German DR-Z, DR Big, and V-Strom specialist Hessler Rallye Team (HRT) has created this V-Strom 1050XT Desert Express. Shown for the first time at the reveal of the new-for-2020 V-Strom 1050XT at Eicma in Milan, Italy, the Desert Express is based around the chassis and V-Twin engine of Suzuki’s flagship adventure machine, but uses a host of new components manufactured in-house by HRT, plus modified suspension and aftermarket bolt-ons.
Hessler’s Desert Express – which plays on the name given to the original DR750S – gains 30mm of suspension travel over the standard machine (up from 160mm to 190mm), with modified front forks and a new rear shock from Wilbers, plus a new HRT-made linkage.
The front forks slot into new yokes, also made in-house, and atop sit X-Line handlebars from MAGURA. Further HRT additions include footrest hangers – which support Suzuki RM-Z450 footpegs – rear brake pedal and gear lever, and skid plate. A new headlight protector and Zeta Rallye 1050 windscreen are copies of the original items found on Suzuki’s Dakar rally machines.
A lift kit raises the front mudguard to fit Anlas Capra X tyres, brake and clutch levers come courtesy of Probrake, and there’s a new luggage rack and number plate assembly. A Mivv silencer adds to the racey look and enhances the V-Twin rumble, and the whole package is finished in a HRT graphics kit.
Suzuki’s V-Strom 1050XT uses a flexible 1037cc V-Twin engine that produces 107.4PS and a broad spread of torque throughout the rev range, which is wrapped in a lightweight, compact, and narrow twin-spar aluminium frame.
It is also equipped with the new Suzuki Intelligent Ride System (SIRS), which features a full suite of electronics including an inertial measurement unit (IMU), lean-angle sensitive ABS with two settings, linked brakes that can detect and adapt to load and inclines, plus hill hold control and cruise control.