Suzuki South Africa has added a new 650XT derivative to its popular and proven V-Strom adventure motorcycle range.
FOR THE ADVENTUROUS: The new Suzuki 650XT, which features the distinctive ‘beak’ front-end design. IMAGE: Newspress.
The newcomer DL-650XT joins the standard DL650A V-Strom and its more powerful DL-1000 V-Strom stablemates and comes with a distinctive 'beak' front-end design - a styling approach inspired by the Suzuki DR-Z that participated in the 1988 Paris-Dakar event, while unique spoked aluminium wheels shod with tubeless tyres underscore the newcomer's adventure touring focus.
The upper section of the XT's bodywork has a range of attractive colours, the lower parts and the sides are finished in contrasting black.
Underpinning the XT is the same light and rigid twin-spar aluminium frame and swing arm that's already a tried-and-trusted feature of the V-Strom range. The frame is focused on providing a balance between stable handling and agile responses while the long-stroke front and rear suspension soak up bumps and dips.
An upright riding position means long-distance comfort, augmented by the three-way adjustable windscreen. Wind-tunnel testing ensured that the compact bodywork and the windscreen deliver both rider protection and a quiet ride.
The Suzuki DL-650XT is powered by a 645cc four-stroke DOHC engine. The 90-degree V-twin's key characteristics include good low-down torque for powerful response at low to medium engine revs; a broad power band for excellent tractability under all conditions as well as superb fuel-efficiency, thanks to a low-friction design and optimised combustion.
'NOT A COMPROMISED COMMUTER'
The sales manager of Suzuki Motorcycles, Stuart Baker, said: "With the continued growth in demand for versatile motorcycles as adept at urban commuting as they are tackling the great outdoors, the new DL-650XT V-Strom provides aspiring buyers with an appealing, comfortable and versatile adventure motorcycle option.
"The 650XT's focus on adventure touring hasn't compromised its abilities as a daily commuter - an aspect that is becoming increasingly important as car drivers turn to motorcycles to cope with traffic congestion. At the same time, its excellent fuel economy also adds low running costs to its list of attributes, making the XT a particularly attractive all-rounder."
Suzuki's designers followed a theme of "tough, smart and wild" when they developed the styling of the new DL-650XT. It expresses the functionality required of adventure tourers but also takes aerodynamics, agile handling, ride comfort and visual appeal into account.
A design highlight is the new beak-shaped front cowl, a feature inspired by the Suzuki DR-Z campaigned by French rider Gaston Rahier in the 1988 Paris-Dakar rally.
Rahier's DR-Z was the first to feature a beak-like nose - a Suzuki original design feature which has since become a popular design feature in the adventure bike segment. The new beak cowl is smoothly integrated with the 650XT's front bodywork and features intake ducts that channel air to the radiator.
The XT's bodywork is slim, compact and functional, ensuring long-distance riding comfort and overall ease of use. Dual halogen headlights are horizontally arranged and operate simultaneously in both dipped and high-beam mode.
An instrument cluster includes a speedometer, odometer and trip meter, as well as a gear-position indicator, fuel gauge, fuel consumption indicator, coolant temperature gauge, digital clock and an air temperature display.
The DL-650XT employs the same rigid but light twin-spar aluminium frame and swing arm as the standard model. The frame features superior rigidity, creating a perfect platform for the XT's smooth-running V-twin engine and delivers both stability and manoeuvrability.
The lightweight wheels (19" front, 17" rear) combine aluminium rims with wired spokes, which allows for reduced unsprung mass and greater shock absorption at low riding speeds in the interests of ride comfort and handling. The wheels are specifically designed for use with tubeless tyres, which deflate more gently in the case of a puncture. The front/rear tyre sizes are 110/80R19M/C 59H and 150/70R17M/C 69H.
The DL-650XT is equipped with electrically controlled digital anti-lock brakes to ensure stable and confident braking, regardless of road surface.
The new DL-650XT is powered by a 645 cc DOHC four-stroke V-twin engine designed for broad torque delivery at low to medium engine speeds. The 90-degree V-twin's distinctive beat is an unmistakable aspect of the XT's overall character.
Technical highlights include a compact combustion chamber with large-diameter valves set at a narrow angle and shot-peened con rods.
The engine employs Suzuki's Dual Throttle Valve (SDTV) fuel-injection system and twin iridium spark plugs per cylinder.
The engine cylinders are plated with Suzuki's Composite Electrochemical Material (SCEM), which boosts torque at low engine revs and ensures smooth engine speed progression across the entire rev range.
The Suzuki DL-650XT V-Strom is available from all authorised Suzuki SA motorcycle dealers nationwide at a recommended retail price of R94 950.