Instrument Cluster and Switchgear – While the Avenger range chugs along with the stone-age instrument console, Suzuki has made use of the Gixxer’s fully-digital console from the parts bin. Definitely, digital is not the way to go as far as cruiser motorcycles are considered. However, the console in question is loaded with all the bells and whistles to keep customers happy. In addition to a speedometer, odometer and fuel gauge, you get two trip meters, a tachometer and read-outs for time and gear position. There is a programmable shift light which flashes rapidly as the tachometer approaches the set RPM. Buttons for tweaking the console settings are aptly positioned below the display on either side. Since the motorcycle now gets single-channel ABS, there is a dedicated ABS light on the right of the console to indicate any snag in the braking system.
The small orange-backlit screen displays a lot of information at once, which results in a cluttered layout. However, important variables such as speed and fuel gauge are quite large and easy to read. There are two modes, or rather small icons which stand for eco and power, on the display that light up according to your throttle inputs. Switchgear is a straight lift from the Gixxer which gets all the basic functions with decent quality switches. A kill switch and pass light switch are part of the package. However, the headlight switch is history since the Intruder 150 comes with AHO functionality. Thanks to the plastic cowl surrounding the instrument cluster, there are no loose ends and all wires are tucked and bundled neatly.
Ergonomics – Blessed with a classic cruiser-like riding position, the Intruder 150 gets forward-set footpegs, low saddle height and supremely comfortable seats. Thanks to the Gixxer’s wide handlebars, the rider now sits in a relaxed position which is pretty close to what we had experienced astride the Avenger Street series. This laid-back riding position makes for a luxuriating experience on long-distance tours and the undeviating handlebar gives more control over the motorcycle as compared to the embowed variety. All controls fall within easy reach and short to medium heighted riders are going to appreciate how effortlessly this motorcycle can be manoeuvred around town. The accomodating split-seats are extremely well-cushioned and the tapering grab rail merges seamlessly with its sloping rear end. In the name of change, Suzuki has made a huge blunder with the positioning of the keyhole. It now sits ahead of the instrument cluster in a susceptible position, which also means that the rider will have to stretch for reaching the keys from time to time. Over a span of few hours, you’d realise that it is better to turn the keys before mounting the saddle or after getting off!
Performance – The Suzuki Intruder 150 borrows the Gixxer’s single-cylinder 155cc powertrain which is fed by a carburettor. Due to its uniform power delivery and smooth nature, this air-cooled engine feels right at home in the cruiser. While the power and torque figures (rated at 14.8 PS and 14 Nm respectively) remain unchanged, Suzuki claims to have revised the gearing and added a larger airbox up front in a bid to improve low-end performance. In city limits, the motorcycle is surprisingly peppy by 150cc standards and feels eager to sprint ahead. Power delivery is linear and there is ample amount of torque right from low RPMs. The mid-range is strong too and, coupled with the crisp throttle response, this motorcycle pulls like a locomotive in this rev-band. You’ll leave the regular commuter crowd behind in city traffic without a sweat. However, power fades off rapidly at high RPMs and the Intruder 150 struggles to reach its 115 km/hr top speed. Moreover, added weight of the fairing and cowls bogs down the performance by a fair margin.
The Intruder is a delight to ride under 80 km/hr due to its powerful mid-range
This motor isn’t tuned for outright acceleration but is extremely refined and free-revving. Closing in on the redline, the engine surprisingly doesn’t run out of breath and the vibrations are also well-contained. This vibe-free nature makes it a pleasure to take the Intruder out on the highway. The 5-speed gearbox has gone through an overhaul and the shifts are butter-smoother now. It’s nice to know that Suzuki has taken Gixxer’s criticism in a constructive manner. The revised exhaust system doesn’t sound as loud as the Gixxer and adopts a muted thrum. In spite of having gigantic proportions, the fuel tank gobbles up only 11-litres of fuel which limits the cruising range considerably. As a saving grace, the frugal powerplant ensures that every litre of fuel is good for 40-45 kms. While outright performance numbers are nothing to brag about, the Intruder 150 fills the shoes of a budget cruiser quite well.