SUZUKI GLADIUS 650 (2009-on) Review

Published: 10 March 2009

"Improved looks but the real beauty is under the skin"

Suzuki Gladius - very easy to ride

"Improved looks but the real beauty is under the skin"

  • At a glance
  • 645cc  -  75.9 bhp
  • 40 mpg  -  130 miles range
  • Low seat height (785mm)
  • £5,699

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

The old SV650 was a good bike and to be honest Suzuki didn’t have to do much to make it a great bike once more. But they have gone one better and given us an excellent bike. Obvious improved looks but the real beauty it’s under the skin, the lovely fuelled, smooth, punchy, little V-Twin.  As an added extra bonus it’s easy to ride, yet still fun at the same time.

Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5

The new Suzuki Gladius carries on the traits of the old SV650, which means it’s still easy to ride for new riders as an entry level bike, but still fun enough for more experienced riders. There’re no shocks are surprises, it’s very forgiving. Even with the pegs scraping it’s still compliant. Brakes are relatively budget but have excellent feel and only lack when ridden hard two up.

Engine 5 out of 5

Suzuki has made the new engine 10% more efficient and it’s instantly noticeable. It’s smoother, revs quicker as friction has been reduced, which give the Gladius more midrange. The fuelling very similar to the GSX-R range with a ten hole fuel injector and twin butterflies is near perfect.

Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5

The old SV650 was solid, reliable an even raced competitively in the Mini Twin race series without any major problems. The old engine could take a real hammering as the Mini Twin race series proved without any major mechanical shocks, therefore the new engine should prove just as reliable. The level of finish on the new Gladius is also much higher than the old SV

Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5

The new Gladius offers real value for money and for £4500 it’s a real bargain bike for 2009. It appeals to huge audience from new riders to experienced riders who may actually want to race in the popular Mini Twin race series. It certainly doesn’t feel nor look like a £4500 budget commuter bike, and is almost on par with the much pricier Ducati 696 but without the flash labels. But for value for money makes much more sense. The bargain bike of 2009, possibly? Find a Suzuki Gladius for sale.

Insurance group: 10 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 4 out of 5

As the price tag suggests it’s straightforward, no slipper clutch or multi adjustable suspension. However, casting a critical eye of the level of finish it’s hard to see where Suzuki have cut costs as it feel and look quality. Its been designed and sculpted to take the more pricier Ducati 696 head on, which it does but at £1000 less. Compare and buy parts for the Suzuki Gladius in the MCN Shop.

Owners' Reviews

9 owners have reviewed their SUZUKI GLADIUS 650 (2009-on) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

We’re currently improving the way this section works, which means we’ve had to suspend the submission of new owners’ reviews for a short period. Please check back soon.

Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.1 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3.9 out of 5
Engine 4.3 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.1 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.6 out of 5
Equipment 3.9 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great bike!

27 February 2014 by skriblur

I have put almost 5,000 miles on mine. It is great fun to ride. Quick, responsive. Can't say enough about it. It was broken in properly and does everything it should and more than you'd expect. Love it! Read more

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
3 out of 5

Not bad but had better!

09 February 2014 by Zeee

Ridden this bike for 6 weeks now. It's ok but nothing special. On the plus, it's fairly comfy, handles ok and is fairly nippy. On the negative, it has a constant vibration, no wind protection, flat rev range that seems to die at the top end and a... Read more wobble setting of from stationary (only had this on the GS500 and the SVF650). I have also noticed it's easy to catch the horn buttkn when cancelling indicators, annoying really. The low seat hieght means it will be good for shorter riders and it's innoffensive power delivery will be good for new riders. If you can cope with the blandness and ugly appearance then go for it, otherwise keep looking.

Overall Rating 3 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 2 out of 5
Engine 2 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3 out of 5
Equipment 2 out of 5
3 out of 5

hire bike

29 March 2011 by Chrisec87

OK, had this for a week now on hire - I usually ride a 2010 Z1000. For a budget 650 its ok. Pros - Comfy, 55mpg easily attainable. Light and flickable. Gear indicator is welcome. Cons No clock, tiny speedo massive rev counter. Throttle... Read more action is JERKY... I have ridden a Shiver 750 which is so much smoother in comparison. Handling is bizarre. The thing pogos mid corner and the front has no feeling whatsoever. Build quality actually looks OK, but the hire bike has 1800 miles on it and the engine is peppered with salt corrosion. Seat height is very low so view over cars is obstructed. Weak motor. Summary - All in all a good basic,econmical bike. Probably bang on for the money. I wouldn't recommend for new riders, the handling is far too vague and throttle is too jerky even for a twin. Each to their own but personally I would not recommend this bike. The SV looked and handled much better.

Overall Rating 3 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 2 out of 5
Engine 3 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
4 out of 5

First bike in years

22 September 2009 by Jimmycathcart

Just done 500+ miles on the Gladius. A bit frustrated running it in but now I can wind it up to 7500 revs it really puts a smile on your face. Handles great, well balanced, punchy, very easy to ride in town and on the open road. The seat can be a bit... Read more firm after a while. Very happy getting back on two wheels after 20 years. Did my home work this is the best mid range naked street fighter on the market at a bargain price.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
4 out of 5

born review

11 September 2009 by born09

This bike is superb and for the money you cannot fault it, well just a little. Everyone that has rode this bike any distance ie sixty miles plus in one go will tell you, the seat is like a plank of wood. The seat looks cheap and nasty when taken off... Read more the bike and turned upside down and your rear will start telling you in the first sixty miles. Brakes are a bit soft but adequate, Gear indicator somtimes a bit slow to react but always sorts itself out in the end. Wind can be a factor but hey it is with most bikes. The bike is not perfect but tell me one that is. It`s a damn good fun ride and I am glad no pun intended that I bought the Gladius SFV650k9 .

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

Gladius is NEW in Canada

03 June 2009 by pocketrockets

Hey - Got to ride a Gladius for the first time last weekend. Snappy looks. VERY nice/precise handling. Good brakes. SMOOOTH motor (smoother than the inline 4). Even has touring accessories. With the work they put into what I understand was a... Read more stone reliable motor, it looks like Suzuki's got the jump on "Bike of the Year". Hell, we may even buy two. Thanks for previous reviews. Got me interested.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

Bought one

18 April 2009 by Freddie58

I love this bike - great smooth ride, very quiet, handles really well on my fav ride out!! Read more

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
4 out of 5

suzuki gladius

16 April 2009 by Gingertom

recently had a test ride on one of these and can only say what a superb motorcycle it is, unless u a sportsbike fanatic. it looks and feels quality and belies its price. it had everything i liked. comfort,well balanced, punchy(enough),smooth... Read more motor,plenty of midrange. my only gripe is that it looks a ladies bike. so suzuki leave out the pretty colours and you have a peach of a bike for everyday use

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
4 out of 5

I Just Had To Try One.....

16 April 2009 by toe_down_sv_racing

Iam, make no mistakes, one of earths biggest lovers of the SV, ive got plenty of mates on one and they all know why, cos they are literally, the perfect first bike. Make no mistake. So now the Gladius comes along .... What is it? whos it for? whats... Read more happening to the SV? .......................... well, its essentially an SV engine, with a new map to reduce CO2 (but increses actual green house gasses, totally stupid but meh) outputs, but with iridium spark plugs, takes the power output to about 75bhp, or 68 at the wheel. people proclaimed that "10% power increase will make it a better bike, tried and tested in minitwins". FIRSTLY minitwins wont allow its power output unless its detuned!!!! that aside, the engines been made less lumpy at low gears and revs, or people who cant slip clutches.... SO THEN .... Who's it for???? ................. THIS IS THE EASIEST QUESTION to answer, 2 people, both are new to biking, or new to 600+cc bikes - aka, guys who cant afford the new Ducati, been told too many scare stories to trust 2nd hand italian machinery, and women, who are womanly lol........... SO WHERE DOES MY BELOVED SV GO TO??? .... well, i dont actually know, its on the Suzuki catalogue for the next 2 years for sure (as if the gladius fails, it'l still have the existing SV to throw the new engine and parts into, right?), although, chances are it will be phased in as the male version of the Gladius to make an gender specific bike for the mass market, as guys prefer the "look" of a sportier bike, and girls like the unpretentious and friendly nature of a stylish naked............. FOR MY ROAD TEST......... i had 90% B road riding (known as "the gauntlet" where 35mph peg-scraping is more than possible), where i DO do 90% of my riding in fairness, its much tighter than an SV naked, geometry, minor suspension tweeks and new engine deliver a much more enjoyable experience, as the existing machine did feel fairly "unhappy" to be there. The styling is actually better in real life than the pics ..... i really like the seat unit and the semi wannabe-steel-trellis-frame is sweet, a black and gold version is only a year away for sure!!! Equipment aside, its the tyres, like the existing SV, which let the machine down the most BY A LONG WAY, throw even a pair of Conti Road Attacks (which cost £50 a pair less and do twice the milage) on there and the SV was transformed, better rubber is always a give away for budget bikes now, so just use he crappy (dunlop DT220's????) tyres to bed yourself in and your away!!!!!!........... ALL IN ALL, i think its a good bike, i have a lean to a SV, cos i own, thrash and love mine. But if i had a friend who says she wants to have the engine but not the boyishness, then its the Gladius all the way!!!!!!

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
Read all 9 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2009
Year discontinued -
New price £5,699
Warranty term Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 10 of 17
Annual road tax £80
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 75.9 bhp
Max torque 49.5 ft-lb
Top speed 135 mph
1/4-mile acceleration -
Average fuel consumption 40 mpg
Tank range 130 miles
Specification
Engine size 645cc
Engine type 8v four stroke V-Twin, 6 gears
Frame type Steel trellis
Fuel capacity 14.5 litres
Seat height 785mm
Bike weight 202kg
Front suspension 41mm conventional forks preload only
Rear suspension Single shock, preload only
Front brake 2x 290mm twin piston caliper
Rear brake 240mm disc single piston
Front tyre size 120/70x17
Rear tyre size 160/60x17

History & Versions

Model history

New for 2009.

Other versions

None

Photo Gallery

  • Suzuki Gladius - very easy to ride
  • Suzuki Gladius - 10% more efficient than the SV650 lump
  • Suzuki Gladius - doesn't look like a budget bike
  • Suzuki Gladius - styling nods towards the Ducati Monster
  • Suzuki Gladius - bold colour options
  • Suzuki Gladius - clocks feature novice-friendly gear indicator
  • Suzuki Gladius - still fun for experienced riders
  • Suzuki Gladius - trellis frame
  • Suzuki Gladius - aimed at lady riders
  • Suzuki Gladius - suitable for commuting
  • Suzuki Gladius - handsome in GSX-R blue and white
  • Suzuki Gladius - low seat height
  • Suzuki Gladius - Even with the pegs scraping it’s still compliant
  • Suzuki Gladius - begging to eb swapped for the Arrow Gladius Cup can
  • Suzuki Gladius - no surprises, it's very forgiving
  • Suzuki Gladius - brakes are budget but have great feel
  • Suzuki Gladius - exposed engine will need looking after
  • Suzuki Gladius - level of finish is much higehr than on the old SV650
  • Suzuki Gladius - very easy to ride
  • Suzuki Gladius - 10% more efficient than the SV650 lump
  • Suzuki Gladius - doesn't look like a budget bike
  • Suzuki Gladius - styling nods towards the Ducati Monster
  • Suzuki Gladius - bold colour options
  • Suzuki Gladius - clocks feature novice-friendly gear indicator
  • Suzuki Gladius - still fun for experienced riders
  • Suzuki Gladius - trellis frame
  • Suzuki Gladius - aimed at lady riders
  • Suzuki Gladius - suitable for commuting
  • Suzuki Gladius - handsome in GSX-R blue and white
  • Suzuki Gladius - low seat height
  • Suzuki Gladius - Even with the pegs scraping it’s still compliant
  • Suzuki Gladius - begging to eb swapped for the Arrow Gladius Cup can
  • Suzuki Gladius - no surprises, it's very forgiving
  • Suzuki Gladius - brakes are budget but have great feel
  • Suzuki Gladius - exposed engine will need looking after
  • Suzuki Gladius - level of finish is much higehr than on the old SV650
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