All Duels – Head to Head Suzuki Gladius – Yamaha XJ6: the battle of the senses! – Road-proof!

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! - Road-proof!

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 !

Road proof !

Queens of the cities, the two small Japanese are eager to see the horizon widen in order to confront their technical choices on more demanding journeys. A zest of peripher ‘allows to validate the first impressions delivered in town: we feast on the playful revivals of the 645 cc v-twin of the Gladius, which goes perfectly with a lively and rigid chassis and more rigorous suspensions than before..

Always so easy and delivering a very hoarse sound from 3,000 to 6,000 rpm, the XJ6 benefits from its new camshaft profile, its new cylinder head and its compression ratio equivalent to that of the Fazer (12: 1) to propel the whole with vigor, given the displacement and the power of course. If we often drive a lower gear than with the SVF, his good will avoids abusing a selection that would benefit from more smoothness.

The injection (32 bits for the curious) is perfectly controlled and the acceleration is measured with ease, the more so as the linear thrust of the four-cylinder does not begin to be reinforced seriously until from 7000 rpm. A regime where the XJ6 crosses at 130 km / h on the motorway in sixth, while the Suz ‘displays 1000 rpm less at the same pace.

In the little game of recovery tests, surprise: the Yamaha takes the lead in sixth at mid-speed! No doubt the repercussion of a shorter box on the XJ6 which is however dropped on the 4th and 5th gear. Because not only is the Gladius then quicker to escape, but its substantial extension allows it to stand up to all four legs, even at high speed..

The opportunity to hang 215 km / h on the odometer of the Suz ‘, despite wearing a large backpack: honest and promising, given the low mileage of the motorcycle. A few bends taken drastically, however, will highlight a certain lightness of its front axle when it is strongly requested on long presses..

If this behavior is not dangerous and is shown to be much less sensitive than with the first SVs, the Yamaha is more confident after 150 km / h (its more loaded position on the front is probably not there. foreign). Wind pressure is more sensitive at this speed on the Gladius, which tends to "pull" the driver back. Result, it clings more to the handlebars and unconsciously causes some oscillations of the front when the asphalt degrades: a "simple" relaxation of the shoulders however makes the phenomenon disappear..

More rigid, the Gladius’ suspensions work wonders on smooth asphalt, especially as the steel trellis frame displays an exciting efficiency. The shock absorber (adjustable in preload) and the 41 mm hydraulic fork revised and corrected compared to the old SV work together. Only a certain dryness of the front on the small bumps will tarnish – slightly – the table.

Usually sacrificed on the altar of cost reduction, the quality of the suspensions of the two roadsters is very good, with a slight sporting preponderance for the Gladius.

Not to blush, however, on the side of the XJ6, including the Diamond-type frame, the 41 mm fork and the simple shock absorber Monocross achieve the feat of being both efficient and comfortable !

On small roads tickling the lumbar, the Yamaha will take the advantage over the Gladius thanks to its bluffing general balance and its front end close to perfection: feeling, reactivity, absence of parasitic reactions when setting on the angle or taking With late braking, the XJ6 delivers impressive confidence despite difficult driving conditions. In addition, its polished revs allow you to accelerate without a second thought on the small, just thawed downhill passes that are available to us….

More reserved in these delicate conditions, the driver of the Gladius will have to deal with an engine brake that is more difficult to manage when downshifting in the first reports, requiring more caution during a complete release of full-angle throttle … to avoid a humidity zone full of promise of falls for example! However, the machine does not deviate from its trajectory, but rather "heckles" its pilot where the Yamaha remains zen.

Quick to dive into the rope and come out on the fat of the couple, the Gladius finds a smile on less tortured portions, where we take pleasure in soliciting his twin between 5,000 rpm and 10,000 rpm: the beautiful then extracts herself from the curves with a cheerful good will and in a flattering tone! Its nose gear, a bit light on high accelerations, however, does not flinch an inch when setting the angle and the SVF accepts unbooted braking and trajectory corrections – always keeping a trickle of gas – with ease..

Less lively and to say less lively, the Yamaha follows the rhythm without forcing, but at the slightest turn approached on the wrong report, the XJ6 gives the feeling of unpleasantly staying "stuck" out. Less sensational, its four-cylinder requires to be more whip in the towers to stand out: a more syncopated driving, typed "On-Off", where the vocalizations of the mill delight fans of the genre but which can end up tiring on a long journey with passenger…

The arrival of our road trip confirms it: despite frozen ends and purplish hands, it is with a smile that we get off these two motorcycles! Obviously, the Gladius scores points thanks to its more expressive engine, better filled at all speeds, and its lively and rigid cycle part..

On reflection, its front actually gives less confidence – for a similar efficiency – than with the Yamaha and it is perhaps set a bit too hard on the front. But the almost polar temperatures of our duel certainly did not favor the work of hydraulics! At its side, the XJ6 got out of the road exercise with the same versatility that allowed it to make the inter ‘to the Suzuki in town. Supple, healthy and unsurprisingly, the Yamaha displays a suspension agreement rarely seen on a motorcycle of this price.

Of course, by heckling it badly, its rear element will eventually pump slightly, where that of the Gladius remains serene in all circumstances. But given its target and its price, the XJ6 is certainly very strong! More playful, the Gladius is certainly more fun on small roads, while allowing to stroll efficiently thanks to its generous torque in all gears..

Ultimately, we fall back into the eternal debate opposing fans of bi to those of 4-legged: sensations or flexibility? Character or ease? On tough roads, opinions diverge more than ever … And even within the editorial staff of Site, everyone has their own arguments! Finally, all of the dynamic capabilities of the XJ6 (lively and safe front axle, comfort and efficiency of the suspensions) give it a slight advantage on the roads, but the cheeky winks of the Suzuki twin allow it to stay in contact. !

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