The 2009 bike is a totally different machine to it’s predecessor from the top down, for starters the looks. To all intense and purposes it is round, by that I mean the sharp angles which are prevalent at the moment are gone and a smoother rounded shape is used from the headlight to the exhaust.
There is no single piece frame, this bike has a lower aluminium section which follows the contours of the engine with a trellis frame fitted to the top, a totally different look but it works.
The engine is the same SV650 engine that has been used in the range for a few years now, I suppose they could have done something to it to change the thing but why change something that doesn’t need it? It has all the stomp you expect from a v-twin and with that little extra twisting of the go faster handle there is a satisfying rumble.
The dash again has everything you need but it only has a fuel light, again, only this dash has a reserve fuel count down trip meter. All very clear even in direct sunlight.
The seat is slightly higher than the XJ but not overly tall, again all the controls are easily to hand for complete control while riding. It’s another one of those seats that look like they will be uncomfortable after 10 miles but I managed most of the day without too much trouble.
The brakes work well even if you do hit a corner faster than you realised and need to slow up quickly, as with the XJ two fingers will bring you to a halt with no problems. The rear brake can lock easily so you need to be gentle with your foot and you won’t have any problems.
I had a wail of a time round the back roads of Kent on this, the noise and posture when you’re ‘on it’ belies a bike of this price. All round Suzuki have done a good job with this bike and I think it will prove to be a good seller for experienced, as well as new riders.
I did find one fault though, the throttle is so light that hitting a bump mid corner would either open or close it which could cause even the experienced rider a problem.
I had the Green/Black one which I loved the look of, but there are no end of interchangeable pieces available in different colours, a bit like a mix and match.
At £4821 otr this bike is also a snip and well worth the money. For more on this bike see www.gladiusstyle.com
Thanks to Bowen Moto of Chatham, Kent for the loan of the bike. www.bowenmoto.co.uk Tel: 01634 811757.