Suzuki Intruder M1800RZ review

Posted: 10 Nov 2012

The Intruder’s long sleek line tells you this is not an average custom but is more custom bruiser in the same styling of Harley’s V-Rod series. It is a muscle bike of Japanese build and actually pretty good at what it is designed to do – move from point A to B swiftly and hope there aren’t many first three gear tight corners in the way!

The 54-degree V-twin is a modern water-cooled engine and carries the biggest pistons of any current production bike. Surprisingly, though, the 112mm pistons go about their job of delivering big torque action without any undue effect to the rider or the bike’s riding dynamics. There is a just gentle bobbing sensation that makes its way through to the drag-style bars.

This carpet ride of smoothness remains all the way through the five gears for a sedate quality of ride backed up with supple suspension, but the ride does get wallowy with speed.

The front forks could do with better rate of damping (read: stronger on compression and rebound) and this is really noticeable when using the full force of the sports-derived radially-mounted front brakes to stop 347kg of custom bike in a hurry.

There’s a 240mm section rear tyre to complement the bikes long, mean and moody look. Yes, it looks good but it plays a big part in the intruder’s slow steering. An Intruder pilot has to plot the way ahead in advance by making the best use of available road space, this is the only way to guarantee a bike with a long 1710mm wheelbase hits the apex and doesn’t make the rider sweat through physical exertion.

If what you have read so far makes the Intruder sound bad you have to believe us it isn’t. The problem is when you have a bike with substantial drive and is styled to be ridden hard, it makes you want to try and keep up with the sports bike pack. Ridden at a pace that is usually associated with long cruisers – not slow and not fast but at a pace that is swift and pleasurable without scraping the footpegs – then the Intruder is an absolute joy.

+ points – muscle cruiser styling, relaxed torque-laden engine
- points – suspension set for comfort riding, pegs grind out easily

Price: £10,725
Power: 123.4bhp, 118ft lbs
Kerb weight: 540kg
Seat height: 705mm
Colours: Black