1999 Suzuki LS 650 Savage
Much worse than my buddy's chinese dual sport all the way around
Head gasket at 4700 miles $400.
Float in carb. at 4700 miles $178.
Clutch at around 4800 (didn't fix).
Headlight frame at 4100 miles (glued back together, $4).
Battery at 4800 miles (didn't replace).
This bike was the WORST bike I've ever owned, and I have owned my fair share of bikes. Anything from a 1973 Honda CB125 to a newer Honda VTX.
Out of all the Hondas I ever owned, I never had any issues other than regular maintenance. However this Suzuki was VERY poorly built and rode like a 1927 Harley made out of bubble wrap; always jumping about and backfiring at every gear change. At 35 until about 50 MPH, the bike would jump fairly hard forward; this made it miserable to ride through a city or a main road with a slower speed limit.
Every time I turned the bike off, I had to hope and pray it would start back up. This was an issue because many times I had to push this thing home.
The head gasket started leaking at around 4400 miles, and the dealer told me this would be a $400 job if everything went right so I opted to not have it done.
Then at around 4700 miles, the float in the carb got stuck, leaking fuel all over my driveway; luckily I'm not a smoker. The dealer told me it was because I had the bike on the PRI setting for the fuel which I took as primary, I guess I was wrong. This part cost $178 dollars to fix, and took 23 days to get it back from the dealer. 23 DAYS!
When I got the bike back, the battery had died for some reason the dealer couldn't tell me, so they wanted some more money to have it replaced; I opted out of that one as well. By this point, I have had it with this bike not starting, being pushed, backfiring, jumping at lower speeds and just not handling good at all.
This bike had a stock pipe, which other than turning everything blue somehow, was really big, so if you leaned hard to the right, get ready for a wild ride.
Now I know I lean harder than most people, but I'd also like to be able to lean without worrying if my muffler hit the pavement hard enough to jump the bike tire out from under me.
This bike was terrible to own, I will never own another one or another Suzuki again. From here on out it's Honda or nothing.
Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? No
Review Date: 22nd September, 2010
2nd Feb 2011, 23:05
For anyone who read this review, this poor guy got a bike from someone who had no business owning one. It was most likely abused/neglected by the previous owner and had problems before 5k. This is why we buy repair manuals, perform break-in maintenance and procedures (like re-torquing head bolts), and drain fuel before storage (so they don't gum up).
All the big four brands build many VERY tough bikes. Not everyone can fix/maintain them, but anyone can break them. The LS650 was based off the early SP500, DR600, DR650 dirtbikes, so I know they're tough enough. You can even swap some heads and pistons. There's no reason a detuned LS650 shouldn't do 60k easy. I would know.