t she a beauty!

Offroad capabilities, with the right tyres and ABS and traction control turned off, you can have some serious fun on this bike. We did over 1000km offroad in Finland and had a blast on the gravel roads in the backcountry. If it get’s more technical the bike demands you take it slower but he will pull you through, the adjustment of the throttle is spot on and easy for anyone to control and ride up that steep looking hill without blinking an eye.

Lastly, looks; I think it looks amazing. With the new redesign from 2017 it is sleek, nimble and lighter than ever before. So even if you decide to stay on the road, you will enjoy riding this bike.

But don’t trust me, go and take a test ride and decide for yourself. What makes it my perfect bike for this trip, might not work for you.