B-King more than meets the eye — Wheels.ca

3 мая 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи B-King more than meets the eye — Wheels.ca отключены
Suzuki B-King Base

B-King more than meets the eye

First it was Transformers . the movie and now Transformers, the motorcycle.

And that’s not a slight because when Suzuki first introduced the B-King concept bike at the 2001 Tokyo Motor Show, it was said that one of the designers was inspired by his collection of Transformers toys.

The B-King is finally in production and it’s still something of a transformer. Restrain the right wrist and it’s a competent, naked motorcycle with prodigious grunt. Get jiggy with the throttle and it transforms into a pretty fair imitation of John Force’s nitro-burning funny car.

Honestly, the King’s acceleration compares favourably with a couple of 1000 cc superbikes I’ve ridden.

Suzuki says the 2008 B-King is the most powerful naked motorcycle available, edging out BMW’s K1200R by a herd of healthy ponies. Reports indicate 180-plus horsepower and my seat of the pants dyno (so far, unsoiled) has no reason to doubt that figure.

On the surface, a 180-hp naked motorcycle would appear to be overkill, but then again, so is a 120-hp naked motorcycle. And so is a gargantuan, four-wheel-drive, 400 hp SUV that never sees a dirt road. If you’re striving for overkill, go big or stay home.

The original concept motorcycle boasted a supercharged 1300 cc Hayabusa motor, but the ’08 King makes do with a 1340 cc normally aspirated ‘Busa mill. Fear not – Suzuki didn’t fall into the “retuned for more mid-range” trap but installed the motor virtually “as is” with full chat cams, injection and ignition mapping.

Other than minor styling cues and technical changes, the B-King enters production reasonably faithful to the prototype that had the crowds oohing and aahing six seasons ago. To me, it bears resemblance to the Bat-cycle with the bulbous shroud over the tank and the almost comically overstyled mufflers.

The carpet matches the drapes with a hefty twin-spar aluminum frame to effectively corral those spirited horses. Fully adjustable male slider forks hold up the front while a fully adjustable shock ties the aluminum swingarm to the frame. Steering was neutral under all conditions, but with cold (and hard) late October pavement, I wasn’t inspired to do any spirited cornering.

The B-King is large, physically. The bars are 787 mm wide from end to end and the bulbous air intakes caressing the fuel tank are only slightly narrower. The leg cutaways on the tank keep the riding position tolerable but those with storklike limbs (like me) will be compromised, with legs overly splayed and knees contacting the cover.

Curb weight is 235 kg, noticeable just after you’ve filled the tank and have to heave it off the sidestand. On the chromed tank housing, you’ll find the bezel for the ignition switch as well as switches for the information settings and the “A” and “B” power modes.

Suzuki B-King Base

“A” gives you the full, take-no-prisoners power output, but “B” is a snoozefest, making it feel like a 750. Technologically impressive, but even in “A,” the motor is so well behaved, the throttle response so precise and predictable, that anyone requiring computerized assistance (unless in an ice storm) simply shouldn’t be riding a bike like this.

The twin 310 mm, radial-mounted discs are impressive in reining in the B-King with good stopping power combined with above-average feel and feedback.

Adjustable clutch and brake levers allow riders to find a position that fits them well. The gearbox is typical Suzuki, i.e. first rate, with a short, slick throw and as an added bonus, there’s even a handy gear position indicator on the dash.

The B-King is all about style, image and performance but a bit of an enigma because of the type of riding I like to do. I’m hugely impressed with the motor and chassis, the throttle response is incredible and no one short of Don Garlits could ask for more power. Because of the plastic shroud on the tank, I couldn’t fit my magnetic tank bag and with no hooks on the stylized rear of the motorcycle, attaching my tailbag was difficult.

B-King buyers will know this going in, but with no screen, the windblast on the highway quickly becomes tiresome. The headlight pod deflected some of the breeze upward so it was hitting me square in the shoulders, adding to the fatigue factor.

The smallish, 16.5 L tank and the B-King’s reasonable consumption of 5.8 to 6.0 L/100 km means you’ll be filling up fairly frequently. Of course, your cruising range will be directly proportional to how much you twist the loud handle.

Suzuki has brought the B-King from a riotous concept into an incredibly powerful but quite civilized, everyday motorcycle.

Suzuki B-King Base
Suzuki B-King Base
Suzuki B-King Base
Suzuki B-King Base

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