Suzuki has been conspicuous by its absence from the neo-retro market sector. Instead, its attention has been focused on bread and butter bikes, including the sixth iteration of the prized GSX-R1000. Furthermore, it’s expanded its smaller capacity range.
Suzuki SV650X Concept
However, last week Suzuki released a teaser video promising the reveal of a new bike at EICMA between 9th and 12th November. Many believe this bike to be Suzuki’s naked roadster, the SV650 in the guise of a neo-retro café racer, monikered SV650X.
If true the bike itself is a derivative of the SV650 Rally concept revealed at 2016’s Tokyo Motor Show.
In an earlier press release, however, on 22 September 2017, the manufacturer said:
“Suzuki Motor Corporation will unveil the SV650X at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show – which takes place from 27th October to 5th November – an evolution of the SV650 Rally concept shown at last year’s event. The original concept was designed to pay homage to the tarmac rally cars and bikes of the 1970s.”
So, the reveal could take place at the Tokyo Motor Show or EICMA. Either way, it means we’re going to see the bike at some point, between now and the 12th of November.
Suzuki SV650X TEASER VIDEO
You shouldn’t expect to get too much from a teaser video – just enough to whet the appetite. However, this teaser is abstract to the point of subliminal. And what’s up with the whole perfume advert vibe, replete with the cheesy smouldering woman? I thought motorcycle marketing had evolved beyond that now?
Suzuki is being cautious and has not yet set plans for production; rather it’s choosing to assess the market and customer feedback, before proceeding, if at all.
Hopefully, feedback will come in the form of ‘…we need more than just a retro bikini-fairing, clip-on handlebars and tuck-roll, on the bike to sway us.‘ or words to that effect.
It would be excellent to see Suzuki build a bike that leans towards the styling of the 1971 Suzuki GT750. That model was a counter to the Kawasaki Z1-900. As such super-apt, given the recent launch by Kawasaki.
Why not go even further back to the T500 (produced between 1961 and the late 70s)? As Moto Guzzi, Ducati, Triumph and BMW (soon Kawasaki also) will attest – in order to crack this market segment, full commitment to retro styling is required while equipping the bike with modern features.
Putting (metaphorical) lipstick on a bike and calling it something else, is probably not the way to go. However, in these precarious financial times, gambling your company’s fortunes on an unexplored market segment can be a little too daunting for some.