Offcourse (if you’ve already didn’t know), I ride a Suzuki XF650 Freewind.
The fun thing about this bike is that it didn’t cost me that much.
I paid a round -,€1000 for it, without guarantee that the bike will perform perfect.
I test-drove this bike with a lot of anxiety, scared because that I didn’t have a drivers license at that time (which is stupid), and because I didn’t want to crash it.
A quick up- and down the road, and everything checks out very well.
Freshly revised front forks and ultrasonic cleaned carb, no rust, so everything was good.
After the deal was closed, I inspected the bike another time, checking if there were any faults. There was one small oil leak (but nothing bad), but the brake fluid wasn’t changed a long time ago. It turned brown and was on the lowest level.
The brakes weren’t in good shape either, front was good, rears were totally shot.
The chain was also at the end of it’s life, which was a bad thing for me, because a chain- and sprocket set also cost a lot.
At first glance, the bike looked clean, but upon further inspection, the swingarm and wheels were as dirty as it can get.
Caked on brake dust and chain oil. Luckely a rag and some brake cleaner did a good job removing everything.
After the wash, the bike looked as good as new, apart from a few small scratches on the muffler and side panels, which were later replaced and/or painted.
Let’s talk about specifications.
The bike has 47hp, which converts into 35kwW which is A2 legal. (see end of this article)
It weighs about 180kg wet (full tank, without any farkels) and has a tank size of about 18,5 litres including reserve (3-4 litres).
Using the stock sprocket setup of 15-43 the bike (theoratically) reaches a top speed of about 167,8km/h.
With sprocket setup 15-41, you can reach speeds up to 171,7 km/h.
Ride quality and brakes
I’ve never taken the XF to it’s max potential, because I’m still a bit nervous to drag my knee (or even my bike) onto the ground, which already happened because of the SW-Motech centerstand. I also have a slight problem with wind buffeting, but that’s because of the touring windshield.
A thing to mention: the bike handles in good weather like a dream, brakes are also not a problem. Just take a good set of tires.
In bad weather with a lot of wind gusts, you should take notice that the bike is very sensitive to these gusts.
The bike also handles the dirt very well, considering it’s weight.
644cc, 5 speed, SOHC (4 valves), dual carb, air/oil cooled.
The engine is almost the same as the DR650, but this one has dual carburators.
It is also used in the CCM644 r30 Supermoto.
Pretty enough power for a beginner, no unexpected wheelies, but you can expect some skidding when accellerating from a standstill.
Build quality and reliability
Good quality, lot’s of plastic, which is good for weight reduction and rust-proofing.
Powdercoated steel frame, alumin(i)um swingarm, steel rims. I haven’t found rust on my bike, except on the exhaust pipe which runs just behind the front wheel.
I could say that the bike is rust-proof.
Interesting to mention
The cool thing about this bike, is that it’s the only one in it’s niche with a full backlit liquid crystal display.
This displays speed, rpm, trip, and fuel, which is very handy for those commuters.
I’ve never seen this on a bike from 1998 if you ask me.
There’s also an empty light socket in the dash.
The Suzuki XF650 Freewind
My bike farkels
– Kappa Topcase
– Givi E22 Panniers
– Givi Touring windshield
– SW-Motech centerstand
– 12 Volt accessory plug
– New chrome “Suzuki” badges
– Handlebar crossbar
– Small non-LED blinkers
– Knockoff “Givi” windscreen spoiler
– Heated grips
– M.S.R. exhaust (review coming up)
– Moto-Adventure-Tech Crashbar (see reviews)
– Moto-Adventure-Tech Side rack (see reviews)
– Continental TrailAttack II
The different motorcycle categories in Belgium
Belgian laws put motorcycles in 3 categories.
The first one is A1, which consists of 125cc bikes that have a maximum of 11kw.
The second one is A2, this one consists of bikes that have a maximum of 35kW, but they can’t be restricted from bikes that have 70kW or more.
The third one is A, consisting of bikes that are more than 35kW. When you have a license for A class motorcycles, you may also ride A1 and A2 bikes.