The 2023 Suzuki V-Strom 1050DE might just be the new bike of choice for off-roaders looking for value, reliability, and capability.
Let’s be honest: As the popularity of adventure bikes continues to increase, manufacturers continue to struggle to meet the demand for affordable, off-road, twin-cylinder machines.
Well, Suzuki has just pulled a chair up to the table. Coming in 2023, Suzuki is updating its 1050XT and replacing the model with the more off-road-worthy 1050DE.
While Suzuki has always marketed the big V-Strom as a mostly on-road motorcycle, loads of budget-conscious adventure riders have used it for proper long-distance riding with serious off-road excursions.
The 2023 V-Strom 1050DE finally might have the off-road chops riders have been craving.
2023 Suzuki V-Strom 1050DE: Engineered for the Unexpected
According to Suzuki, the brand has worked tirelessly to refine the V-Strom’s performance, utility, and advanced electronics, allowing riders to adapt to any condition.
Control, confidence, and comfort are three biggies when it comes to taking big bikes off road, and it looks like Suzuki hasn’t let us down here.
Changes to the engine, suspension, transmission, and chassis put the big V-Strom in the ADV category now, outfitted with touring-specific accessories.
Aluminum or plastic panniers — both top and sides — are available. Both options are weather-resistant and hard-wearing, and each is designed not to interfere with the bike’s handling, even when loaded. The 1050DE also comes with fog lights.
Let’s get into the details.
Bigger Front Wheel
The 2023 V-Strom 1050DE drops the 19-inch front tire for a tubed 21-inch. The size upgrade makes the DE more capable off road and is in line with the competition.
More Suspension Travel & Ground Clearance
The 2023 V-Strom 1050DE gains slightly more suspension travel, by 0.4 inches in the front and 0.3 inches in the rear. Ground clearance has increased by 1.2 inches over the old model. Not a ton of difference here, but any improvement is going to help for navigating rocky terrain and other obstacles.
As a result of increasing the tire size and suspension specs, the frame geometry has been adjusted accordingly to compensate. The DE now has a longer, more rigid swingarm and more rake, which create a longer wheelbase. These changes to the chassis should give the bike more stability on dirt.
Still, at 1037 cc and 107 horsepower, the engine has been upgraded slightly to improve flow efficiency and durability. The electronic throttle and grip return force were updated for better control and feel.
The V-Strom’s rear ABS can now be switched off using the new 5-inch color TFT display. This allows riders to use the rear brake to slide the back end, which can help in tight turns. It’s also a lot of fun.
Additionally, Suzuki added a gravel mode to the traction-control settings, for sliding the bike and spinning the back wheel on rougher surfaces. This should make it easier to maintain momentum on loose hill climbs while improving the safety benefits of traction control.
Quick-Shift & Cruising
The DE model now has a quick-shift capability, along with added perfections to the gearbox, making it easier to shift, with a smoother, more linear feel. Cruise control is now standard and can be set between 15 and 100 mph.
Ergonomics & Protection
Wider, thicker handlebars offer more leverage and are now a softer-grade aluminum in the 1050DE, allowing for more flex and comfort on rougher terrain. The footpegs are also larger for added grip and stability and are made of more durable steel instead of aluminum.
The soft underbelly now comes with aluminum protection — something any off-road bike needs. The adjustable windscreen is more than 3 inches shorter, and a bit narrower. This gives the rider more visibility on the trail and decreases the chances of catching it in the face during an off-road crash.
2023 V-Strom 1050DE
Despite its porkiness — 554 pounds, curb weight — the 2023 Suzuki V-Strom 1050DE should be more comfortable, more responsive, and more fun off road and on, right out of the box.
But unless it’s priced well, coming in significantly under the much more off-road-capable Africa Twin, for example, riders may not see the appeal. We’re excited to see Suzuki upping its game and offering over and above bold new graphics in 2023.
Watch for pricing and availability to be released soon.