American Suzuki recently took the tough step of filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and ceasing auto sales in the U.S., which will allow it to focus on its motorcycle and marine business in this country. The plan has already resulted in its powersports lineup swelling from just 10 bikes and ATV models in 2010 to 47 for 2013, including 36 motorcycles.
That number doesn’t count the Burgman 400 and 650 scooters, either, the latter of which gets a makeover for 2013. Styling has been updated for the first time in 10 years and the Burgman 650 gets a smaller, slimmer profile. New instrumentation with an analog speedo and tach is easier to read than the former all-digital panel, and less drag in the CVT makes the bike 40 percent easier to push, resolving a common complaint. Refined transmission programming and reduced mechanical losses also result in 15 percent better fuel economy (claimed). For 2013, the former Executive model upgrades such as power retractable mirrors and passenger backrest are standard, and the new Executive model adds a heated seat and grips. Both model prices in Pearl White or Metallic Gray are TBD.
Emissions regulations squeezed Suzuki’s air-cooled Boulevard C90 cruiser model out of the lineup after 2009. Now a 1,462cc model has returned called the C90T. It’s based on the liquid-cooled M90 engine and steel-tube hardtail-look chassis, with classic styling, a large windscreen and ABS. Plastic locking hard saddlebags are covered in the same material as the seats. The C90T’s 54-degree SOHC V-twin has 4 valves per cylinder and fuel injection with two Suzuki Dual Throttle Valve throttle bodies. A pair of slash-cut mufflers tames its exhaust note and shaft final drive rolls the power back to a 200/60-16 rear tire. We got a brief ride on a C90T and appreciated its abundant torque, smoothness, wind protection and mellow rumble. The C90T BOSS (Blacked-Out Suzuki Special) in Gloss Sparkle Black will retail for $13,999. Two versions wearing two-tone paint will come later—their MSRPs are TBD. A standard C90 is also due in April 2013.
Suzuki’s sportbike line gets a boost from a revised Hayabusa supersport with new Brembo Monobloc radial calipers and ABS for $14,399 (Marble Daytona Yellow/Gloss Sparkle Black limited-edition is $14,599). The company has also produced 1 million GSX-R models since its introduction, so it will celebrate with a numbered, limited-edition GSX-R1000Z with special graphics for $13,999. Just 1,985 will be produced, which corresponds with the year the GSX-R first shred a tire in anger.
With gas prices on the rise and the economy in turmoil, 250cc sportbikes and cruisers are flying out of dealer showrooms. Suzuki will answer the call for a comfy 250 standard with the 2013 GW250, a lightweight, liquid-cooled, SOHC fuel-injected parallel twin with styling reminiscent of the radical B-King that gives this fuel sipper a larger-than-life appearance. The GW250’s price is TBD.