It’s more fun with friends！ SUZUKI V-Strom 250 x CASIO’s smart outdoor watch, PRO TREK Smart WSD-F20 Enjoy Smart Touring
SUZUKI V-Strom 250 × CASIO PRO TREK Smart WSD-F20
These are our three riders today!
Chief Editor Hayakawa
Atsuko Hayakawa She is the chief editor of “BICLE,” a community that attracts bike riders. Despite being a novice, she launched “BICLE” from a desire to create a place where riders could gather and share the fun of riding. She has been engaging in activities to expand the network of bike riders by organising the event, “OASISPARK SUNDAY.” She has won fans for her reports on events and test riding of bikes written from a beginner’s perspective. She enjoys touring on her own bike on her days off, going whichever way the wind blows.
In addition to reports on motorcycle events, articles on impressions, and sharing of other information by online, events are being planned and held for motorcycle aficionados.
Other services are also being provided with the aim of expanding the network of riders and making their life with bikes more fulfilling, for example, through the establishment of a site where riders can enjoy touring while collecting digital stamps.
Chief Engineer, Motorcycle Line, SUZUKI MOTOR CORPORATION
In charge of developing V-Strom 250
Motorcycle Body Design Department, SUZUKI MOTOR CORPORATION
Seeing the riders around town, as well as the people around the Editing Department in recent years, there seems to be a growing interest in adventure-style motorcycles.
SUZUKI’s V-Strom Series is popular as a sports adventure tourer, allowing enjoyment of long-distance riding in comfort from cities to expressways and the mountains.
Then there is CASIO’s smart outdoor watch, PRO TREK Smart WSD-F20, which has won huge support from people who enjoy the outdoors. The variety of functions that can be controlled by direct contact with the watch face have revolutionised the style of outdoor watches.
We decided to test this PRO TREK Smart from the perspective of motorcycle riders by seeing how it can change the quality of touring.
We chose CASIO’s PRO TREK Smart to accompany the tour on the SUZUKI V-Strom 250, a bike of the adventure tourer category, which has been highly popular in recent years.
A “smart touring” was organised, connecting riders and making touring more fun and smart by using PRO TREK Smart’s convenient functions, including “map display,” “displaying of e-mail messages,” “mutual checking of friends’ locations on a map,” and “registering of scenic spots found while touring.”
Hamamatsu, where SUZUKI’s head office is found, was chosen as the location. It’s a city between Tokyo and Osaka, surrounded by a wealth of wilderness. The tour began from Bentenjima Kaihin Park offering panoramic views of the huge “torii” gate on Benten Island and Hamana-ohashi Bridge, which spans the boundary between the Pacific Ocean and Lake Hamana. The plan was to travel right around the lake while enjoying the magnificent views and food of Hamamatsu.
1 Bentenjima Kaihin Park → 2 Nakanoshima-ohashi Bridge → 3 Lakeside Eel Restaurant, Kanzanjien → 4 “Orange Road” → 5 Hamanako Cruise, Seto Port → 6 Bentenjima Kaihin Park
Start of smart touring excursion around Lake Hamana equipped with the latest gear!
Equipment indispensable for this smart touring, No. 1 SUZUKI V-Strom 250
The adventure tourer is a category of bike that has taken off in popularity in recent years.
The V-Strom Series is the main series of sports adventure tourers developed by SUZUKI, and it offers a lineup of bikes in three engine sizes.
In addition to the 1,000 cm3 and 650 cm3 models, a new 250 cm3 model joined the lineup in July 2017.
The 250 cm3 “V-Strom 250” has power, while allowing easy enjoyment, and it was chosen for this tour. A lot of people may imagine medium to large-sized bikes when they think of adventure tourers, but for a beginner like me, I wanted to start with a 250 with easy handling.
The V-Strom 250 may only be a 250 cm3 bike, but it has the dependability and impressiveness of a much larger bike. It’s a charming bike with the feel of a grand adventure tourer, combined with the nimble handling of a lighter bike.
The traditional “beak” design, common to all models of this series, is yellow with the V-Strom logo adding an accent to it. The tough-looking adventure tourer with this pop colouring gives its design a fresh, modern feel to it.
Equipment indispensable for this smart touring, No. 2 CASIO PRO TREK Smart WSD-F20
My partner chosen for this tour was CASIO’s smart outdoor watch, PRO TREK Smart WSD-F20.
Smart watches have been taking off in popularity in recent years, and this model is the latest smart watch of CASIO’s PRO TREK brand with an established reputation for being serious outdoor watches.
It is equipped with a full range of convenient functions for use in a variety of situations from outdoor activities to use around town, regardless of whether you are in the mountains, at sea, or in the city.
It is equipped with a GPS, and can also be connected to a smartphone using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, allowing it to be used to its maximum potential.
It has numerous features, but I want to focus particularly on the functions that are useful for use with bikes.
As for its appearance, the tough design that matches outdoor situations also goes well with bikes.
Outdoor watches are often designed to target men, but I found that the lineup of colours would also appeal to women who enjoy the outdoors.
PRO TREK Smart notifies the wearer of messages from fellow riders
A message was received from a fellow rider while heading for Bentenjima Kaihin Park, where we were to gather before the tour around Lake Hamana.
What makes PRO TREK Smart so smart? Feature No. 1 It notifies the user of any text messages and e-mails received.
When an e-mail or a text message is received while the watch is connected to a smartphone, the watch vibrates and a message appears on the display.
It allows the user to quickly judge the urgency of the message to decide whether to respond immediately or not in the short time it takes for, e.g., the traffic light to change.
Being able to check the message on my watch display, without having to stop my bike, take off my glove, and pull out my smartphone is a really handy feature to have when you’re out riding.
You can even operate the watch while wearing your gloves, if you have smartphone-compatible gloves.
Being able to start it up by tilting your arm is another handy feature.
The screen too, is a reasonable size, making it surprisingly easy to operate. The watch can also be operated using the buttons on the right, without having to touch the watch face, which was useful when riding a bike. The large, conspicuous buttons were easy to operate, and appropriate for an outdoor watch.
*For safety reasons, do not try to operate PRO TREK Smart or look at the watch face while riding.
Connect with friends through MOMENT LINK after meeting them
“MOMENT LINK” characterised by its red and blue pins is the app that I recommend for touring in groups*.
It’s an indispensable app for our smart touring this time.
You have to download it onto your smartphone in advance.
What makes PRO TREK Smart so smart? Feature No. 2 Connecting with other members through the app, MOMENT LINK.
When one person becomes the leader and decides to form a party, the watch uses the positional information of other nearby members with the same app turned on to locate them. The other members then take part by pressing the “Join Group” button.
Today’s three members connected to form a party.
You can check the locations of all members of your own party on the watch display.
It’s a useful app for riders who want to ride with the group, or ride solo whenever they want.
It’s useful when you become separated from your party, or you want to rejoin them, and you can do away with the hassle of explaining your location in an area that you are unfamiliar with.
This feature not only allows members to mutually share information on their locations, but MOMENT LINK can also be used to exchange messages.
The messages can not only be sent to everyone through the “Talk screen,” but it is also considerate in allowing messages to be sent to designated members only.
Moreover, this app automatically disconnects all links after 24 hours, doing away with the need to share contact information with one another, allowing carefree use.
*The PRO TREK Smart must be connected to a smartphone with an Android OS to display the MOMENT LINK screen on the watch.
*The CASIO MOMENT LINK app must be installed in the smartphone that you wish to connect to the watch.
We’re off on our tour around Lake Hamana! Riding past the magnificent view of Nakanoshima-ohashi Bridge on our way to Kanzanji Temple
After setting up MOMENT LINK, it’s finally time to head off on our tour around Lake Hamana.
What makes PRO TREK Smart so smart? Feature No. 3 Equipped with a GPS for an accurate map function.
PRO TREK Smart is equipped with a map app known as LOCATION MEMORY, which allows use of two types of map data; Google Map and Mapbox.
You can check your route or location while, e.g., waiting for a traffic light to change, allowing carefree touring with no fear of getting lost even in places you visit for the first time.
Moreover, PRO TREK Smart is equipped with a GPS for accurate positioning and displaying of a highly accurate map. It is more than just “a map in a watch.”
What makes PRO TREK Smart so smart? Feature No. 4 The map can be downloaded in advance so that it can be used even in places with no signal coverage.
Signal waves may weaken or disappear completely when touring deep in the mountains.
However, using Mapbox to download a map of the area of your choice in advance, allows you to check the map even when you go offline.
The map function can not only be used offline, but it is also recommendable for users who are worried about their battery life.
A well-balanced adventure tourer
We ride north in search of delicious eel. Riding with views of Lake Hamana is so refreshing.
The feel of a grand adventure tourer despite the small engine
The V-Strom 250 has an impressive appearance combined with nimble handling making it an appealing entry model.
It is dependable and impressive for a 250 cm3 bike, and has the sturdy feel and overall toughness of a much larger bike, while having the functional and refined appearance of outdoor gear in which all unnecessary parts have been disccarded.
Like a good, dependable adventure tourer, it is tough, and inspires you to travel to uncharted territory, inviting riders into the unknown.
Yet it offers comfortable riding, allowing you to assume a relaxed posture.
The comfortable riding position and the attention paid to detail in designing the various parts, despite its impressive size, makes this bike recommendable for smaller riders, or even veteran riders who may be starting to have difficulty handling the physical demands of riding larger bikes.
It fuses functionality with design to achieve toughness needed for riding long distances, while having the appearance, external design and regular parts of much larger related models.
The headlight has been designed like an outdoor light, conjuring up images of tough gear.
The headlight guard-like headlight stay, and the simple yet tough-looking meter visor and screen have quality that is no inferior to larger related models.
The 12V DC outlet with a waterproof cover is a standard equipment.
It’s also handy being able to charge electronic devices by plugging a cigarette lighter socket USB charger into the DC outlet.
*To prevent draining the battery, do not use the DC outlet under the engine stop or idling condition.
The meter is an entirely LCD panel and compact, yet extremely easy to see.
One glance and you can take in all the information you need, from the gear position indicator to the oil change indicator, odometer, fuel gauge, clock and so on.
The windscreen and knuckle covers have smart designs, while also being quite effective at shielding the rider from the wind.
The design concept has been applied to each and every part of the bike, giving it “the feel of a machine that can take you places,” necessary for an adventure tourer.
Interview of V-Strom 250 Developer
The people who took part in this tour were the developers of V-Strom. This is such a rare opportunity that we decided to interview them.
Chief Editor Hayakawa ：What part did you pay particular attention to in developing V-Strom 250?
Moriya ： Our theme in developing the engine was that it had to be easy to ride, so we strived in pursuit of comfort. Instead of prioritising performance at high speeds, we made sure there was high torque at low to medium revolutions, and we also optimised fuel efficiency.
Hayakawa ： I had the greatest fun riding it at low to medium speeds. The acceleration at the start was almost unbelievable for a 250 cm3 bike. As for fuel efficiency, I was amazed at how little the fuel gauge moved while I was riding.
Moriya ： The engine generates huge torque at low rotational speeds, resulting in good acceleration at the start, and good throttle response at low to medium speeds. In addition to fuel efficiency, the tank has a capacity of 17 l, so depending on how you ride the bike, it’s possible to travel over 500 km on a full tank.
Hayakawa ： 500 km on a single tank is incredible efficiency. It’s great to know when you’re touring that you don’t have to refuel very often.
Hayakawa ： Something else that’s great is you can plant your feet firmly on the ground.
Ishii ： We lowered the seat to 800 mm, and by narrowing the front of the seat that you straddle, we achieved greater comfort allowing you to plant your feet on the ground.
The feet of a 176 cm person
The feet of a 158 cm person
Hayakawa ： It’s great, because at 158 cm, there aren’t many adventure tourer-type bikes that I can feel safe on.
Hayakawa ： The seat wraps around my bottom, and it feels comfortable.
Ishii ： The seat is wider at the back, and slightly longer at the back and front so that it offers greater comfort even during long rides.
Hayakawa ： It really was comfortable even during the long ride. It’s very gentle on the backside.
Hayakawa ： The optional three-luggage luggage system matches V-Strom’s design, making the bike look even better when they’re fitted.
Ishii ： It’s been designed specially for the V-Strom 250, and detaching it is a one-touch operation, so carrying around your luggage at home or while travelling is easy.
Hayakawa ： Having so much storage space is great on long tours. It’s not only highly functional, but it’s also stylish.
Ishii ： Alluminium panels with a hairline finish have been used based on the concept of “tough gear.” It feels good to the touch, too.
Hayakawa ： The silver hairline finish has a feeling of refined luxury! I could use it on its own as a bag.
Hayakawa ： An adventure tourer must be easy to ride, and fun too.
At first, you may think it lacks power compared to large bikes, but that’s not the case.
After actually riding it, I found that it takes off at around 3,000 rpm, and you can feel the power when accelerating at the start.
Maximum torque is generated at around 6,500 rpm, but instead of staying in first or second gear to accelerate, you shift up from first, to second, to third while staying at around 3,000 to 4,000 rpm, and that allows you to maintain a really comfortable riding rhythm.
You can enjoy riding with torque, and have great fun riding the bike as if it were an extension of your own body, in a way that you cannot enjoy on motorcycles with high-rotation, high-output engines.
Eating delicious eel at the Lakeside Eel Restaurant, Kanzanjien
Lake Hamana is famous for its eels.
We enjoyed delicious eel at the Lakeside Eel Restaurant, Kanzanjien, while taking in panoramic views of Lake Hamana.
The view from the terrace was fantastic.
What makes PRO TREK Smart so smart? Feature No.5 Record specified points using LOCATION MEMORY.
While touring, you often come across great scenic spots or restaurants that you want to remember and return to in the future, or tell your friends about.
PRO TREK Smart’s LOCATION MEMORY function enables easy recording of such specific points that you want to remember.
You can choose a stamp of your choice from a huge selection.
I added a gourmet dining spot to my map.
By using this feature, I can easily return to this spot if I wanted to.
You can use Location Memory to record your memories on the map.
From here, we decided to go our separate ways to enjoy riding solo for a while.
We were all connected through MOMENT LINK, so that was not at all a problem. We could check each other’s locations anytime.
After seeing the others off, it was time for me to set out.
I decided to ride along the “Orange Road” that winds through orange orchards.
It was an exhilarating road and I could almost smell the refreshing fragrance of oranges. It was fun!
Using Location Memory to check the route travelled
I checked the route I travelled so far since setting out.
It seemed I had come a long way since parting with my colleagues at the restaurant.
I also registered the fun winding Orange Road on my Location Memory.
I chose a “mountain” stamp so that it would be easy to understand.
Now it was time to rejoin the others using MOMENT LINK.
I received a message from a colleague on MOMENT LINK after passing through Orange Road.
“Let’s meet up again.”
I checked the message and his location, and he was apparently at a port that lay ahead of me.
“I’m on my way.” Using the voice recognition feature of the smart watch allowed me to speak into a built-in microphone to input a text message.
I sent the message, and received a reply. “OK.” I set out for the port.
I found my colleagues at the meeting point!
I was able to check their locations and meet up with them smoothly thanks to MOMENT LINK.
I think this app will be more useful the more members there are in the party.
The mutual sharing of positional information is terminated as soon as the person leaves the party, or the leader disbands the party.
The party is also disbanded automatically after 24 hours, so there is no need to worry about information being shared mutually even if you forget to disband.
Connecting and disconnecting is so easy. That’s what makes MOMENT LINK so carefree and good to use.
Overall assessment and impression of smart touring
Thanks to my wonderful partners, V-Strom 250 and PRO TREK Smart, my smart tour around Lake Hamana was even more fun than usual.
It was the first time for me to ride the V-Strom 250, but it felt like a good old bike that I had been riding for years.
It does exactly what you want it to do, and envelops you in a sense of gentle comfort.
Its adventure tourer-style design makes you want to keep riding forever, and takes you on an adventure into the unknown.
My other partner, PRO TREK Smart, allowed me to check the map, exchange messages, and mutually share information on the locations of party members, all on a watch… it was packed full of ideas and features that were so useful for touring.
PRO TREK Smart allows you to enjoy the best of both worlds; the freedom of riding solo, and the fun of riding with others.
I recommend everyone to enjoy smart touring accompanied by these wonderful partners.
These are the products introduced during the smart touring!