I sold this bike to a friend of mine and he is enjoying it very much. He's a lot shorter than me. I've left all of the info on this page, so feel free to read my thoughts about this little "Thumper"
This is how it looked when I got it.
You can follow the changes as you scroll down this page.
This is my opinion of a Suzuki LS650 Savage after a short time of owning it.
The negative things I found were very few. The main thing is, there is not enough room between the seat and the foot pegs for me(I'm 6'5"). I don't think my legs are going to get any shorter, and I can't seem to find a motorcycle stretcher so I probably won't keep this bike.
Riding anything over about 60 mph without a windshield is uncomfortable to me. This was easily fixed by adding the Suzuki windshield(about $125).
It does not keep the wind out of your face so you still get the feeling of riding a naked bike.What it does is, it keeps the pressure off of your chest at highway speeds and makes for a much more comfortable ride.
I also like having a place to carry things without having to tie them on and I don't like wearing a back pack while riding. Another easy fix. I added a set of Willie& Max semi synthetic saddlebags. With the Suzuki bracket, this came to about $150.
As with any bike, you should get on and off from the left side. The position of the exhaust when the bike is on the stand makes it kind of touchy getting on from the right(ask my lady friend, she got a second degree burn from the exhaust).
The things I like about the bike out number the things I don't. I like the way the bike handles. It has a low center of gravity, is light weight, and is very responsive. It has plenty of power for an around town bike (they seem to be popular for touring with some folks). The top end is listed as 88 mph. I've had this one over 80 and it rode really well. I don't think I'd try to ride all day at that speed, but I think you could do it at 65-70 mph.The single cylinder thumper has a cool sound without being too loud. The belt drive is smooth and pretty worry free. It's a low maintenance bike that you can ride without a lot of up-keep expense. It's really fun to ride and handles the curves well. You fell like you are going faster than you really are (this may be because I normally ride much bigger bikes). This is a good thing for me, because I normally catch myself riding too fast. This one is just as much fun when riding 10 mph slower.
The gas milage is only fair, I'm getting just over 45mpg. This is around town and I ride pretty hard. The plug has also been removed from the carb. When they come from the factory they are bad about back firing because they are set too lean. You have to remove a plug that covers the carb adjustment and set it to run a little richer. This gives better performance and stops the back firing.
This bike has rear drum brakes and a single disk on the front. I guess the reason they work soo well is because the bike is so light. It will slide the back tire if you don't use the front brakes properly, but if you use them both it has ample stopping power.
I got this bike in a trade with the intentions of selling it right off. I even stopped at a Honda dealer on the way home and tried to trade it on a Gold Wing. I would have gladly sold it before I ever unloaded it from the truck. I never rode a cruiser type bike and didn't think I'd like one. I never would have bought this bike if I were shopping for an around town bike, but I'm glad I ended up with it. With the windshield and the saddlebags, the Savage makes a great little commuter bike and a fun weekend rider. If I were about 6" shorter I'd probably keep this one. Overall I'd have to say that I would recommend a Suzuki Savage to anyone looking for a small cruiser type bike.
I've put a few hundred miles on the Savage this summer. It was just too hot to ride the Gold Wing around town. My opinion hasn't really changed. I like the bike, but it's too small for my 6'5" frame. I'd trade it for a BMW, but I don't think I'd get much of a BMW in trade.
Well I sold the Gold Wing and I'm left riding this Suzuki. I decided since this is what I have, I'll see if I can make it more comfortable. The first thing I did was adjust the handlebars and the gear shift lever to fit me. Man what a difference!
I purchased a Travelcade Gel set from JC Whitney. It does not look like the seat pictured on the JC Whitney site. I thought it would solve the sliding forward problem, but it's made almost exactly like the stock seat. It's more comfortable because of the gel pad, but you still slide forward. I put my mind in gear. I had to raise the front of the seat on my RT to stop the forward slide, so I began making spacers. I raised the front seat bracket 5/8". This brought the nose of the seat up even with the back of the tank and stopped the forward slide. I went for a test ride today to check it out. I spent about 5 hours riding the backroads of north east Alabama
and returned home this afternoon with very little backside discomfort. I highly recommend the Travelcade seat. You might have to raise the front a little to get maximum comfort, but it's well worth it if you ride any distance. It looks pretty cool on the bike too.
As you can see, the seat follows the line of the gas tank now.
I didn't like the lighting situation. The headlight (like most bikes) offered poor visibility when driving at night. I began looking for a light bar to mount driving lights on. Well as you know, it's hard to find goodies for the Savage here in the good ole USA. I finally decided to make my own. I made it from a piece of 1"x 1"x 1/8" aluminium angle. I mounted a set of Optilux 1502 (made by Hella) and wired them to work only when the high beam is on. I mounted a switch on the left side of the bar so the can be turned off, but I will probably leave them on anytime the high beam is on.
This is what it looks like to the rider.
This is a view of the switch.
I mounted it here because it's easy to reach while riding
and I didn't have to cause any damage to the bike.
These two photo's give you some idea of how the lights and the installation look.
***A Word Of Caution***
If you decide to make a mount like this, make sure you mount it high enough to clear the fork lock. Also be sure everything clears the tank with the forks turned fully in both directions before final tightening.
I also installed a Tire Fly on the front wheel. In case you aren't familiar with them, it is a small lighted diode that screws on the valve stem. They come in different colors and only light up when they move. I was not able to put one on the rear because of the angled valve stem. I thought it was kind of cool and that little light spinning around may be the difference in someone seeing me or not (I'd prefer that they do).
It already had some type of module installed that lights the rear turn signals as running lights. This is pretty cool and it really lights up the back of the bike. When you switch on a turn signal, the running lights go off. They remain off for 5 seconds after you switch the signal off, then the running lights come back on.
My latest visibility idea was to replace the side reflectors with running lights. They cost $3.99 each at the local auto parts store. I think it turned out pretty good. Take a look and see what you think.
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