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Suzuki Intruder M1800R

10 March 2009
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Suzuki Intruder M1800R

Suzuki’s massive cruiser, the Intruder, with its power drive and glorious exhaust is a traffic-stopper, writes Rishad Cooper

There are big bikes. And then there are really big bikes. Like the 1800cc Intruder that Suzuki Motorcycle India has just rolled out. With dimensions similar to a small hatchback and a price tag like the Honda Civic’s, Suzuki’s two-wheeled equivalent of a stretched limousine is the first biggie to be available to enthusiasts with deep pockets.

Suzuki Intruder M1800R side view

Suzuki Intruder M1800R top view

Suzuki Intruder M1800R front view

Suzuki Intruder M1800R back view

Suzuki Intruder M1800R headlight      Suzuki Intruder M1800R tank

Suzuki Intruder speedometer      Suzuki M1800R engine

Monster on the Move

Source: The Hindu

Technical Specification: Suzuki Intruder M1800R

Price Rs 12,50,000 (ex-showroom, India) On sale Now

L/W/H 2480/875/1185mm

Wheelbase 1710mm

Ground clearance 130mm

Fuel tank capacity 19.5 litres

Kerb weight 347kg

Engine layout V-twin, liquid-cooled, four-stroke

Displacement 1783cc

Power 125bhp at 6200RPM

Torque 16.3kgm at 3200RPM

Specific output 70.1BHP Per Litre

Power to weight 360.2BHP Per Tonne

Gearbox 5-speed, 1-Down, 4-Up

Front Suspension Inverted

Telescopic Forks

Rear suspension

Monoshock, alloy swingarm

Front brake 310mm discs

Rear brake 275mm disc

Wheels 6-spoke alloy

Rim size (f-r) 18inches

Tyre size (f-r) 130/70 x 18 - 240/40 x 18 inches

The Intruder’s photographs are somewhat deceptive and you have to see it in the flesh to know how humungous it really is. This monster motorcycle will surely need a large parking lot — while most Indian bikes will happily sit beside a car, the Intruder demands its own space.

The latest Suzuki clearly has a commanding presence. It comes with a powerful, low-set headlight that smirks under a chrome hat-like shroud and remains on at all times. Old-world turn indicators stick out on the front and rear, while a digital bar-type rev counter mounted on tall stalks looks straight into a rider’s field of vision. A surprising fact is that other basic instruments including the speedometer sit chrome-encased far below, astride the bike’s fat teardrop tank, which means the rider’s eyes have to leave the road to take a look at them.

The Intruder comes with a flat, wide, pulled-back chrome handlebar and handsome, retro-style tinted mirrors. Getting familiar with the alloy-look switchgear is easy. There are thick, soft grips as well as comfortable, buffed alloy clutch and brake levers. The low-slung cruiser style saddle is wide and has a slightly taller, still comfortable pillion seat just behind. And the tail with its embedded bright red brake warning lamp looks sleek.

Engine and ride

This Suzuki sits on 18-inch rims, with tyres so fat — a 240/40 section at the rear — as to fool one into believing you could get off and leave the bike safely standing without deploying the side-stand. But that you have to. Under-over silencers snake out from the large, four-stroke, 1783cc power plant to add oodles of character to the motorcycle’s right side flank.

The Intruder’s engine bay is completely filled up by its massive V-twin and liquid cooling system. Each of the two big bores measure 112mm. While a peak power figure of 125bhp at 6200rpm may not sound all that mega if you compare the Intruder to the Hayabusa or the R1, this big Suzuki shines in respect to delivering all 16.3kgm of torque as low in the power band as 3200rpm. What that means is the massive V delivers tyre-smoking acceleration and is capable of hurling its monstrous 347kg payload plus rider and pillion to dizzy speeds anytime the taps are opened over idle engine speeds. A blip of the Intruder’s throttle is akin to depressing a pair of triggers and emptying a double-barrel shotgun. It’s the highlight of this motorcycle, and the throaty roar of the Intruder’s exhaust rips through the air with such glorious effect that you won’t ever need to sound the horn. Its engine sounds and pulls with a throb similar to a big single at higher speed, and a short stroke (90.5mm) dimension ensures the revs rise with a willingness unlike most cruisers with their long-stroke nature.

One has to ensure the Intruder is perfectly upright on cranking open its throttle in a lower gear, for a vicious response propels through the shaft drive and grips the road almost instantaneously. The pillion needs to grab on really tight when the rider opens the power gates. It sometimes took a conscious effort to keep my feet from lifting off the pegs as the behemoth boomed down the tarmac. It’s also easy to kick out and spin the rear tyre on low-grip surfaces like concrete, and a wee bit of caution is called for while catching such moments.

The Intruder feels most at home on long, straight highways and can cruise here smoothly at speeds close to 130kph all day long. Its cable-fed clutch works well with a nice, progressive feel coming through the lever.

But it takes a lot to master this Suzuki’s five-speed gearbox, which often turned clunky and notchy during our ride. The shaft drive imparts a direct, mechanical feel that needs getting used to for riders who are acclimatised to chain drive motorcycles. Expect the big overhead camshaft-driven four-valve per cylinder engine to deliver about 15kpl in terms of fuel economy.

Powerful brakes

The Intruder’s riding stance takes time to get used to. Its footpegs and handlebars need the rider to stretch out, and the seat feels like it is set a little too far behind for comfort.

Ride quality is more stiff than soft with straight line stability a forte, thanks to that yawning 1710mm wheelbase.

But cornering is a chore and the low-slung Intruder scrapes its pegs almost too easily, putting up quite a fight before being pushed down into any corner, slow or fast.

But you don’t buy a cruiser bike like this for its handling — it’s made to cover long distances in style and in a stress-free manner. It emits the ultimate exhaust note in the country

The Intruder stops with good poise and comes with powerful brakes, a pair of 310mm discs in front, and a single 275mm disc unit at rear, which haul its bulk to a stop with a reassuring feel. I did notice that while I prefer applying more front brake on most motorcycles, the Intruder’s geometry and kicked-out front forks had me pushing the rear brake pedal noticeably more when shedding speed.

Suzuki’s massive cruiser, the Intruder, is a standout bike in India. But does that make it a sensible bike for our market? Do we have the ideal roads for this mile-eater?

The Intruder must be Suzuki’s way of reminding Indians that biking isn’t always all that sensible.

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