Tanshanomi's Snap Judgments

Suzuki B-King

Wed, June 2nd, 2010

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2007-10 Suzuki B-King
The amazing thing is not how much power the B-King makes, but that it manages to make that much power and still be untemperamental in traffic and relatively manageable to control. Despite its civility, it gets a half-point off for making too much power. It would have been a full point if not for the selectable decreased power mode. Newbies and adrenaline junkies lacking self control still need not apply.
The B-King is wide, tall and heavy, and you'll wrestle with every ounce of it crossing a parking lot. Once at speed, however, it doesn't feel so big. Strong brakes with optional ABS are nearly a match for the engine. Nearly.
It's supposed to look aggressive and radical. It actually looks more silly and nerdy than intimidating, like one of those pudgy dweebs who wear their Star Trek uniforms to sci-fi conventions.
It's remarkable that that much power can hold together. The only time you'll break anything on the B-King is when you toss it down the road.
It's too big to be truly called practical. I don't mean that as a criticism; it simply has so much more of everything than any situation really requires. But the ergonomics are roomy and the seat is better than it looks. I guess it is something you can live with relatively painlessly, day-in-and-day-out, if you really want to. Well, until it kills you.
While I like the basic concept of a monstrous four-cylinder standard, it's been done a lot better in the past. The B-King's overdone styling is better in person, but still a turn-off. And frankly, I don't think I'll ever want that much motor, no matter how skilled a rider I become.
Think of the B-King as a 21st-century GS1150E...in drag.