is a regular contributor
to the MBT Forum and is also a relatively new biker. Who better,
then, to give us an objective opinion on one of the options
open to learners who don't want to ride scooters? Here's his
review (maybe not totally objective as he bought one) of Suzuki's
learner friendly GV125 Marauder.
Suzuki’s 125cc 4-stroke Marauder! Not the most
powerful bike around and definitely not the sportiest. Having
trawled through websites on bikes and having had the idea
that I would be hopping onto the latest R1 or Fireblade, once
I had done all the training and got my licence I began to
understand just how how naïve I was...
A lot of people will look at custom bikes as a category for
the older generations or simply do not bother because they
don't provide the adrenaline rush most of us seek. Well I
can only say that since purchasing this bike last year, I
could not imagine myself without a custom in my garage. (I
felt the same after testing the Harley Fat Boy a couple of
years ago - couldn't live with one as an only bike but...
UK Marauder 125s come in two colours - metallic navy (as
in the pictures) or silver (which actually looks like a very
pale blue). Dark blue suits it better, I think. I bought this
bike initially for two reasons. The first was that I needed
a bike to train on; the second was that I had to convince
people that I was not going to end up as the next smear on
the wall or car bonnet! Having searched around a bit, I decided
that the look of the Marauder was actually quite nice. And
it is a good looking bike, bearing in mind that it is only
The physical aspects: The bike actually looks bigger than
it is in real life. Most people have asked me if it’s
a 250 or sometimes a 400. Sadly when I switch on the engine,
most revert back to 250. The bike itself is pretty low and
quite wide although no larger than a GSXR600 (tested with
There is a seat for a pillion on the bike as standard and
most find the ride actually enjoyable. However do not go expecting
to be riding with luggage and a pillion unless you are willing
to put the luggage in front of you.
Apart from that everything is pretty conventional. I do like
the shape of the tank though. It just seems a little different,
in terms of comparing it with a Harley let’s say.
Oh and I love the notice on the tank - “Warning failure
to follow these safety instructions may result in injurity!"
What the heck, it's still better than my Japanese.
any case, the bike is actually still a little bit of a head
turner. I have even had a couple of compliments from Harley
owners! Such friendly folk!
The technical side: Well the bike generates the whole of 11.5
BHp and 9.6Nm torque. So are we talking a brute of a bike?
No! Then again it is not designed for that. The bike is great
for city commuting. It will take you up to 30 miles an hour
in however long, but it still holds it fine. No vibrations,
no dodgy steering nice and easy. Once you try and hit 40 miles
an hour you can hold that as well, but you will struggle,
without the help of a slope or tailwind, to get much further
up. My top speed with the wind, a hill and the will of engine
was a whopping 70 miles an hour. Just.
Ok, so maybe I'm being fussy about the power of a 125cc bike,
but there is a small problem for me. This comes when it is
time to turn. In a city there is not much problem but you
will not find yourself steering round a corner at 30mph easily.
The handling is actually not all that great. So you end up
having to slow down a fair bit for those sharper corners and
then suffering because of the lack of power.
You may ask why not lean more into the corner and this leads
me to my second gripe about this bike. The foot pegs. You
turn that bike too much and they will scrape the road. Now
I know it is not a sports bike but if you are going a touch
too fast for a turn you see that curb come up pretty close
and so you lean! Of course the pegs scrape a little and you
start to let off. Then you need the power to get back up to
speed again and...
In terms of stability, the bike is perfect. At traffic lights
you start off and you can literally take both feet up like
landing gear on a plane! It is super stable. The bike weighs
in at 126kg dry but it is still heavy enough to feel like
a proper machine.
up is suspension. Well the bike is pretty low, as you'd expect
from a custom. You will feel the bumps. Two up you will feel
more than the bumps. Unfortunately the suspension allows for
you to feel things a little too much. Mind you it is supposed
to be a cruising bike, in other words, open roads. Bearing
in mind that I am talking about central London (and we all
know what the roads are like there), perhaps the criticism
is a little unfair.
Compared to other learner bikes, the Marauder's larger wheels
and proper clutch and brakes make it easy to learn to ride
on. It's not threatening, such power as is available is easily
accessible without needing great handfuls of revs to pull
away and the whole thing is built strong enough to withstand
those inevitable low speed tumbes when you're learning. It's
also difficult to crash it - I know because I've done so but
I had to try quite hard!
In conclusion: I would highly recommend this bike as a first
bike and as a baby commuter. Long distances would not be ideal,
just because the top speed will not hack it on an A road.
For the image conscious, all I can say is that as mentioned
above, I have people asking me if it is a Harley, and Harley
riders asking where I got a 125 model from. And finally, Suzuki
have a great dealer network and the basic mechanicals are
well tried and tested. For those wishing to get a bike with
a little classic feel to it and an easy learning curve this
is a definite must.