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Suzuki V-Strom 650XT vs Kawasaki Versys 650 vs Benelli TRK 502: Spec Comparison

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  • Oct 5, 2018
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How does the newly launched V-Strom 650XT stack up against its competition? Let’s find out

 

Up until the Suzuki V-Strom 650 came along, the Kawasaki Versys 650 was the only 650cc adventure tourer available in India. Soon, Benelli too will join the party with its TRK 502. The Italian motorcycle manufacturer has already confirmed that it will launch the adventure tourer by the end of 2019. And while all three adventure tourers seem promising, it’s quite difficult to pick the best of the lot. Hence, we’ve compared their spec sheets to see which one comes out on top.

 

 

Design and features

 

In typical ADV fashion, the Suzuki V-Strom 650 and Benelli TRK 502 feature a beak-likefender, and knuckle guards. They are even bigger than the tightly packed Versys 650. Being a road-biased motorcycle, the Kawasaki loses out on spoke wheels. In terms of wind protection, the TRK 502 gets a fixed windscreen while the V-Strom and Versys come with adjustable units.

However, the V-Strom’s three-way adjustable windscreen requires a tool, while the Versys’ unit can be adjusted using just one hand. It also gets a 12V DC outlet, which sits right below the instrument cluster. All the three bikes come with a semi-digital instrument console.

As for electronic aids, the V-Strom comes out on top as Suzuki offers a switchable two-step (high/low) traction control system and two rider modes as standard. It also benefits from a dual-channel ABS, an eco indicator, Suzuki’s Easy Start System for smooth and effortless starts and low-rpm assist feature, which prevents the bike from stalling at low revs. The latter is a pretty nifty feature considering the stop-and-go traffic that plagues most of our major cities.

The Versys 650, which is essentially a scaled down version of the Versys 1000, may not be the most pleasing to the eyes. However, its focus on functionality over form is what makes the bike so special. Its flat tank is designed to mount tank bags while the rear gets mounting points for panniers.

The Benelli 502 may not be the most feature-rich bike of the lot. However, it borrows design elements from much larger bikes from Triumph and BMW. Its front-heavy design, along with the tall windscreen, gives it road presence too.

 

 

Powertrain 

 
  SUZUKI V-STROM 650XT KAWASAKI VERSYS 650 BENELLI TRK 502
Engine 645cc liquid-cooled V-twin DOHC engine 649cc parallel twin DOHC liquid-cooled motor 500cc parallel twin cylinder liquid-cooled DOHC powerplant
Peak Power 71PS at 8800rpm 69PS at 8500rpm 47.5PS at 8500rpm
Maximum Torque 62.3Nm at 6500rpm 64Nm at 7000rpm 45Nm at 5000rpm
Transmission 6-speed 6-speed 6-speed with hydraulic clutch

 

Guess who takes the cake in terms of outright power? Yes, it’s the Suzuki V-Strom 650! Interestingly, the Versys 650 has the highest torque output of the three. Even though the Suzuki V-Strom makes more power, it’s a lot more forgiving when compared to the other two thanks to its two-way traction control system, which is capable of modulating the power sent to the rear wheel. The TRK 502 and Versys, on the other hand, requires a certain amount of skill to make sure you don’t lose the rear end on loose surfaces. Amongst the three, the Benelli TRK 502 makes the least amount of power. As for power-to-weight ratio, it’s pretty obvious that the V-Strom 650 is the most powerful while the TRK 502 is the least.

While the V-Strom and TRK 502 get an adjustable rear suspension, the Versys’ setup offers adjustments at either ends. That said, the V-Strom’s rear monoshock offers rebound adjustment as well. Furthermore, the V-Strom is offered with spoked wheels shod with Bridgestone Battlax Adventure A40 tubeless tyres. While the spokes help absorb shocks, its tubeless tyres avoid a sudden drop in air pressure in case of a puncture. Also, it’s larger 19-inch front and 17-inch rear wheels work well off-road. Notably, the Benelli TRK 502X, which is the adventure variant of the 502, comes with 19-inch front and 17-inch rear wheels, which will not only help with off-road duties but also strike a balance in the overall proportions of the bike.

Even though the Benelli TRK 502 is the least powerful bike here, it packs the biggest brakes, which should help get the 235kg bike to a standstill a bit quicker. Both the TRK 502 and V-Strom have 20-litre fuel tanks, while the Versys gets a bigger 21-litre tank, which should help you munch more miles before hitting the gas station. All three bikes come with optional panniers. The TRK 502’s low seat height of 800mm should make the bike more accessible for shorter riders.

 

 

Underpinnings

 
  SUZUKI V-STROM 650XT KAWASAKI VERSYS 650 BENELLI TRK 502
Front Suspension Telescopic front forks with 150mm travel 41mm inverted forks with adjustable rebound and preload with 150mm travel 50mm upside down forks with 135mm travel
Rear Suspension Link-type Monoshock with rebound and remote preload adjuster Off-set monoshock with remote preload adjuster with 145mm wheel travel Preload adjustable monoshock with 45mm suspension travel
Front Brake Dual 310mm discs with ABS Dual 300mm petal discs with ABS Dual 320mm disc with ABS
Rear Brake 260mm disc with ABS 250mm petal disc with ABS 260mm disc with ABS
Front Tyre 110/80 - R19 tubeless tyres on spoke wheel 120/70 - ZR17on alloy wheel 120/70 - ZR17 on aluminium alloy
Rear Tyre 150/70 - R17 tubeless tyres on spoke wheel 160/60 - ZR17 on alloy wheel 160/60 - ZR17 on aluminium alloy

 

While the V-Strom and TRK 502 get an adjustable rear suspension, the Versys’ setup allows offers adjustments at either ends. That said, the V-Strom’s rear monoshock offers rebound adjustment as well. Furthermore, the V-Strom is offered with spoked wheels shod with Bridgestone Battlax Adventure A40 tubeless tyres. While the spokes help absorb shocks, its tubeless tyres avoid a sudden drop in air pressure in case of a puncture. Also, it’s larger 19-inch front and 17-inch rear wheels work well off-road. Notably, the Benelli TRK 502X, which is the adventure variant of the 502, comes with 19-inch front and 17-inch rear wheels, which will not only help with off-road duties but also strike a balance in the overall proportions of the bike.

 

 

Dimensions

  SUZUKI V-STROM 650XT KAWASAKI VERSYS 650 BENELLI TRK 502
Wheelbase 1560mm 1415mm 1525mm
Ground Clearance 170mm 170mm 190mm
Weight 216kg, kerb 216kg, kerb 235kg, kerb
Fuel Tank Capacity 20 litres 21 litres 20 litres
Seat Height 835mm

840mm

800mm

 

Even though the Benelli TRK 502 is the least powerful bike here, it packs the biggest brakes, which should help get the 235kg bike to a standstill a bit quicker. Both the TRK 502 and V-Strom have 20-litre fuel tanks, while the Versys gets a bigger 21-litre tank, which should help you munch more miles before hitting the gas station. All three bikes come with optional panniers. The TRK 502’s low seat height of 800mm should make the bike more accessible for shorter riders.

 

Pricing and verdict

The extra equipment on the V-Strom comes at a price. At Rs 7.46 lakh, it's the most expensive bike here. In contrast, the Kawasaki Versys 650 is priced at Rs Rs 6.69 lakh while the Benelli TRK 502 which is likely to be priced around Rs 5 lakh (all ex-showroom, Delhi) is the most affordable here.

If you’re on a strict budget, we’d suggest you go for the Benelli TRK 502 as it offers good value for money and decent power for a 500cc motorcycle. We also expect the TRK 502X variant to offer better control and ride quality off the beaten path. However, if you can stretch your budget a little more, the V-Strom is the bike to go for. It’s a well-rounded package and offers a lot more in terms features. The Kawasaki Versys 650 will sit in between its competition. 

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Suzuki V-Strom 650XT

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