1998 Suzuki XF650 Freewind from New Zealand
One sweeeeet ride
Nuthin'. Little bit of backfire on the overrun, but fixing that means work. So I ain't doin' it.
I went from a little Yammie Scorpio to this Freewind recently. I tried out a Kwaka W650, but that handled like a pig and tried to spit me off round a bumpy corner, so no deal.
On the other hand, the Freewind handled even BETTER than the Scorpio (high praise indeed), but rode much softer, saving me from backache. Cornering didn't seem at all limited, where the Scorp used to freak me out with vibes from the muffler on my foot when leaned right over.
I don't get blown all around thanks to the fairing, the engine's smooth enough not to numb my hands (which the Scorp did sometimes), and now I've got the grunt to whip past slow farts in cars, and keep up a good canter without straining the bejeesus out of the rev range, a standard feature of the Scorp.
Now the Freewind's done some k's, but it has a big oil cooler, and it feels well built, everything works as it should. Love the digital dash, fun on a long run to keep playing with the numbers.
The Freewind's as big a bike as I want, don't need to go faster, but I can troll along in comfort as far as I want, and still slow down to explore if the urge arises. The 19" front wheel isn't exactly enduro max, but helps a lot with street handling, and feels safer in the rain. I didn't want a dirt bike, just something cheap and reliable that makes riding anywhere fun and a real pleasure.
I have definitely found it here.
Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 2nd April, 2011