1990 Suzuki VX800 from Japan


I am thinking of buying another one


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


Absolutely thrilling bike... buy one!!!


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

1990 Suzuki VX800 from United States of America


Think unique, think charisma, think Jack-of-all-trades


Choke cable slipped out of the control lever slot. $10.00 repair when it was in for other maintenance.

Blown shock. Will run ~$175 + labor.

Replaced front tire at 10,300 miles (stressed and cracked sidewall - probably from age). $135.

Needs carbs cleaned and synched.

Minor rust on the inside surface of the pipes, bracket on exhaust crossbar - just cosmetic issues, really.

Left rear turn signal blown.

General Comments:

This is my first bike, and I couldn't be happier with my purchase.

The gentleman selling it had just bought himself a brand-new Honda ST1100 and wasn't riding it anymore. He'd held it since '96. He listed the bike on Craigslist, which is where I found it. I bargained him down to 2350 and I had a deal.

My impression of the bike's aesthetics was extremely important in my choice. I'm a bigger guy and I didn't want to be a lollipop - huge round shape on the top and a skinny little stick underneath - but this bike fits me very well and LOOKS GREAT. I cannot begin to overstate this.

If you are a fan of the naked-bike look, this has it straight from the factory. The headlight up front dates the look slightly, but a swap for a more modern piece (or perhaps a double-cluster) and aftermarket signals and mirrors would do wonders for it. The rear-end looks awesome. The dual pipes look great and serve to flesh out what is otherwise a very skinny rear view.

The engine performance is perfect for me as a larger guy starting out. A Ninja 250 or other traditional starter would have been ludicrous, and I would have been angry about it for the life of the ride. This 805cc engine torques nicely, is very predictable, and the gearing runs out right at 110 for me. Fast enough to get my rocks off without really putting me in harm's way. The drivetrain is solid, the shaft has given me no problems, and the changes are confident and shifts happen naturally right at 4k - right before the engine stops puttering at you, starts humming, and is ready to scream.

As a side note: be prepared to run 5500 on the freeway all day long if you're going to keep up with traffic. It'll do it with no problem, but it's not going to putter along at 3k like you'd hope a V-twin would do. The gearing on this bike affords great torque at stoplight speeds, but doesn't do much for the touring aspects. Think back-country roads all day long on this one. 55 as a rule... and for God's sake watch the engine braking. If you drop the throttle off on the freeway, the slowdown is like dropping a boat anchor and you had better be ready for it.

The suspension needs major adjustment. The springs and struts are all garbage on this bike. Riding two-up is an exercise in obstacle-dodging, since you WILL bottom out on a bump if you've got someone on the back. And the sensation is not pleasant. Heavy-duty struts and progressive springs are a must up front - in back, the struts need replaced as well, but the springs are adjustable which is a nice surprise.

The seat is uncomfortable to be sure. It rides nicely for around-town trips, but I would recommend a long period of adjustment - or frequent rest stops as per your rider's safety courses - before trying to tour on it. Corbin makes a nice one for it that I hear makes a huge difference.

Also, little to no aftermarket. DynoJet's Intruder 800 kit fits it, and they make pipes, but no easily-found intakes, hyperchargers, big-bore kits, fairings or cosmetics. Universal Mount Parts are your friends with this one.

The mechanics at the shop doing the maintenance are in love with this bike already. They're complimentary to a fault - whether that's due to my business there or due to the bike itself, I've no idea, but they're generally impressed with this relic. 18 years old and going strong as ever. Best first bike purchase that I could make, in my opinion.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st October, 2008