Polarising. That would be the only way to describe this new cruiser from Suzuki. It looks unlike anything else on the market but people are completely divided by how it looks. I have been on the groups, forums and met enough bikers to conclude that this bike will have people talking wherever it goes.
From the front three quarter, it looks imposing. That big headlight dome flowing back along the finned and flared shroud give off a big bike appeal. Makes a lot of sense since this name is derived from Suzuki's original litre class bikes. The design is a trickle down of the M1800R, a monstrous 1783 cc bike pumping out about 127 HP. That's more power than our popular Toyota Allion cars except on a light 348kg. There is a lot of retro futuristic appeal all through the design. Note how there is an absolute minimal amount of chrome save for the mirrors, front forks and the logo on the front shroud.
The sloping tank falls downward to a low-slung saddle for easy riding. Very sharply angled pair of exhausts placed on the right side completes the look. As you move to the rear, you notice there is a bit too much overhang over the rear wheels. I keep thinking it could have done better with something wider than the 140-section rear tyre.
The plastic construction and the fit and finish are top notch. Every single part, panel, knob and lever feels well machined. There is quality oozing from the bike. In addition, Suzuki went with something that has already been tried and tested here. Underneath this is a Suzuki Gixxer with gearing, chassis and suspension tweaked a little bit for cruising.
The one available here is the 5-speed carbureted version, although other markets get fuel injection also. The 155cc delivers 14.8PS (or about 14.6HP) at 8000RPM and 14NM (10.3 lb-ft) of torque from 6000RPM. Its main tech draw is the ABS, albeit single channel. They have made sure you know with a little sticker on the front fender. What it does is help maintain steering control during extreme hard braking.
The seat is wide and comfortably soft, allowing you to sit back for hours on longer roads. Despite the appearance of weight and width, it is actually a light and nimble bike. It feels easy to maneuver but more on that when we take it out in traffic. While the Gixxer is more of a high-strung city bike designed for zipping through traffic, the slightly lazy throb of the exhaust note in the Intruder suggests something else. It wants you to sit back and relax. The seat height is a little over 29 inches, making it just couple of inches lower than the Gixxer. The sloping rear portion makes it easy to get on and off. Sitting in traffic upright takes the stress off from the back. As first impressions go, this is surprising. It feels agile and responsive.
So why would you buy one?
It comes down to a matter of riding requirements and lifestyle choices. The Intruder will react when pushed hard, yet maintains composure. It provides a composed, relaxed ride but being a Gixxer underneath, we know it can also respond when pushed hard. So the final deciding factor is on how it looks. It will definitely catch people looking wherever you go.
Watch out for a more in-depth test ride of the new bikes from Suzuki in upcoming issues of Shift.
Suzuki Intruder 155 cc with single channel ABS. Price: TK 3,25,000.