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Suzuki Gladius First Impression

Monday, March 23, 2009
Today at Dainese’s D-Store in Costa Mesa, California, Suzuki did a Ride-Away for their new Gladius 650. This is the replacement to the standard SV650 (they will still make the SV650S), which was no doubt due for an upgrade. And it definitely got it. Aggressively styled and tuned for more juice, this is more than just Bold New Graphics.

2009 Suzuki Gladius
2009 Suzuki Gladius. Code name: Urban Warrior.
As a joke, I told Suzuki’s press officer Garrett Kai that if I could leave the store and, right off the bat, having never ridden the machine, wheelie the Gladius for the several blocks to the stoplight at the end of the road without putting the front end down, I would give it a good review. While I don’t condone or recommended this for this not qualified (or those who want to keep their driver's license), let’s just say I think I’m now obligated to give the Gladius a good review!

While it was a joke and I would never base a review off of something like that, luckily I gelled with the new mini-streetfighter right away. I’m not going to give the good stuff all away right now as we will have a full review with video works, I will say that this little ripper has urban-warrior written all over it. And where the standard SV never had the look to match the performance (in my opinion), this Gladius definitely does. So stay tuned for the full test!

Post Tags: Suzuki Gladius, Gladius 650
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Comments
Nexus242 -Where is the Gladius love... March 29, 2009 05:49 AM
Hey poster above mine I was the first member on SVRider.Com to see and sit on the Gladius at Biketoberfest 2008 down here in Daytona Beach and I do like the bike and it's looks. After posting some pics most didn't like the look with all the added side plastics added on since it is a naked bike others weren't so happy about the colors but people don't like change at first. Also think the Euro/French designed Gladius web site with the guy in sliver pants jumping around like Baryshnikov didn't really help with it's already girly image but that's all on Suzuki. However over time I think more are coming around to point of seeing the Gladius as great SV mini upgrade. We all wish the suspension and brakes were upgraded but over all the bike has got some major potential to mod and customize. I just wish Suzuki had some for test rides this past Bikeweek 2009, I was very put out about that cause I really wanted to feel the new engine. Oh yeah the SV650 is a girls bikes so calling the Gladius a girly bike is the first step towards acceptance on SVRider.Com. ;)
Superlight -Gladius March 25, 2009 09:43 AM
A good bike, perhaps, but a viable Monster 696/1100 competitor? No way, not with that ugly face.
Superlight -Gladius March 25, 2009 07:14 AM
The Suzuki SV650 has been one heck of a successful bike for years, due to the fact that it offered much of the V-twin goodness at a bargain-basement price. One of my riding buddies has one and he does quite well hanging onto us through the twisties. I'd stop short, however, in saying "paint it red and people will mistake it for a Monster". I've now seen it in pictures and live at Bike Week. It may have many improvements over the old bike, but appearance isn't one of them, and comparing it to the carefully styled/crafted new Monster is almost laughable. I'm afraid it will be a case of the 696 cutting into SV650/Gladius sales, not the other way around.
Odie -Gladius = SV650 March 24, 2009 04:10 PM
I'm on both the svrider and the socalsvriders boards and while there are a lot of people on there bashing the Gladius as f-ugly, I think it will be just fine. Better than find, in fact. The looks will grow on people and pretty soon, no one will remember what all the fuss was about. The Gladius strikes me as Suzuki's attempt to steal market share away from the Monster. Paint the Gladius red and I bet you there will be a lot of people who will mistake it for a Monster.
Steve Atlas -RE: steve - Gladius v. SV650 March 24, 2009 01:25 PM
I can tell you without doubt that it's not slower than the original SV650 as far as how it feels in the real-world. And the added weight is barely, if at all, felt. But we'll make sure to have dyno and actual weight numbers in the full test for comparison!
steve -Gladius v. SV650 March 24, 2009 04:19 AM
There are a lot of readers at www.svrider.com that quickly dismissed this as a girls bike, heavy, slow and ugly compared to the original and current SV650N. I like the way it looks, but I am not impressed by the weight increase. I am really looking forward to seeing photos and the full review.