Suzuki LS 650 Savage Reviews from United Kingdom

1993 Suzuki LS 650 Savage

Model year1993
Year of manufacture1993
First year of ownership2011
Most recent year of ownership2012
Acceleration marks 8 / 10
Roll-on Performance marks 8 / 10
Handling marks 8 / 10
Braking marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.6 / 10
Distance when acquired12000 miles
Most recent distance13000 miles

Summary:

Fun! Fun! Fun!

Faults:

Seal in fuel vacuum pump failed.

General Comments:

Brings a smile to your face, every trip, short or long!

However, after about 100 miles you need a break, which funnily enough fits in well with when you need to fill up the tank.

A single cylinder 650cc engine that fits in with the 33bhp rules for new riders in the UK; who would believe it!!

I thought it would be a rougher ride than it is, you do feel a bit of vibration through the foot pegs and grips, but it's not uncomfortable, just a little buzzy at times.

The well documented backfire on deceleration or shut down is sometimes there, but not always, although mine seems to randomly pop now and then, but it's not too bad.

For a 1993 bike, it's holding up well and looks really good, except the engine cases which have dulled and tarnished, but I'm working that problem, and a bit of elbow grease seems to be doing the trick.

This bike was going to be a stop gap until my 2 year restriction is up, but now I think it might just be a keeper, as it does everything I need it to do, and does it well.

So far I have had it up to the motorway speed limit with loads of power to spare, and as for the twisties!! Fun! Fun! Fun!

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th April, 2012

3rd Mar 2013, 06:29

Update!!!

It's been just short of a year since I wrote the review above, so with a few more thousand miles on the bike, I thought it time to tell the bigger story.

My last report was written about 9 months after I first got my Savage, but due to work required on the bike to get it back to a serviceable standard and a harsh Scottish winter, only about 3 months of Savage experience. So was I right in my first review... well!!!

Yes, generally! Once familiar with the bike and getting a few more miles under the belt so to speak, it is still easy to ride, and comfy enough for short journeys, but yes I do still feel that 100 miles or above does leave you a little numb, and getting off to fill up the tank is a welcome break.

My hubby feels that it is a bit agricultural with that single cylinder lump, but I kinda like it, although I am resisting the urge to ride around on his v twin, just in case I remember what I'm missing.

I do still love the simpleness of this bike and the low maintenance of the belt drive, rather than faffing around with chain oiling all the time like he still has to do!

I have found a fair amount of bling to add to the look, not all specific to the Savage, but generic parts like chrome rear light guard, chrome and rubber front fender extender, chrome fork nut caps, and other generally shiny bits that add to the look.

I spent a lot of time last summer polishing up the forks and engine casings, and that's worked really well.

I spent a small fortune at MOT time last year, including a new rear tyre, new fork seals and new head bearings, but the bike had sat idle for about 6 years before I bought it, so hopefully this year it will sail through the MOT.

What's missing?

Well a trip meter would be a godsend, and I don't really like the slide along indicator switch; newer bikes with the push in to cancel are just far easier and safer I think.

So is it still fun, fun, fun?

My restriction has been up now for about 9 months, and although some of that has been during the motorcycling off season, it was only really November that the bike was totally off the road.

The new biking season is just around the corner and I have no inclination to sell this bike, so I guess it is, I am looking forward to some more fun, fun, fun!

1986 Suzuki LS 650 Savage

Model year1986
Year of manufacture1986
First year of ownership1998
Most recent year of ownership2010
Acceleration marks 9 / 10
Roll-on Performance marks 9 / 10
Handling marks 8 / 10
Braking marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.4 / 10
Distance when acquired6000 miles
Most recent distance14500 miles
Previous motorcycleKawasaki Z440 LTD

Summary:

Great ride, and great potential to customize and modify

Faults:

Unfortunately I left this bike in storage for a year without using it at all. This resulted in the little remaining fuel in the tank evaporating and causing the float needle to perish. When I decided to put the bike back on the road, I filled the tank to find that when I started it, fuel started to leak out of the drain tubes that come out of the bottom of the air filter box. The float needle was letting fuel pass continuously through the carb. I then repaired the carb. After this and some other maintenance, I started the bike. Fine, until the bike began to stall, so I increase the throttle. Again it lost power. And so on.

After some thought, I decided that I would check the oil, which I had intended changing, believing that the labouring engine could be short of oil. Upon inspection, I could not find the level in the oil level inspection glass. HHHM, strange. I proceeded to drain the oil to find that it contained nearly double the quantity that it should have had, and it also stank of petrol. The fuel had drained through the defective float needle and into the crank case. Fortunately no real damage was caused. A luck escape.

General Comments:

With a straight through exhaust and re-jetted, plus the addition of a high flow cone air filter, I have turn this tame thumper into a raging rocket. The acceleration is now incredible. It is however incredibly noisy.

It is a very simple bike to maintain, and quite simple to modify with plenty more power available with the right tweaks and some knowledge of adjusting the carb. I will comment more in the following months, as I am about to begin work on it to restore and customize this 24 year old machine.

Please note that this bike was imported from Japan, and was manufactured in 1986 before becoming available worldwide.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th June, 2010

1st Jul 2014, 13:58

I had a 2003 Savage. I put close to 14000 miles on it. It ran like a clock. The only problem I ever had was oil running up the speedometer cable from the crankcase. It was an easy fix. I bought a soft rubber washer, enlarged the hole with a drill, and used it to replace the hard plastic washer that was not sealing properly. Cost $1.

Wish I still had the bike.

2003 Suzuki LS 650 Savage

Model year2003
Year of manufacture2003
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2010
Acceleration marks 7 / 10
Roll-on Performance marks 6 / 10
Handling marks 7 / 10
Braking marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.6 / 10
Distance when acquired2500 miles
Most recent distance7500 miles
Previous motorcycleSuzuki GSF650 Bandit

Summary:

Reliable, great to ride, an excellent design, brilliant, love it

Faults:

Indicator electrics, have had to replace the flasher can several times.

In wet weather, sometimes a screeching sound comes from the belt at the front engine pulley.

General Comments:

This motorcycle is very comfortable to ride.

It is very reliable.

Handles extremely well on straight roads and cornering.

Although top speed is not high, this bike accelerates well and can maintain a good 80-90 MPH.

Mechanically easy to service.

Because it is an open bike, it is fun and enjoyable to ride, especially in the summer months on those open roads.

Certainly an eye catcher and a topic for conversation because of its unique design.

Please Mr Suzuki, build a new model.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th January, 2010

Average review marks: 7.9 / 10, based on 3 reviews