SUZUKI VL1500 INTRUDER (1998-2002) Review

Published: 24 November 2006

"Very similar to Kawasaki's Vulcan 1500 in terms of power, overall feel and ride quality"

Suzuki VL1500 Intruder motorcycle review - Riding

"Very similar to Kawasaki's Vulcan 1500 in terms of power, overall feel and ride quality"

  • At a glance
  • 1462cc  -  67 bhp
  • 30 mpg  -  110 miles range
  • Insurance group: 12 of 17
    Compare insurance quotes now
  • Low seat height (700mm)

Overall Rating 2 out of 5

Although the Suzuki VL1500 Intruder shares a basic engine design with the Suzuki VL1400 Intruder, the two bikes have very different chassis. The Suzuki VL1500 Intruder is long, low and wide, very similar to Kawasaki's Vulcan 1500 in terms of power, overall feel and ride quality. The bottom line is this however; can you ride a bike with `Intruder' written on it? Thought not...

Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5

Considering its vast bulk the Suzuki VL1500 Intruder handles OK, but the slow steering is ponderous and it needs a certain knack to successfully guide the Intruder through traffic jams. The Suzuki VL1500 Intruder's suspension is really soft so the overall ride is very comfortable.

Engine 3 out of 5

The Suzuki VL1500 Intruder's mere 67bhp isn't much when there's 296kgs dry (that's 651lbs!) to push onwards and the clunky gearbox doesn't win the Suzuki VL1500 Intruder many admirers either. It's a torquey lump, making its peak lunge at just 2300rpm, but still feels underpowered. 

Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5

The finish is better than the average Suzuki, but the Suzuki VL1500 Intruder needs plenty of TLC to keep its chrome bits shiny. One decent British winter will almost destroy the underside of the Suzuki VL1500 Intruder, so buy an Optimate and stick it in the garage until May. 

Insurance, running costs & value 3 out of 5

The Suzuki VL1500 Intruder was cheap when it was new and they go cheap secondhand too. The other advantage of buying used is that owners tend to add extras like screen, saddlebags etc. There are still better used cruisers on the market and even a Harley Sportster 883 will maintain its resale value better than a Suzuki VL1500 Intruder in the long run. Find a Suzuki VL1500 Intruder for sale.

Insurance group: 12 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 2 out of 5

The 1998-2001 model Suzuki VL1500 Intruders have just one front disc, which isn't really enough. The Suzuki VL1500 Intruder hasn't many extras on it, the pillion perch looks like a bit of an afterthought and there's no grabrail. A 15.5 gallon tank isn't that generous for touring either.

Owners' Reviews

6 owners have reviewed their SUZUKI VL1500 INTRUDER (1998-2002) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your SUZUKI VL1500 INTRUDER (1998-2002)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.3 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.5 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.8 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

Better than a honda made harley

03 June 2016 by F

Best bike I've ever owned thus far. Fat factory seat. I throw on the airhawk 2 if I'm going out of state or something. I put on some apes tuned the carbs to k&n took out the baffles and it's a whole new bike. I love this bike. Gas tank could be... Read more bigger but I deal with it. The 3.5 gallon gas tank is literally my only complaint. This bike is very easy to work on and stays running strong. Very little maintenance. Not sure what the reviewer has against the steering of this bike but I get through traffic just fine. I've put on about 10000 miles on it. I'm pretty sure I'm going to ride this until the motor blows. It's a metric bike so it will out last a Harley.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
It brakes as good as anything else. I really don't want to stop on a dime with a bike. I feel as though I'd dump it
Engine
4 out of 5
I'm going to fit an sns motor in this when the motor blows. Otherwise it keeps up with any other bike I ride with. Just keep it in the powerband
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
my particular bike feels as though it's built very well. Just do regular maintenance like any other bike
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
Passenger seat could be bigger so I have to upgrade to a mustang seat.
4 out of 5

30 March 2016 by Vl1500Man

Its interesting that the professional testers know so much on one ride. Example one said the clutch lever is too long and grabs. It's true it jumps forward but the lever is adjustable for length. Missed by the experts. Fair to say it is not a race... Read more bike. But who would race a bike that weighed 700lbs and had floor boards? That's what the testers want? Kind of impossible. If you want the power of a ninja then you would need 2500cc. It still will not go around corners. It is just about as big as possible as a Vtwin. This is great and you find your old bike is very different. VL1500 is very different from a mid size motorcycle. Brakes I feel are just fine. Harleys come with one front brake. It is a bad idea to over brake a bike. Why???? In bad weather or sand the bike can lock up a front wheel with little effort. In a panic its easy to do. Down you will go - if you are unlucky. Locking up a front wheel is not good. Intruder would you ride a bike so named hell yea. what does it have to say Harley or cost 25k to be cool? Are people being paid for opinions?

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
Best ride in the motorcycle business.
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
Windshield, Radio, White wall tyres, light bar, BAGS, Back rest. Put stock exhaust back on bike was much more happy.
Buying experience

Used private seller 2500

4 out of 5

Great Bike , Low cost, you'll love it

23 July 2015 by Joe

Understimate from official review. Read more

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
Absolutely nice with aftermarket pipes
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
Need to do a simple mod to fix one electric issue.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
oil, filters, tyres and brake pads when needed.
Equipment
5 out of 5
Pirelli Nightdragon Tyres fitted
Buying experience

privately

5 out of 5

mcn have been a bit mean with this bike.

05 November 2014 by fitztheviking

This is more than a 2 star bike. Very comfy, only 120 ish miles to a tank which is a little annoying. Engine has loads of grunt and makes the right noise. A few custom parts out there for it but you have to search for them. bike was really reliable,... Read more easy to maintain. rode great loaded with gear. If you have the choice between a cheap harley 1200 or a newish 883 then its a no brainer. the vl wins for me.

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

Much better than the competition

24 July 2010 by Mejefe

My 2002 was much better than competition at the time and this site just isn't really very fair to the bike at all. Hind Sight is 20/20 so you should use some and update this review... Quality and Reliability have been nothing short of a 5 for... Read more most LC VL 1500 and C90 owners and easily on par with that of the Fatboy. I really don't understand why so many bike Mags favor Harley over their competition at all... Do you realize these bikes are consistently over 100,000 miles without a single engine repair? Think about that, you gave the fatboy 1 more star in this area and I guarantee they're not crossing 100,000 miles without rebuilds on most occassions. Seriously, by your records, it Takes 1584cc Engine in the Fatboy or Road King to match that of the 1464cc Intruder and yet you noted the weight of the intruder as an issue... Well, get this, the weight of the fatboy is 665 so even that is a disadvantage from this same year. So Harley needed a considerably larger engine with Fuel Injection to match the performance of a now 8 year old Intruder with a smaller, carbuerated, engine. Oh and by the way, again this 1464cc engine was the top performer in its class back in 1998 to 2004. Oh and for the record, your stats are wrong, the Fatboy and the Road King were 1450cc 8 years ago so to say they're 1584 since 1989 is inaccurate... Also, the Intruder is incredibly well balanced, has a very low center of Gravity and a higher ground clearance than anything that it competed against back in the early 2000's. As for the Name Intruder, I would absolutely ride a bike with that name on it given the fact that it happens to be one of the smoothest riding bikes on the market and I can squeeze another 10 horse or 10 ftlbs of Torque with a Stage 3 Jet Kit, Air Filter and Some Pipes. Oh and one last thing, you never mentioned all the goodies you got on this bike that you didn't get on some of the others... Like the Hydraulic Clutch and the Fuel Sensor with Warning Light (these weren't standard on some of the competitors as they might have one of these features but not both).

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

Suzuki Fatboy copy

01 January 2010 by 1diverse

Does 120 MPH according to GPS. Range on that small tank 150-160 miles Two-up and full luggage. Gearshift is heavy. We do not have British winters so keeping the shine is probably about the same as other similar bikes, gee funny about that. I have... Read more ridden many many other bikes, and own a number of different styles from a dirt bike through to a duke, a speed triple to the VL1500 and I also love my Z900's, and for what it is the VL handles O.K. and looks the part. Mine is actually a company vehicle, and as such, is my hack to travel to the many building jobs that my company, performs, and it just does not let me down. In OZ with 25,000 miles they still in 2009 still fetch approximately 9-10 thousand dollars,and considering that mine is a 2002 model that's not to bad. Your tester is right they are rather bare when new, and buying them second hand is the way to go as mine had the whole catastrophe, OEM extras screen, rack, sissy bar, customised guards, spotlights, twin discs, saddle bags etc. Also suspension can be adjusted to quite a hard setting. New price was about $15,000.oo

Ride Quality & Brakes
3 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
-
Read all 6 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 1998
Year discontinued 2002
Original price -
Used price -
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 12 of 17
Annual road tax £85
Annual service cost £130
Performance
Max power 67 bhp
Max torque 83 ft-lb
Top speed 110 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 14.2 secs
Average fuel consumption 30 mpg
Tank range 110 miles
Specification
Engine size 1462cc
Engine type 4 stroke, V-twin, 5 gears
Frame type Steel tube double cradle
Fuel capacity 15.5 litres
Seat height 700mm
Bike weight 296kg
Front suspension None
Rear suspension Preload
Front brake Twin 310mm discs
Rear brake 180mm disc
Front tyre size 150/80 x 16
Rear tyre size 180/70 x 15

History & Versions

Model history

1998: Suzuki VL1500 Intruder launched.
2002: Suzuki VL1500 Intruder gets new wheels, extra front brake disc.
2003: Suzuki VL1500 Intruder replaced by Suzuki Marauder VZ1600 in UK market.

Other versions

None.

Photo Gallery

  • Suzuki VL1500 Intruder motorcycle review - Riding
  • Suzuki VL1500 Intruder motorcycle review - Side view
  • Suzuki VL1500 Intruder motorcycle review - Instruments
  • Suzuki VL1500 Intruder motorcycle review - Side view
  • Suzuki VL1500 Intruder motorcycle review - Side view
  • Suzuki VL1500 Intruder motorcycle review - Side view
  • Suzuki VL1500 Intruder motorcycle review - Instruments
  • Suzuki VL1500 Intruder motorcycle review - Rear view
  • Suzuki VL1500 Intruder motorcycle review - Side view
  • Suzuki VL1500 Intruder motorcycle review - Exhaust
  • Suzuki VL1500 Intruder motorcycle review - Front view
  • Suzuki VL1500 Intruder motorcycle review - Engine
  • Suzuki VL1500 Intruder motorcycle review - Side view
  • Suzuki VL1500 Intruder motorcycle review - Side view
All related reviews