the Suzuki Gsx-S1000GT challenges its sister V-Strom 1050 XT

The Gsx-S1000GT is dynamic and captivating, the V-Strom is agile and versatile. We test the two Hamamatsu travelers, characterized by a very different DNA and shared by the great desire to grind miles. That’s how the Suzuki match went

Andrea Brambilla and Luca Frigerio

– onno (lc)

In recent years, the two-wheeler market has been literally conquered by road enduro bikes and the figures confirm this: in the first four months of 2022, the six models at the top of the ranking have a front of 19 ” or 21 “wheel, a technical feature of this” adventure “segment. Bicycles that have won the hearts of many travelers, but also enthusiasts fascinated by the Dakarian style and the “do-it-yourself” character of these fun asphalt vehicles and suitable for light off-road vehicles. The fashion and dynamic qualities of the maxienduros have eclipsed the fairing queens that dominated the streets in the first decade of the 21st century but with the launch of the new Gsx-S1000GT, the Hamamatsu brand has shown that sports cars with high handlebars and suitcases they still have a lot to say. To discover the true potential of these two mileage categories, we opened up a challenge to Suzuki: the four-cylinder sport tourer against the V-Strom 1050 XT Pro, the Japanese flagship with high wheels. Two bikes with very different DNA, but united by the great desire to travel a long way non-stop and with exactly the same price: 15,890 euros fc


Modern design and sharp lines for the Japanese novelty, which stands out for its electric and sporty color Miami Blue (alternatively the price list also offers the most elegant Las Vegas Blue and the classic Dubai Black). The proportions are a real sport and under the fairing there is an aluminum frame derived from the Superbike sisters and an inline four-cylinder engine updated in numerous components, to optimize delivery and comply with Euro5 approval. In terms of technology, the Gsx-S1000GT is among the most advanced Hamamatsu models: the rich package, which includes three motor maps and traction control adjustable in five levels, can be configured using a new button panel and a color 5 “panel TFT capable of connecting to your smartphone. The package is complete with rigid bags of the same color, available as standard, as well as cruise control, two-way electronic gearbox, the Suzuki Easy Start System (to start the engine with a quick touch) and Low Rpm Assist (which increases the speed in the clutch release phase).


A real complete option for those who do not want to miss anything. Compared to the XT, the Pro adds aluminum side cases, side bars, engine guard and oversized and adjustable footrests as standard. The “adventure” look is enhanced with retro details such as the rectangular LED headlight and tubeless spoke wheels to enhance the all-terrain style and dynamics. To move with minimal stress, the V-Strom 1050 is equipped with traction control and engine maps, as well as cruise control and a height-adjustable windshield.


With the V-Strom 1050 XT Pro you dominate the road: the distance of 850 mm between the seat and the floor does not make it easier for those under six feet to rest their feet, but fortunately it is possible to reduce the 20 mm without changing seats . The driving configuration keeps the back straight and the wide front fairing offers an excellent refuge from the air, a great point in favor of those who travel many miles on the highway, even if the rigid padding gets tired after many hours of driving. On the Gsx-S1000GT, on the other hand, the torso is more loaded on the wrists – a perfect triangulation to distribute the weight on the handlebars, seat and footrests to improve comfort and load on the front wheel. The fairing studied in the wind tunnel diverts most of the flows away from the pilot, although the standard fairing (which can be replaced by a higher one available as an option) leaves the shoulders and the top of the hull slightly exposed, affected by some turbulence above 100 km / h.


The Hamamatsu sport tourer conquers from the first moment: the inline four-cylinder with 152 hp at 11,000 rpm has a dark tone and a fluid and full-bodied delivery from the moment the first one is engaged and the clutch is released. . Pleasant at low speeds and at a more sustained pace, the Gsx-S1000GT exalts itself when you are in front of a winding road: the two-way electric gearbox makes driving even easier and when you press the right knob it pushes you it is decisive and always controllable. This type of splitting is not very suitable in maxienduros, in fact the V-Strom 1050, like many competitors, is powered by an L-twin, more aerodynamic and with less performance in terms of pure power. In fact, even if you stop at 107 hp, the maximum torque of 100 Nm is already available at 6,000 rpm, ideal values ​​when removing the wheels from the asphalt. Exit from the rear, the Japanese endurone is decidedly redeemed, and although near the red zone it lacks the determination of its fairing sister, the bright character of the engine encourages you to play with the gearbox to find the ideal relationship.


When you rush on a stretch of fast corners, the Gsx-S1000GT is unrivaled: the rigid configuration, low center of gravity and 17 ”wheels with sports tires create an excellent balance that translates into a great feel for to the driver. The front is solid and inviting to force entry, especially when the asphalt is as smooth as a pool table. In the injured, however, the rigid suspension tends to transmit the roughness to those of the saddle, breaking this dynamic balance that this bike can offer in ideal conditions. It is precisely in these features that, on the other hand, the V-Strom gives its best: the long-travel suspension absorbs shocks easily and the lighter front allows you to bounce between curves with great agility. In tight mixing conditions it is fun and manages to rotate without compromise, thanks to the high center of gravity that makes changes in direction more reactive but, on the other hand, when speeds increase this feature does not allow it to be a shovel like the 999 cc fairing.


With the same price, these two models manage to offer a lot to travel lovers. More dynamic, more efficient and definitely more sporty is the Gsx-S1000GT, which has an extra gear when the wheels are on the tarmac. The V-Strom is a true “do it all”, which makes usability its ace in the hole to widen the horizons even where the paved road ends. Both have many advantages, but they also have a lot to envy: the maxienduro is a must for those looking for adventure but if you are not made for dirt roads, the sport tourer will surely make you come back at home with a smile.


I like: engine with a lot of character and infinite range; state-of-the-art instrumentation and connectivity; stable and communicative chassis in the fast sections.

I do not like it: braking is less incisive than might be expected; the standard fairing leaves the top of the hull slightly exposed; on the disarticulated rigidity forces you to slow down.


I like: sensitive and very agile chassis in closed bends and with many fork bends; excellent aerodynamic protection and adjustable windshield; the suspensions absorb the roughness of the asphalt without difficulty.

I do not like it: sitting upright could tire your back and sit after hours of driving; the high height of the saddle makes it difficult to maneuver when standing.


Engine: four cylinders in line; four times; 999 cc; Dohc distribution; liquid cooling; Diameter x stroke 73.4 x 59 mm; Euro5 approval; maximum power 152 hp at 11,000 rpm; maximum torque 106 Nm at 9,250 rpm.

Transmission: 6-speed gearbox with two-way quick-change as standard.

Chassis: double aluminum beam with banana rocker.

Suspensions: Fully adjustable 43 mm Kyb inverted front fork; Rear monoshock with adjustable preload and rebound.

Brakes: 310mm double disc front with four-piston Brembo calipers; rear single disc.

Wheels: front 120/70 ZR17 M / C (58W); rear 190/50 ZR17 M / C (73W).

Dimensions: length 2,140 mm; width 825 mm; height 1,215 mm; wheelbase 1,460 mm; height 810 mm; steering head angle 25 °; sender 100 mm; Fuel tank capacity 19 liters.

Weight: 226 kg (in running order).

Price: from 15,890 euros fc


Engine: 90 ° V-twin; 1,037 cc; liquid cooling; Diameter x stroke 100 x 66 mm; maximum power 107 hp at 8,500 rpm; maximum torque 100 Nm at 6,000 rpm.

Transmission: 6-speed gearbox.

Suspensions: Fully adjustable upside down telescopic fork; Rear monoshock absorber with adjustable preload and spring bounce.

Brakes: 310 mm double front disc; 260 mm single rear disc.

Wheels: front 110/80 R19 M / C (59V); rear 150/70 R17 M / C (69V).

Dimensions: length 2,265 mm; width 940 mm; height 1,510 mm; wheelbase 1,555 mm; height of 850 mm; steering angle 30 °; sender 109 mm; Fuel tank capacity 20 liters.

Weight: 247 kg (in running order).

Price: from 15,890 euros fc


Helmet: Caberg Avalon, Blast color white-blue-red.

Tester: height 1.84 m; weight 77 kg.


Helmet: Acerbis Reactive Graffix, black / gray.

Jacket: Acerbis X-Tour, light gray.

Pants: Acerbis X-Tour, light gray.

Gloves: Dainese Mig 3 Air Gloves.

Tester: height 1.81 m; weight 73 kg.

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