Suzuki Intruder Launch Ride Review

07 November 2017, 12:31 PM Ranjan R. Bhat

What is it?

 

A textbook case of why you should not judge a book by its cover. I had my doubts about the Suzuki Intruder the first time I saw the spy shots - it looked like a muscle bike which had skipped every single leg-day at the gym. But in the flesh, boy does it look amazing!

Having burnt its fingers in the mass-market motorcycle segment, Suzuki has now decided to focus only on scooters and premium motorcycles. And its first product under this strategy is the Suzuki Intruder. The nomenclature is similar to what the Gixxer follows - the name of a halo product adopted for a smaller commuter bike. While it might look all muscular and brawny, it is based the on humble 155cc single-cylinder platform of the Gixxer. The Intruder draws inspiration from its namesake, the Intruder M1800, which should work for its target audience – the urban youth. After all, we love motorcycles that scream for attention, don’t we?

 

What’s new?

I couldn’t help but smile as I ran my hand over the contours of the tank and the seat. The Intruder is not a cruiser that I would ride wearing an open face helmet and a leather jacket. It calls for a more modern and sporty attire. The low-slung styling, triangular headlamp, steroid-injected fuel tank, twin exhaust outlets and the faux aluminium finish give it an outlandish look that attracts eyeballs everywhere it goes. It is no wonder that you get asked whether it is a multi-cylinder motorcycle so often. There is an abundance of plastic and fibre everywhere, but the quality and fit-and-finish is top notch. For those who like their coffee with hazelnut, cream and sprinkle of cocoa can also opt for a bunch of optional accessories like a decal package, pillion back rest and a tank pad among others.

Suzuki Intruder 150

Suzuki Intruder 150

  • Displacement154.9 cc
  • Mileage - ARAI44 kmpl
  • Max Power(bhp)14.6 bhp
  • Kerb Weight148 kg
  • ;

Ex-showroom, Mumbai

 1,03,440

Now the underpinnings might be the same as the Gixxer, but there are several revisions to suit a cruiser’s character. The rear suspension has 20mm lesser travel, and the seat height has been dropped by 40mm. This should make it more accessible to short riders. It also gets a longer swingarm which has increased the wheelbase by 75mm. The bulky bodywork has added 13 kilograms to its weight, and the Intruder tips the scales at 148 kilograms.

Surprisingly, the steering rake angle of the 41mm telescopic forks is similar to that of the Gixxer, a step taken to keep the Intruder as agile and nimble as the streetfighter. Even the tyre size and profile is the same. It also gets disc brake at both ends, with a single-channel ABS as standard. 

How does it ride?

Of course, the Suzuki engineers were given only the Gixxer chassis and the engine to work with. But what they have done with these is remarkable. You reach out to the front of the visor to slot in the key and turn on the ignition, and the familiar LCD instrument console pops to life. You sit low on the saddle, with the handlebar grips set wide apart and front-set footpegs. Despite the edges on the tank, you get a good grip on it. The contour on the saddle offers a great support for the tail bone, and the seating position is easily one of most comfortable ones in this market space. 

The engine has the same growl as on the Gixxer, but it sounds louder, probably due to the bigger airbox and revised exhaust system. Once you get on the move, engine is very tractable, and you can ride as slow as 10kmph in the second gear. This should be great news for those who spend a major chunk of their commute in slow moving traffic. Even for stop-and-go traffic, the clutch feels very light. 

Wring the throttle hard and you are met with an addictive burst of torque, thus introducing you to the hooligan side of the Intruder. The rev-happy engine delivers 14.6bhp and 14Nm of torque, and there is an abundance of low-end and mid-range torque. Suzuki claims that the bigger airbox and an additional tooth in the rear sprocket makes the Intruder quicker than the Gixxer, although I couldn’t make out the difference. We would have to pit the bikes against each other to know for sure. Nevertheless, the smile which appeared upon my face when I first caught sight of the Intruder refused to leave as I hooned it through the twisties of Lavasa. 

The Intruder feels very eager to be flicked into corners, and thanks to a taut front suspension, it holds the lines well irrespective of any minor bumps you might encounter. Even the rear is a little stiff and biased towards offering a sporty ride. However, this setup has also taken a toll on the ride comfort. With my weight, every bump and dip on the road was making its presence felt through my back. The rear suspension is seven-step adjustable for preload, playing around with which might make the ride more comfortable. The front brake offers a good initial bite, although the progression and feel could have been better. Nevertheless, with the ABS looking out for you, you can jam the front brake without any fear. 

Where does it fit in?

For now, the Intruder is only available with a carbureted engine priced at Rs 98,340 (ex-showroom). When it comes to cruisers, the Bajaj Avenger 150 Street is the only rival to the Intruder. However, those in market for a premium commuter can also look at the Honda CB Hornet 160R (Rs 86,687), Bajaj Avenger 220 (Rs 89,690), TVS Apache RTR 200 4V (Rs 93,205) and the Pulsar NS200 (Rs 1.09 lakhs). All prices are ex-showroom. 

Photography by Kapil Angane

Gear Check

 

1. Icon Airmada helmet – 

Comfortable, aerodynamic, lightweight and a well-ventilated helmet with a wide peripheral vision. Oval headform fit might not suit everyone though. Price - Rs 15,000.

2. Joe Rocket Alter Ego 3.0 jacket – 

An extremely versatile all-weather jacket. In this guise, it is being used as a ventilated mesh jacket, though it ships with two more liners - waterproof and thermal. Price – Rs 20,000.

3. Ixon Moto HP gloves – 

High quality full gauntlet leather gloves suited for city riding, touring and track use. Offers good ventilation and a high level of protection. Expensive though. Price - Rs 9,500

4. AGV Sport Airtex pants – 

Riding pants with mesh in the crotch, calf, back of legs and thigh areas which is a real boon in our hot weather. Price -Rs 6,500.

5. Sidi B2 boots – 

All-round street and sportbike riding shoes also suitable for track days. Not ventilated, which can make it uncomfortable for everyday use. Price - Rs 17,000

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