A sporting cruiser

Saturday, 13 January 2018

A sporting cruiser, Suzuki Intruder 150 is engaging to ride and handsome too.

Drawing inspiration from the Intruder M1800 and M800, the Intruder 150 joins the rather conventional bike segment oriented product portfolio of Suzuki two wheelers in India. The Intruder 150 is being offered as a sporting cruiser, so it’s modern in its appearance but in terms of styling, it may be a little overdone.

Sharing mechanicals with the Gixxer, the new bike is long and low. It flaunts lines that signal a connection with the above-mentioned big brothers. 

The head lamp grabs attention, turns heads. The fuel tank may look long and wide, but holds 11-litres (which is a litre less than the fuel tank of the Gixxer).

Enormous extensions emerge from the tank and swoop down to encompass a big imitation air duct. On the extension is a large Intruder logo. The seat is wide and split; wide and chunky panels form the rear portion. The protruding twin exhaust complements the bike’s sporting cruiser stance and goes well with the bulbous look overall. But the tyres look skinny. The 100 and 140 section tyres of the Intruder are the same size as those of the Gixxer. 

Strong mid-range delivery
The 14.8bhp, 154.9cc air-cooled engine breathes through a carburettor. Compared to the Gixxer, changes have been effected to the intake, exhaust and the gearing. The net result is a strong mid-range. Unlike the Gixxer, the top-end delivery of the Intruder 150 is not as strong. The strong mid-range delivery comes handy when riding in town. Not only does it support good ride-ability, it also fairly compensates for the extra weight. The Intruder 150 weighs 13 kg more than the Gixxer at 148kg. Out on an open road, the bike does a good job of cruising at speeds in the range of 60 to 80kmph. Progress beyond 80kmph feels slower than one would expect. The bike does reach speeds in excess of 105kmph, but is not able to displace the fact that the top-end delivery is not as strong as the mid-range delivery. The five-speed gearbox is a pleasure, and is precise and very well engineered. 

Good for tall and short riders 
Considering the strong mid-range delivery, the Intruder 150 makes for relaxed riding. The feet in the front riding position also suggests the same. It accommodates tall riders, however, the low 740mm seat height makes it suitable for shorter riders too. Structured on a modified Gixxer frame, and a new sub-frame, the bike’s wheelbase is a good 1405mm. The rear shock is offset to not come in the way of the air-box, which is bigger than that of the Gixxer. 

The long wheelbase and low stance has the bike displaying good stability. Feeling light and agile at low speeds, the Intruder 150 provides a comfortable ride. The slightly less travel of the rear shock when compared to the travel of the Gixxer borrowed 41mm dia front forks, the ride does take some beating. It, however, does not get to the level ever where it is annoying and uncomfortable. The bike feels surprisingly easy to ride in town, in traffic. The tyres provide good grip under a variety of riding conditions. The Gixxer underpinnings make the bike impressive with its ability to provide a stable feel on a winding road.  

The Gixxer borrowed brakes exert a strong bite. The brakes make the bike shed weight without any hiccup. ABS is standard. Priced slightly below Rs one lakh, the Intruder 150 is well-engineered. Costlier than the Avenger by roughly Rs 15,000, the bike is engaging to ride. Leave for the skinny-looking tyres, the Intruder 150 with its low and bulbous stance is a headturner.  

Pros: Good performance, handling
Cons: Skinny tyres look a bit out of sync with the rest of the design

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