Suzuki VZ800 Marauder Reviews from United Kingdom

1998 Suzuki VZ800 Marauder

Model year1998
Year of manufacture1998
First year of ownership1998
Most recent year of ownership2007
Acceleration marks 6 / 10
Roll-on Performance marks 6 / 10
Handling marks 6 / 10
Braking marks 6 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 3 / 10
Dealer Service marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
6.6 / 10
Distance when acquired1 miles
Most recent distance52000 miles

Summary:

Basic and solid

Faults:

Not many problems even if this bike is high mileage. Have fixed all problems myself:

The main issues has been in the electrical department, and I've had issues more or less every year with the electrical system, but I live in a rainy district and the problems are probably related to this: Running on one cylinder due to various bad connections, horn replaced, indicator switch replaced, bad connection in starter switch.

Maintenance: Changed the battery a couple of times, brake pads and shoes, drive packet/chain, tires, some wires etc.

Clutch went last year.

Had problems with starter not working, but a whack with a ribber club fixed that.

Chrome is not very good and will rust if not taken care of. Treat with chrome polish twice a year to keep it nice and shiny.

General Comments:

This is my everyday transport to and from work most of the year, except in the winter. It works very well as a commuter bike about 15 miles each way. Works well in traffic, and is reliable and petrol bills are low. But the tank capacity should have been a gallon or so more.

It's not suited for long trips though. Your rear will be sore and your back will suffer as well. Did a 300 mile trip once, and had to rest every hour in the end. Not very comfortable on long trips.

It's quite easy to work on yourself, very basic, and simple and solid construction for everyday motoring.

This bike is not for the speed freaks or the Euro-touring types keen on Autobahns.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd March, 2007

14th Mar 2010, 14:13

I agree with your comment on the VZ800.

We had one for several years, and the only thing that I was not happy with, was the chain noise while driving.

So in order to rectify the situation, I have replaced the chain drive with a belt drive kit design for the VZ 800 Marauder.

Excellent decision, and it is like having a 6th gear on your bike. Smoother and quieter ride. Needless to say cleaner as well. No more greasy mess on the rear mag.

Have a safe ride.

2nd Jun 2012, 21:49

I have a Suzuki 2001 800 like yours. The chain noise; is that a norm for these bikes? I like the idea of belt drive too.

Please reply if you could help me solve my problem... with the noise.

mcattack_5000@yahoo.com

1997 Suzuki VZ800 Marauder

Model year1997
Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2005
Acceleration marks 7 / 10
Roll-on Performance marks 10 / 10
Handling marks 9 / 10
Braking marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired6000 miles
Most recent distance7700 miles
Previous motorcycleDucati 600ss

Summary:

A brilliant cruiser and well worth the outlay

Faults:

Nothing.

General Comments:

What fun this bike is, at 50bhp as standard you could never take it to Santa Pod, but what a joy it is to ride.

Am immense amount of torque allows you to pull this bike from 25mph in top gear and literally accelerate away.

Once you have the right tyres on this bike, it will handle like a dream, seems to prefer either Metzeler ME880, or in my case Bridgestone Exeddra tyres. Forget any others as they appear to make the bike handle like a jelly in a washing machine.

One warning, once you have made your purchase, be prepared to spend even more money on extras, yes the bike cost me £2,500 second hand, and in 18 months I have spent nigh on another £1,500 on custom parts or performance improvements.

Never fails to turn heads due to the large amount of chrome on it, but be warned, the chrome you see is mostly chrome covered plastic. This is good in some ways as this means that the chrome will never flake as there is no metal underneath it to create dampness, but if you drop it, the panels crack and that's the end of it. Obviously the engine parts which are chromed are metal, but the adornments like side panels are not.

One downside is spare parts, Suzuki announced earlier this year that they were stopping making after-market parts for the Marauder. Although there is still stock left, this can only last so long, and I am finding except for the engine parts, which are still available, I am looking on various web pages for panels etc.

Having said that, if I carry on at this rate, there will not be much left of the original bike anyway - see that custom bug kicks in again - but again be warned, custom parts are not cheap, but they are definitely worth it.

The seat is the first thing to change, affectionately known in Marauder circles as 'the brick'. It will give you and your passenger a very numb bottom after 30 miles or so, and as some kind of idea, a comfortable replacement can cost anything from £150-£400.

A replacement exhaust to give it that 'meaty' sound and a bit more power, is anything from £200-£400.

Forward controls to make those long rides a little more comfortable are £200.

There you are, £1,000 already in the blink of an eye, and that is before you even start on the frame, paintwork, or the engine.

In my opinion, it's definitely worth it. There are not a huge amount of these on the roads, and if you can get one - do so, I do not think you will regret it. Just make sure you have an understanding partner, as it will take over part of your life.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th October, 2005

24th Feb 2006, 15:53

I've had my 2004 Marauder VZ800 for three weeks now, and have added 1,000 miles to the 3,000 that were on it when I bought it. I came off an '83 Suzuki GS750ES (sport touring bike... very fast, scary fast I guess) and still feel this is a very fast cruiser. Mine is black (blue metal flake in the sun) and the original owner removed all of the identifying emblems from it (bless him).

It is stable, has killer looks, and is the finest bike I've ever ridden (my 3rd bike). It lacks the temp gauge, the tach, the fuel gauge, and the gear indicator of my GS750ES... but honestly, I don't miss them. It is excellent in town as well as on the road.

Mine had a blow-out on the back tire at 80 mph two weeks ago, but luckily, with help from above, I was able to ride it to an upright stop with no damage, and I fixed the tire with a plug. My main concern was dropping and sliding the bike and messing it up... never once did my own safety occur to me. The bike looks that good.

I had originally planned to get a Sportster 883, or a Honda Aero 750 or a Honda Shadow Spirit 750. Then I added the Invader and the Marauder to the wish list. The Marauder turned out to be the right bike for me; I was fortunate to find all of the listed bikes under one roof at the dealership and was able to sit on them all. I also compared the Marauder with those bikes and others on Bikez.com. It even seems to outdo them on paper.

I am 6'2 and weigh around 220. I have found that the bike fits me well, though it took a day or so to convert my style from the prone position of the GS. The only after market gear on my bike is the Cobra Slash Drag pipes... and they are loud. Wonderfully loud.

My MPG is usually between 32 and 37, but with the jetted carbs, though the MPG is lower, the power is great.

I love the bike and prefer its looks to the new M50... but I wouldn't mind one of those someday either. Don't guess I'd trade it for anything. I like it that much. It's comfortable... a 300 or more mile day trip is nothing to me. And there seem to be some good used VZ800's available yet. Be safe and lucky on the road.

Average review marks: 7.3 / 10, based on 2 reviews