This is a page of resources for the Suzuki V-Strom 800DE, to be used as a reference page if you’re thinking of checking one out, taking one for a test ride, or even buying one.

The Suzuki V-Strom 800DE is a new model for Suzuki, co-existing with the third-gen Suzuki V-Strom 650XT for now. Unlike past V-Strom models (but similar to occasional small-displacement models), the V-Strom 800DE is powered by a parallel twin motor and has a 21-inch front wheel, giving it more off-road performance potential.

The core of the V-Strom 800DE is a liquid-cooled 776cc DOHC parallel twin motor with four valves per cylinder. It makes 62 kW / 84 hp at 8500 rpm under EURO 5 trim.

The Suzuki V-Strom 800DE is co-released with the Suzuki GSX-8S, which has the same engine at its core, but in a naked sport bike package.

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About the Suzuki V-Strom 800DE

Suzuki V-Strom 800DE Action on dirt road leaning
Suzuki V-Strom 800DE Action on dirt road leaning

The Suzuki V-Strom 800DE is a long-awaited update to the V-Strom 650XT, affectionately known as the “Wee-Strom”.

For decades, the Suzuki V-Strom 650 was the “if you know, you know” little secret of the adventure motorcycle market, the answer to most adventure riders’ questions (“Is there something smaller? Simpler? Cheaper? With longer service intervals?”). The V-Strom 650 was one of the only motorcycles in the middleweight adventure motorcycle class, until it exploded in popularity in the late 2010s.

The Suzuki V-Strom 650 — especially the 650XT — is just enough bike for a lot of things, without being too much. But as the middleweight class of adventure bikes expanded, it was time for Suzuki to up its game.

This is especially as the V-Strom never had notable off-road ability. It gradually crept towards it, with spoked wheels becoming a feature of the XT model, and decent ground clearance, but still, it couldn’t match other middleweight adventure bikes further along the on/off-road continuum. When the Yamaha Ténéré 700 was released, it was all over for the poor Wee.

Suzuki changed that with the V-Strom 800DE. This is the first Suzuki V-Strom with a 21 inch front wheel. Suzuki released the 800 nearly contemporaneously with the bigger Suzuki V-Strom 1050DE, which has a similar big front wheel advantage, also a first for the big V-Strom line.

But while Suzuki left the engine in the bigger V-Strom essentially untouched, they gave the new Wee-Strom an altogether new one.

The engine in the Suzuki V-Strom 800DE is a 776cc liquid-cooled parallel twin. It is a fairly long-stroke engine, and a compression ratio of 12.8:1, which is partly why the 800DE needs premium fuel (Pump octane 90 with the North American (R+M)/2 method, which equates to 95 RON/ROZ).

It’s a new engine for Suzuki, released also on the naked sport bike the Suzuki GSX-8S. The V-Stroms have mostly been V-twins, which is why they’re called V-Stroms.

To release a V-Strom with out a V-twin isn’t new, actually. The original Suzuki V-Strom 250 had a parallel twin. And the newer V-Strom 250SX has a single-cylinder engine.

But one difference between the V-Strom 800’s engine is that V-Strom 800DE has a 270-degree crankshaft. This has some advantages in keeping the mass always in motion, but most notably for many users, it gives the engine a bit of a burble and crackle that you might think of as “character”.

Being a parallel twin has a distinct advantage when it comes to doing service: Access! There’s only one cylinder head to remove. So when it comes to do that major service every 24000 km / 15000 mi, the job is less fiddly.

Of course, the V-Strom 800DE has a central backbone, meaning you can’t get to the cylinder head quite as easily as with a perimeter frame.

Suzuki V-Strom 800DE Backbone frame RHS
Suzuki V-Strom 800DE Backbone frame RHS

Aside from the new parallel twin engine, Suzuki changed quite a lot when upgrading the V-Strom 650XT to the V-Strom 800DE.

Firstly, the Suzuki V-Strom 800DE has a 21-inch first wheel. This is a relative first for a Suzuki outside of dirt bikes or dual sports. Previously, their big adventure motorcycles mostly had 19-inch front wheels.

Secondly, Suzuki gave the V-Strom 800DE long-travel suspension, with 220mm of travel front and rear. The suspension is fully adjustable up front and at the rear (both are adjustable for pre-load, rebound damping, and compression damping). See the above guide for setting the pre-load and damping.

Thirdly, Suzuki endowed the new Strom comes with ride-by-wire. This also means that Suzuki gave it power modes on top of ABS and TC. You can change all the settings easily from a handlebar button without diving into the menus.

Unfortunately, Suzuki opted not to grant the V-Strom 800DE cruise control, which I’m sure will lead to aftermarket options becoming available. Similarly, the V-Strom 800DE lacks the IMU / cornering ABS that its big sibling has.

And naturally, along with many other new motorcycles being released, the V-Strom 800DE has a 5-inch colour TFT display. Gauges are going the way of the dodo.

Suzuki V-Strom 800DE front suspension and brake
2-piston calipers at the front of the V-Strom 800DE

There’s a lot more that’s special about the Suzuki V-Strom 800DE, but the rest is probably up to individual taste and how you fare on a test ride.

Suzuki V-Strom 800DE Specs

Below are the core specs for the Suzuki V-Strom 800DE. You can’t ride a spec sheet, but nor can you print a motorcycle (yet).

ItemSuzuki V-Strom 800DE
Engine typeParallel twin, DOHC
Capacity776 cc
Compression ratio12.8:1
Octane required per manual90 (US type pump octane, (R+M)/2)
Fuel tank size20L
Peak power62 kW / 84.3 hp at 8500 rpm
Peak torque78 Nm / 57 ft-lb at 6800 rpm
Final drive6-speed, chain
Ride aidsQuick shifter: Yes
Slipper clutch: Yes
IMU (cornering ABS / TC): No
Cruise control: No
Front suspensionShowa fully adjustable USD fork, 220 mm travel
Rear suspensionAdjustable Showa link-type suspension, 220 mm travel
Front brake2 x 310 mm discs, 2-piston callipers
Kerb weight230 kg / 507 lb
Core specs of the Suzuki V-Strom 800DE

Suzuki V-Strom 800DE Controls — Getting Started

So, you’re taking a V-Strom 800DE for a test-ride and you want to figure out how to use its various features? Here’s how to get started.

Here’s what you should test:

  1. TC, SDMS (Power mode) and ABS
  2. The quick shifter
Suzuki V Strom 800 mode switch control

The V-Strom 800DE’s mode switch on the left handlebar is where it all happens. Press the mode switch to move between changing TC, SDMS, and ABS. Use the up and down buttons to choose a setting. Boom! It’s blissfully easy on the V-Strom 800DE.

Note: You can change ABS mode when the bike is parked, or when the throttle is closed and the brakes aren’t being operated.

When the vehicle is stationary, you can also hold the mode switch for 2 second to get into the settings menu.

In the settings section, you can get into the “Info” section and look for warnings and the “next service” indicator. This will show any errors detected and tell you when the next service is due. Useful, if you’re buying used.

Resetting the Suspension on the V-Strom 800DE

On the V-Strom 800DE, you can adjust preload, rebound, and compression damping on the forks and shock.

Here’s how to reset them to the base (factory) setting. You can then adjust them later.

In all situations, clockwise is increasing preload or damping stiffness, and counter-clockwise is decreasing.

Fork pre-loadRotate the adjuster on the fork caps counter-clockwise (decreasing preload) until it stops. Rotate 6 turns clockwise (increasing). Do the same on both sides.
Fork rebound dampingAdjust the screw at the top of the front suspension clockwise with a screwdriver until it stops, then turn it counter-clockwise 1 1/2 turns.
Fork compression dampingAdjust the screw at the bottom of the front suspension clockwise with a screwdriver until it stops, then turn it counter-clockwise 1 1/2 turns. (Don’t loosen the adjuster base, which would need a wrench.)
Shock pre-loadTurn the adjuster knob on the side of the bike counter-clockwise (towards “LOW”) until it stops, then rotate it clockwise until it has clicked 12 times. (With a passenger: Increase another 16 clicks, for a total of 28 clicks)
Shock rebound dampingUse a screwdriver to turn the screw at the bottom of the shock clockwise until it stops, then counter-clockwise 1 3/4 turns.
Shock compression dampingUse a screwdriver to turn the screw at the top of the shock clockwise until it stops, then counter-clockwise 1 1/2 turns.
Setting the suspension to its default position — V-Strom 800DE
Suzuki V-Strom 800DE suspension adjustment
Suzuki V-Strom 800DE suspension adjustment

Suzuki V-Strom 800DE Service Intervals

The following maintenance information comes from

Overall, the Suzuki V-Strom 800DE has 3750 mile / 6000 km or annual service intervals, similar to most liquid-cooled Suzuki motorcycles. At every service, change the oil, and inspect or replace the spark plugs, inspect / replace the air filter, and do a host of other checks.

The major valve service interval for the V-Strom 800DE is every 15000 miles / 24000 km.

The V-Strom 800DE has a cable clutch, so keep the cable lubed and check that it’s in good condition, and periodically change the brake fluid (every 2 years).

And of course make sure you change the coolant periodically too — more often if you use anything other than Suzuki super long-life coolant (blue).

There’s a section on chain maintenance below on how to keep the chain tensioned correctly.

Suzuki V-Strom 800DE Maintenance Schedule

Below is the maintenance schedule for the V-Strom 800DE.

Note that we split out items you have to do with every service into the standard “annual inspection checklist” further below.

mi x 10000.63.757.511.2515
km x 100016121824Every
Standard annual inspection checklist (see below) – PerformYear
Engine oil – Change (Motul 7100 10W-40)Year
Engine oil filter – Change (HF138RC)
Air filter (polyester foam type) – Clean
Air filter (non-woven type) – Inspect
Air filter (non-woven type) – Replace (Part 13780-25L00-000)
Spark plugs – Inspect
Spark plugs – Change (NGK LMAR8BI-9)
Steering – Check for smooth operation, adjust as necessary
Front fork – Check for smooth operation, no leaks
Rear suspension – Check for smooth operation, no leaks
Coolant (Suzuki super long-life coolant)4 years
Brake fluid – Replace (Castrol DOT 4)2 years
Brake hoses – Replace4 years
Throttle valve sync – Inspect / Adjust
PAIR (air supply system) – Inspect
Evaporative emission control system – Inspect
Suzuki V-Strom 800DE Maintenance Schedule

V-Strom 800DE Annual Inspection Checklist

Below is the annual inspection checklist for the V-Strom 800DE.

V-Strom 800 DE Annual Inspection Checklist
Fuel hoses – Inspect condition and routing
Radiator hoses – Inspect condition and routing
Clutch – Check function, adjust play. Lubricate cable as necessary
Brake fluid – Inspect level, adjust
Brake fluid may drop as pads wear
Brake hoses – Inspect condition
Drive chain – Inspect
Drive chain – Clean / lubricate
Perform every 1000 km / 600 mi — See notes on chain maintenance
Lights and electrical equipment – Check function
Tires – Inspect condition and pressure
Wheel spokes – Inspect condition / Tighten spokes
Chassis bolts and nuts – Inspect / Tighten
General lubrication – Perform
Perform every 1000 km / 600 mi
V-Strom 800DE Annual Inspection Checklist

Maintaining your Chain on your Suzuki V-Strom 800DE

Maintain your V-Strom’s chain regularly. This is especially important if you ride your V-Strom off-road or on dirt roads, where the chain can get a bit more abuse. You need to keep it clean and lubed.

Either use a good-quality (and affordable) chain lube like Motul Chain Paste, or use a full on Motul Chain Care Kit to clean and restore a chain.

Suzuki recommends that you maintain your chain according to the following schedule.

Chain maintenance itemEvery
Check chain
* Correct tension / slack (30-40mm / 1.2-1.6 in at loosest point) — see below
* Adequate lubrication
* No excessive wear / damage
Ride (pre-ride check)
Clean and lubricate chain (Motul chain paste)1000 km / 600 miles
Suzuki V-Strom 800DE chain maintenance

Damage includes loose pins, damaged rollers, dry or rusted links, kinked or binding links, excessive wear, and improper adjustment.

Measuring and adjusting Chain Slack

Note that for Suzuki, chain slack is defined as the free play of the chain (the bottom segment) at its loosest point.

To measure chain slack:

  1. Put your bike in neutral and on its kickstand on a level surface with no load on it (no luggage / heavy accessories)
  2. Use a steel ruler and optionally gloves or a rag to move the chain up and down at the middle part of the bottom chain segment. Measure the deflection.
  3. Check chain slack at multiple points, moving the bike forwards or backwards.

If the chain slack is out of spec, you need to adjust it.

Suzuki V-strom 800DE Chain slack adjustment
Suzuki V-Strom 800DE Chain slack adjustment

Adjusting chain slack

This is how you adjust chain slack on the V-Strom 800DE.

  1. Loosen the axle nut.
  2. Loosen the lock nuts on the left and right.
  3. Turn the adjuster bolts until you reach the target slack level.
  4. Make sure you keep the chain aligned, using the reference marks on both sides of the axle.
  5. Tighten the axle nut (torque: 74 lb-ft or 100 Nm)
  6. Tighten the adjuster lock nuts (22 Nm / 17 lb-ft)

Re-check the slack to make sure it’s still within spec.

Wheels and Tires for the V-Strom 800DE

The Suzuki V-Strom 800DE ships with Dunlop Mixtour tube-type tires to suit its spoked rims.

Below are the tire sizes and recommended pressures stock. Of course, adjust these as suits your riding style, load, and so on.

WheelTire sizeTire pressure (cold)
Front90/90-21 M/C 54H225 kPa / 2.25 bar / 33 psi
Rear150/70 R 17 M/C 69H280 kPa / 2.8 bar / 41 psi
Tire sizes and pressures

Alternatives to the V-Strom 800DE

If you’re looking at the V-Strom 800DE, you’re probably also looking at other middleweight adventure motorcycles. Below are the ones may be considering.

Reference — Screenshots from the Manual for the Suzuki V-Strom 800DE

Below are some reference screenshots from the Suzuki V-Strom 800DE’s owner’s manual, showing the maintenance schedule.

Below is the maintenance and troubleshooting section of the V-Strom 800DE’s manual for archive purposes.

As usual, you can download the full manual for the Suzuki V-Strom 800DE directly from Suzuki’s website here.

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