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. 

Trail Découverte Concept Suzuki V-Strom 650 Dark Evo 2

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. 

Trail Découverte Concept Suzuki V-Strom 650 Dark Evo 2
Trail Découverte Concept Suzuki V-Strom 650 Dark Evo 2

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. 

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