1993 Suzuki LS 650 Savage from United Kingdom

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!

2003 Suzuki LS 650 Savage from United States of America

Summary:

Pass on this one, not worth owning

Faults:

Oil leaks pop up here and there, some disappear on their own, other persist.

Eats batteries, at least one a year.

Being a thumper, it is very sensitive to riding speed as to how much vibration you can stand.

If you let it sit without riding much, you'll have a lot of fuel delivery problems.

General Comments:

Very uncomfortable bike to ride for more than about 20 mile trips, a complete redo on the seat helped.

The lack of a trip odometer is inexcusable; cheap, cheap, cheap.

I've owned over 24 motorcycles, been riding almost 50 years, and this is the only bike that I would not buy again. Handling is awkward, suspension is really bad. Good for a beginner because of the low seat height and low weight.

Suzuki should scrap this bike. If I had not owned other Suzuki's before I bought this one, I would never buy their products. If you can afford to spend a little more money, and must have a Suzuki, try the SV650, it is one of the finest bikes I have ever owned, I'm looking for another one right now.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 20th March, 2011

8th Jan 2015, 18:01

I have a 650 thumper. It's a great bike. I have had mine for 9 years now. Very dependable. It's not a real powerful bike, but it gets you to where you need to be.

Upkeep is low; oil changes, charging the battery, etc. Every 2 to 3 years you may have to change the cam chain, which is a bit pricey at around three to four hundred dollars.

It's fun to ride. Sometimes I forget where I'm going to because I am having a fun ride. It's like riding a mini chopper. I am always getting compliments on its style.

All around it's a great bike, and it's lightweight, so on the expressway you may get knocked around.

It's a great city bike. Good on gasoline; about 50 to 60 miles a gallon.

I have no problems with this bike. I've been riding for 16 plus years.

24th Aug 2015, 11:48

If you visit the Savage forum, you'll find a fix to that cam chain problem. One of the members makes and sells a modified slack adjuster that more than doubles the cam chain life. It's an easy fix and a LOT less expensive than having the cam chain replaced. Google Verslavy.

8th Sep 2015, 23:06

I have looked at the cam chain extender and slack adjusters to extend chain life.

However, both of these modifications may not give you a much longer life, because both of these modifications make the chain bending angle sharper, which makes the rate of chain wear even faster. Besides, installing slack adjusters or modifying adjusters, adding 1 more hole, may not be such a simple job; adding 1 more hole requires you to do a welding job; installing a slack adjuster makes you remove other parts to clear the area, and the cost of a slack adjuster may not be so cheap.

Modifications may give you a little more chain life, but not too much I think.