These are the first pictures of the new 2012 Suzuki V-Strom 650. Ever web-ignorant Suzuki managed to leak them themselves, uploading them to their European website days ahead of the official launch. As you can see, it's a slightly restyled take on the old bike. We're digesting the information to see if there's anything of value here, but until then, bore yourself with the images in this gallery.
The specs are almost as identical as the looks. It’s the same engine, but the compression ratio has been slightly decreased from 11.5:1 to 11.2:1 likely indicating that it’ll make slightly less power. Weight is also slightly down, from 220kg/485lbs (wet) to 214kg/472lbs (wet). As is fuel capacity, down from 22 to 20 liters. The seat height has increased slightly from 32.3 to 32.9 inches. You’re likely gathering from the miniscule scale of these changes what a non-event this slight restyle is. Every other mechanical component appears to be identical with the exception of the exhaust. It’s possible that this ever-so-slight restyle was prompted by the need to meet ever-tightening European emissions regulations.
Style wise, the headlights are a little rounder and the huge plastic side panels are disappeared in favor of slimmer gills. Literally every other detail appear to be identical.
We mostly tried to ignore it, but Suzuki hopped on the teaser bandwagon with this new V-Strom. Failing to fully capture what makes viral viral, it was all in teasers on its official site rather than in carefully seeded information and image leaks. If they’d just released this new model and said, “look, we needed to stick a new exhaust on to meet Euro IV and we took the opportunity to make it a little less awkward looking” we’d likely have just run a dry news article about the worthy-but-dull, street-focussed adventure tourer. Instead, it’s annoying that Suzuki transparently set out to manipulate web publications like HFL for coverage while failing to grasp the actual reason why people are interested in information on exciting new motorcycles. Sorry Suzuki, but this new V-Strom just isn’t exciting at all.