Is a Suzuki VX800 a beast?

Discussion in 'Road Warriors' started by steven1955, Jan 19, 2008.

  1. steven1955

    steven1955 Been here awhile

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    Is a Suzuki VX800 a beast?

    I came across a clean black one the other day, $2000 asking down from $2700, under 6000 miles. I don't know whether it's a 91, 92, or 93.

    I was looking for a bike to commute on and ride locally on weekends, one preferably capable of gravel roads with the right tires. A bike to complement my DRZ400s if I set it up for 80% dirt/20% street.

    I'm not sure I want to deal a 15 year old bike, other than a Transalp, or a bike that no farkles are available for. But it was pretty enough that it made me curious.

    So is it a good beast, a beast to be avoided, or not a beast at all?
    #1
  2. gosling1

    gosling1 Been here awhile

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    A roommate of mine had one several years ago - got the chance to ride it some - nice bike - however, would probably be classified on this site as a "Road Warrior" - you may want to direct your query in that subforum unless a mod moves it there...
    #2
  3. paul56

    paul56 Usually gruntled

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    I had a '90 that I bought with 30k on it in '95. Rode it an additional 68k over the next 11 years. Was leaky and saggy by then, but the only time it stranded me was when the voltage regulator shorted to ground and melted the main fuse. $106 to fix. Found out it wasn't an unusual failure and aftermarket/less expensive solutions were available. Very reliable and fairly comfortable, but my Ulysses has erased all longing for the VX. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend one. It wouldn't do well in dirt, did lousy in snow (another story, but my fault- not the bike's).
    #3
  4. BikePilot

    BikePilot Long timer

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    Pretty cool bikes, I like them. It is a road bike though so your sorta in the wrong section;)
    #4
  5. speedysheep

    speedysheep Been here awhile

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    I put 110,000 miles on mine, several thousand of that with a sidecar. I never had a problem beyond normal maintenance and wear items. The top end finally gave up the ghost (worn rocker arms) and I retired it.
    The steering geometry makes it very easy to ride on gravel, the front end feels very planted on the loose stuff compared to other street bikes I've ridden. I'd take a VX anywhere I'd take my Tiger or my wife's V-Strom. Great all-around bike.
    There's an active mailing list for the VX at vx800-l@mcf.com. There's also a web forum at http://www.mobile-designs.com/VX800/.
    #5
  6. bumpathump

    bumpathump Been here awhile

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    Steven --

    You may also want to check out www.vx800.net.

    If a "beast" is a bike that can be ridden on and offroad, I would not consider the VX a beast. Definitely more of a road warrior because of long wheelbase, raked forks, low ground clearance, no room for mud between front tire and fender, easily damaged low exhaust, and 520 pounds wet weight.

    I currently have 72K miles on my '91 VX. Shooting for 100K but not sure which one of us is going to croak first.

    [​IMG]


    Is the VX you saw for sale in the US? If you decide not buy it, please let us know where it is. Riders are always looking for clean, low mileage VXs.

    Thanks.

    Rick - Davis, CA
    #6
  7. speedysheep

    speedysheep Been here awhile

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    Hi Rick! :wave
    #7
  8. Itchykawa

    Itchykawa Been here awhile

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    I rode a VX800 for 2 years in the middle 1990's. Cool bike.:thumb
    #8
  9. bumpathump

    bumpathump Been here awhile

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    Hi Mike -

    Good to see you here.

    Rick
    #9
  10. Birdmove

    Birdmove Long timer

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    I've heard good things about the 700/750/800 Intruder engines which are the same as in this bike. I'd much prefer the "standard" design of the VX over the Intruder.

    jon
    #10
  11. eaglemike

    eaglemike Been here awhile

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    They are horrible bikes. Can you tell me where that one is so I can prevent anyone else from the experience?:D I ride one just a bit long ago. It was a very nice standard bike, with great rool-on for the displacement. IIRC the shocks seemed a little wimpy, but I loved the design and shaft drive.

    Sounds like a good buy! Good luck!

    all the best,

    Mike
    #11
  12. andruboz

    andruboz Serial overfiller

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    the nearest one to me is a road hard /put up wet twice painted model with 38k on it for $1675.95

    I still think about it when i get a tax return or bonus check in my pocket. and yours sounds waaay better than the one i'm looking at..
    #12
  13. KB

    KB Banned

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    I bought the first year model. It is comfortable and has very impressive mid-range torque. Overall I thought it was kind of Bland, but I was a younger man then.
    #13
  14. steven1955

    steven1955 Been here awhile

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    Thanks for all the VX800 feedback.

    I haven't made up my mind to do more than go back and check it out again. (I need to get the phone number anyway.) But if I don't go for it I'll post the information here assuming the bike is still available.

    So I'm not so sure I want a bike that's not a beast. But that VX800 is such a pretty bike. Too bad it's black, but it's still darn nice looking. Maybe I'll just have to get it for commuting and see how I like it.
    #14
  15. AZbiker

    AZbiker Crunkin' with crackers

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    Blasphemer!!!!


    :lol3
    #15
  16. steven1955

    steven1955 Been here awhile

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    Here's the bike. Sorry for the quality, but I only had a cell phone camera.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    The "owner" is a small independant shop with a boneyard. Claims to have just put the better of $1000 into the bike, and yet only wants $2000. Also, no test rides allowed due to insurance, although that seems to be typical for all MC shops in the area.

    Doesn't look likes its ever been down. Engine is very clean and free of leaks or corrosion, but there is light surface rust on the pegs and other miscellaneous bits. Rear shocks are as dead as dead can be.

    The odomoter said 5736. Can you totally trash OEM shocks in that many miles? The rest of the bike looked low mileage though.

    Battery was dead, and even with jumpers the engine wouldn't start, probably due to old gas. Not an impressive way to show a bike you are trying to sell.

    I'll go back later this week. The guy said he would get it running.

    My assessment is that if this wasn't a mildly collectable bike like VX800s are supposed to be that it would be a $1000 bike as is, or $1500 running.
    #16
  17. bumpathump

    bumpathump Been here awhile

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    Steven -

    Where did the $1000 go?

    VX OEM shocks usually last tens of thousands of miles before they lose their damping. How do you know they are dead if you did not ride the bike? Are they leaking oil?

    VXs that have been sitting for more than a month take a lot of cranking to start. Gas evaporates out of the float bowls, and the engine has to crank to create vacuum to activate the fuel pump to fill the float bowls. PITA. If the gas is old, or if rust is in the tank, a thorough tank and carb cleaning is probably in order.

    Light surface rust should not be a problem as long as the exposed fork tubes are not rusted or pitted.

    I agree with your assessment of $1500 if the bike is running and the title is clear and not a salvage title.

    Good luck.

    Rick
    #17
  18. buck12ga

    buck12ga Buck

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    I'd like one with an SV1000 engine. :evil
    #18
  19. steven1955

    steven1955 Been here awhile

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    Yes, they were leaking oil in a big way. And when I grabbed the grab handle at the rear of the seat I could bounce the bike up and down. The shocks had no resistance at all.
    #19
  20. vtwin

    vtwin Air cooled runnin' mon

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    Here's a picture of mine at Donner Lake a few years ago. I've since sold it with quite a bit of work done to it for $1600 with around 38K just to give you an idea. Watch out for steering head bearings, drive line lash from the shaft drive hub wear. Grooves in the rotors is also common. Pretty good bike though and one of the guys that rode with me to Alaska rode one.

    [​IMG]



    :wave Hi Rick!
    #20