Suzuki Marauder 250
This is a back-to-basics motorcycle with strong cruiser styling. minimal
spec is reflected in the retail price.
Suzuki has have this one around for some months now, and there have
been other variations on the Marauder name. The owerplant is donated by
UNDER THE SKIN
No surprises here. A basic steel frame with single downtube, bolted
to a twin cradle underneath the powerplant. The latter is an air-cooled
four-stroke single, with two valves per cylinder. This suggests that home
servicing should be well within reach of the careful beginner.
Starting: Entirely predictable -- hit the button, warm
it up, and ride off.
Suspension: Spring and damping rates are set soft for this very
conventional set-up, which is in keeping with the cruiser theme. It's comfortable,
but don't go looking for sporting ability. The only adjustment is preload
on the rear -- which is what you'd expect.
Brakes: This is as basic as you get, with a single-piston caliper
working on the sole front disc, and a mechanical drum rear. The combo works
very well solo, with plenty of feel.
Stability: Steering is the best we've met from anything with
a Marauder name. It's predictable. The plot gives sufficient feedback even
when pushed hard.
Cornering clearance: Not great. An enthusiastic rider will find
footpegs and various underpinnings touching the deck -- which should come
as no surprise if you buy a cruiser and then try to ride it hard.
Performance: Nothing to write home about. It is adequate around
town so long as you don't plan anything too brave in traffic. Maintaining
good highway speeds is pushing the performance envelope of this bike.
Rider comfort: There's a low seat height and forward foot controls.
Fine for a cruise, though the padding on the rider seat compresses quickly.
Pillion comfort: Quite roomy and a proper grab handle would
be a welcome addition.
Vibration/harshness: There's an ever-present single vibration
happening, which becomes uncomfortable when the powerplant is reaching
redline. Regard it as an in-built rev-limiter.
Finish: Much better than average for this price category.
Looks: If you want the full cruiser with the valanced guards
look, this has it with the minimum of fuss. The laced spoke wheels are
a nice (high maintenance) touch
Extras: Instrumentation is basic, with a speedo hanging out
in the breeze, sans tacho, above the chrome headlight shell. All good cruiser
practice. The Dunlop D404 rubber is, again, standard cruiser kit and seems
to do the job.
Value for money: At $5????, we're talking about the bottom end
of the 250 road bike price range, and the cheapest of the cruisers. Its
nearest competitor is Honda's 250 Rebel at $5???
If scooting about at a modest pace with the bare minimum of running
costs is your mission, this bike will do the job. However it struggles
in aggressive metro traffic and is not a realistic proposition for maintaining
decent highway speeds.
[Roadtests | Motorcycle
Model: Suzuki Marauder
Engine: Air-cool, 2-valve, 4-stroke
Weight: 137kg dry
Front tyre: 110/90-16
Rear tyre: 130/90-15
Fuel tank: NA
Top speed: 110kmh
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Article by Guy Allen
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