Suzuki VanVan long term reviewJun 11, 2021
Hello again everyone and welcome to my
reviewof the Suzuki truck. Now I have to take some very quick notes before I start this video properly. The first is that this is a modified example. There are a few extras on this bike that aren't on the standard one and I'll go over them at the end just to give you an idea of what you can expect from the regular model versus what I have here. Another quick thing: the 200 and 125 cc variants are no
longer available as new in the EU, however as far as I know the 200 cc is still available in the US and Asia and there are also many models of second hand available.
It had a very long production period, so there are many used ones. and another great thing is that the engine brakes and various other components are shared with quite a few other bikes from other manufacturers, including cynics, and some of them are still in production today, so there are a lot of spare parts New and cheap ones available. If you need them so that there are no problems, that's fine, yes, so let's get into it, so this is the 125 cc variant. I should point out that this
reviewis just as relevant to the 200 as it is to the 125 because the differences between the two are minimal.
I bought this bike in January 2016, so I've had it for almost five years and done pretty much everything on it. We have been off road, riding long distances. I've been to other countries, in fact, I moved to the Czech Republic and I loved this bike so much that it came with me, so that gives you an idea of how much I've been impressed with this bike because it's not my first truck. I had a 2003 model with a carburetor a few years ago. I got rid of that and bought a Sports Tourer 600 which I loved. I had it for a few years or whatever, until it started developing engine problems and became uneconomical to repair due to its age and everything else, and I got out.
To buy another bike and instead of buying another big sport bike, I went to the 125 band, so you know, that gives you an idea of how much fun this bike is, that someone can go from a 600 sport bike which is a lot more powerful and faster and in my opinion I describe it as more fun, so there goes a quick overview of the bike for anyone who is not familiar with it or is looking to buy it. It is an air cooled 125 or 200 cc single cylinder engine, it is the same engine that can be found in the dr 200 200 dr-125, the 125 engine was also found in models such as gm gs125 and can also be found in the
suzukimarauder , the drsm 125 basically. quite a few bikes, it was used, they first introduced this motor in 1980 or 1980 and it was used until the 125 was discontinued in 2018, so that shows how reliable and good these motors are. they are practically bomb proof, you can mop that thing all day and as long as you keep up with the maintenance and take care of it, it will be absolutely fine for many, many miles, which is a big selling point, another very good thing about this bicycle is that it is very simple.
I think that's one of the reasons I chose it too was its sheer simplicity. Obviously it has only one cylinder. It is a very simple engine. The bike itself has no frills. Complex devices or anything else, it's just a purely mechanical chain drive from the engine to a rear wheel. The only thing a little complicated on this bike is the fuel injection system and even that is relatively simple as far as fuel injection systems go so it's very easy to maintain and That's probably for me one of the main reasons why I bought it, just because of its reliability, ease of maintenance and ease of fixing anything if it goes wrong, you know, compared to a bigger bike or a more expensive bike if something goes wrong. you might have to pay some pretty high repair bills with something like this, you could fix it yourself on a shoestring budget, which is great now, as a quick overview of the bike, we have the motor that I just explained, uh, it's the Pretty low ground clearance is about 26, maybe 28 centimeters, so obviously no, it's not going to compete with a real dirt bike or motocross bike, which will have higher ground clearance.
The suspension is more than adequate for this bike, it feels like. Absolutely fine, but again, it doesn't have as long a travel as a proper off-road bike would have, so while this bike can go off-road and is surprisingly capable, I would recommend anyone to own one of these. Go for a play-off road because they are a lot of fun, but you know you just have to be realistic in your expectations, it will go where you want it to go, but don't expect it to maintain performance with a dirt bike. I know you may be a little slower or some obstacles may be a little high and you may have to go around them because the ground clearance won't allow you to clear some of the obstacles that a normal dirt bike would be able to overcome. but you know, that being said, it's all about expectations, as long as you don't expect it to do things that it's obviously not designed for you to do, you'll be fine, it's pretty heavy, it's heavier than a standard, you know, some of the 25.
Over there you will find that they are a little lighter and that also contributes to the speed. You know these engines, the 125 has 11 horsepower and the 216 you will never see more than 65 to 70 miles per hour at full throttle. um on the road um, but like I say, it's not really, this is not the kind of bike that you would buy if you were, you know, looking to be the best or the fastest or have the most performance, it's the bike that You buy because it is solid, reliable and has character. I think that's probably the most important thing I would say about this pickaxe: reliability, fun, and character are its unique selling points.
Now, quickly, before I forget, I'll go over a few little points about the bike. Maybe they're not so good. I say they're not that good because as far as I'm concerned this bike doesn't really have any bad points, it just has a few points that, you know, some people might consider not amazing, but whatever the first one is, it's the rear. brake, yes it's a drum, quite old technology, obviously these bikes, even the 200, are not particularly powerful and are quite small, it is more than adequate and does the job well, but some people may find that a bit, you already know.
It's funny, you might think you know nowadays I should probably have a broken disc on the rear, but you know for me it's not a major issue, some people when considering which bike to buy might see it as a slight bad thing. , I don't know, it's something for you guys to consider, so next, I'll just point out some spots on the bike that tend to rust a little. The first thing is that you will find on the triple tree, the bottom of the triple tree tends, especially on some of the two fives that had a bare metal triple tree, it tends to rust quite a bit.
Mine was bare metal, I painted it black and that solved my problem, but that's something to pay attention to, because there's another thing that tends to rust, so the original exhaust system now you'll see that the mine is a stainless steel af
termarket system. The original, especially in the heads, also has a tendency to rust. Similarly, this motor plate no. this skid plate, but the motor plate behind it can also rust a little, so again, that's something to pay attention to. You can keep cleaning it and repainting it and stuff, but you know better than to take into account any of these things.
Know? Is there a reason not to buy the bike? Oh that's right, there are no real downsides to buying this bike unless of course you're worried about having less power and all that sort of stuff, but you know those are things you have to put up with. in mind, other than that the only other thing that some people complain about a little bit is the standard chain, so the standard chain sprockets on this bike I don't think is an issue on the 200 because I think the 200 uses a 520 chain anyway, but the stock 125cc variant uses a 420, is it a 428 or 425 chain?
Something like that, um, that for some reason tends to wear out pretty quickly. I have now changed mine to a 520, some people do that. Isn't it really a matter of personal preference? Another thing some people do is change the sprockets. They change the number of teeth on the front and rear sprockets to change the gear ratios. Some people tend to find that. The gearing on these bikes is a little high, so they change the gearing to lower it a little to make it more usable for them. I tend to find that the standard gear is absolutely fine because you have a kind of Gearing people who go more off road, go for another one, it really depends on what you're going to do, but honestly, if like me you're only going to do a little bit of everything, I'd say leave the relationships real transmission in peace and simply order.
Well maybe consider upgrading to a 520 chain if you want, it's not a necessity, I mean as long as you take care of your chain, if you clean it regularly and stuff like that, it's not that big of a deal and it also depends on how many. miles you put on, I mean, I've upgraded to the 520 chain because, in my personal experience, I find that it lasts four times longer than the standard one and because I put a lot of miles on this bike, that's something that I've You know, I've found it very useful, but like I say, it's not, it's not a necessity, so that's it, it's an overview of the bike, so what have they been like having it for so long?
Well, I loved it. Not really, I would say you know there have been some situations where I have missed having a little bit more power. I think this bike. I would love to see them bring this bike. Coming back with a new engine, maybe something like a 250 or a 300 because I think this bike would be good for 20 to 25 brake horsepower in my personal opinion, I think it would be great because that's how much power that you would still have. You don't have to change the bike too much, you could keep the brake setup as is, you could keep everything else since it's 20-25 horsepower, it's still not much this frame and everything could handle it just fine, but I I feel like that would be a good amount of power for this particular vehicle to have um, but with that being said, I mean, you know I have, I mean, I have the least powerful version that you can buy, it's the 11 horsepower version and even so.
I still have a lot of fun with it. I just miss the power sometimes when, um, and it's only on certain roads, ironically, it's actually on single lane roads, like when you're on um, like the little railroads and stuff. when people do it, I don't get it much here in the Czech Republic, but certainly in the UK people can be real if you'll excuse my language when it comes to overtaking and stuff like that, whereas you know when I'm on the motorway because it's interesting, some people say taking a 125 on the freeway is dangerous and everything else is absolute garbage.
I've never had a problem with that. In fact, although it is quite underpowered for what it is. I took this on the highways, went to the airport and stuff like that and on several occasions most of the time, at least several times on each trip, I find myself going into the center lane to pass people, so you know it's perfectly fine, especially. Because this has a little more weight and it's a little more planted, I mean ground clearance, uh, it's not a ground clearance, sorry, the center of gravity is pretty low, so it's a bike planted well, in fact, riding this over long distances is absolutely fine, and with that big comfortable seat, it's quite nice, so you know, I've had no problems taking the highway and I've never felt like I've never cared no being so fast on the motorway because where you have extra lanes there's plenty of room for people to go and go faster and drop you off, it's not a big deal, it's just on the smaller single and dual carriageway roads I used to find .
There is a problem, but as I say, since I moved to the Czech Republic around here, especially where I live, the speed limits are around 50 kilometers per hour in the towns and cities outside the city, between the towns. Be lucky if you go over 80 kilometers per hour before you start entering restricted areas and stuff anyway, then you'll never get to a stretch of road that's actually that fast where I live, I mean there are parts of the Czech Republic where You can, you know, that there is a highway between Harales and Prague, where you can really reduce the power if you have a more powerful vehicle, but I think I don't really need it, as far as you know.
For this bike, I would say if you're looking to buy one, just keep in mind that it's for fun, you know, if you want more power, if you want more off-road capability, you're going to want to look elsewhere for the type of people that buy. this bike are people whothey just want to relax, have a bit of a laugh and they don't care too much, it's a fantastic bike, if you have something like a caravan, you want to take it, you know, take it camping with you and things like that. that or if you just want to enjoy some types of off-road trails on the weekend, you know, a little green landing or whatever, but like I say, it's mainly for people who don't take themselves too seriously.
It's a fantastic little bike, it oozes character, it's solid, reliable, incredible, but it's not for not for people. that they take themselves too seriously, they really don't, so that's it. I'll quickly go over the modifications I made so you know what is and isn't standard. I just mentioned it to the network, um. You'll also see that I have a Givi Monolock uh luggage rack attached to this pick. I'll put it in there because you know, I currently use this bike as my daily commuter, so it needed a little more storage. uh they came off a honda cb125f and obviously I modified them to fit the truck so it's not a standard thing it's not an accessory you can buy for the bike it's something I modified and then welded a bar through that. it sits on top of the standard shelf and then I just made some little pieces down here that actually work really well.
I'm very happy with that other modification I made to the headlight, now the headlights on these look exactly the same. it's just that they normally have a black backing uh they're also normally mounted down here. I have them mounted sideways, which was actually a result of me moving to the Czech Republic. I obviously bought the bike with me from the UK and had to change the headlight because it obviously went in the wrong direction. Some motorcycles do not have low beam headlights. They have a flat light. This one had a low beam so I had to change it.
Now I take this off road and I love playing off road on this bike so I added a guard plate, this guard bar down here protects the bump and then this guard plate just prevents anything from hitting it , that came out like the thinner Apache was pretty. It's also a straight bolt on, which is great because since the Apache is one of the bikes that uses the same engine exhaust I already mentioned, it's an all stainless steel system and other than that the only real modifications what I've done is the uh the meter now I know some people won't like this this is a personal preference so you know it usually has an analog meter.
This is a digital cosso meter that added some functions. Now I have a rev counter and I can also monitor the voltage of the batteries so that's something again, it was just a personal thing I wanted to do, it's not something you know everyone will like but it doesn't matter I've already painted the I think which I have already done. I mentioned that I painted the headset, buds and all, the triple tree, to prevent rust, that worked great and other than that the only other modification is LED lighting and a heated seat, so I took the deck.
This installed the heated seat pad and there's all the things I've done to this bike to make it more personal to me and you know, make my life a little more comfortable because I ride it even now, five years, almost five. Years later, I still use this as my everyday, even now in winter, it's actually quite cold here at the moment. Well, it's not winter, it's fall, but we are getting closer to winter. It's starting to get colder and I'm still outside. I still ride it to work and stuff like that, so you know it's fantastic, and yeah, that's all there is to say about that, like I say to sum it up guys, if you're looking for a fun bike that's full of character that it's reliable and that you can take it out for a good time, this is the purchase for you if you're looking to do some serious off-roading or some serious on-road driving or whatever, it's probably not um, but yeah, there you go, hopefully. gives you a good idea of what exactly this bike is about.
I hope you enjoyed this video, if you did please like it if you haven't already, subscribe to the channel and check out my other videos. I have some. Excellent things about this SUV and several other things. I'll be doing more off-roading around here soon too, so check out those videos for now. I'll see you again soon.
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