Test: Suzuki Gladius 650


Test: Suzuki Gladius 650

Test: Suzuki Gladius 650

Test: Suzuki Gladius 650

Test: Suzuki Gladius 650

Test: Suzuki Gladius 650

13 photos

Test: Suzuki Gladius 650

In black and yellow, the Gladius can compete with the Honda Hornet.

Test: Suzuki Gladius 650

The low seat belt was specially tailored to this target group.

Test: Suzuki Gladius 650

… as well as the cockpit look familiar to us from other Suzuki models.

Test: Suzuki Gladius 650

Since the Gladius is very light, it will be made for city traffic.

Test: Suzuki Gladius 650

As a new mid-range motorcycle, Suzuki is launching the Gladius.

Test: Suzuki Gladius 650

The lamp, …

Test: Suzuki Gladius 650

The gladius is relatively small …

Test: Suzuki Gladius 650

The Gladius has the same V-2 engine as the SV 650.

Test: Suzuki Gladius 650

This plastic cover simulates a hybrid frame? In reality, however, the Gladius only has a tubular steel frame.

Test: Suzuki Gladius 650

… and women should feel addressed by the gladius.

Test: Suzuki Gladius 650

Especially beginners …

Test: Suzuki Gladius 650

The rear tire looks mature enough.

Test: Suzuki Gladius 650

… and narrow.

Test: Suzuki Gladius 650

Gladius in the top test

Sympathetic appearance, attractive price, lively V2 engine ?? the new Gladius 650 has good prerequisites for convincing young people and old hands. However, Suzuki only offers the new Gladius 650 without ABS.

The Yamaha XJ6 has it as standard, the Kawasaki ER-6n is not available without it, and Honda offers it for the CBF 600 at least at an additional cost: an ABS. Of the four Japanese, only Suzuki takes it, at least it seems, with the certainty not so exactly. The direct competitor Gladius 650 will initially be launched on the market without ABS. One is only to be offered as an option in late summer. An existing system could have been used. The Bandit 650, which is comparable to the Gladius, has an anti-lock braking system. So far so bad. On the other hand, the price is good: a gracious 6290 euros. No other all-rounder in this performance class is cheaper. Not with two cylinders, and certainly not when they are arranged in a V-shape.

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Test: Suzuki Gladius 650

Test: Suzuki Gladius 650
Gladius in the top test

Driving experience

The V-Twin accelerates convincingly in every situation, taking its commands gently and quickly at the same time. No swallowing, no hesitation, no drop in performance. Instead, right from the start, the engine continuously strives towards its maximum speed with a pressure that one would not easily expect from a measured only 75 hp engine with a rather modest displacement. So the performance is on the level of the very research and almost equally powerful Kawasaki ER-6n. Only 7.1 seconds pass for the sprint to 140 km / h. The torque values ​​measured in the last gear are even more impressive. The Gladius, which weighs 201 kilograms, sprints from 60 to 100 km / h in 4.5 seconds, and up to 140 km / h it only adds another five seconds. What the sober measured values ​​do not reflect: The V-Twin appears extremely balanced during these exercises, hardly vibrates and pulls up just under 2000 rpm even in fifth gear without jerking, without uncomfortably chopping into the chain.

A revised clutch engagement mechanism and reinforced shift forks ensure that the transmission can be shifted easily and precisely without being noticed. Even brisk pace requires little shift work because the engine always provides enough power without being turned off. It is also pleasing that the Gladius gets by with only four liters of fuel per 100 kilometers at moderate country road speeds. Which enables a full range of more than 360 kilometers with a tank capacity of 14.5 liters. However, they can only be torn off loosely in one piece with restrictions. Not everyone gets along equally well with the compact dimensions and the offered ergonomics. The seat height is pleasantly low (790 millimeters), the knees are tight and the waist is narrow in the transition from the tank to the bench, which is why smaller people can easily reach the floor with their feet and maneuver the gladius safely. But the footrests, which are placed a bit far forward and high, require a narrow knee angle and ensure that tall people hit the upper edge of the tank with their knees. And regardless of whether you are a dwarf or a giant – the tightly padded bench seat restricts comfort a little in the long run.

Chassis and brakes


Effective front wheel brake, which, however, requires a lot of hand strength and is not easy to dose on top of that.

In the second row, the footrests are also mounted rather high, the space is okay, but not very generous. Good on the other hand: the conveniently placed handles. The chassis looks agile, but not overly manageable. Exactly how you would like an all-rounder. The Gladius reacts precisely to steering commands and is extremely purposeful; it takes all imaginable curve radii neutrally and good-naturedly, and it is particularly good at changing curves quickly. Tourist qualities are the top priority at Gladius. That is why Suzuki has tailored the suspension elements for comfort. However, the powerful, lively engine leads to a brisk driving style, for which the soft chassis is only partially suitable. The fork, which even works a bit stumpily on a bumpy road, and the shock absorber, which is underdamped for harder use, make a sporty Gladius a bit restless, although it otherwise looks quite stable and runs straight ahead even at high speed on the motorway.

The brakes that were criticized in the driving report on Fuerteventura because of their blunt mode of action left a better impression in the top test after a distance of around 2000 kilometers. An experienced tester achieves very good deceleration values ​​of 9.4 m / s². However, there are still weaknesses in the controllability and high operating forces, which make it difficult for novice drivers and less experienced pilots to achieve the shortest possible braking distance. For this reason alone, ABS would make sense. Nevertheless, the Gladius is a recommendable motorcycle mainly because of its wonderfully powerful V2. We warmly recommend it to anyone who can do without an ABS. However, prospective buyers should not hesitate too long if they want to save a few hundred euros. Because Suzuki has already signaled that the current price will shortly no longer be sustainable due to the drastic rise in the yen exchange rate. Everyone else will have to be patient until the second half of the year, when the ABS model will also be available from dealers.

Technical data – Suzuki Gladius 650


Water-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke 90-degree V engine, crankshaft lying transversely, two overhead, chain-driven camshafts, four valves per cylinder, bucket tappets, wet sump lubrication, injection, Ø 39 mm, regulated catalytic converter, 375 W alternator, 12 V battery / 10 Ah, mechanically operated multi-plate oil bath clutch, six-speed gearbox, O-ring chain, secondary ratio 46:15.

Bore x stroke 81.0 x 62.6 mm
Cubic capacity 645 cm3
Compression ratio 11.5: 1
Rated output 53.0 kW (72 hp) at 8400 rpm
Max. Torque 64 Nm at 6400 rpm

landing gear
Steel tubular frame, telescopic fork, Ø 41 mm, adjustable spring base, two-arm swing arm made of steel, central spring strut with lever system, adjustable spring base, double disc brake at the front, Ø 290 mm, double-piston floating calipers, disc brake at the rear, Ø 240 mm, single-piston floating caliper.

Cast aluminum wheels 3.50 x 17; 5.00 x 17
Tires 120/70 ZR 17; 160/60 ZR 17
Tires in the test Dunlop Sportmax Qualifier, rear ?? B ??

Dimensions + weights
Wheelbase 1445 mm, steering head angle 65.0 degrees, caster 104 mm, suspension travel f / h 125/130 mm, permissible total weight 420 kg, tank capacity 14.5 liters.

Service data
Service intervals 6000 km
Oil and filter change every 12,000 km / 2.8 l
Engine oil SAE 10 W 40
Telescopic fork oil SAE 5 W 20
Spark plugs NGK CR8EIA 9
Idle speed 1300 ± 100 / min
Two year guarantee
Colors black, black / green, white / blue, white / red
Price 6290 euros
Additional costs around 150 euros


+ Space there: a tank bag can be mounted securely and without slipping on the flat tank.

+ Looking back: The view in the rear-view mirrors is excellent.

+ Exchangeable: The tank flanks are made of plastic and can be replaced at no great cost if damaged, for example by falling over.

+ Stable: The side stand has a large contact surface.

+ Oil inspection made easy: A clearly visible sight glass provides quick information about the oil level. The oil filler neck is also easily accessible.

+ Parcel shelf: Hooks on the right and left under the seat secure the helmets on the motorcycle.

– Lean: Only the handbrake lever can be adjusted in reach, the clutch lever not.

– No result: a main stand, for example to make it easier to maintain the chain, is not available as standard, nor is Suzuki available as an accessory.


Lots of technical changes pay off in the cultivated running V2. Clean response at any speed, high elasticity for a lazy driving style, powerful acceleration and enormous torque. The cold start behavior is also exemplary. In addition, the six-speed transmission can be shifted easily and precisely. Only the load change reactions turn out to be unpleasant, especially in tight corners.

landing gear
The chassis has no surprises in store, which enables relaxed driving. A good shot of handiness combined with casual accuracy? and the fun on the bends is almost perfect. The fact that the fork reacts a bit stubbornly on uneven road surfaces and the shock absorber shows itself underdamped during a sporty driving style is bearable. The competition is on the same level with their also inexpensive spring elements.

everyday life
The ergonomics of the Gladius are almost perfectly tailored to smaller people. Narrow handlebars, tight knees, low seat height. For drivers over 1.80 meters, it is advisable to order the higher seat from Suzuki for 64 euros. You shouldn’t expect wind protection on a naked bike, but better light. With the equipment one would have wished for an electronic immobilizer. The range is considerable despite the small tank volume, the payload is even princely.

Good effect, mediocre control: this is how the chapter on brakes can be summarized. There are also high operating forces. Therefore, the Gladius only collects moderate points. Even the low righting moment when braking in bends can no longer compensate for much.

The Gladius is right at the forefront of the thrifty, at least in terms of consumption. However, the short 6000 inspection intervals eat up the money saved.

Conclusion: grade 1.7
With this more than good overall rating, the new Gladius can definitely compete in the group of inexpensive all-rounders even without ABS.

Our conclusion


Particularly interesting for the young generation: Suzuki Gladius 650.

Even the SV 650 was not a bore. But in the more youthful Gladius, the lively and powerful V-engine has increased its power and liveliness, so that even experienced pilots will enjoy it. The well-balanced and safely controllable chassis is designed to be soft, and the ergonomics are perfectly tailored to smaller people. The only drawback: mediocre brakes without ABS.


Top speed * 200 km / h
0 100 km / h 3.9 sec
0 140 km / h 7.1 sec
60 100 km / h 4.5 sec
100 140 km / h5.0 sec
140 180 km / h 6.4 sec
Speedometer deviation
Effective (display 50/100) 47/94 km / h
Tachometer deviation
Display red area 10,300 rpm
Effective 10100 / min

at 130 km / h 4.9 l / 100 km
Country road 4.0 l / 100 km
Theor. Range of the country road 363 km
Fuel type normal

Dimensions & Weight
L / W / H2150 / 860/1280 mm
Seat height 790 mm
Handlebar height 1040 mm
Turning circle 5700 mm
Weight with a full tank 201 kg
Payload 219 kg
Wheel load distribution v / h48 / 52

The heavily revised V-two-cylinder impresses with its homogeneous power delivery. The increase is enormous, especially between 5000 and 7000 rpm. Then the curve slowly flattens out. The torque development of the four-valve engine is also impressive. The dent in the middle speed range is not noticeable in practice.

Driving dynamics
The front brake with double-piston floating calipers requires a lot of effort with maximum deceleration. During the first braking attempts, the brake felt a bit dull, after several measurements the feedback got better.

* Manufacturer information; 1 Brake test averaged from the three best driving tests; 2 Power on the crankshaft. Measurements on Dynojet chassis dynamometer 150, corrected according to 95/1 / EG, maximum possible deviation ± 5%


The SV 650 was successful on the market for a good ten years. Now the Gladius should take over from them. Whereby there will be no half-shell version of the Gladius, like the SV 650 S. Instead, Suzuki offers a ?? as wind and weather protection? even if small? Windshield that is quickly attached to the fork tubes with little effort and at least takes some wind pressure off the upper body. In addition, a two-centimeter higher bench seat is available so that taller drivers do not have to fold up with a seat height of 810 millimeters.

A luggage rack that adapts itself to the seat and is mounted instead of the handles costs 160 euros including the adapter plate. It can hold a 30 liter top case and has a maximum load capacity of three kilograms. Other accessories: various carbon imitations from the cockpit socket to the rear light cover to the side covers. A gladius can be even more beautiful.

The competition


Italian competitor: Aprilia SL 750 Shiver.

Aprilia Shiver
Two-cylinder, six-speed, 95 PS, weight 217 kg, 0 100 km / h: 4.0 sec, vmax: 210 km / h, consumption 4.5 liters, 8285 euros *

Ducati Monster 696
Two-cylinder, six-speed, 80 hp, weight 185 kg, 0 100 km / h: 4.2 seconds, vmax: 210 km / h, consumption 3.7 liters, 8405 euros *

Kawasaki ER-6n
Two-cylinder, six-speed, 72 hp, weight 205 kg, 0 100 km / h: 3.9 seconds, vmax: 200 km / h, consumption 4.1 liters, 6875 euros *

*Additional costs included

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