SUZUKI VL1500 INTRUDER (1998 - 2002) Review

At a glance

Owners' reliability rating: 4.2 out of 5 (4.2/5)
Annual servicing cost: £110
Power: 67 bhp
Seat height: Low (27.6 in / 700 mm)
Weight: High (653 lbs / 296 kg)

Overall rating

Next up: Ride & brakes
2 out of 5 (2/5)

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

Next up: Engine
3 out of 5 (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.

Engine

Next up: Reliability
3 out of 5 (3/5)

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. 

Reliability & build quality

Next up: Value
3 out of 5 (3/5)

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 vs rivals

Next up: Equipment
3 out of 5 (3/5)

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.

Equipment

2 out of 5 (2/5)

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.

Specs

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

Mpg, costs & insurance

Average fuel consumption 30 mpg
Annual road tax £93
Annual service cost £110
New price -
Used price -
Insurance group 12 of 17
How much to insure?
Warranty term -

Top speed & performance

Max power 67 bhp
Max torque 83 ft-lb
Top speed 110 mph
1/4 mile acceleration 14.2 secs
Tank range 110 miles

Model 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.

Owners' reviews for the SUZUKI VL1500 INTRUDER (1998 - 2002)

10 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: 4.1 out of 5 (4.1/5)
Ride quality & brakes: 4.5 out of 5 (4.5/5)
Engine: 4 out of 5 (4/5)
Reliability & build quality: 4.2 out of 5 (4.2/5)
Value vs rivals: 4.3 out of 5 (4.3/5)
Equipment: 3.7 out of 5 (3.7/5)
Annual servicing cost: £110
3 out of 5 VL125 INTRUDER, LET DOWN BY CARB
23 May 2020 by Anthony Salt

Version: VL125LC INTRUDER

Year: 2002

IT DID NOT HAVE VL125 AS A CHOICE? SO I PUT IT HERE HOPING IT WILL BE NOTICED AND SORTED OUT, PROBABLY CLOSER TO 4 ON PURELY THE CARBURETTOR STYLE, SET-UP AND LACK OF INFORMATION FOR FUEL AND AIR HOSE/PIPE ROUTING

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

I LOVE THE STYLE AND THE RIDE, IVE TAKEN THE PILLION SEAT OFF BECAUSE IT LOOKS BETTER AND ITS ONLY A 125 EVEN IF IT LOOKS BIGGER

Engine 4 out of 5

THE CARB AGAIN, BUT HOPEFULLY I WILL SORT IT OUT, I AM THINKING HARD ABOUT PUTTING A OLD SCHOOL CARB ON IT WITH A CHOKE ON THE CARB AND ONE THROTTLE CABLE, ON THE GROUNDS THAT IT SEEMS LIKE SUZUKI USED THE AIRFEUL PUMP SYSTEM BECAUSE A GRAVITY FEED COULD HAVE WORKED ON SUCH A BIG TANK UNTIL ON A RESERVE SUPPLY, GIVING REASON TO USE SUCH AN OVER THE TOP CARB, THAT FROM MY RESEARCH SEEMS TO BE ITS PIT FALL FROM NEW WITH COLD STARTING PROBLEMS AND CHOKE ISSUES.

Reliability & build quality 3 out of 5

AGAIN CLOSER TO 4 BUT THE CARB LETS IT DOWN

Value vs rivals 4 out of 5

COULD NOT SAY BECAUSE I AM A NEW OWNER AND I HAVE SPENT A BIT TO SELF ASSURE MYSELF AND STRIP THINGS TO GET TO NO THE BIKE, SET-UP CORRECTLY AND MAKE SURE ALL IS GOOD, YOU NEVER NO WHAT MUPPET MIGHT HAVE HAD IT BEFORE

Equipment 5 out of 5

IT LOOKS GREAT, IT HAS HAD THE HANDLEBARS CHANGED TO WHEELBARROW STYLE ALTHOUGH THEY HAD THEM POINTING AT 45% INSTEAD OF 90% THEY LOOK GREAT NOW, A PAIR OF CUSTOMWINGS EXSORSTE PIPES THAT THE CHROME FINISH IS CRAP RUSTING AND TARNISHED, TURNOUTS BUT NOT SMOOTH COOL LOOKING ONES, SO I MIGHT CHANGE THEM TO MAYBE A FINTAIL WITH A 2 INTO 1? STILL LOOKING AND THINKING, I AM " ASAuLT LEATHERWORK (Lei, UK) AND MAKE HIGH-QUALITY GUARANTEED CUSTOM LEATHER BIKE LUGGAGE, PANNIERS, ROLLS AND BIKE GEAR, LEATHER REPAIRS AND ANYTHING YOU WANT, I AM NOT CHEAP BUT FOR THE BEST MATERIALS, CONSTRUCTION THAT IS ALL UNIQUE CUSTOM HANDMADE WORK WITH A REAL GUARANTEE, I AM A BARGAIN.

Buying experience: I BROUGHT IT PRIVATE FOR £900 MAY 2020 18 YEARS OLD, BROUGHT AS A NON-RUNNER IT STARTED RAN FOR A MINUTE AND STOPPED, SO I NEW IT HAD CARB ISSUES BUT I DIDNOT OR EVEN HAD NOT EVEN HEARD OF THE AIR-PUMP SYSTEM, I AM NOT A BIKE MECHANIC, BUT I AM A MULTI-SKILLED ENGINEER AND MECHANICAL ENGINEER HENCE THE REASON I DIDNOT NO ABOUT IT.

5 out of 5 budget cruiser
04 April 2020 by helen lazenby

Version: vs800 intruder. is missing from your list

Year: 1998

Annual servicing cost: £50

worst thing about the bike is replacing the battery, real pig its in a box under the swing arm mount, the door on the bottom wont open enough untill you stick the back wheel on a brick or block of wood. recomend the bike to short folk specialy women , has moden bikes have grown taller than humans in the last few years ???

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

front brake could be better, single disc only, but works very comfy only stopping for fuel, 80 miles in the tank. worse thing about the bike, no reserve tank like my xv1000

Engine 4 out of 5

great engine apart from the chrome finish, but 20 years old so has too be expected

Reliability & build quality 3 out of 5

engine chrome starting too peal (1994 vintage) never broke down in the 7 years the wife had it.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

do our own work , husband a mechanic

Equipment 4 out of 5

good overhall bike would recomend and stick with continental milestone tyres

Buying experience: bought privately 3000 years ago

3 out of 5 don't buy ealier model with single front disc
23 August 2019 by Hankiss

Year: 2001

worse then Honda VTX1300 and Yamaha Wild Star

Ride quality & brakes 4 out of 5

not a fast bike

Engine 4 out of 5
Reliability & build quality 3 out of 5

rear stock tire is rubbish, chrome rusts very quickly, front bearing needs replacement after 15k miles

Value vs rivals 2 out of 5

very poor on fuel efficiency

Equipment 1 out of 5

no extras supplied with stock spec

Buying experience: dealer in Holland better price then UK

4 out of 5
09 February 2018 by Dmitry

Version: LC

Year: 2002

Big, logy, brutal machine for fat leather-dressed men like me. Minimum of options, maximum of simple. If you wanna ride this bike, you have to be strong and undemanding rider (with an axe :-))). You have to not want speed, this bike is for calm traveling through night avenues and long highways.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5

It looks like hyppo but it's brisk like weasel. Maybe, too wide for jam-riding

Engine 4 out of 5

There is not always rather engine thrust at high speed.

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

Not very good quality of assembly.

Value vs rivals 5 out of 5

Simple piece of iron - lowest costs.

Equipment 3 out of 5

Simple piece of iron. But it's a little downside for such class of motobike.

5 out of 5 Better than a honda made harley
03 June 2016 by F

Year: 2000

Annual servicing cost: £100

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 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

Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5

my particular bike feels as though it's built very well. Just do regular maintenance like any other bike

Value vs rivals 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

Year: 2002

Annual servicing cost: £200

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 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
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 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

Year: 2000

Annual servicing cost: £100

Understimate from official review.

Ride quality & brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5

Absolutely nice with aftermarket pipes

Reliability & build quality 4 out of 5

Need to do a simple mod to fix one electric issue.

Value vs rivals 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, 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
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 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 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
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 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 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
Reliability & build quality 5 out of 5
Value vs rivals 4 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
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