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Suzuki VL1500 INTRUDER Custom Motorbike Review

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Suzuki VL1500 Intruder motorcycle review - Riding
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MCN overall verdict rating is 2

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...

Engine

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 4

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. 

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

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.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 2
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

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.

Suzuki VL1500 Intruder (1998-2002)

Detail Value
Used price range View Suzuki VL1500 INTRUDER bikes for sale to see current asking prices
Engine size 1462 cc
Power 67 bhp
Top speed 110 mph
Insurance group 12 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 2 rating is 4
Engine rating is 3 rating is 4
Ride & Handling rating is 3 rating is 3.5
Equipment rating is 2 rating is 3.5
Quality & Reliability rating is 3 rating is 5
Value rating is 3 rating is 4.5

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 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. 

Value

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

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

Insurance group: 12 of 17

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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.

Specifications

Top speed 110 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 14.2 secs
Max power 67 bhp
Max torque 83 ft-lb
Weight 296 kg
Seat height 700 mm
Fuel capacity 15.5 litres
Average fuel consumption 30 mpg
Tank range 110 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 12 of 17
Engine size 1462 cc
Engine specification 4 stroke, V-twin, 5 gears
Frame Steel tube double cradle
Front suspension adjustment None
Rear suspension adjustment Preload
Front brakes Twin 310mm discs
Rear brake 180mm disc
Front tyre size 150/80 x 16
Rear tyre size 180/70 x 15

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4(2 reviews)

  • Much better than the competition

    Mejefe

    Average rating rating is 4

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    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 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).

    24 July 2010

  • Suzuki Fatboy copy

    1diverse

    Average rating rating is 3.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    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 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

    01 January 2010

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Mejefe

Mejefesays

Sorry

Thought I was adding a comment on their review, not yours...  I just posted my own review.

24 July 2010 01:25

Mejefe

Mejefesays

Hindsight is 20/20 so use some...

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 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).

24 July 2010 01:14

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