1990 Suzuki VX800
I am thinking of buying another one
Had to change the steering stem at 60,000km.
The CDI unit blew at around 40,000km.
Replaced rear shock unit with a IKON (a licensed KONI shock made in Australia) unit at 50,000km.
This bike was sold in Japan for only about 3 years, and rather difficult to find in the used bike market, but I found a pretty good one in 2003, and in the next 3 and half years rode close to 100,000 km commuting and touring. My commute was about 150km round trip, and it proved very reliable.
The bike cruises just fine with excellent roll on performance in the 100~120km/h speed range typical on highways. It can be pulled to over 180km/h if needed.
On the street, although it is heavy to handle, once you are riding, it is very slim and responsive and can be ridden crisply on crowded streets.
The engine and other mechanics is very accessible compared to modern 4 cylinder bikes. The shaft drive has no noticeable maleffects on handling. Just takes away the fuss and mess with the chains.
The CDI unit blew, and I had to change steering stem bearings, but that was all that happened during the 100,000 km I rode the bike. I asked my dealer whether he thought the motor needs an overhaul at around 80,000 km, but he saw no point in taking apart something that's running perfectly.
The bike has a stable steering geometry, but it can take on twisties at respectable pace. I replaced the front wheel with a 17 inch wheel from a GSX-R250 (bolts on without any mods), which makes the handling more quicker, but with the smaller wheel, the bike stands with less lean on the side stand, which can make it less stable on canted grounds.
The ergonomics are good, and I liked the extremely slim body/seat as I am a dirt bike rider and appreciate slimness on a bike. I attached a lower cowl I took off of a wrecked VT250F, but had to adjust the size for a slimmer fit, indicating that the VX800 frame is slimmer than a VT250F frame!
I am actually considering getting another one.
Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 15th September, 2010