1999 Suzuki VS1400 Intruder

Summary:

Fun, reliable, and inexpensive to operate

Faults:

Stock clutch springs lose strength and need changing every 15-20K miles. I have found a source for much better springs that don't lose the tension. The replacemsnt springs have been in for over 125K, with no slippage. It still has the original clutch disks in it

At about 110K miles the stator burned out.

At 124K + miles a split cotter pin used to hold part of the shifter assembly together broke. This allowed it to get into 2 gears at once, breaking one gear and badly chipping another. Parts cost was about $300 because I had to tear the engine down, and I replaced the piston rings while I had it apart.

When it was apart, I checked the engine and transmission for wear, and everything I checked was well within specified limits.

All other problems were normal wear and tear, tires, brakes, bulbs and scheduled maintenance.

General Comments:

I really like the 1400, it fits me well, is fun and comfortable to ride, and runs great on 87 octane gas. I have ridden as much as 900 miles in a day, with stock seat and had no problem.

I ride mine to work, 70 miles a day, and it is really great to start and end the day with a ride on this motorcycle.

I have owned 2 1400s. First one was a 1987 bought as a new left over in 1989. I rode it for over 154K miles with the only real problem being the lousy stock clutch springs. I put 8 or 9 sets of springs in it.

After I found a source for good springs, the 99 has been a really great ride. Suzuki should have done something about them.

The stator on the 87 also burned out at about 110K miles. Seems like that is about the life limit on them.

I liked the bike so well that when it was getting pretty well worn, I bought the 1999 that I am now riding.

The 87 was a 4 speed and never gave any problems.

The 99 has the 5 speed, as noted in the problem section, there is a weak point in the transmission, but it didn't give any problem until over 124K.

One thing I will say about these, the newer models are way down on power compared to the older ones.

When I first bought the 99, I still had the 87. My son and I took them out and played with them. The 87 had over 150K on it and the 99 had about 9K on it. Didn't matter who was on which bike, the 87 out ran the 99. Through the gears, up hills, high gear roll ons, even allowing the 99 rider to use 4th gear, which is a lower gear than the 4th on the 87, the 87 was always faster, and it had a slipping clutch.

I can't make comments about the dealers, I only used a dealer once, that was for the 500 mile service on the 87. Every bit of work that has been done to the 2 bikes since has been done by me.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th January, 2013

22nd Jun 2013, 23:19

I'm looking at purchasing an '88 Intruder. Where did you find the clutch springs?

25th Jan 2014, 15:15

Go to the Intruder Alert Cafe. You'll find spring information there.

10th Apr 2014, 19:10

Great comments obviously from someone with a lot of experience on these bikes. I'm looking to buy a 2000 with around 20k miles. Sounds like that is not a lot for these.

2000 Suzuki VS1400 Intruder

Summary:

High quality bike with lots of grunt

Faults:

Nothing, so far.

General Comments:

I've taken a lot of short rides on this bike, which is new to me, and unlike the standard style bikes I am used to. The riding position is a bit leaned back, not leaned forward. That causes you to catch a lot of wind on the highway.

The ride quality is kind of harsh, but doesn't bounce me off the seat.

Considering the layout of the chassis, it handles reasonably well for a cruiser.

Brakes are mediocre, but good enough.

Hydraulic clutch is nice -- easy feel.

The acceleration is outstanding from a stop or from 60 MPH.

Generally, the Intruder reminds me of a refined and faster version of a Harley Sportster 1200. The build quality is better than the Harley I owned.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd October, 2012