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2008 Suzuki B-King review

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This review comes from budding politician Paul Keyworth who is attempting to kickstart his Motorcycle Australia Party. (Read my story here.) Paul owns a Yamaha “Thunderace” and a Suzuki B-King, but he is thinking of selling both and going retro with a Deus ex Machina Bonneville. Here he reviews his trusty B-King.
Suzuki B-King
Somewhere in the bowels of the Suzuki factory in Hamamatsu in 2000, a group of engineers and designers got together to build a machine unlike anything the world had seen. Had they ingested mind-altering substances, had too much sake or just demonstrated what happens when imagination meets passion?Suzuki B-King
The end result was a design concept show bike exhibited at the Tokyo motorcycle expo in 2001. It had a motor from a Hayabusa, with a supercharger added and a 240 section rear tyre. It was unlikely that anyone there at the time thought it would ever see the light of day. But joy, joy the bean counters and cardigans must have had a day off as Suzuki decided to put the B-King into production. It came on the market in 2007. The supercharger was absent as was the monster rear wheel. Instead there was 200 section rubber hoop and a rejigged Hayabusa 1340cc motor pumping out 181hp (135kw) out of the crate.
The stock version had mufflers which were lethal to small children and the vertically challenged with the sharp, angular and bog ugly cans. The looks polarised motorcyclists and it was no sales success except in Germany and with the Viking bikers in Scandinavia.
Suzuki B-KingI purchased my 2008 model in early 2009 after seeing it online on a local site selling bikes and knew that I must have it. It was ugly, brutal, hypnotically savage but above all completely mad! I bought it from a bloke who had run up about 8000km on it and he had decided he wanted a Triumph Speed Triple Limited Edition instead. Why? He had put Yoshi cans, tail tidy and a grotesque mini screen on it which I quickly removed. Over the next 4-plus years of ownership, I have racked up another 25,000km on it and completely changed its looks in an effort to reflect the designers’ vision. There is approximately $4500 worth of carbon fibre bodywork on it, a 190 section tyre which makes it much more manoeuvrable in the twisties, lower tapered bars and cnc bar-end mirrors among other items designed to add practicality with unique looks.
The B-King is my 30th motorcycle and by far the best all-round bike I have owned. Yes it is totally impractical, the standard seat has the comfort of a slab of concrete, has a woefully inadequate tank capacity, chews rubber and fuel and is a solo beast. Do I care? Not one iota. Wherever I pull up, it draws a crowd, with the most repeated query being ‘What is it?’ The iPhones come out and pictures are enthusiastically sent on to friends and relatives. It elicits a visceral reaction and small children pull their parents towards it like moths to a flame.Suzuki B-King
This thing handles beautifully with the suspension fully sorted and will stay with any of the crotch rockets and boy racers should the mood take me. But there is nothing to prove. It will tour – regular breaks at around 200km, hammer through the twisties and accelerate like a land-based missile.
Now, the time has come to move on and let someone else take up the mantle and enjoy the attention and the rush this beast provides. I am on to another project. Suzuki pulled the pin on production of the B-King in 2011, guaranteeing collector status. The more astute have twigged to this and the dwindling number for sale only enhances its collectibility.
Paul can be contacted on 0404 285 832.

  1. Hi Paul, love your article, but right now we have all got to look at the Big picture, and that is our Freedom as Human Beings, Martin Bryant gave the Government a reason to change the Gun Laws, Sept 11 gave the Government a reason to bring in a bunch of other Restrictions, their is a Conspiracy going on, and we the People are being treated with Contempt, our Freedoms are being taken away every day, The Police are being given Powers to treat us all like Criminals, I know we need Laws, but when these Laws are designed to take away our Freedom of choice, and give these Police the power to behave like Gestarpo Storm Troopers, in a Free society, their has to be a reason, and their is, Australia is being sold out.
    The new World Order is going to be a dictatorship, and if we don’t all Rally together now, it’s not just the one percent of Bikers, it’s not just the one percent of criminals, it is all about the one percent of powerful people, in the World, that have 99 percent of the people in total submission.
    As a Father of 8 grown up kids, who are all out in the work force, paying Taxes, and 34 Grand children, I can only see our rights being taken away, to the point of Slavery, and misery, our World is not changing for the better, I could write all day about what these Governments have planned for us all, but they are so powerful now, that I think it is to late for us all, to ever see the big picture, until we are totally living it. Gambling related Suicides, kept quite, figures on all of the police bashings kept secret, how many people have been shot and killed, or bashed and crippled, or killed by a policeman, yet they are given more guns Tazers and equipment to give them way more power than a Judge and Jury, they dress like Storm Troopers, what has gone wrong in our Country to bring about this sought of behaviour, It’s not the people who have gone mad it is the Governments that have destroyed this once Proud and Great Country.

  2. James, thanks for the positive feedback on the review. You and I are in total agreement about the current state of play, not only in this State but across the board. A lot of this stems from voter apathy and collective narcissism – as in ‘what’s in it for me’ mentality. Witness the sluggishness of getting 10,000 signatures for Mark’s petition and me getting 500 signatures – from motorcyclists – to protect their rights. If these don’t motivate people to agitate for change, then what will?
    In my lifetime, I have witnessed Australians become more submissive, compliant, intolerant and disengaged with what affects them most. Bad laws passed by those we can trust the least. Politicians with minimal life experience outside of unions, the legal world or other cloistered workplaces. If we want to change the laws, make this country the land of the ‘fair go, ‘ and rid ourselves of megalomaniacal politicians, then sign up to Mark’s petition and create a party for the people.
    As Peter Finch said in the film Network…..’I’m mad as hell and don’t want to take it anymore.’ Shout it out and mean it!

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