trip. The Inazuma’s ride quality and ergonomics were at work again to make my trip an enjoyable affair. You sit upright with your arms stretched which enables the weight of your top body to be distributed over your spine and shoulders and not burden your lower back like in a Bullet. After a 2-3 hour ride, you don’t get off the saddle with a numb feeling in the bottom of your spine. Then there is the ample seat on which you can adjust your position to find that comfortable spot. The engine lets out a mellow but deep growl which is not disturbing even at high speeds. The icing on the cake is the complete lack of vibrations at speeds of upto 120 kmph. You can drive on for hours at speeds of 90-110 without feeling fatigued.
The bike is extremely stable in a straight line and you don’t get unruffled by wind blast and air pockets caused by cars and SUVs passing you by at high speeds.
The Inazuma enables you maintain a higher average speed than many other bikes. You can quickly speed up, even in 6th gear, after slowing down to give way to a car being driven at suicidal speeds. Having clocked hundreds of highway miles on a Bullet, I can say for sure that if you are trying to cover the maximum distance within a given time, it is more important to maintain a consistent speed and take fewer breaks. Riding at 120KMPH plus for short bursts, quickly decelerating and building up speed again fatigues you forcing you take more frequent breaks reduces your average speed.
The more I ride the Inazuma, the more it reminds me of what the Bullet should have evolved into. It is in the same weight category as the Bullet 350 (around 180 kgs), which means the bike rides glued to the road. But unlike a bullet, it does not thud and shake when ridden over road humps and other offerings of the famous ‘Indian road conditions’. Instead, it goes over them causing minimum discomfort to the rider. The linear power delivery from 40 kmph all the way to 120 kmph in top gear is just what the doctor ordered for highway riding. Unlike a bullet which vibrates like crazy when pushed to anything over 80 kmph, the Inazuma is totally vibration free at 100-120 kmph speeds. Rides up curving hill roads are particularly enjoyable. You can tilt the bike to take in that road sweep at sharp angles. The same road I went on my 600 km highway trip, I have been on a Bullet earlier. If I compare the two riding experiences, it is like business class for the Inazuma and economy class for the Bullet.
The bike is extremely well built. Every component looks to be of a high quality. The switch gear is the best I have seen on any bike in India. The wiring is well hidden and barely noticeable. Believe me, instead of a Suzuki badge, if this bike had the moniker of a famous German manufacturer, auto magazines would have written pages and pages praising its build quality. After two months and 2500 kms, there is no loose nut on the bike, the break and clutch lever play is the same as when it was brand new. The tappets do not sound loose and were not even adjusted at the first service. The engine feels much smoother now than when it was new.
The secret to the Inazuma’s engine performance is its long stroke twin cylinder two valve per cylinder engine. This configuration allows it to offer great low and mid-range power besides maintenance–free performance for thousands of kilometres. Unlike a 4 valve per cylinder engine which has 50% more moving parts, a two-valve per cylinder engine loses out on top-end power but gains in low end power and lower maintenance.
I have been a regular biker in my younger days having done Delhi- Leh, Delhi-Jaisalmer and many other trips on a Bullet 350, a bike I immensely love despite its quirks. The Inazuma makes immense sense for the folks who go on leisurely highway rides on Bullets and also use it for their daily commute. Many of the shortcoming of the bullet are addressed by the Inazuma while improving upon its core strengths.
What to like:
- Excellent riding position, no fatigue even after riding for hours.
- Ride quality is fantastic, can go over the worst of roads with no discomfort.
- Smooth engine with linear power delivery. Lots of low and mid-range power.
- Long and well-padded seat which is very comfortable for both rider and pillion.
- High quality components. I rode in water logged roads several times and there is no rust anywhere. Nothing feels loose after clocking 2500 kms. No issues with the engine which starts at the first press of the self-starter.
- Fuel efficiency of around 30-32 kmpl