BMW F 700 GS and Suzuki V-Strom 650 XT in comparison test

Table of contents

BMW F 700 GS and Suzuki V-Strom 650 XT in comparison test


BMW F 700 GS and Suzuki V-Strom 650 XT in comparison test

BMW F 700 GS and Suzuki V-Strom 650 XT in comparison test

Out and about with Tigerente and Co .: No matter what happens, Suzuki’s freshly polished platypus V-Strom 650 XT and BMW’s proven F 700 GS make it easy. Both travel enduros are great motorcycles for many occasions. Your 70 HP are absolutely sufficient for this on country roads.

Thomas Schmieder


When the good Lord created the motorcyclist on the eighth or ninth day, he gave him a simple commandment: “You should have 70 to 80 hp for perfect driving fun on winding country roads.” Well, the world has turned on , today you hardly need to be seen at the motorcycle meeting place under 120 hp. Is the message no longer correct? Are middle-class machines only for (re) beginners? Are you kidding me? Are you serious when you say that. Motorcycles like these two are great fun even for old hands, so much in advance. Because they are very fond of brisk driving and a weird life.

Buy complete article

BMW F 700 GS and Suzuki V-Strom 650 XT in comparison test

BMW F 700 GS and Suzuki V-Strom 650 XT in comparison test

8 pages) as PDF

€ 2.00

Buy now

Well, playful drivability was once considered a cardinal virtue of a motorcycle. A delightful pairing awaits: V2 against series twin, aluminum bridge against steel tubular frame, Japan against Germany. This is where real successful models come together, with medium-sized 19-inch front wheels and moderately long suspension travel, more than just suitable for the open country. Both are suitable for small escapes and larger tours. Here as there, there are simply knitted but effective chassis with classic telescopic forks and two-armed aluminum swing arms. There are also stainless steel exhaust systems, practical gear displays and on-board sockets in the cockpit area, well placed for a potential navigation system.

The BMW stacks deep with 798 cubic meters and a crude model name. From the higher, around 2500 euros more expensive sister F 800 GS, they distinguish the smaller front wheel (19 instead of 21 inches), cast instead of spoked wheels, shorter spring travel (at least 170 millimeters at the front and rear) and power cut from 85 to 75 hp.

In contrast, the new V-Strom 650 in 2017 is more or less an identical twin of the 1000 V-Strom. Now she looks much more mature, grown up. Tiger duck look: bright yellow “Champion Yellow” with black stripes on the tank is intended to simulate proximity to Suzuki crossers. In the XT version (cheeky: is Yamaha now putting on DRs?) There are chic, cleverly designed spoked wheels with aluminum rims for tubeless tires. They only shine golden with yellow lacquer, with white or black tanks they are anodized in black. The XT also wears hand protectors and a plastic belly pan that hides the front manifold and oil filter.

The heart and soul of the 650 is the magnificent 90-degree V2 engine. Around 60 changes in detail make it fit for the future – the basis dates from 1999. But now the camshafts of the current SV 650 dictate their choreography to the eight valves. And how! It’s great how loosely the new, low-wear, coated pistons jubilate over a short stroke of up to five-digit ranges. Fiery than ever over the entire speed range, the revving peaks in real 73 hp from 645 cm3. Even in the lower rev range, the lively, gently pulsating V2 runs nicely round and elastic.

New: A start-up assistant automatically increases the idling speed when the clutch is engaged at a low speed. Stall when starting? Oh no. Coupling is pure pleasure for both candidates. To start the Suzuki, thanks to “Easy Start Assist”, a quick tap of the button is enough, and the starter works. Everything is so nice and simple here. Four spark plugs and as many throttle valves, two operated by the driver and two operated by the on-board computer, improve combustion and manners. The engine takes on gas gently. Thanks to the uneven firing order, fine V2 staccato pampers the ear with a pleasant beat. The muffler, which was moved downwards in 2017 and designed to be more suitcase-friendly, appears more pleasing.

The BMW twin appears differently lively. The 800 gets in fat, pulls through beefier in sixth gear. Sure, with an increase in displacement of almost 25 percent. When turning off (which 200 HP bolide allows that on country roads?), The in-line engine then becomes significantly more sluggish. One notices the throttling of the drive installed in China. Beyond 4500 to 5000 revolutions the mallet vibrates violently in the long run, despite the compensating connecting rod between the two pistons. These run up and down in parallel, ignite at a crankshaft rotation of 360 degrees. Like the BMW boxer. The F 700 GS sounds exactly the same, grumpy and muffled. The acoustic illusion is perfect. New for 2017 (Euro 4!) There is a modified stainless steel silencer and electronically operated throttle valves.

Furthermore – for a surcharge – three different driving modes (Rain, Road and Enduro), which improve the throttle response. Well, Road is fine today. As soon as it starts, the twin wakes up with a hearty bark: Then the on-board electronics briefly lift the e-gas. This engine looks full of character and is easy to drive over the gas. Its higher compression of twelve to one can be felt as a stronger engine braking torque when releasing the accelerator. It is economical, is content with just under four liters per 100 kilometers when driven in a civilian manner, the Suzuki is only slightly above that. Environmentally friendly, here and there.

Nevertheless, Ms. Strom has come a long way – the 20-liter instead of 16-liter tank pays off. In 2017, Suzuki donated a two-stage traction control, which intervenes surprisingly often and gently when gas is gassed: You only see the yellow light flickering in the cockpit, you do not feel that performance is missing. So it has punch, the V2. The BMW’s single-stage traction control is also not bad, and can also be turned off for gravel passages. But we stay on asphalt. The F 700 GS drives great, rolls wonderfully smoothly through the corners on the Michelin Anakee III. Cheeky and precise, it cuts into every imaginable radius. In addition to the record-narrow 110 mm front wheel, there is a handling-promoting, thin 140 mm rear wheel.

Yes, the BMW appears lighter, more agile and more manoeuvrable. In fact, with the optional full equipment (main stand, hand protectors, luggage rack, luggage rack, etc.) it weighs 222 kilograms, three more than the bulky, heavier-looking Suzuki. The “enclosed space” by the driver is simply larger on the V-Strom. Bridgestone Battlax Adventure A 40 “F” is responsible for class. When driving fast, if the oats sting one, the V-Strom now looks crisper, more manageable, more sporty. While the BMW felt stiffened. Because the Suzuki is slightly rear-heavy, you should already fully pre-tension the shock absorber using a practical handwheel for solo operation. Slightly shorter spring travel and a rather tight but not uncomfortable basic set-up fit well into the V-Strom concept. In spite of expensive cartridge inserts, the Suzuki fork chucks with rapidly successive impulses. The F 700 GS offers higher suspension and seating comfort for the driver. The shock absorber in particular has a lot of stowage and offers an electronic adjustment of the rebound stage as an extra.

The seating position à la BMW is more active, more front-wheel-oriented, with wider handlebars. Like the jagged footrests with rubber pads, it gives off a real enduro feeling. In addition, the BMW brakes more committed. The following applies to both: The double-piston floating calipers are not angry biteers, but solid everyday goods. It sits more passively on the Suzuki. Their narrower, thinner handlebars are higher and significantly more cranked.

The V-Strom offers better wind protection behind the much larger, height-adjustable pane. However, the helmet dances a little in swirls. Behind BMW’s mini windshield, the helmet lies calm, turbulence-free in a laminar flow. The tank design of the F 700 GS offers longer legs a little more space. For tall drivers, Suzuki has a higher bench seat, while both candidates have lower seats for small drivers. BMW even offers a lowering of the chassis by 30 millimeters. 48 HP versions are a matter of honor, at Suzuki including a grant for new drivers.

Optional luggage systems turn the V-Strom 650 XT and F 700 GS into real tourers. The BMW cases are heavy to build: the duo with clever Vario pull-out technology weighs twelve kilograms, the top case seven kilograms. Makes 19 kilos extra. But better than the small plastic cases from Suzuki’s range of factory accessories: Here, only the top case holds a helmet. Three luggage compartments with a holder cost over 1500 euros! Uff. Also 200 euros for LED indicators, 260 for a main stand and 300 for heated grips (all without assembly) are steep. This puts the higher price of the BMW into perspective – with all equipment packages ex works for around 10,500 euros, without a case.

The V-Strom 650 XT costs 8,590 euros at a limited introductory price, while its otherwise technically identical standard version with cast wheels costs 8,190 euros. It is thus on par with the Kawasaki Versys 650 and Yamaha MT-07 Tracer – cheaper crossover bikes with 17-inch wheels. Anyway: Thanks to Tigerente & Co .: City, country and river are really fun with you!

MOTORCYCLE test result

1. Suzuki V-Strom 650 XT

Better than ever: a great all-rounder and great tourer. Strong in everyday life, cheeky when you need it. The highlight in addition to the fantastic range is the cozy, further refined V2 engine.

2. BMW F 700 GS

A real feel-good motorcycle, it drives great from the first meter. Wonderfully handy, blessed with a beefy engine, lots of comfort and optional equipment. But that quickly drives the price above 10,000 euros.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *