Test Drive: Suzuki Raider R150

    Getting around the Metro isn’t nearly as easy as it used to be. There are just so many cars on the road now, it’s insane. As long as you’re responsible and careful about it, one of the better ways to get around the city is on a motorcycle. We got to spend some time with the Suzuki Raider R150, and here’s what we thought.

    Design: 4.5/5.0

    The Raider R150 that arrived for testing had the stunning red and black colorway. Few color combinations scream “mean,” and this is one of them. Red is used sparingly, so the bike perfectly achieves just the right amount of flash, without going overboard. Along with the light use of the color around the body of the bike, it also comes with red mags from the factory, which really brings the look of the bike together. In stark, but subtle contrast to the rest of the bike, Suzuki fitted this Raider with their new blue-tinted headlamp, giving the already eye-catching underbone an even more unique stance. The machine itself is of the usual aggressive Raider mold. It’s as low-slung as its smaller siblings, and still retains the headlight shape that is reminiscent of the larger GSX-R series of motorcycles. The ride height was perfect for my small 5’3 frame, so smaller riders needn’t worry about not being able to handle the bike, at least when it’s stopped.

    Hardware: 4.5/5.0

    As the name suggests, the engine displacement on this particular model is 150cc (or more precisely, 147.3), and that’s a lot of power on tap for such a small, light frame. Mated with that power plant is a six-speed, constant mesh, manual gearbox. It has a hydraulic, multi-layer clutch, and has both electric and kick starting. Keeping the engine within a reasonable operating temperature is the SALCS, or Suzuki Advanced Lubrication and Cooling System, which is helped along by the large, scooping opening just behind the front fork.

    Bumps on the road are smoothed out by front telescopic, oil-damped suspension, and a mono shock in the rear. It ships from the factory with front and rear disc brakes, in case you need to stop in a hurry, and has a fuel capacity of just under five liters. To help take the guesswork out of figuring out when your next top-up will be, it does come with a digital fuel gauge. The rest of the gauge cluster is fairly straightforward, with a digital speedometer and odometer, and an analog tach. You are also given a handy shift indicator which you can set to light up for either aggressive, or more sedate riding. All the other controls are in the usual places, so getting used to the bike should be no problem at all.

    Being that this is a sporty underbone, there really isn’t a whole lot of under-seat storage. There was barely enough room for the user manual, so don’t expect to be stowing your helmet anywhere except the helmet hook under the seat.

    User Experience: 4.0/5.0

    I have to be honest. I was really excited to test this bike out. I have always enjoyed two-wheelers, and since I haven’t really been able to ride as much as I would like, any time on a bike is great.

    With all my gear on, I squeezed the clutch and hit the starter. It took a little while for the gas to get all through the fuel line, but once everything was flowing right, the bike roared to life. It has a guttural sound to it, just a little lower than other single-cylinder thumpers out there, like it wanted to go as soon as the engine turned. I popped the bike into neutral, eased off the clutch, and promptly stalled the bike.

    The Raider we were sent was fresh from the factory floor, so I did expect a little resistance from the clutch, and I got it in spades. The clutch is both heavy and deep, so it takes a little getting used to. After making sure I wasn’t hassling anyone with my poor riding skills, I took a moment to get a better feel for the clutch, and I was off.

    When I say the bike goes, take that as an understatement. It’s a light frame which hardly weighs anything to the 150cc engine. From a standstill, a quick twist of the wrist, then pop the clutch, and you’ll be down the road in no time flat. Once you get used to it, the bike shifts very smoothly, without a bump, clunk, or knock anywhere, though that clutch is likely going to have you jerking forward, at least for a few hundred meters.

    The bike turns easily, though I would have liked to feel just a little more connected to the road. The bike was still going through the break-in period while it was in my hands, but on the few occasions I was able to push it a little bit, it felt solid. I would have loved to take the bike on some twisty roads to really get into it, as speed and acceleration were more than abundant

    Value / Price: 4.0/5.0

    With a sticker price of just under PHP 94,000, the Raider R 150 is significantly more expensive than a lot of bikes out there. Is it worth it? Absolutely. It’s zippy, handles well, and can really go, if you have the stones to push it. Sure, other bikes might be more reasonable, but the Raider R150 gives you an experience you just won’t get with a smaller displacement. That alone is worth the price of admission.

    What’s Hot:

    – Lots of power
    – Comfortable ride height
    – Great styling

    What’s Not:

    – Clutch is a little heavy

    Bottomline :

    If you want a daily commuter that is a blast for the weekend, this is it.

    Also published in GADGETS MAGAZINE May 2015 Issue.

    Reviewed by Ren Alcantara | Photos by Benedict Asal

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