Suzuki Joins the “Neo-Retro” Club, finally…

…but is it too little too late?

Suzuki haven’t exactly been setting the world afire with their motorcycle range of late. Well the 2017 GSX-R1000 has been getting a lot of great reviews but we’re not interested in plastic fantastic sportsbikes in the pages of Moonshine Moto. It’s custom bikes and factory retros we like and Suzuki has been rather conspicuous by their absence in this category. That is until now because the SV650X is their forray into the ‘neo-retro’ scene.

“The SV650X pays homage to the tarmac rally cars of the 1970s”

Taking the pokey, sweet handling and incredibly underrated SV650 and adding design cues from the Rally Concept SV650 that appeared at the Osaka Motor Show in 2016, the SV650X apparently “pays homage to the tarmac rally cars of the 1970s”. The SV650X gets a new bikini fairing, tinted screen, clip-on handlebars and a tuck-roll seat.

Suzuki SV650X

Personally I think the SV650 is a decent base bike for a custom job but for me the SV650X falls a little flat. Throwing a bikini fairing and clip-ons along with a seat that is already available as a catalogue option on an SV doth not make for an exciting prospect. When Yamaha can turn the MT-07/FZ-07 into the XSR700 and the MT-09 into the XSR900, Honda can turn out the CB1100 and Kawasaki can turn the Z900 into the Z900RS and Z900RS Cafe (check out the pictures below, they are GORGEOUS), you have to wonder what Mr Suzuki is up to?

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It’s not like Suzuki is bereft of classic models to inspire them. For that matter, it’s not even though they are short of current models that could be turned into some sweet looking neo-retros given a modicum of design flair. It’s not like Suzuki is new to the whole retro scene either. Take the GSX1400, a bike that left the Suzuki lineup a decade ago and was a fine bike to behold and brilliant fun to ride. The current GSX-S750 and GSX-S1000 are begging for some retro action and even the humble SV650 would have benefitted from an on-trend designer not working to a “well I suppose this retro thing is here to stay for a while so we might as well do something” design brief. Poor show Suzuki, poor show.



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