Interview A bike for enthusiasts, built by enthusiasts.

Please briefly tell us about yourself and your position in the project.

I joined Suzuki in 1997. In 2000, after 3 years of experience in the sales field, I was assigned a new position in the Motorcycle Product Planning division. Since then, I have worked on the product planning of our ATVs like the LT-Z400, naked bikes like the Bandit and the GSR series.
For the development project of V-Strom 650, I was assigned as the person in charge of our adventure touring models, and worked on defining the concept, equipment level and the target performance of the new V-Strom 1000.
In my personal biking life, I have owned a Bandit 1200S, Hayabusa, and V-Strom 650A (2008), now I own a 2012 V-Strom 650 ABS and an earlier RMX250.


Mr. Ichimaru and his V-Strom.

So, you now own a bike that you worked on during your planning duties. Can you tell us about that story?

Yes, I used to personally own a previous generation V-Strom 650, and I was put in charge of the project to develop the next generation of the very model I owned. Through the development work of the project, I was so confident and pleased of the improvements we had made, I purchased one.

My hobby is long distance touring, every spring and summer, I go out for 1-week trips of long distance riding. Through these personal riding experiences, I had my opinions on how to improve the bike from an owner’s point of view. For a person like me, it was a great opportunity to bring my ideas and experiences to the new model development. Building a new model is challenging work, but all of our development team members have riding experience on European roads, and all of the team have a strong determination and enthusiasm for the project.

What distances do you like to cover in your private touring?

It depends on the route and schedule, I usually ride 400km a day, 2,000-3,000km over a total trip. In my opinion, the joy of riding are those moments of feeling that the rider and machine are in unison.
On a long tour, I can feel that joy for hours and that is the reason why I love long distance touring.
In such distance riding, comfort on the highway, storage and carrying capacity plus many other elements are all required for the bike.
However, I believe that a feeling of fun when riding a motorcycle, without feeling boredom, is the most fundamental thing before any other elements.
I am confident the new V-Strom has them all.
From my own experience, I can understand the reason why adventure touring is booming because the demands on this segment are the ones I also have for my own riding.


Mr. Ichimaru and his V-Strom 650 ABS.

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