Monday, December 27, 2010

Suzuki Is Back for 2011


Suzuki GSX R1000


GSX1340R Hayabusa

After cutting U.S. imports to the bone in 2010, Suzuki is ready to open the gates again for 2011.The recent recession hit motorcycle manufacturers hard, and for Suzuki that meant almost no new 2010 models for the U.S., other than some off-road bikes and the GZ250 street bike. For 2011, however, it's a whole new world.

Suzuki has five sportbikes for 2011, the GSX1340R Hayabusa, GSX1250FA, GSX-R1000, GSX-R750, and GSX-R600. Not an out-and-out sportbike, Suzuki also classifies the GSX1250FA as a standard. The company lists MSRP on these models in the range from $11,599 to $13,699.

The Hayabusa is the big dog of the group, with a liquid-cooled 1340cc inline-4 providing power. Says Suzuki, "With performance credentials that have established it as the hottest sportbike on the planet, the Suzuki Hayabusa is designed for the serious sport rider who will settle for nothing less than the best."For those of more modest means or aspirations, the GSX-R600 makes for a nevertheless impressive bottom rung on this ladder. Its liquid-cooled 599cc DOHC power plant, lightweight chassis, and race-developed suspension make it agile and responsive on the track or the streets.

The Boulevard cruiser line-up includes the M109R, M109R Limited Edition, C50T, and S40. Of those four, the Boulevard C50T is also classed as a tourer.Top of the Boulevard line is the M109R Limited Edition. With an MSRP of $14,499, this 1782cc fuel-injected v-twin is the most powerful cruiser Suzuki has ever produced. The company touts its "technically advanced chassis and suspension, matched by world-class brakes."At the other end of the Boulevard line is the S40. The engine is a 652cc SOHC four-stroke single with the low-end grunt you expect from a thumper. MSRP on this machine is a modest $5,099.

For Motocross fans, there are two 2011 machines to choose from, the RM-Z450 and RM-Z250. Both are 4-stroke, liquid-cooled singles.For 2011 Suzuki has engineered the bikes to meet stricter AMA noise limits, while increasing the compression ratio for the RM-Z450. The 450, says Suzuki, "is a cutting-edge open-class motocross ride that's more potent than ever."

Another focus in new-for-2011 mods is attention to easier maintenance. The 250 features updated wiring harness routing and a fuel line cap. The 450 offers, as an option, couplers to change the EFI setting from richer to leaner. The 450 also features the fuel line cap to facilitate regular maintenance.The RM-Z450 and RM-Z250 carry MSRPs of $8,149 and $7,299 respectively.

For versatility, there are no bikes on the road that match dualsports, with their ability to go smoothly down the highway but also tackle the roughness off-pavement. Suzuki's DualSport models for 2011 include the V-Strom 650 ABS, the DR650SE, and the DR-Z400S.

At $8,099 MSRP, the V-Strom is light, has a low seat height, and offers a wide powerband that makes it easy for slow-going when the road gets really rough. The V-Strom also comes with an extra-large, 5.8-gallon fuel tank, to help ensure that you don't get stranded when the thrill of exploration carries you beyond your anticipated range. Plus, the bike comes with ABS stock for 2011.While the V-Strom is a V-twin, both the DR650SE and the DR-Z400S are singles. Tuned more for dirt, both are still street legal. MSRPs are $5,899 and $6,199 respectively.

Rounding out the line-up is the entry level TU250X street bike, or standard. (The GSX1250FA is also considered a standard.) Evoking the '60s look in street bikes, this machine features a 249cc, 4-stroke, air-cooled single. Spoked wheels add to the retro styling, however, a modern fuel-injection system brings the overall unit up to date. The most economical of Suzuki's street bikes, the TU250X has an MSRP of $3,999, carries 3.2 gallons of fuel and will take you about 200 miles on one fill.

So there you have it. Conspicuous by their absence in 2010, Suzuki is definitely back with a slew of updated models for 2011. Now the only issue is deciding which one is the right fit for you.


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