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800 VX Â·1991
In the early 1980s, the "classic" category of motorcycles - simple, uncomplicated and unfaired - made a spectacular comeback. Every manufacturer vied to lead this significant niche market with their own vision of the category. Alongside "neo-retro" bikes like the Kawasaki four-cylinder Zephyr, and the "new moderns" offered by Yamaha with its TDM twin, Suzuki enjoyed great success. The 800 VX offers a carefully-balanced compromise in this category of "classic" 750 to l000cc machines.
Mixture of Styles Â·
Half-modern, half-nostalgic, the 800 VX launched in 1990 is a strange mixture of styles, but it succeeds. The unadorned exterior recalls that of the sporty Suzuki 400 Bandit, while the V-twin engine is borrowed from the Intruder custom bike.
Full of Merit
The 800 VX takes its shaft drive from the latter machine, as well as a flexible, torque engine that is ideal for urban use and cruising along back roads. It also inherits a very long wheelbase and a steeply inclined front fork, which restricts maneuverability but ensures first class roadholding free from stiffness. Lively, comfortable and pleasant to ride, the VX has only one slight drawback - a wide turning circle. With first-class braking, it can exceed 110 mph, though the lack of any fairing makes more relaxed speeds preferable. The 800 VX was one of the few machines in this category to offer a shaft drive like the BMW.
Engine: 805cc (83x74mm) water-cooled 45-degree V-twin four-stroke
Power Rating: 57 hp@ 6800 rpm
Valves: single overhead-camshaft; 4 valves per cylinder
Fuel System: carburetor
Transmission: 5-speed, shaft final drive
Suspension: telescopic forks (front); swing arm with twin spring/dampers (rear)
Brakes: single disc with twin-piston calipers (front & rear)
Wheels: 110/80x18 inch (front); 150/70x17 inch (rear)
Weight: 470 lb
Maximum Speed: 112 mph
The Suzuki 800 VX offers a highly original compromise between the custom bikes and more sporty classic styles.