New Suzuki Enduro


New Suzuki Enduro

Late developer

Suzuki almost slept through a trend. But now the long-awaited two-cylinder travel enduro with the engine of the TL 1000 is to come.

For a long time, the marketing experts of the Japanese and Italian motorcycle manufacturers had stood by and watched as BMW won top positions in the registration statistics with the big boxer enduros since 1980 year after year. Only Honda picked up the gauntlet, initially having a hard time, but with Transalp and Africa Twin proved that Bayern are not untouchable. Which in recent years has encouraged other manufacturers to take on the fight against the white-blue with two- and three-cylinder enduros (see box on page 32). Only Suzuki’s marketing department – usually with its nose in the wind – seemed to have slept through this trend for good. All the begging and pleading of the traders didn’t help either. The German importer came to the Japanese plant regularly and in vain.
The inaction is all the more astonishing because Suzuki already has suitable engines in its range. The SV 650, for example, is particularly successful in the mid-range segment with the V-Two, which, when enlarged to 800 cm3, would be ideal as a price breaker against the expensive European large enduro bikes. Many dealers wanted such a motorcycle as a counterpart to the increasingly powerful, but also heavier and more expensive travel enduros. According to information from neighboring countries, however, the Japanese decided differently and chose the powerful drive of the TL-1000 models, which is already being sold to Cagiva and implanted there in the Navigator.
The former sports engine makes the Navigator more of a fun bike, and Suzuki will take a similar direction with its debut engine in this category. The power of 125 HP will certainly be reduced in the TL models, but with over 100 HP the new one will be on the level of the strongest opponents. The wheels also underline the fun bike character: cast rims in sizes 18 inches at the front and 17 inches at the rear, with matching short spring travel. The model can be found in its own range: the XF 650 Freewind. With her, too, the off-road idea is taking a back seat in favor of a road-oriented chassis design and a lower seat height. A look at the small front spoiler, which disguises the oil cooler and filter, reveals that serious off-road use is prohibited anyway.
Like Aprilia, Suzuki uses aluminum for the frame for the Caponord. Strong profiles leading directly from the swing arm bearing to the steering head ensure peace in the framework. The Japanese do not undertake any experiments with the spring elements, the TL 1000 S with the controversial vane damper was a lesson to them. The Enduro springs and dampens quite conventionally, at the rear with a lever system and central spring strut, at the front with a powerful telescopic fork.
W.As for the appearance, the MOTORCYCLE drawing is already close to reality. On the other hand, one can only speculate about some important questions, for example: When will the Suzuki travel steamer come onto the market? The project will certainly not be pushed on the back burner, so probably for next season. In terms of price, Suzuki will be based on the Varadero, so this should be more or less well below 20,000 marks. Will she also get a regulated Kat? We’ll see.

The competition

For two decades, the BMW boxer models from the R 80 G / S to the R 1150 GS defined what is meant by a travel enduro. At first a real dual-purpose motorcycle for off-road and road, and finally a touring machine with limited off-road qualities. In any case, it is a very successful concept that has found more and more buyers over the years. In contrast to the first tentative attempts by the Japanese and Italians, just think of the Honda XLV 750, the Cagiva models with the Ducati Desmo engine or exotic models such as the Morini Camel. It was only with the Transalp that Honda managed to cut a serious share of the cake. But that didn’t change the fact that the boxer BMWs have cemented first place in the registration statistics for years. More than 6000 buyers ordered the R 1150 GS last year, and not even the smaller sister F 650 GS came close (around 5500 machines). Honda’s racer was the XL 1000 V Varadero, which made it to 14th place with 2200 units. Also noteworthy are the more than 2000 Transalp sold, which was even able to increase despite its advanced age. Almost 5500 units were produced in 2000 by all Honda twin-cylinders in this segment – Varadero, Africa Twin and Transalp ?? together. The Triumph Tiger plays an outsider role with over 500 units sold last year, even if the Enduro only ranks third in the English program behind the Sprint ST and the Speed ​​Triple.

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