The Suzuki Gladius carries on the traits of the older SV650, which means it’s easy to ride for new riders as an entry level bike, but still fun enough for more experienced riders. There aren't any shocks or surprises, and 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.
The Gladius is small in every sense of the word. The seat height is a mere 785mm giving superb confidence to inexperienced riders whilst not feeling cramped for taller riders.
Because of the low seat height the Gladius feels impossibly light, which is simply a mirage. It weighs 202kg - 6kg heavier than the SV650 it replaces.
And as a pillion-carrying bike, the Gladius excels. The low, one-piece seat keeps the centre of gravity low and gives the rider plenty of confidence. The brakes could do with being a bit stronger and the suspension firmer to deal with the extra weight.
The Gladius engine is 10% more efficient than the previous engine and it’s instantly noticeable. It’s smoother, revs quicker as friction has been reduced, and has more midrange. The fuelling feels very similar to the GSX-R range with a ten hole fuel injector and twin butterflies. It's near perfect.
Suzuki Gladius 650 33bhp review
The 650CC V-twin motor - first used in the now discontinued SV650 - pulls the funky new Gladius along suprisingly well.
The torque from the motor makes sure the little Suzuki never runs out of puff - that is until the restrictor kicks in at around 7000rpm.
The only time the Gladius struggles is at high speeds in top gear (nicely highlighted by the gear indicator). Simply knocking down to fifth sees the acceleration rise for overtakes.
The old SV650 was solid, reliable and even raced competitively in the Mini Twin race series without any major problems. The Gladius continued that reliable reputation and the engine is solid. The level of finish on the Gladius is much higher than the old SV.
We've got 17 Suzuki Gladius owners' reviews on MCN at time of publication. Its overall rating of 4.1 stars out of 5 shows you how highly owners thought of their purchase, with the prevailing issue a lack of kit - something we'd probably forgive due to the bike's low cost and the fact it's a naked, so we wouldn't expect a huge amount anyway.
The Gladius offers real value for money in the used market. It appeals to a huge audience, from new to experienced riders. It certainly doesn’t feel or look like a bike that cost just £4500 new, and is almost on par with the much pricier Ducati 696 but without the flash labels.
Insurance group: 10 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.
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 feels and looks quality. It's been designed and sculpted to take the more pricier Ducati 696 head on, which it does but at £1000 less.