I tried to take this bike out the preceding Saturday, but there was so much rain even Noah had to shut up shop. Monday morning turned out to be bright and breezy, so I thought, why not! I rang Motech, who were happier about letting this brand-new bike go out which they said “hadn’t turned a wheel yet”. I pitched up and the nought miles on the clock Suzuki was wheeled out.
It’s a handsome, purposeful bright yellow and blue beast. Sitting high with a 33.5-inch (855mm) seat height on gold painted rims and glistening in the afternoon sun (what was that sun word again this summer)? Mark from Motech and I admired it. He pulled the protective strip off the TFT display and fired the smooth and quiet bike up. It has a massive end can on it that looks like one of those cavalry sheaths for a Winchester rifle. A bright and easy-to-read TFT display which shows the simplest and straightforward modes of 3 throttle/5 traction control and 3 for ABS! Mark had ridden this Suzuki on the factory launch and said it handles like a motocrosser.
My guide walked away to allow me to get onto the bike. Because of its height and that it was straight out of the wrapper, I was a little hesitant. I elected to take the ‘mount the horse’ option, standing with my left foot on the left peg and jumping onto it that way. There was a little bit of tippy toes until I got used to it for the first ride out of the yard and onto the main road.
Good old Suzuki however – just up the road and you got used to it. The wide high bars with an albeit small screen give you a commanding view from your very comfy seat over all of the traffic. Easy away with no problems on the throttle and excellent response. You can’t fail to miss this bike which is in “champion yellow” (!) livery like previous big Suzuki off-roaders over the last 20 years. Filtering through the really busy urban traffic I picked the Coast Road and decided to go up the Northumberland coast V-STROM-Y MONDAY 46 and give this a run out. I didn’t go over 5,500 revs to help this bike. It is a parallel twin but as all of these adventure-type middleweights are now, they are not V twins but have a 270° crank which mimics the V twin engines. Very efficient layout and I’m told with balance shafts above and below the 766cc engine. Extremely smooth. Usual uber-slick Suzuki gearbox. I’m told this is an 83 bhp bike with 64 mpg and about a 200-mile range tank. It feels slightly more road-biased than off-road but has all of the tools to go off- road including a 21-inch front wheel and Showa adjustable forks. I realised part of the way through the ride that it had a lovely quickshifter. On the A19 North, I got used to all of the motorway traffic – this can run all day at motorway speeds. It was a little breezy on the motorway but you are sitting high. I think that I would go for the aftermarket tall screen if this was mine. Lifesaver shoulder glances were really easy on this bike with no neck craning required. Rock steady big mirrors. 5000 revs running in this bike equated to 70 mph in 6th gear. I took it through some of my favourite windy lanes off the A19 and it loved them. You could put this exactly where you want it to on a bend and it would go round with no bother whatsoever. As standard it has bash plates and hand guards and I will defer to the serious off-roaders as to its potential. It has a gravel mode. However, although it is agile on the road, nimble and changes direction very easily, it is also planted so it appeared to have the best of both worlds on my short run.
After I had tried all types of roads I thought of a pitstop on my way home and decided to cruise back down the north- east coast. I pulled into the new drive-in development by the Blyth beach huts and was spoilt for nosh choice. Fish and chips? Artisan Ice cream? Coffee and cake in the sun? I plumped for the latter in the brand-new Breeze cafe on the front. I had a marvellous Bistrot espresso macchiato and a chocolate brownie served by Natasha. Everything was new in the cafe. This is a brand-new bike with a new design of the Suzuki engine. It seemed fitting.
I breezed back out (sorry) and cracked on back to Newcastle with the wind on my back. The cut and thrust of all types of traffic were no problem. It just wanted to go. I even got over the seat height although I later found out there is a lower seat (by 20mm) height option. I had the mid-height seat! Roundabouts and traffic lights – were a right cheek (lower) slide off the seat and a right foot flat on the ground. Wind the engine on and we’re off!
Hats off to Suzuki for throwing their own hat into this very busy and contested middleweight adventure class with the Tuareg, the Ténéré and the Transalp scrapping for top dog place. The Suzuki is a worthy choice – I suggest you breeze on down to Motech and swing your leg over it. What a marvellous bike it is. Thanks again to the lads for lending me this brand-new bike – what a privilege it was to ride.
Mark Hipkin is a Partner/ Head of the Personal Injury and Civil Litigation department. He welcomes your e-mails or calls on the law (or your biking experiences) at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0191 2533509.