All Duels – Head to Head Suzuki Gladius – Yamaha XJ6: the battle of the senses! – Look: classic chic against daring and colors

Face to face Suzuki Gladius – Yamaha XJ6: the battle of the senses !

All Duels - Head to Head Suzuki Gladius - Yamaha XJ6: the battle of the senses! - Look: classic chic against daring and colors

Barely unveiled, the Suzuki Gladius v-twin opposes the in-line four-cylinder of the new Yamaha XJ6! A real war of the chapels, between sensations and efficiency, in a category that is a hit in Europe… Face to face test !

Look: classic chic against boldness and colors

Unveiled in Milan this fall (read), the Yamaha XJ6 brings the famous Diversion saga up to date, while giving it a hearty touch of modernism and seduction that was sorely lacking in the Div ‘of the 80s…

Nicely drawn – the family resemblance with the Fazers is omnipresent – the Yam ‘has nothing to envy in its pencil stroke to the new stiff Gladius that Suzuki has put at our disposal. The XJ6, however, seems more collected on itself (2120 mm in length against 2130 mm for the Suz ‘), thanks to its sharp edges and its headlight inspired by that of the sister FZ1, the upper night light in addition.

When arranged side by side, the motorcycles clearly show their differences and the message conveyed by the design appears: simple in design and plastic – even if we still note the carbon imitation of certain elements -, the XJ6 enjoys a flattering finish for the genre, but it doesn’t upset the retina, despite its inspired design taillight.

As a good all-rounder, the Yamaha is suitable for all tastes: its pot picked up under the engine and its apparent tubular frame give it a refreshing touch, but its engineers have been careful not to overdo it, leaving the visual audacity to the FZ6 to whom the XJ6 takes over the engine, "deflated" at the passage of 20 hp (or 78 in all).

At its side, the SVF 650 Gladius attracts the eye more easily: certainly, its bitons colors have a lot to do with it, but it is true that the Suzuki has shown a visual audacity unknown to the manufacturer, even if it does not revolutionize genre.

Pierre Laurent Feriti, Suzuki France communications manager, confirms this by giving us the keys: "Unlike usual at Suzuki, it was the designers who decided 100% and it was up to the engineers to find the technical solutions. It’s almost a first for us !"

It must be said that the Gladius project is particularly close to the heart of importers from Southern Europe: with 36,359 units sold in France since its appearance in 1999, the SV was a real hit for Suzuki, already at the origin of the modern roadster genre. in 1995 with the indestructible Bandit !

It appears that the replacement for the SV – the streamlined SV "S" continuing to be marketed, while the Naked will indeed disappear from the catalog – has received a lot of attention from French and Italian importers. and Spanish, countries where design matters a lot.

The two-tone tank equipped with plastic covers extending under the saddle and its black exhaust are thus very worked and stylish, while the elongated shape of the headlight and the five-spoke wheels are attractive. Too bad the rear is a little less punchy, especially because of the shape of the rear light, but also the bulky appearance of the exhaust with two outputs … including a dummy !

Resolutely favoring design, the creators of Suz ‘have thus resorted to trompe-l’oeil, such as this false outlet located at the bottom, the two plastic side covers of the tank, the chrome trim of the silencer and the plastic covers. which cover the lower part of the yet very pretty steel trellis frame…

A "plastic" side a tad too exaggerated for some, but which gives a strong and easily recognizable identity to the Gladius, where the XJ6 wants to be more consensual. The Gladius also has a very nice profile view, with superbly integrated passenger handles and chiseled engine casings of the most beautiful effect..

The Yamaha makes up for it, however, with an overall finish and more careful surface treatments (the Gladius footrest plates are marked after only a few hundred kilometers!), Its matt handlebars (chrome on the Suz ‘) and its pretty black retro take over the more "cheap" elements of Hamamatsu Glaive.

Certainly, the Yamaha seems better equipped to withstand the ravages of time and if a quick glance gives the Gladius the advantage in terms of style, tracking down the small details allows the Yam ‘to outperform its competitor of the day..

Be that as it may, the notion of aestheticism remains subjective. Especially since for this price range (€ 6,149 for the XJ6 and € 6,299 for the Gladius, which is still € 300 more than an SV K8), the two motorcycles really give their money and put end to stereotypes "entry level = motorcycles at a discount". To put it simply, Suzuki should be praised for its strong visual bet – the pearly white / magenta color stands out! -, which contrasts radically and should meet with certain success, especially among the youngest.

Conversely, the Yamaha remains a beautiful machine, better finished and less "have you seen" than its rival. The XJ6 will not trigger reversals in the street, nor admiring whistles and in this sense, it will perhaps be better suited to a more "mature" clientele and, in any case, less sensitive to the notion of appearance..

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