1983 Suzuki Tempter GR650-X

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Suzuki GR 650

MC Dispatch

1983 Suzuki GR650-X

1/12/2011 10:34:00 AM

by Reiss


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The Suzuki Tempter GR650-X in red with aftermarket

windscreen and

Imagine the weight and handling of a British twin. Then the suspension with a rear swing arm style mono-shock and front air forks. Make the look good with exhaust and fenders, contrasted by cylinders and frame, pay homage to the Triumph twins with a tank and clean lines, and oh keep it affordable – very

That’s what you have the 1983 Suzuki Tempter and with all it had to offer it failed to on in the U.S. I have yet to see another the one parked in my garage. The country was in a recession at the time, and U.S. who did buy new bikes flocked to four bikes with their including Suzuki’s own GS models, and in so they missed the GR650.

Too bad – a very sweet bike, as Europeans can testify as they them up. I bought my used in 2004, so this review may be a bit – I think it’s a terrific and it’s a shame the marketplace a real gem.

The Suzuki Tempter GR650-X was in two models, the budget “X” model has traditional spoked wheels, a color paint scheme and front forks, all out the door for The upgraded “D” version got a two tone paint scheme, magi wheels and upgraded adjustable air forks for $2,399. Cycle test boasted, “For a over 2 grand you can own a real, full-size, brand-new undented Today a low mileage model run about $1,500 – and most under that reasonable sum – if you can them.

The upswept dual exhaust help creates the

of a classic British twin.

But the clean retro “roadster” the GR sported some interesting under the hood. The engine is a twin, with dual cams on each cylinder, and a twin dome combustion first introduced in the 1981 GS650 models, which combustion efficiency, and added an air feature to the fuel mixture. also made a bold design with a trick flywheel, that when 3,000 RPM creates added – allowing the rider to lug forward in any gear without stalling the

The GR650 has a crisp shifting transmission,

and included two helmet as well as storage under the

Power is delivered to the rear by a traditional chain. No kickstart was offered – but the electric start and choke adjustment work The twin megaphone style has a sweet subdued sound, and swept-back lines.

The GR650 proves to be both and easy to work on.

Here you can see the with a small Chase

roll bag for added storage. 

The dry weighs in just shy of 400 pounds, it very agile for a cycle the power of a 650cc engine. Its 3.4 tank provides a decent between fill ups, as the leans toward the mid 50mpg when not driven hard. The is pretty comfortable and relatively low at under 30 inches, with of space for a single rider, and for two.

Under the one-piece is a small tool tray and to the battery, as well as a helmet on each side of the frame.

The tray under seat limited but adequate storage.

The floater” swing arm suspension the ability to adjust the preload 1 (low) to 5 (high) with the knob located under – useful when riding The single front disc and drum brake provide braking since the bike is so for its class. The entire package for a nice ride on a twisty banks and turns with and has plenty of power.

The low-end makes the bike forgiving in any

Preload adjustment knob under the carburetor.

Some comments rose about the which is as a bit low and make the bikes rev annoying mostly when at higher speeds.  Changing out the sprocket from the stock 38 to a model is a popular modification, with swapping the front 15 to a sprocket.

The electrical system is another weak spot, with the regulator/rectifier unit somewhat so another popular modification is to the unit with a larger powerful one. My bike with the rear sprocket already, and in the course of owning it upgraded the R/R unit, as well as the starter motor and added aftermarket accessories.

When introduced the bikes were received by the motorcycle press. World wrote in their review, “You’ll notice been carefully referring to as the GR650, a perfectly good for this great bike…Tempter is a name. This is not a silly

Suzuki GR 650
Suzuki GR 650

Only the US received the ill-fated badge for the GR650.

The magazine go on to do a long-term report one year and miles later, calling the “a good and faithful servant.”

I this original GR on eBay – sold by a very nice guy who had it used and kept it in storage – even tagging it. It had only miles, and was in overall very condition. It never received a bid on eBay (the opening bid was too at $1,200, plus for a Suzuki ), and after some research I the seller $1,000 for it, and another to deliver it the 100 miles to my home.

When it arrived I found parts missing, such as the guard and air filter, and gave the up carbs a thorough cleaning. the process the gas tank’s prior treatment dissolved into big of plastic “Cream” crud, and was and flushed out before putting the back together.

The instrument includes a gas gauge and

gear – thoughtful items on a budget-minded

The bike is a bit cold blooded, many models from the and in the States the mixture screws on carb are covered by brass — making adjusting but the idle impossible. I drilled annoying caps off my carbs, and now can adjust the mixture – a must in my for a 20-plus year old cycle. found that after a few warming up, with the right the bike runs well, a smooth pleasant rumble each cylinder through the style exhaust, with of power and nice handling.

For me the is a good fit for my 5 foot 10 inch and never ceases to give me a ride, whether it’s for a hop or long day trip. My wife and I do day trips and she’s found the comfortable with the backrest as security. In Europe where a more common sight, commonly adapt their GRs for by adding hard cases and for which it seems well

There is a very active forum with enthusiasts eager to their love for this of bike, and their in-depth knowledge.

This 1983 Tempter GR650-X model had 7500

miles when back to life by its current

I’m by no means an expert, but the GR650 is a machine for the average shade mechanic, and except for the valves require shims for adjustment, is very accessible. Parts as gaskets, filters, replacement etc. and such are still as the GR shared many basic from the GS line. I’ve BikeBandit.com to be a good source for OEM although most aftermarket passed on the Tempter.

When I I wanted a backrest/rack I ended up a used one-piece unit an early 80’s Yamaha, and the help of a hacksaw, drill, screws and bolts adapted it to fit the grab rails.

For this the Tempter proved more just a temptation – it gave me the to work on bigger bikes by and fulfilled the desire to own a British-style but with Japanese dependability, and clever engineering to boot. I park my bike at work a GSX-R Sport Bike is right next to mine – and I look at the racing style swing arm and note my 23 year old sports the same technology…and is a that fits my 40-plus old frame, not to mention my budget.

I’ve always owned Japanese bikes from the and eighties. I think they are fun, terrific bargains, and to work on for someone teaching the basics of motorcycle repair and The Internet has proven to be a huge for owners, and I like the idea of perfectly good machines than buying new. in my town, and most others what I can tell, are eager to over $15K on a new Harley.

For I could have bought 15 of bikes, but I only need This allowed me the to succumb to the temptation – buy another used bike. I’ve come to that fixing them up is as fun as riding them, and out there are low mileage bikes just for a thoughtful new owner.

Now that I of it, twenty- three years the name “Tempter” is somewhat

Suzuki GR 650
Suzuki GR 650
Suzuki GR 650
Suzuki GR 650
Suzuki GR 650
Suzuki GR 650

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