The Suzuki V-Strom is an adventure motorcycle but body and engine protection is very limited for any adventures on unpaved roads. Even when only used on regular roads, the exposed oil filter and oil sump is right behind the front wheel and a large rock can do some serious damage.
There are a few different skid plates available for the V-Strom and the engine protector from Adventure MotoStuff appeared to the best combination of protection, looks and price. I liked this one the best because it is mounted to the crash bars and frame. Other engine protectors are attached to the engine which doesn’t seem good when you hit something really hard. It is the engine you want to protect to begin with. The bottom of the skid plate is mounted very close to the exhaust so you’re not loosing much ground clearance at all. I put the skid plate to the test when I was exploring some rough tracks and had to go over few trees that were blocking the trail.
The V-Strom doesn’t have the greatest ground clearance and it is easy to scrape the bottom over something. Going reasonably slow, the skid plate does its job and there was no damage. Without one, the outcome can be quite different. It is also great protection for stones and rocks that may be thrown towards the engine by the front wheel. When you hear that loud bang from something hitting the engine protector, you’re very glad you have it on your bike. The engine protector is very nice quality, light in weight and it won’t rust. It is very easy to install and remove when you have to change the engine oil.
Version 1.0 had a different mounting bracket with bolt ends on the bottom of the skid plate. I can imagine those will easily snag on something when it slides over a rock or tree. V2.0 has the mounting bolts on the side. Mine has the black powder coat finish and it held up pretty good. Some of it came off under the exhaust because of the heat, a few rock chips and some scratches on the bottom caused by sliding over rocks or logs. But that’s to be expected. It makes the bike look like it has some experience.
As you can see in this picture, the V-Strom leaves the factory quite naked and could use some protection. A skid plate also greatly enhances the look of the bike.