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New Suzuki 'right for first timers'

2006-03-07 08:54

Brett Hamilton

The styling draws a bit on the original B-King concept bike that was first shown at the 2004 Tokyo show, the GSR is more sedate.

Compare it to the B-King and you'll notice the GSR doesn't have radial brakes or USD forks. You do get LED rear lights, though.

A shapely headlamp sets the trend with integrated blinkers in the fuel tank and a two-tone seat.

The frame arches over the engine and is met by a chunky swingarm. A pair of underseat pipes gives the machine a modern look.

Much like the rest of Suzuki's middleweight class, it should be affordable. By fitting the machine with low-spec components Suzuki has managed to keep costs down. Which is a good thing.

But, before you're disappointed keep in mind that the current SV650 is also a budget bike from the same factory.

Now it all starts to make sense, doesn't it?

Behind the sedate looks beats the heart of a de-tuned GSX-R. The 599cc, in-line 4-cylinder motor pushes out an estimated 90bhp (68kW) at 12 000rpm and 45lb.ft (61Nm) at 10 000 r/min.

It has been modified to give it more low- and mid-range torque and is also claimed to have a broader powerband.

This should give it more power than the current SV and put it on par in the torque department.

Staying with the SV, you'll also see that the GSR has a slightly shorter wheelbase (30mm) as well as a lower (20mm) seat height.

Keeping it all in place is an aluminium twin-spar frame.

On the road this should make the bike easier to handle - perfect for first-timers. It has a 25.5-degree rake and 109mm of trail - other factors that should make it easy to ride.

It is heavier, though thanks to the extra 50cc in the engine.

Front suspension is by 43mm, Kayaba telescopic forks that are adjustable for preload, the rear shock is a link-type unit that is adjustable for preload and rebound.

Front brakes are dual 310mm discs with four-piston callipers, the back is taken care of by a single 240mm, 1-piston calliper, disc.

In the UK the GSR retails for about 700 quid more then the fairingless SV650. No prices have been set for South Africa, but the bike should be available near the end of April.


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