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Do I want a Suzuki S40?

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by scrambobbler, Jun 1, 2015.


Do I want the S40?

Poll closed Jun 8, 2015.
  1. Yes

    17 vote(s)
  2. Nooooo

    41 vote(s)
  1. Hey all,

    New cranky old rider from Brisbane seeks wisdom...

    The ancient car's died and I can't justify the purchase price & rego cost of a car that's basically just going to be used for the 10 minute run to the train station & back each day. Add to that the insane prices that Translink charge for the privilege of their 'service', and that parking for motorcycles, even in the CBD, is cheaper than the train. Not to mention the limited utility and limitless impracticality of just moving around the city via PT... Oh, it all just piles up and spells out "Buy A Bike, Already!".

    Something 'practical' - primarily a day-to-day, all-weather commuter. 20km of hilly and fairly congested roads, 10-15 of that on a highway that is signposted from 80 to 100 at various stages, but in the mornings chugs along at about 30kmh, but the evening tends towards Mach 1 or 2 due to frustrated maniacs. Fairly low maintenance, because I'm lazy. Very lazy. Needs luggage space, enough to leave gym & boxing gear strapped on, or stop off at the shops, or throw a 70L backpack on the back and head for a National Park for the weekend. If there's a trade-off between "comfort" and "speed", I'll lean towards comfort. If there's a trade-off between 'bass' and 'treble', I'll opt for bass. Oh, and it has to be a LAMS bike now, but I don't want to 'outgrow' the bike in 6-12 months.

    Budget maxes out at about 7k - 2nd hand, demo, or new, it's all good. Which, given what's offered in the LAMS market these days, doesn't make a choice much easier.

    So, instead of asking "Bike A or Bike B or Bike C" - how about this: Of the bike "types", the 'classic' (think 1973 R65/5 or the retro-cool Ducati Scrambler) and the 'cruiser/chopper' (think Victory Gunner or H-D 883) are the two that really appeal. Then your modern naked bikes, followed by sports and supersports. The old knees cringe a bit.

    Talk me out of a Suzuki Boulevard S40. :)

    Single-cylinder, 652cc, and a belt drive: Seems pretty low maintenance.
    It's got that classic thumper sound.
    Engine puts out 23kW, 50Nm which doesn't seem likely to tear anybody's arms off, but enough for the highway.
    At 173kg wet, it's very light and easy to chuck around.
    It's a cruiser, so very relaxed.
    The only downside is the tiny 10L fuel tank, which is barely enough for 200km. Enough for a tank to last for a week of commuting+. One the upside, it's like an enforced break every 2 hours or so of a distance ride, which is nice. Put two 10L fuel bladders in the saddlebags, no worries.

    It seems to tick the boxes, but am I missing something? Is there something else to consider?
  2. If you really want it it wouldn't matter what we reckon. I personally don't like the look of them and you can get more of a bike for roughly the same price somewhere else. But if you want it get it
  3. I like the XVS650A as well - available 2nd hand with reasonable kms for around the same price, though. V-twin & driveshaft vs single & belt.

    The SR400 seems overpriced for a bike without electric start option, and I have doubts about my mechanical aptitude to keep a real classic going.

    Maybe I should stick to a CB125E and save the $ for later. :)
  4. I said no, only because I really hate riding cruisers through cities.
    You're much better off getting something nice and upright that keeps your head up higher and is more nimble.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Disagree Disagree x 1
  5. 23kw sounds really underpowered, if you really like it make sure you test ride the hell out of the thing first. If you're a large guy I would think that and the 50Nm could be lacking somewhat.

    Plus we always want more really.....
    • Agree Agree x 2
  6. If you can find a nice BMW R65, it would be a lot nicer bike....IMHO.

    I think it would be learner legal....I dunno the Q'land rules, but, if you get one in good nick, and don't stuff it up, in a couple of years time, it will still be worth at least what you pay for it now.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. Hey scrambobblerscrambobbler. Are you like me 6' and 105kg or more vertically challenged and correct weight !?

    As a pure commuter rather than resorting to the CB125E you could go fro the Suzuki Inazuma 250. They are on special at the moment for $4,990 ride away!

    Suzuki Inazuma Blue small. Suzuki Inazuma Red small.

    For a little more there is the Benelli BN302 at $6,300 ride away according to Bike Sales.

    There is a review at http://www.gizmag.com/benelli-bn302-video-review-road-test/37391/

    Benelli-BN302 small.

    If none of the above suit just go with the S40 :)
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Test ride one. Then test ride other bikes. Buy the one you like the most.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. It's about $4,000 outside his budget but it is quite nice. Very low though. Sat on one the other day and it felt weird being that low.

    Much prefer being on top of a naked bike myself so I can see the world around. Not just car doors either side! lol ;)
    • Informative Informative x 2
  10. (IMO) DONT. Slow, and heavy. couldnt pull the skin off a rice pudding, May be able to get out of the way of a wayward 6 year old on a skateboard, but i doubt it.
    • Funny Funny x 2
  11. I learner on a '13 Inazuma and loved it, great for the commute to work and a blast at weekends. Got around 300km out of a tank.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  12. Recently went on a ride with about 30 bikes all sorts cruisers, sports tourers all sorts of gear. LAMS bikes of which there were 3 or 4 the one that stuck out for me. A bloke on a LAMS Vulcan why cause when I was pulling about a dollar fiftyscooting along a quite back road section he was right behind me passing the same slower bikes in the line. I had a 900 Vulcan classic you had to really think about when and what you were going to pass. This thing with the engine from their Ninja was bloody nimble and for a LAMS scarily fast. Plus he was throwing it into corners like it was a sports tourer.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  13. GS500?
    535 Virago if you can find one?
    • Like Like x 1
  14. Unlike I'm guessing most posters here, I've ridden an S40.

    I loved it and it was only the cost that stopped me buying a new bike. It was very comfortable, had what felt like loads of torque. I zipped around for a good 30minutes on it but never went to the highway.

    I'm also a newly converted Brisbane motorcycle commuter these days and love it. I'm saving lots of money, time and having fun while I'm at it.

    Anyway I opted for a ninja 300 in the end as it was cheap and I did t need storage.....or so I thought.

    My advice.....if you like it and like it even more after a test ride, don't listen to anyone else.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. I rode one a few years ago. Less power and more weight than a drz400e, not known for being a rocketship itself.
  16. Thanks for the inputs, all.
    Q3ArenaQ3Arena, I'm tall enough so's me feet touch the floor most days. :) (5'7", 85kg)

    Got some things to think about, for sure. Also, I got to collect a bunch of stats:

    (Sources: An inefficient and unreliable mix of manufacturers, fuelly.com, motorcyclespecs.co.za, bikesales.com.au)

    1. Honda CB125E (124cc) 7.6kW/10.2Nm 137kg (W) (10hp) 39km/L & 14L (546km) (13.7kg/hp) (2015, <2,500 RA) ($250/hp)
    2. CCW Ace Standard (229cc) 10.5kW/28.6Nm 126kg (W) (14hp) 40km/L & 12L (480km) (9kg/hp) (2015, 3,690+OR) ($263+/hp)
    3. CCW Heist (229cc) 10.5kW/27.4Nm 132kg (W) (14hp) 40km/L & 8L (320km) (9.4kg/hp) (2015, 3,990+OR) ($285+/hp)
    4. Honda CB300FA (286cc) 22.7kW/27Nm 158kg (W) (30hp) 30.2 km/L & 13L (392km) (5.2kg/hp) (2015, 5,699+OR) ($189/hp)
    5. Kawa Z300 (296cc) 29kW/27Nm 168kg (W) (38hp) 3.4L/100k & 17L (500km) (4.4kg/hp) (2015, 5,990 RA) ($157/hp)
    6. Benelli BN-302 (300cc) 27kW/27Nm 196kg (W) (37hp) 26km/L & 16L (416km) (5.2kg/hp) (2015, 6,290 RA) ($170/hp)
    7. Honda CB400 (399cc), 38.6kW/40Nm, 195kg (W), 53hp & 16km/L & 18L (288km) (3.6kg/hp) (2011, 6,000++, varies on km, private) ($113/hp)
    8. CFMoto 650NKS/650NK (649cc) 41.4kW/62Nm, 193kg (D) (55hp) 15km/L & 17L (255km) (3.5kg/hp) (2015, NKS 6,490 RA; NK 6,290+OR) ($118/hp $114/hp)
    9. Yam XVS650 (649cc) 16kW/51Nm 247kg (W) (21hp) 20km/L & 16L (320km) (11.7kg/hp) (2012, 6,750, 10,000km, private) ($321/hp)
    10. Suz S40/LS650 (652cc) 22kW/45Nm 173kg (W) (30hp) 22km/L & 10L (220km) (5.7kg/hp) (2015, 7,490 RA new or 6,950+OR demo) ($250/hp)

    In terms of "horsies for dollars", the 650NK, 650NKS and the 2011 CB400 are the cheapest and each of the horsies only hauls around 3.5kg of bike. Range-wise, it looks as if it can be pushed somewhere between 250-300km. Not much between these. The only concern would be around the reliability of the CFMoto, compared to a second-hand Honda. CB400 is lighter. All seem like the kind of bike you wouldn't necessarily grow out of, so, lots of years of riding.

    The 300s come next (Z300, BN-302, CB300FA respectively), the Z300 both costing the least per grunt-unit and hauls the least about of bike per hp. All three have much better ranges, Z300 being ahead again. Can't go wrong with Honda or Kawazaki. I'd be tempted, sorely tempted, by the Z300, but have niggling doubts of the longevity of the ride i.e. how likely is it I'll be sick of it in 12 months? There's a lot of used ninjas on the market from people upgrading.

    Then there's the expensive (per Horse Of POWERRRR) end. In those terms the CB125E and the S40 are equivalent, but I could buy 3 Hondas for 1 Suzuki. The fuel economy on the Honda can't be beat. It's light, it's low, it's reliable, and it doesn't invite shenanigans. The S40 seems light on the ground in the used motorbike listings, which I guess means that people tend to hang on to them until the bike falls apart (however long that takes). Seems to be one of those bikes that invites modding.

    Last, there's the two most expensive (bang for buck) and of unknown reliability: Cleveland CycleWerks Ace & Heist. I don't mind the concept and look, but... well. Not as my primary commuter, perhaps.

    Argh. CB125E because a part of me likes beige, a Z300 because part of me's crazy, and the S40 because part of me's a wannabe hooligan. Bah. Back to more test rides. Then some more. And then some more.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. KLR650 (lowered)?
  18. Alway good to do the facts and figures scrambobblerscrambobbler, but it can result in paralysis from analysis! Like others have said, go ride the whole lot of them and I guarantee that'll sort 80% out of the mix, then you'll have a far simpler equation to work with. You may even be lucky and find just the one for you without any more thought!
  19. Wow!! scrambobblerscrambobbler, you sure are a numbers man :)

    I agree with everyone else that you will know when you have ridden the "one".

    Good luck with the hunt. I'm going for the MT-07 but just have a couple of more pennies to save. $10,000 ride away. Don't ride it though, you will fall in love with it!!