Test Suzuki VL 1500 Intruder LC
The VL 1500 Intruder dispels any doubts: From now on, cruising is a top priority at Suzuki.
Full power from 1462 cm³ displacement. Bubbling promisingly at a standstill, then accelerating with maximum torque – this is how Suzuki characterizes the properties of the VL 1500 engine. A look at the test stand protocol of this V2, which with its respectfully demanding large pots would have truly deserved the title “Otto the Great”: literally from idle speed, the torque curve flips upwards, on the one hand, already reaches 2200 rpm her maximum of 117 Nm, on the other hand, has enough staying power to stand up to a decent 78 hp at 4800 rpm.
The broad back of the torque curve opens up a wide field of activity: it is the basis for a well-groomed strolling, pardon: cruising – although “well-groomed” is to be taken literally in view of the required smoothness – and it is the basis for impressive acts of strength that literally take the heavy machine let them rush forward in no time at all. Of course, there is one thing it is not: a guarantee for the power from the low rev range that is often conjured up with large-volume single and twin-cylinder engines. Although this is theoretically available – see above – it cannot be fully exploited in practice because of the low flywheel mass and the irregular firing order of the V2. Anyone who has tried to give full throttle at 60 km / h in fifth gear knows what is meant: It shakes and shakes so brutally that it seems to tear the engine from its anchorages. Choosing the right gear ratio is therefore very important, which is no break in the face of the five-speed gearbox, which can be shifted loudly, but safely and nimble.
In terms of fuel consumption, no miracles are to be expected from a motorcycle that weighs well over six hundredweight and its aerodynamic qualities should be on the level of a Gothic cathedral – an assessment that is confirmed across the board by the consumption values determined.
At least the country road consumption needs to be put into perspective in this context: The VL 1500 simply encourages you to use the V2’s range of services again and again. “To blame” is the chassis, which, despite all dark premonitions – just mention the record-breaking wheelbase of 1700 millimeters – reveals a refreshing agility. Supported by the leverage of the protruding handlebar, the VL can be swiveled almost effortlessly and with confidence-enhancing accuracy – regardless of whether there are tight turns or long bends in the way. Even on bumpy ground, the machine doesn’t want to test the driver’s nerves. Compared to a VS 1400, for example, whose chassis quickly increases the adrenaline level on bad roads, the VL is the calm itself – certainly thanks to the new frame, which guides the rear swing arm on a wide, stiffness-enhancing bearing base.
That does not mean, of course, that the VL would completely forego game-spoiling features: the running boards, which on the one hand form a welcome foundation for a solid human-machine relationship, on the other hand turn out to be throttle valves when cornering, which clawfully put a stop to serious efforts to incline . When trying to reduce the speed to an acceptable level in good time, it pays to step on the brake pedal and give the somewhat tired front stopper the greatest possible support – the dynamic wheel load shift, which is weak compared to “normal” motorcycles, does it possible.
E.In an advantageous ratio of (small) unsprung to (large) sprung masses, the comfort on board the VL 1500 should benefit as much as the comparatively long distance to work for the hindquarters. In practice, however, it looks different: the response behavior and absorption capacity of the spring elements are at best average. The fact that you feel that you are in good hands in the VL saddle – this applies equally to the driver and passenger – is due to the lavishly upholstered seating and the generous amount of space that allows you to vary your sitting posture while maintaining your condition. The VL is therefore suitable for far more than a short swim in the crowd – which it is not particularly suitable for anyway, because its sheer size often gets in its own way in the hustle and bustle of traffic.
My conclusion – Suzuki VL 1500 (T)
Cruisers – and especially the big ones – live from their charisma. The VL 1500 has this highly valued radiance: Its sheer size is just as impressive as the well-coordinated interplay of polished aluminum and painted sheet metal. Fortunately, the VL offers more – a good deal of driving pleasure thanks to its powerful, sophisticated engine and its overall successful chassis.
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