Suzuki GS 650GL-Suzuki

6 Jun 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Suzuki GS 650GL-Suzuki
Suzuki GS Other
Suzuki GS Other

Source Cycle Guide of 1983


You’d be wrong to call Suzuki’s GS650GL the most radically styled midicruiser. But while this 660 shafty employs more or less standard mean-streets fashion licks, it does stretch them to a fair degree.

For instance, where other factory customs have pullback bars, the Suzuki’s bar seems to extend rearward noticeably more than the competition’s. And where competing bikes are fitted with fashionably stepped seats, the Suzuki’s high-low saddle appears to be the most severely stepped of all. The 650GL’s boulevard styling statement is further underscored by generous applications of chrome,

while its leading-axle fork exudes an extended look. From all aspects, the GS650GL reflects a strong commitment to accommodate riders who take their cruising and profiling very seriously.

However, what visual pizzaz the 650 has comes at some expense to pure function. If the look is more extreme than most, so too, is the result of that styling. First on the list is the handlebar. Tall, extended bars have taken

The 650GL takes its Saturday-night boulevard cruising seriously. their share of ergonomic criticism, and the 650’s handlebar bears that out. It imposes a posture on the rider that is conducive neither to muscular relaxation nor to precise sport steering. Then, the stepped saddle that is so eye-catchingly bi-level allows very little fore-aft movement.

The problem is compounded by the bike’s confining seat-to-footpeg relationship, which strains the rider’s knees and thighs after an hour or so in the saddle. And the taller the rider, the more pronounced the discomfort, because the Suzuki midicruiser is thoroughly downsized. Every dimension seems scaled to provide big-bike feel for midsized riders.

But if the 650GL is deliberately downscale, there are few clues in its engine performance. The bike is extremely quick around town or stoplight to stoplight, with the engine providing short-throw, precise shifting and minimal vibration. Throttle response throughout the engine’s rev range is excellent, with no dis-cernable flat spots or bobbles. The DOHC four is also a willing low-speed slogger, pulling strongly from 1500 in top gear and making serious profiling a simple exercise.

Suzuki GS Other

And for all that, the 650GL can regularly extract 60 miles per gallon, without forcing its rider into esoteric riding measures.

Some unusual riding styles might be called for, though, if you try to push the Suzuki through twistie-bits at speed. The engine is willing enough, but ground clearance becomes a problem. The trick is to hang off to keep the bike closer to vertical, but there again the riding position doesn’t help. The

H-rated Dunlops stick well in hard cornering, except when the bike’s stiff rear end makes the ride a bit choppy.

But for outright corner-stuffing, there are two other 650 Suzukis whose performance profiles are more in line with serious apex-work though neither of them makes the same bold street-cruiser statement as the GS650GL. But if you’re an enthusiast whose passions are bold enough to overlook the GL’s shortcomings in high-speed sport perfornance, that statementand the GL’s pro- filing prowesscould just be enough.

Source Cycle Guide of 1983

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