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Photography: Sundeep Gajjar/Sandeep Goswami/xBhp.com using Canon 400D and Canon lenses
Text: Sundeep Gajjar and Sandeep Goswami / xBhp.com / thePhotographer.in
Riders: Sundeep Gajjar and Sandeep Goswami / xBhp.com / thePhotographer.in
Design: Sundeep Gajjar /itsAsunny.net
Riding Gear by: Draggin Jeans
Helmet (full black) and Gloves by Dream Sporting Gear
Shot using Canon cameras and lenses
Download High Res Wallpapers Here
A Message for Suzuki
At the onset of this special presentation compiled by xBhp.com to showcase the visual and all sensory delight that the behemoth of a Intruder is, we would like to thank Suzuki India for providing us with a beautiful machine to test and shoot with our in-house photography and test team. We would also like to thank Suzuki to have provided us Indian biking enthusiasts with water for the soul amidst the plethora of commuters availaible in the market. With the launch of the Intruder and Hayabusa in India, not only one can go right upto his local showroom and get one, but we can also say proudly to the rest of the world that yes, finally the two wheeler giants are realizing that India has the roads and infrastructure to support these kind of motorcycles. xBhp.com has had a big role to play in popularizing superbiking and getting the machines to the masses via the online/offline medium in India since 2006 when it first took a litre class superbike around India and will be doing it again in January 2009. This article has been kept as visual as possible.
Ride the Rumble : Ride Report by Sandeep Goswami
In my almost two-decade long innings at motorcycling, this was the first time I rode a battle-tank on two wheels. The name ‘Intruder’ is a misnomer actually. Its more like ‘The Fearless Challanger’. Rumble on the roll. Throbbing thunder. Because its huge. Because its powerful and because it has a road-presence that few other 2 wheeled stars can boast of.
Walk upto the Intruder from behind and it is mind-blowing. That massive 240 section rear tyre (the widest in any production motorcycle) is overwhelmingly huge, a feature that by itself tips the scales of street-presence heavily in favour of this big Suzuki. From up front, its ‘knitted-brow’ headlight and the deceptively ‘normal-cruiser’ look seems somehow familiar, almost intimate to the ones accustomed to large-capacity cruisers. Get closer though and those flowing lines, tons and acres of chrome, the huge tank with an equally huge seat in tandem make for an imposing yet purposeful beauty in metal. Even amongst a gaggle of cruisers that are generally indistinguishable amongst themselves, the Intruder makes for its own brand of visual and auditory signature. And a big, bold n beautiful signature at that.
If anything has ‘large’ as its existential theme, the Suzuki M1800R Intruder stands as the benchmark and the limit simultaneously. The largest pistons (almost 4 ½ inches across) amongst all V-twins and most passenger cars in production, the highest torque in its class (leaving aside the supernatural Triumph Rocket III), the ‘widest’ rear tyre as mentioned before and being most powerful cruiser ever produced by Suzuki. Hell, even a walk around the bike tires you. Weighing a tad more than a third of a ton, the Intruder is heavy and demands respect just for this. But the almost 350 kg seem non-existent to the amazing engine. The bike ‘goes like stink’ with a rider or two on top. Just roll that throttle and get to warp speeds, as if the bike has the soul of a devilish sportsbike inside its cruiser body. But the ‘go’ comes after you’ve relished starting the engine and hearing that hesitant yet strong and typically V-Twin rumble beat beneath. Switch on the ignition by turning the key in the switch under the seat, flick the red ‘engine kill’ to ‘run’, pull in the surprisingly light clutch and press the starter. A couple of seconds and the huge twin throbs to life, quickly settling to a reassuring idle. Snap the throttle and the engine response belies the presence of the heavy pistons thrashing inside.
Slot it into first, comes with a solid ‘thunk’, and you can be on the move surprisingly easily, thanks to the superbly gradable throttle and light clutch.
Take it easy on the throttle as you shift through the 5-speed gearbox and you’ll find yourself cruising effortlessly at a 100 kmph. Straight-line stability is phenomenal…I felt I could rest my head on the vast tank and go to sleep while the bike chugged along unwavering at a 100+ kph. But twist that throttle hard in any gear and you rouse the sleeping giant. The GXS-R series derived twin throttle butterflies coupled with the spot-on EFI fuels, nay actually instigates the big engine to give you a speed rush that you least expect, from a cruiser at least. The Intruder gathers speed at an astonishing, even frightening rate and any rushed twist of the right wrist demands focus and reflexes as sharp as those for a speeding crotch-rocket. Seriously, going by the astounding torque the engine makes, downshifts for overtaking become redundant. Just roll the throttle and shoot past.
In the real world though, what goes must come to a stop too. And the Intruder again demonstrates its phenomenal finesse as a motorcycle. The inverted forks and those twin disc four-piston calipers (trace their origins to the GSX-R1000 too) allied with the single rear disc just need a good squeeze from the lever and sanity prevails instantly. Even mid-turn scrubbing off of speed is no big issue, surprising for a heavy, long wheelbase large-capacity cruiser. The exceptional straight-line stability at first seems to be making quick maneuvers difficult. But it actually is just a matter of getting used to the handling. The leverage provided by those w-i-d-e handlebars coupled with a gentle touch of brakes makes turn-ins surprisingly easy. Both balance and steering at crawl speeds are great, the full lock turning circle being unexpectedly small for a bike this long.
Any peeves? Yes, a couple at most. The foot-pegs are placed too far up front. Anywhere above a 150 kph, the on-rushing wind almost lifts off one’s feet from the pegs. And this extreme feet-forward position puts a strain on the back – tiring the rider inspite of the comfy and wide seat. Second, the very-limited ground clearance denies this bike the potential lean angles its superlative rubber, suspension componentry and geometry can allow. Metal starts grinding at moderate speeds through round-abouts and sharp turns.
The Intruder is a very quick motorcycle, if need be that is. Otherwise it is a superb sedate cruiser. The 19 ltr tank provides acceptable range, the monster low-end torque is eternal fun on tap, the solid thrum of the V-twin sheer music and the devastating street-presence guarantees you enough attention to make the snazziest perkiest movie star go green with envy. And at 12.5 lacs ex-showroom, it’s a LOT of motorcycle for that money.
The Verdict by Sundeep Gajjar (Sunny)
Before I sound the hammer real hard let me put in a few facts to put the verdict to be in perspective. I am a thoroughly Superbike guy, the one who usually wouldn’t be allowed seen riding a sedate low hung stretched our motorcycle called a Cruiser. I have ridden Fireblade 1000RR once around India, the magnificent Kwasaki Concours around New Zealand, a peppy enough Hyosung GT650R around Australia, and am about the ride the fabled R1 around India in 2009.
Never have I yearned for a cruiser, no matter it has twice the cubic capacity and dimensions that the unassuming and almost invisible Superbikes. But after three days of riding the Intruder over 600kms in all sorts of terrain, I am hooked, addicted and a big sucker for its narcissism inducing physical assets and an all devouring street presence with power of an earthmover at my right wrist. The moment I fling my leg over this damn of a motorcycle I feel a surge of to-hell-with-everyone attitude. I am a part of it at the same time not shy of announcing our combined presence on the road, and anyways, I cannot hide this tank masquerading as a motorcycle. Never before I have felt that I need to have a motorcycle really this bad, except maybe the Fireblade. But then I could always carry it on the back seat of the Intruder just for keep sakes…
Now the photos: