Ever since the release of the Yamaha Ténéré 700, the Suzuki V-Strom 650 was officially kicked off the top spot when it came to off-road ready Japanese middleweight adventure bikes. Naturally, the V-Strom’s aging platform and rudimentary suspension components are no match for the Ténéré 700’s fresh platform. That being said, this doesn’t mean we can’t turn to the aftermarket to boost the V-Strom 650’s off-road prowess.
This is exactly what French custom shop Trail Découverte Concept has done with its latest creation, the V-Strom 650 Dark Evo 2. With the help of a lot of top-shelf aftermarket goodies, and a lick of all black paint, the good old V-Strom 650 is now a rally-ready machine that’s eager to hit the trails. The best part? Well, Trail Découverte Concept hopes to be able to make this bolt-on kit available for V-Strom 650 owners on its website. Let’s dive into the bits and pieces that make up this off-road ready machine.
At first glance, it’s clear to see that the most striking feature of the V-Strom 650 Dark Evo 2 is its all-black paint job. The stealthy exterior does a good job of hiding all the work that has gone into transforming this otherwise competent off-roader into a true performer. Apart from the paint, the wheels have been swapped in favor of a 21-inch front and 18-inch rear setup. It gets a robust wire-spoke setup that’s sure to be more durable than the alloy wheels on the standard V-Strom. The new wheels are wrapped in Metzeler Karoo Extreme tires.
Trail Découverte Concept has also beefed up the bike’s suspension with a cartridge kit. The new suspension setup has 5 centimeters more travel than the stock system. Additionally, it now features preload, compression, and rebound adjustability. The rear shock, too, has been swapped out for a custom EMC unit which also features the full suite of adjustability as the front.
To enhance the riding experience even further, and to provide more leverage when muscling the bike through gnarly off-road sections, Trail Découverte Concept has fitted the V-Strom with a Pro Taper Suzuki Factory handlebar and a Rally saddle. Crash protection care of SW-Motech keeps the bike ready for action no matter what, while SW-Motech adjustable foot pegs allow you to tailor-fit your riding position. To reduce weight up top, the V-Strom 650 Dark Evo 2 gets a lightweight lithium-ion battery.
Naturally, all these mods add up to quite a hefty sum. Trail Découverte Concept states that the entire kit, excluding labor, costs 3,900 Euros, or $4,407 USD—that’s about as much as a used V-Strom 650 in itself. That said, these upgrades will certainly be worth it, especially if you’re one who wants to stand out on the trail.