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Sachs Roadster 650

Sachs’s latest middleweight is a — and almost lives up to says Kevin Ash

12:00AM BST 15 Sep

Suzuki has been quietly itself as a sort of modern over the past few years, engines to a host of smaller Aprilia, Bimota, Cagiva and have all used the Japanese power at some time, Piaggio-owned Gilera will announce a supersport 600 with a engine. But it’s not just the who are partial to the Far Eastern motor-maker the German Sachs concern is recent customer.

Sachs is a to the disputed title of oldest motorcycle manufacturer. The company was in 1894, but didn’t produce its motorcycle until 1904, a after Harley-Davidson made its bike. And if you still want to in favour of Sachs, note Yamaha’s Fukin organ was founded in 1887

Ironically, as Fichtel and Sachs, the was once a proprietary engine which in 1966 took the bike-maker Zweirad Union this had been formed in when DKW joined forces Victoria and Express. DKW was responsible for the

two-… RT125, the most motorcycle of the last century, was the template for the BSA Bantam and many including Suzuki’s Colleda, its real motorcycle.

Meanwhile, the Second World War, the MZ was established in the old DKW premises at Zschopau in where the brilliant engineer Kaaden led the world in two-… Until, that is, MZ’s prix rider and technician Degner defected to the West, MZ’s two-… technology to This transformed Suzuki and set it on the to becoming one of Japan’s big four

In 1974 Sachs introduced the Wankel-engined motorcycle, the Hercules or W-2000, but in recent times it has best known in the UK as a manufacturer of components. Sachs restarted of small two-strokes in 1997, and is now into the larger capacities.

The addition is the Roadster 800, borrows its 805cc, 45-degree, engine from the Suzuki custom bike. This machine has none of the gawkiness of the Roadster 650, and since a very rare, unfaired twin with shaft drive, there are some who will look no further.

they’re not after rip-roaring performance, they’ll be reasonably with the Sachs. The engine is and forgiving, rather than — revving it to the red line is aurally or in terms of thrust. But the is strong enough and reasonably so the 58bhp output is sufficient for or country lanes.

At low revs the bike lacks the you might be hoping for, the odd intake noise at tickover and as you the throttle is more reminiscent of a turkey than a bellowing But overall it’s willing and to use.

The chassis, too, is benign, its long wheelbase and steering geometry endowing the with more stability sharpness. Up to medium pace very secure, but push it and the suspension’s limits show. the bike features Italian forks and Bitubo twin shocks, not Sachs’ equipment apparently, none of its products suitable.

There’s no adjustability in the another indicator of its budget but both front and rear are for enthusiastic riding. The ride suffers, too, especially the extra weight of the shaft drive. Improving the suspension give the bike a far better overall, as the rest of the machine is

The brakes are powerful enough, if a little lacking in sensory and, in an encouraging victory of taste, the nasty bright red of the Grimeca front calipers be substituted for a more sober next year. The tacky, dash is also being down, to improve the looks and to reflections irritating the rider.

Sachs Roadster 650

is good, despite the slightly handlebars, enough to take the on a decent tour as well as the leisure journeys for which it be mostly used. The centre is difficult to use; otherwise, is an easy bike to get on with only a few details and that suggest it’s pitched at the end of the market.

But there’s the rub: at £5,695 only £500 less the more sophisticated and better BMW R850R (as a shaft-driven German perhaps its closest rival), or you can with Suzuki and buy one of the excellent V-twins — just as with better handling and a engine — for almost less.

The Sachs looks and it’s different enough to a small crowd, which its unique specification will reasonable sales. Buyers be happy, as long as their aren’t too high — a nice bike, but much of the is more than that.

Roadster 800

Price/availability: £5,695 on the On sale now.

Engine/transmission: 805cc, V-twin with eight valves and cooling; 58bhp at 6,000rpm, ft of torque at 5,500rpm. Five-speed shaft final drive.

top speed 115mph, average economy n/a.

Worth BMW R850R Classic, £6,235. SV650, £4,789. Ducati Monster, £5,890. Honda £5,495. Moto Guzzi Jackal, £5,939.


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