1999 Suzuki LS 650 Savage from United States of America

Summary:

Much worse than my buddy's chinese dual sport all the way around

Faults:

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).

General Comments:

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.

1986 Suzuki LS 650 Savage from United Kingdom

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.

6th Aug 2014, 21:42

I just bought a 2003 Suzuki Savage LS650. I have put 120 miles on it in the past 4 days. I love it. It had 11,000 miles on it when I bought it. Here's hoping I get at least another 11,000 miles on it!