What’s the differences between the Suzuki V-Strom 650 vs 1000? This question I asked myself before I bought a 2014 DL-650. From my research and a test ride, I found the 650 was better suited for me.
My opinion about the two is this: The decision between a DL-650 vs a DL-1000 comes down to personal preference. Both are capable machines for adventure riding on a budget.
In this article, I look at differences based on specs, such as MPG, weight, and horsepower. I will also provide my perspective about the 650 after putting 14,000 miles on it, along with summarize information from websites like stromtrooper.com and advrider.com about the two bikes.
Generally speaking: Glee-strom / Wee-strom vs Vee-strom
The DL650 has less power than the DL1000 (but plenty for most owners), is lighter, and is plenty capable of two-up touring and riding highway miles.
The DL1000 has more power than the DL650, weighs a little more, is really good for two-up touring and highway miles.
Although neither are off-road bikes, the DL650 may have an advantage due to size and weight when the pavement ends.
Let’s dig into the numbers I found after this short acceleration video I found:
V-strom 650 specs
The DL-650 features a 4-stroke, 2-cylinder, liquid-cooled, dual-overhead cam, 90-degree V-Twin with fuel injection. The engine displacement is 645 cc and mated to a 6-speed transmission.
The V-strom 650 horsepower is claimed at 66 hp and has a wet weight of 490 lbs, according to Wikipedia.
I found performance tests from Motorcycle Consumer News (MCN) about the 2004 V-strom 650. (I realize it is older data, but I could not find more recent stats; however, it does serve as a general idea for power of the 650 bike.)
MCN noted the 0-60 mph time was 3.98 seconds, and the 1/4 mile time was 12.52 seconds at 101.00 mph. The 2004 Suzuki V-strom 650 top speed was 114.5, according to their data.
V-strom 1000 specs
The DL-1000 features a 4-stroke, 2-cylinder, liquid-cooled, dual-overhead cam, 90-degree V-Twin with fuel injection. The engine displacement is 1037 cc and mated to a 6-speed transmission.
The V-strom 1000 weight is 520 lbs wet, according to Wikipedia.
The 2014 V-strom 1000 hp is claimed at 91 horsepower, according to ADV Pulse.
ADV Pulse also noted the 0-60 mph time was 3.1 seconds, and the 1/4 mile time was 11.60 seconds at 112.82 mph. The 2014 Suzuki V-strom 1000 top speed was 126 mph, according to their data.
Note: the DL-1000 may be a liter bike, but it is not in the same category as a 120 horsepower super sport racing bike. Be realistic with your expectations about speed, braking, and handling before buying a DL1000.
Miles per gallon will be subjective due to location, fuel mixtures, gearing changes, how people ride, tires, throttle input, weather, weight carried, resistance, along with various other factors.
I have seen averages on the web of mid-50s for the V-strom 650 MPG. Wikipedia notes the bike gets 54 mpg.
During the break-in stage, my bike was getting between 58-62 MPG. (It spent 500 miles under 5,000 RPMs and 500 miles under 7,500 RPMs.) After the break-in stage and me being acclimated to the bike, my DL-650 fuel mileage has varied between 50-55 mpg.
Based on data from fuelly.com on 6/30/16, the Vstrom 1000 MPG averages about 37 miles per gallon. Of course, there will be outliers who get better and worse fuel mileage.
Why I chose the 650 over the 1000
I came from a dirt bike background and wanted a bike that was more street-orientated but could handle the occasional off-the-highway dirt and gravel road jaunt when motorcycle camping. I wanted something that was good on gas, as well.
The Vstrom 650 fit the bill better than the liter bike. The 650 GleeStrom / WeeStrom cost less than its big brother, gets better fuel mileage per gallon, and is plenty fast for my purposes. It handles well on the road and can hold its own down dirt and gravel roads.
Update 9/252017: I took it out to Colorado in September 2017 and rode a couple 4×4 only passes, and it did fine on the gravel. My only gripe was the lack of a true motorcycle cruise control system on the bike. That said, I made due with a throttle lock.
UPDATED 6/1/2019: Although I have done a lot of daytrips on the bike to the Driftless region in Wisconsin, I took the bike south for a 2.020 mile road trip to North Carolina. The bike performed flawlessly. I wished I would have had highway bars, though — just so I could stretch my legs.
I like that it has ABS on the street; I don’t like that it can’t be turned off on gravel or dirt.
For me, purchase price was lower on the 650. I spent $6K for a two-year old bike with under 200 miles on it at a dealership. The 1000 I looked at was $1K more and had 12K miles.
I don’t know for certain, but I suspect my insurance premium would have increased with the 1000. (It would be worth checking with your agent if you are on the fence between the two bikes.)
The V-strom is more of a street bike that can handle a little fire road duty. Once the V-strom has accessories, it works well as a perfect commuter bike, sport adventure touring bike on a budget, or …
I hope that provides some insight into the differences between the Suzuki V-Strom 650 vs 1000.