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Old 11-11-2009, 08:04 AM   #1
BigComfy
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Rode a few Suzukis

A couple of weeks ago Suzuki came by and set up a demo ride day over at Stubb's. They brought most of their bike other than the GSXR line bc of insurance purposes...I think.

I was fortunate enough to be asked to be a control rider and able to jump on a variety of bikes including: GS500, 650 strom, Gladius, GSX650F, B-King, bandit 1250s, and the m109r.

First the GS500, I really didn't care much for it. The front felt like....well it just didn't feel all that great. I thought I was riding on a 2x4 it was so unresponsive. The engine was okay until you got up to about 60. Not a performance bike but it did get up there if you gave a handful of throttle and stayed on it. For an new rider commuting in town that doesn't require much entertainment or character it is perfect, the current pricing(there are a few discounts for this model), and the gas saving then I guess it's for you.

The 650 Strom was actually a really cool bike and I can see why there are so many Strom die hards out there. The V-Twin 650 is basically the same unit found in the SV650 which is a solid little engine that can. Even with the extra weight it got up to speed with ease and could see the bike being fun with some touring gear although 2 up with gear would probably be marginally performance wise. The handling of the bike was much better than expected as well even though it is much higher than it's siblings --sv650/gladuis. If you need something to tour around the country with some off road capability (from what i've read they do well on county roads and light dirt paths...I didn't get to find out ). Overall, a great package for the price.

Now the Gladius...I flipping love this thing! Dirt bike bars, great chassis, and an updated FI 650 V-twin FOR THE WIN!!! Yes, I'm biased bc I have such a passion for the sv but man this thing is so much fun. I took a right turn onto the straight away of a private circuit, twisted the throttle, and the front lifted up nice and easily. I then went through the gears(smooth transmission) and freeway cruising speeds were no issue and there was plenty of motor left. No it's not a super sport but once you get into some tighter stuff this thing shines. Comfy ride although I would opt for the after market seat that raises the seat height a bit. I'm 5'10 and my legs felt a little cramped. There are plenty of parts that carry over from the SV so tuning would be easy as pie. Also, it's 700 bucks cheaper than a faired SV.

I was dreading riding the GSX650F and man I that was a mistake. It's a 650 like the SV but the similarities end there. Suzuki stuffed a 650 inline engine that has plenty of torque and top end power for the city or even the freeway. Yes...It's not a GSXR but it doesn't try to be either. A new rider would enjoy this bike and wouldn't scare the living poo poo out of himself although if he tried he could. Handles well enough, plenty of pep, comfy, and way cheaper insurance and price wise compared to a super sport.

Now the B-King. I've reviewed it before but it's worth another quick look. After riding it again with some other test riders all I have to say is this bike absolutely rocks! All the riders agreed and smiled like little kids when they got done with the ride. The looks...well that a matter of opinion. The performance more than makes up for the looks. I can't wait to have one in the near future.

The bandit 1250s was pretty blah. For a commuter and tourer it would do fine but it needs some upgrades to make it a capable bike. The front end felt like a pogo stick and the engine didn't have near the character I expected. With some tweaking it could be fun but I preferred the 1200. Actually, I would get a 1st gen FZ1 and save a bunch of cashola.

And finally the m109, It's a big bike with a big engine, a big rear tire, and forward controls. O and it looks pretty sexy. Comfort eh.... but the engine has some decent power. The transmission is pretty clunky but I've heard there are some cheap mods to help it out. It handles like a huge cruiser but then again I'm not 6ft something which is who the bike is designed for.

Well that's all I got. Happy riding.

Martin

PS. Thanks Suzuki and Stubbs for letting me ride all the different models it was a fun day
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Old 11-11-2009, 08:30 AM   #2
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Old 11-11-2009, 08:37 AM   #3
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^^^^^ Look Evo is Back.

I was wondering about the Gladius, I like the looks of the bike and seems like a fun bike to own, maybe in the future.
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Old 11-11-2009, 08:42 AM   #4
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I still want a B-King........
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Old 11-11-2009, 08:55 AM   #5
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What about the bergman 400? I had a blast on that thing
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Old 11-11-2009, 10:00 AM   #6
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Cool, good write up. Some of those bikes you can almost tell the ride by looking at it. I was always curious about the Gladius, its such an odd looking metrosexual toy. I still have no clue who the market audience for that thing is. I regret not running by to test them out myself.
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Old 11-11-2009, 10:38 AM   #7
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Martin, I was at Stubb's having the '98 inspected and watched the Suzuki folks setting up the demo area. I wanted to return the next day and look at the Strom, but life intruded.

Good write-up, thanks.

Brad
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Old 11-11-2009, 02:03 PM   #8
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I purchased the vstrom back in 08 after a test ride. i was supprised by it also. The big plus for me is the upright sitting position as i have had lower back surgery in the past so it hurst to ride sports bikes. The bike does do well two up for around town. I have read about people traveling the world 2up on the bike with out issues.

Thanks for the review of the bikes.
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Old 11-11-2009, 02:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irak View Post
^^^^^ Look Evo is Back.

I was wondering about the Gladius, I like the looks of the bike and seems like a fun bike to own, maybe in the future.
Get one and put a few parts on her: New rubber, SS brake lines and new pads, te gearing seemed fine but then again I didn't get to play with the 2 top gears so I'm not sure if it runs out of steam or not but I don't think it would be a must to change. A new pipe would def help reduce the weight and let that v-twin breath a little, and if you really were to do it right after market suspension but then again you only weight a buck twenty so you would be fine.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Badchev View Post
I still want a B-King........
+1,000,000
Quote:
Originally Posted by BYRDMAN View Post
What about the bergman 400? I had a blast on that thing
Unfortunately, I had to work at some point that day....
Quote:
Originally Posted by Helios View Post
Cool, good write up. Some of those bikes you can almost tell the ride by looking at it. I was always curious about the Gladius, its such an odd looking metrosexual toy. I still have no clue who the market audience for that thing is. I regret not running by to test them out myself.
TY,The Gladius;s target market are urban commuters, newer/returning riders, and small/light/fun bike riders that don't care for 140mph dashes down the freeway. If we lived in a different part of the country (e.i. Cali, Colorado, NC, etc..) it would be a great bike to play with.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bradtx View Post
Martin, I was at Stubb's having the '98 inspected and watched the Suzuki folks setting up the demo area. I wanted to return the next day and look at the Strom, but life intruded.

Good write-up, thanks.

Brad
Thanks, you missed out...we had some fun

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prothos View Post
I purchased the vstrom back in 08 after a test ride. i was supprised by it also. The big plus for me is the upright sitting position as i have had lower back surgery in the past so it hurst to ride sports bikes. The bike does do well two up for around town. I have read about people traveling the world 2up on the bike with out issues.

Thanks for the review of the bikes.
the seating position is nice and upright. I can only imagine how comfy it would be with an after market for the longer rides. I hope i'm wrong but geared up and 2 up I think would be asking a bit much. But then again I weigh 210 lbs so adding another 120lbs+50 lbs of gear I'm pretty sure it would be a bit much. Only my opinion.


Thanks for the compliments guys it was fun to do.

I am realizing that no matter what style of bike I ride I have a blast. (except the GS500 that thing just sucks. Sorry but even one of the Suzuki guys agreed and said it was like riding a lawn mower)
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