Suzuki Middle Class Motorcycle First Look

June 8, 2011
Ken Hutchison
Ken Hutchison
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The ulcers keep piling on for the warden of the MotoUSA asylum. With the inmates running rampant around the globe, Hutch has opted to get in on the madness more these days than in years past and is back in the saddle again.

The saga continues as Suzuki unveils more teaser images of its New Middle Class Motorcycle. We can tell it’s an Adventure Touring motorcycle but questions still linger. Will this be middle-class, as in the 750-800cc range, or is Suzuki alluding to a middle-class friendly price point for its new motorcycle?

The latest images show the front and rear of the bike. Up front a tall windscreen and cat-eye headlamp with what may be barely discernable air intakes at the bottom of the cowling, reassure us that we are on the right track. Tall handlebars reveal an upright riding position but they are clearly clip-on style bars rather than a single MX-style single bar that we would expect from a more off-road focused machine. The windscreen seems to be detached from the bodywork so hopefully it will be electronically adjustable.

Out back, a single exhaust and more silhouette highlights of the stylish bodywork is what we get this time around. It appears to have passenger grab-handles on the sides of the tail section and there is clearly a shroud for the muffler. Maybe that will lead to some decent luggage applications unless it’s purely to protect the passenger’s feet from the heat. A closer look at the shaded area reveals a glimpse of the frame though. There could be a trellis-style design in there and that would point towards a rehash of the SV650 or V-Strom 650 chassis – an interesting take on the bike.
Following the Ducati & BMW approach, basing this new bike on a proven combination would be a cost-friendly approach to the ADV market. Imagine a punched-out SV650 engine with its capable chassis now supported by long-travel suspension and some touring amenities, bodywork and a large fuel tank. That would be a pretty good combination.

How about an SV650-powered ADV bike The V-Strom 650 would be a good starting point for the 2011 Suzuki New Middle Class Motorcycle. Good engine  good chassis and its a proven design.The SV650 was re-hashed as teh Gladius so it shows Suzuki is not ready to give up on the SV650-base chassis and engine.
It seems like a safe bet that Twins seem to work well on both mid-sized and open class Adventure Touring bikes and Suzuki does have a few engines & chassis’ that fit that bill in its stable already. Any of these 650-series would be an easy bike to transition for Suzuki.

Feedback from MotorcycleUSA readers shows a keen interest in a Twin-powered motorcycle that would keep weight down and give the bike some character. The consensus is that a mid-sized Adventure Touring bike to challenge the Triumph Tiger 800 XC and BMW F800GS would be the best fit for Suzuki. Building a bike with off-road capabilities would be a great approach here but it appears unlikely at this point. The picture is becoming clearer but we are still being purposely left in the dark. Keep the discussion rolling though… Maybe Suzuki is listening!

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