fact

Suzuki VS 1400 Intruder printing

Big in Japan

It was Suzuki’s large Intruder that, with its 1360 cubic centimeters, was the first Japanese chopper in the second half of the 1980s to just surpass the capacity of the fat 1340 Harleys. What mattered even more: She was taken seriously even by the die-hard Harley fan base.

It had gotten late that evening in the editorial office. And quite shady outside. Quickly put on the practical BMW suit, put on the flip-up helmet and up on the Intruder. I just wanted to go home. With a sonorous bubbling just above idle, the »Trude« slid casually through the city in the last corridor. In the glow of the street lamps, the chrome flowed in waves over the shiny wine-red paint. Gentle vibrations rubbed the last stubborn thoughts of work out of my head. Today you would call it chill out. And that from the editorial underground car park exit. The Intruder rolled slowly in front of one
red light off.

Suddenly to the left of me there was no TÜV-free Harley sound. A pair of steel helmet-armored sunglasses with a scarf underneath looked over at me, eyed Suzi from head to toe. Then me. Finally a shake of the head and a blank gesture ?? you don’t have them all, before the Harley popped up and away at the green with a dull rumble. The guy was right, of race, my outfit really didn’t go with this chrome sparkling chopper. But the amazing thing about this experience was: The VS 1400 Intruder arrived. A real chopper, made in Japan, which even hardened Harley freaks would not turn away with contempt.

That was exactly 20 years ago. 1986, when Austria introduced the digital telephone dialing system for its citizens, the double taxation agreement between India and West Germany was passed and the flag of the European Community fluttered in the wind to the sound of the European anthem in front of the Berlaymond building in Brussels for the first time. What an uneventful year ?? if the Suzuki VS 1400 Intruder hadn’t hit the scene with a bang.

With all consistency, a Japanese manufacturer finally dared to approach the chopper theme leased from the Americans and gave the previously stale, meager Asian soft chopper line with the Suzuki VS 1400 Intruder a huge kick in the buttocks. Away with the unspeakable cast wheels, down with the cozy and cuddly step bench seats and just unscrewed these footrest systems, the position of which would at best serve the credit of a tourer. These swollen would-be choppers always had the feeling of sitting in the guest toilet of an old people’s home.

From the point of view of true chopper friends, Suzuki had done everything right with the fat "Trude". Far ahead, towards the front wheel, not far from the pipeline-thick exhaust manifold, the pegs are mounted and clearly point the driver’s legs forward. Like a soldier’s beret, the teardrop-shaped tank only sparsely covers the bare, gleaming chrome cylinder head covers. Like a tight-fitting bikini, the proper seat cushion, it seems, holds the curved rear section together, under which a fat 170 15-inch model oozes out. Sparkling wire-spoke wheels correspond at the front with a filigree telescopic fork and sparkling chrome fork bridges, at the rear with arm-thick, short end silencers and a highly polished housing for the angle drive to the rear wheel. Everything is arranged with care, perfectly coordinated. Neither pompous fenders nor senseless ornaments decorate the VS 1400 like a Christmas tree covered in tinsel. Like a narrow towel, the narrow fender covers the front wheel to the bare minimum, while a tiny headlight shines the road at night. A single speedometer on the upper triple clamp holds the position lost. Tachometer, indicator lights and other bells and whistles? Nothing. Suzi restricts herself to the essentials, not a gram seems too much. Nevertheless, it still weighs 260 kilograms with a full tank.

Actually, the VS 750, which saw the light of day in the world of choppers, should have been delighted because it looks almost exactly like its big sister VS 1400. But only almost. With its three-quarter liter V-engine it was mentioned in the same breath as the Honda VF 750 C or Kawasaki VN 750 Twin and, as the chopperiest of all choppers, drowned in the mediocrity of its displacement. Pah, for real long-lever freaks nothing but children’s toys.

The Suzuki VS 1400, on the other hand, offers even more displacement than any Harley. Incredible. The thickest of all American pots has so far achieved 1340 cm3 and a drowsy 59 hp. Suddenly 1360 cm3 and 67 hp were the measure of all things. And all that at an unbeatable price: 13,999 Marks including delivery fee. A Softail was no longer available even for a small loan, 26,915 marks went over the counter for it? Mind you, at a time when the dollar rate of 1.79 marks had long been on the downward slide.

With all the references to the American original, the
The Japanese come up with a few things, the finely ribbed, air-cooled ones
V-twin cylinder to make the interior modern. So that the electric starter has easy play with the big pots, an automatic decompression device takes the pressure back in the combustion chambers of the three-valve engine when the starter button is pressed. In addition, Suzuki donated the mighty V2 a hydraulic valve clearance compensation, which eliminates the annoying adjustment of the valves for customer service and an optimal clearance is guaranteed. Another trick that the Japanese used to guarantee the reliability of the engine: They provided the rear cylinder, which was subject to higher thermal loads, with an oil cooling system like the one in the super sporty GSX-R models. Fortunately, it all happened in secret, otherwise the progressiveness of the VS 1400 would have deterred one or two Harley freaks.

These measures could not harm the rustic character of the large intruders. With a 45 degree crank pin offset at a 45 degree cylinder angle, the engine can easily do without a balance shaft for vibration dampening. When accelerating, the giant stomps and rumbles with hissing and rattling like an ancient cattle, albeit a very good-natured one. It rises leisurely from its springs, takes giant steps forward, only to soon transition into a gentle glide. With a hard clack and clunk, the four gears are quilted in a snap. But why four? The second is enough to start off, and from 60 km / h traveling is only announced in the last gear.

Now you shouldn’t believe that everything works perfectly just because something comes from Japan. Not at all. The front brake only reacts in a mannered manner under the threat of force and a courageous pull on the lever. Maybe better that way, because with the front wheel in the far distance, the sensitivity for contact with the road is pretty poor anyway. In addition, the rear brake makes big cheeks in good time and brings the "Trude" to a standstill.

Ultimately, the VS is no more suitable for driving fast than a semi-trailer truck is for Formula 1. A lack of lean angle and the stubborn will to bob the rear end to warn at brisk pace dictate the driving style: hurry with a while.

In addition, Suzuki also offered the Intruder with T-bone handlebars as the VS 1400 GLF. That was in 1987. Due to a lack of buying interest, the variant disappeared again after a year. Otherwise, the "Trude" was granted a life without major changes for many years. In 1991, however, it had to be given a five-speed gearbox and modifications to the exhaust and air filter had to be made in order to be able to meet the strict noise regulations. It lost three barely noteworthy horsepower as a result of this intervention and unfortunately also a little of its beautiful sound.

Andreas Feix bought this model new in 1994, always good
well-kept and largely left in its original condition. Fortunately for us, because it is extremely difficult today, another good one
Obtaining a serial VS 1400 Intruder. Most of them have been converted from head to toe by their owners, better from handlebars to license plate holders. Whole packs of wolves and Indian tribes have found a permanent home on the teardrop-shaped tank made using airbrush technology. All indications that the VS 1400 Intruder was the first Japanese chopper to really gain recognition in the relevant scene.

Technical data – Suzuki VS 1400 Intruder

Engine: air / oil-cooled two-cylinder 45-degree V-engine, bore x stroke 94 x 98 mm, displacement 1360 cm3, one on top each
Camshaft and three valves per cylinder, two 36 mm constant pressure carburettors, rated output 49 kW (67 hp) at 5000 rpm, four-speed gearbox, cardan shaft. Chassis: double-loop tubular steel frame, telescopic fork, Ø 41 mm, travel 160 mm, disc brakes at the front and rear, two spring struts, travel 105 mm. Measured values: Acceleration from 0 to 100 km / h 5.2 seconds, pulling power from 60 to 140 km / h 10.1 seconds, top speed 167 km / h, weight with a full tank of 260 kg, tank capacity 13 liters. Price (1987): 13,999 marks.

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