Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Ben's Corner #10: Mysterious cruiser revealed!

Come November 7, and we are going to see a Japanese cruiser on our roads for the first time after more than a decade. Yes, Suzuki Motorcycles Ltd is going to launch an all new bike on that day opening up a new segment of affordable cruisers in the country.

To start with, cruisers are a segment of motorcycles offering large and relaxed engines with comfortable ergonomics to cover long distances. They are very popular in United States where people travel as various biking groups between different States. But time and again, Indians have been deprived of such bikes. Except the Royal Enfield offerings and the Avenger series from Bajaj, we don't have any other cruiser in the country. To give a clearer picture about how Indians like these bikes, the very few cruisers of the country such as Classic, Thunderbird and Avenger series sell more than 70,000 units every month which is humongous for the prices they command.

Yamaha Enticer was the first and last Japanese cruiser ever made and sold in India. Brought to the country as an experimental product, the cruiser failed to pick up stream at a time when Indians were not mature enough to accept such bikes. Sporting a small 125 cc engine, it was not relaxed either to munch miles. Right after its discontinuation in 2006, there was no sign of a Japanese cruiser in all these years.

Finding out the huge potential, this segment offers, Japanese brand Suzuki has finally brought a cruiser to our shores. Going by the spy shots released on the internet a couple of days ago, the new bike not only looks promising but also broke the traditional design language of Indian bikes. The design has been inspired from Suzuki's bigger cruiser, Intruder M1800. It has got a similar looking headlight with a bulbous tank which tapers off to the tail light. The bike has got a large and wide hande-bar with a Thunderbird-like comfortable seat. Christened as the Intruder 150, the leaked brochure revealed that this bike gets the same engine from the Gixxer twins with same frame and tyres. Even the power and torque figures remain unaltered.

Will the new cruiser seal the deal?

When the spy shots of the bike was revealed, most of the enthusiasts poured in their doubts regarding the relaxed nature of the engine as it has been borrowed from a street-fighter. How will it manage on the highways? Is a high revving engine suitable for long distance cruising?

Well there is an answer for all these questions. The Gixxer's 155 cc engine which is soon going to power the Intruder has a top speed of 122 Kmph (vbox) in 5th gear at a 10,500 rpm red line. So, at speeds below 100 Kmph or at normal cruising speeds of about 80 Kmph, the engine will hardly spin at 8,000 rpm that too without any vibrations, a trait Suzuki engines are known for. At the end of the day, it will not only perform better than the Royal Enfields but will also do it comfortably.

Finally, what turned out to be the sweet spot for Suzuki is the rear tyre. The fat 140 section rear tyre from the Gixxer will not only give the Intruder an edge over the other cruisers in looks but will also give the bike an excellent straight line stability to tear through the highways.

- S Ben Raja,
Chennai, October 31, 2017.

The above review/analysis is completely the perception of S Ben Raja alone. This does not reflect the views of two or more people or a community. Queries and criticism shall be addressed to the writer only. This author is correspondent for an English daily working on auto beat stories for over a year. Reach him at benraja4@gmail.com.

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