1993 Suzuki VX800 from Australia

Summary:

A good, underrated bike, but also a missed opportunity

Faults:

No major faults; the start of cracking on the front cylinder header pipe (it is double skinned).

General Comments:

I bought the bike when it was around 3 years old with about 20,000km on the clock. I had it for some 3 years, putting around another 20,000km. I liked the look of the thing, and the slender profile.

The suspension was standard, and needed attention - the front forks were dropped through the triple clamps some 20mm, given heavier oil, and stiffer springs. The rear shock springs were pre-loaded with 12mm fitted sintered nylon disks. Cornering clearance was limited by the center stand and the mufflers; the stand was trimmed and the mufflers modified to allow approximately and extra 10 degrees of lean. Narrower, lower bars were fitted, and a small bikini fairing fitted.

With these changes, it made an excellent touring bike, capable of being a lot of fun on winding mountain roads. It was stable & comfortable on long hauls. It was very comfortable for a pillion.

My complaint? It could have been a great bike, if it had been spec'd differently. If the VX had shed some weight, with an aluminum alloy frame & less unsprung mass (those massive wheel spokes!); if they'd put another disk on the front; and if the engine had been just a little more sharply tuned, it would have had better sales, and way more enthusiasts. Nevertheless, I sold it reluctantly.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th September, 2020

1990 Suzuki VX800 from Japan

Summary:

I am thinking of buying another one

Faults:

Had to change the steering stem at 60,000km.

The CDI unit blew at around 40,000km.

Replaced rear shock unit with a IKON (a licensed KONI shock made in Australia) unit at 50,000km.

General Comments:

This bike was sold in Japan for only about 3 years, and rather difficult to find in the used bike market, but I found a pretty good one in 2003, and in the next 3 and half years rode close to 100,000 km commuting and touring. My commute was about 150km round trip, and it proved very reliable.

The bike cruises just fine with excellent roll on performance in the 100~120km/h speed range typical on highways. It can be pulled to over 180km/h if needed.

On the street, although it is heavy to handle, once you are riding, it is very slim and responsive and can be ridden crisply on crowded streets.

The engine and other mechanics is very accessible compared to modern 4 cylinder bikes. The shaft drive has no noticeable maleffects on handling. Just takes away the fuss and mess with the chains.

The CDI unit blew, and I had to change steering stem bearings, but that was all that happened during the 100,000 km I rode the bike. I asked my dealer whether he thought the motor needs an overhaul at around 80,000 km, but he saw no point in taking apart something that's running perfectly.

The bike has a stable steering geometry, but it can take on twisties at respectable pace. I replaced the front wheel with a 17 inch wheel from a GSX-R250 (bolts on without any mods), which makes the handling more quicker, but with the smaller wheel, the bike stands with less lean on the side stand, which can make it less stable on canted grounds.

The ergonomics are good, and I liked the extremely slim body/seat as I am a dirt bike rider and appreciate slimness on a bike. I attached a lower cowl I took off of a wrecked VT250F, but had to adjust the size for a slimmer fit, indicating that the VX800 frame is slimmer than a VT250F frame!

I am actually considering getting another one.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th September, 2010

1990 Suzuki VX800 from United Kingdom

Summary:

Absolutely thrilling bike... buy one!!!

Faults:

Fork seals at 9500.

General Comments:

Very heavy, but you soon get used to it, the weight is low down so cornering is a real pleasure, there are lots of comments on the web about the front suspension being too soft.. for what?.. It's perfect and gives a truly luxurious ride.

It's a bit reluctant to tick over before it's properly warmed up-about 5 miles, but only in freezing temperatures - otherwise it fires up 1st time.. no choke.. and is happy after a minute or so.

It turns heads wherever it goes because the noise is absolutely gorgeous.. even other bikers on their glitzy £6000 bikes just stand and stare.. it's got a unique presence.. 20 years old and still very much a contender.

Easy to clean too, unlike newer bikes, just keep on top of the chrome because, even though it's excellent quality, it doesn't like the winter salt at all.

I love it... just love it!!!

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st March, 2010