This is an excellent bike as a second or third bike after getting used to riding. It is one of the quickest 805cc bikes and requires little maintenance.
After market parts are scarce, but there is a loyal following and real brand loyalty for this model in a website called MIG... Some custom things available are forward controls, backrests, chain to belt conversions and lots of different pipes and "jetting" improvements.
Excellent bike for the money and are usually available for a good price on the "used" market. $3000-$4000 US will get you an almost new Marauder that will give you years of riding pleasure.
It's obvious that this bike was a design-to-cost project.
They've started off with a good front suspension and decent front brakes. Then they've added a reasonable stiff and well made frame, and added the Suzuki bulletproof and legendary 805 engine. Then they've run out of money.
So let's throw on the cheapest rear suspension we can find, and some drum brakes to match. Many bikes from the sixties have better rear brakes than the Marauder.
Then add some cheap electrics and a saddle that you can't sit on for longer than 20 minutes, and a lot of other cheap parts that reduce the quality and usability.
This bike is very schizophrenic; some very good parts and some very bad parts thrown together to make a mediocre result.
Suzuki should have spent another $1000 on this bike. It would still have been a cheap bike. And then it would have been GOOD and not mediocre!
I have a VZ800 Marauder (97 model), and although I've got Mustang seats now, the originals were terrible I agree.
Once the new seats are on though, you have a nice back rest and a really comfortable ride - still very good on pick up from a standing start; has that 'ummphh!' just when you want it.
To say this is a mediocre bike is a load of tosh.. definitely in the middle of the cruiser range, but mediocre nah! They should have spent more money on it at first I agree, but I'm quite happy with mine.
Now with slash-cut exhausts it gave me a shock when I started it up.. I think my mileage is down though due to the extra hp, I haven't re-jetted, so maybe I should do that now and see how my mileage goes.
Like everyone stated already... This bike great mechanically. I mean it sat for nearly 3 months without starting and all I did was pop the key in and it started right up.
So true that its allergic to rain. Man 3 drops of rain and you better clean it that NIGHT.
Must change the original seat.
Handling can be VERY dangerous for Noobs. Hope you never have to brake for an emergency... or you may end up in a hospital. I live in a big city with crazy drivers, and must slam the brakes often, and the bike does lose control. Lucky for me, I been riding for years and have been able to recover.
Now with gas at $4.00 a gallon... it is my main transportation to work. 40+ miles to the gallon.
I also find the clutch a little stiff.
COMFORT... I have a custom seat, which was lowered dramatically... I'm 6 feet tall and the original felt weird. It feels like you're riding ON TOP of the bike instead of IN the bike. Now it's much better, but if you're 6 feet tall... it still feels as if it was made for a shorter person.
Other than all this... the bike has bought me joy, because it's great to know that I now have a very reliable bike. My other 2 bikes, a Honda and a Yamaha, both broke down a lot and needed repairs constantly. So it really is great to have a reliable bike for once.
I have a 1997 Marauder and I think it's very cool.. OK so I have made a few modifications:
Raked & goosenecked frame
3" Overs, forks from a KLX650 (still USD)
Braided brake hose
6' Wide bars
Lots of polished bits
Custom rear bodywork
Oh and a GSX1000S Katana motor out of an old drag bike
4:4 pipes (straight through)
K&Ns, Bandit 12 CV carbs.
I purchased my 1999 Marauder 3 years ago with 6500 miles. It currently has 10588 miles due to the very short riding season north eastern Pa has.
I have never broke down. This year was the first repair I had to do. I had to replace the gas hose due to age, from the gas tank to the shut off valve.
This bike gets a respectable 52MPG and looks great. This was one of the best bikes I have had, and it only cost me $2600 when I got it. I highly recommend this bike for long distance and sporting about. I love my rawder.
I own a blue 2001 VZ800 Marauder and I love it. I've ridden many bikes over the last 35 years and this one is really a lot of fun. This bike is also light, very fast and quick off the mark.
I've replaced the seat with a Corbin (best move I've made). The ergonomics of the Corbin seat have significantly improved the handling of this bike and I can lean it right over into tight corners without any problem. Tire selection is of course critical and I prefer Michelin Commanders to most others.
I've also re-jetted the bike, installed K&N filters and replaced the front drive sprocket (17 tooth) to reduce rpm's and give it a smoother ride. It's like having a sixth gear. I'm not a speed demon but have taken this bike up to 160 kmh with plenty of room for more. I chickened out.
True about the clutch slippage. Although mine didn't start to occur until after I replaced the front drive sprocket. I don't know, maybe the clutching system can't adapt to the torque change with the new drive sprocket? I tend to ride the bike aggressively (not hard) and as such have worn through a few chains. I plan on installing the belt drive conversion kit this winter as the regular chain maintenance is a real pain. Maybe this will fix the clutch slippage problem. They should have put a belt on this bike at the factory.
I'd buy another one in a heart beat, put on a belt drive, re-jet and go. I love the looks of the stock pipes. I've removed the rear baffles as well. Much improved performance all around.
Great for scooting around town. It's also a good cruiser although a bit light. It does get blown around in high winds. The bike sets down and handles nicely with additional weight. So I'm also ordering some Tsukayu hard bags for the bike this winter.
Really looking forward to next riding season.