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33bhp restricted Suzuki Gladius review

Published: 05 March 2009

Updated: 19 November 2014

Suzuki is offering free 33bhp restriction when you buy a new Suzuki Gladius, ideal for your first bike, but how does the 650cc Gladius cope with only 33bhp to power it along?

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 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.

The seat height, coupled with the fairly narrow bars, gives the feeling that you are sat in the bike - giving yet more confidence.

The clever design of the Suzuki Gladius all comes together to make the Gladius extremely easy yet fun to ride and inspires bags of confidence.

  • Motorway riding
    The Gladius struggles a bit on motorways. In top gear going up hill it will struggle to accelerate. The Gladius gets easily unsettled by strong winds, making for suprising moments where the Gladius shakes its head.
  • Handling
    The Gladius handles very well. The illusion of lightweight makes the bike easy to chuck into corners. The Dunlop Qualifier tyres grip well when warm and in the dry, but on cold, damp roads they can become twitchy. Mid-corner the Gladius feels planted, only upset by severe bumps in the road.
  • Pillion
    Again, 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.

If you have any questions regarding the Suzuki Gladius or SV650, contact:

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