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The truth, in any case, is that it would be an unequal battle. BMW and Suzuki have heavy artillery with these two bikes, that is true, although they do not fire with the same type of bullet.
On the road they know how to keep up, but one goes much better in the city and the other does the same on the road. So, at first glance, we suppose that you have already realized where the shots are going, right?
The most graceful trail
Between cars, the BMW F 700 GS has very few rivals. We have to say, to further enhance this consideration, that the Suzuki V-Strom turns with astonishing ease at low speed. Well, not even with those can she question the good work of the German.
The BMW does not turn as well as Japanesea, that’s true, but it is such a low, compact and light trail that dealing with it around the city is no problem. What’s more, this bike has been conceived with a clear urban orientation; in fact, it is the one that, according to BMW, is having the most pull among the girls of all those in the Bavarian brand’s catalog. The touch of the engine is very pleasant at low and medium speed. Turns up full, but sweet and smooth, for what it is tremendously easy to drive and steer. It is not at all stressful to carry the BMW F 700 GS wrapped in cars.
The Suzuki V-Strom 650 ABS is something else. It turns well, it is true, but its seat is elevated (optional one 20 millimeters lower) and the weight is also higher, on the order of 30 kilograms more than the BMW. The feel of the engine, also responsive at low and medium revs, differs from that of the BMW. The two in V of the Japanese It is more nervous than the two in line of the German. And in the same way, the Suzuki does not notice a trail as compact and manageable as the F 700 GS.
From you to you on the road
The mechanical improvements of these two bikes are obvious once the tests and the behavior of the previous ones is fresh in your memory.
The Suzuki, eight years later, scrapped the old V-Strom engine and adopted the Gladius, a naked. To do this, to adapt it to the operation of a trail, he retouched the ignition (reducing the compression ratio) and revised the gear ratio, shortening it. Thus he improved, gaining kick at low-medium regime.
The Tweaks to the F 700 GS engine have added more power (4 hp) and more torque (around 0.5 kgm), with which the small BMW trail twin climbs laps with greater joy than before.
In any case, the operation of both engines, although similar in substance, differs in forms, since the power delivery of the BMW is, if possible, somewhat flatter and smoother than that of the Suzuki. The Japanese is somewhat more fierce, although it is true that she has to carry a bit more overall weight. Of course, when the tachometer rises in laps, around 6,000 rpm, the engine loses character and its power delivery is not the same as at mid-range.
In Funification of change also coincide. In both it is somewhat dry and noisy, although on the other hand it is very quick to react, with a short travel of both the clutch lever and the gear lever itself.
With the pair of brake discs, the improvements are noticeable in the BMW, which has won a lot. They both brake very well. The mordant is sufficient, especially in the BMW. Let’s say that the Suzuki stands out more for the touch, very good, than for how it attacks the brake discs (and that his is a very effective braking).
The suspensions is a subject in which they no longer coincide. The BMW, the urban one, has rather stiff suspensions, and this, with a moderate weight, gives it a lot of stability and precision in curves. Those of the V-Strom are somewhat softer, more touring or adventurousAs you like, and although it is not bad at all, with these suspensions and with its weight it is not as close to the site as its rival. Then, when it comes to moving them in curves from one side to the other, when it comes to enjoying, well, they both drive with ease. The dynamism is very successful in both, but the BMW is one step ahead.
The most pleasant trail
Already on the road, as we pointed out before, the Suzuki V-Strom is a serious candidate to rise as the most suitable for these tasks. Its predecessor, without appreciable changes since 2003, already was, so the new one was not going to be less.
The Japanese has lost weight and volume compared to the previous one. In any case, the aerodynamic protection is beyond doubt. And if we talk about your seatYes, here, it is the Japanese who passes her hand over the German’s face; that of the Suzuki is spacious and very comfortable, while that of the F 700 GS is more discreet, like the motorcycle itself, more designed to go around town than to go on a trip (although it can do so without problem).
Regarding the fineness of operation, although both are very smooth motorcycles, the BMW seems to spin rounder and with less vibration than Suzuki. The standard screen of the BMW is small. You can opt for one of a larger size, similar to the one worn by its sister F 800 GS, more adventurous than this one. The factory of the Suzuki is not bad at all, although, if it seems small, it is possible to get a larger one and with an adjustable upper deflector, to divert the air even more.
The front image of this V-Strom is not that of the 2003 V-Strom, the new one has lost volume; but despite everything it is still a motorcycle that protects the lower extremities more than the BMW F 700 GS, which is a very narrow motorcycle from the front.
The standard equipment is top-notch in boths. More than series, it looks like a movie. And if you add to this the amount of extras they can receive, maybe the price will skyrocket, but the end result, the quality of the product, too. From the outset, the ABS is standard on both, and in the case of the BMW it is the new generation dual-channel ABS (in addition to being disconnectable). At the same time, the F 700 GS has improved its instrument cluster, since it now leaves the factory with a fuel level and coolant temperature indicator.
In the Suzuki, the frame has an inserted speed indicator, something that, no matter how much it is being extended, is always appreciated.
In the two it is rear suspension preload can be adjusted with a knob, which in the case of the German one has become much more accessible. But there is more. The side cases and the rear top case are an extra to take into account in both. As is equally or more interesting the electronics that the BMW offers as an option: RDS (tire pressure control), ASC (disconnectable traction control) and ESA (electronic adjustment of the rear suspension hydraulics).
Lower seats, taller screens, etc. The list is almost endless. The price of these motorcycles has been below the psychological level of nine thousand euros.
The BMW F 700 GS is on sale for 8,800 euros, with very significant mechanical and equipment improvements compared to the previous version.
The Suzuki DL 650 V-Strom ABS is sold at 8,399 euros, with a facelift and a general demeanor that make her look like another. If you want a competent, mid-range trail, you will have no choice but to enlist one or the other.
BMW F 700 GS
Flat and full engine
Ease of driving
Switchable ABS and braking as standard
Touch of change
How is it going on …
The F 700 GS presents the same good manners as the 650. It is a very manoeuvrable and compact bike, with a turning radius suitable for roaming around. The seat height is minimal and the touch of the engine is very pleasant.
This model is ideal to start doing things with a large motorcycle. What best defines it is the ease of driving, among other reasons for the power curve: flat and constant. The suspensions and brakes work well and it feels agile.
The aerodynamic protection is not its strong point, since the new visor is smaller than that of the previous version. It is also frontally narrow. In any case, the smoothness of the turn is outstanding, as are the ergonomics and ride quality.
SUZUKI DL 650 V-Strom ABS
Consumption and autonomy
Touch of change
Raised seat (optional one lower)
How is it going on …
The V-Strom turns slightly more than the BMW, although its seat is also higher. Of course, being narrow, if you round the 1.75, there is no problem. It also weighs somewhat more than the German and the touch of the engine is more warrior (this will like more to some than others).
It weighs more, we said, and its suspensions are also a little softer. But dynamically it works perfectly, it moves very well from one side to the other. The character of the engine, we repeat, more impetuous than that of the BMW.
The aerodynamic protection is among the best in its category. The screen includes a small upper deflector (optional) that can be adjusted to deflect more if the air fits. More comfortable than the BMW, but not as fine.
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