Suzuki has announced the V-Strom 1050 lineup is returning for 2022 with two models: The base model 1050, and the offroad-oriented V-Strom 1050 DE.
The base model is basically the same thing we’ve seen for the past couple of years. A 19-inch front wheel and 17-inch rear, with cast rims. You can take this bike down a gravel road at a moderate pace, but it’s not made to be flogged in harsh conditions.
In the past, Suzuki has made V-Strom variants for offroad bashing, with spoked rims—but always that same 19-17 wheelset sizing. Now, the new V-Strom 1050 DE is here, with 21-17 wheels. A bit of an odd choice, as most ADVs with 21-inch front have 18-inch rears, but Suzuki has made the DR650 with 21-17 wheels forever, so they know it works.
Also odd: The DE’s 21-inch front requires a tube, but the rear doesn’t.
The new V-Strom 1050 DE has a “gravel” riding mode and Bosch ABS which can be deactivated for the rear wheel, which should make life easier in the dirt. It also has about an inch more ground clearance than the base model, and some chassis changes to make handling better with that big front wheel. Suzuki added a few other small touches like wider bars and for customers in some markets, free aluminum panniers thrown in for early orders. No word if that’s the case here in Canada—the model hasn’t actually been confirmed here for ’23, although we can’t imagine it won’t be here next spring.
Both models use the liquid-cooled 1050 powerplant that Suzuki debuted for 2020. It’s changed a bit for 2023, with sodium-filled exhaust valves and revised gearbox that’s supposed to offer snappier response; there’s also a new rear sprocket, up four teeth for better drive. The up/down quickshifter is new for 2023, and the cruise control is overhauled as well.
At this point, we’ve only seen the new 1050 series confirmed for Australia, but no doubt Suzuki Canada will make an announcement on their availability in coming weeks. Stay tuned. This looks like a big stepforward for the big Strom, and no doubt there will be plenty of interest as travel-oriented bikes continue to sell well.