Suzuki GR 650 Tempter





Make Model

Suzuki GR 650 Tempter


1983 - 89


Four stroke, parallel twin cylinders


651 cc / 39.7 cu in
Bore x Stroke 77 x 70 mm
Compression Ratio 8.7:1
Cooling System Air cooled

Lubrication System

Wet sump


2 x Mikuni carburetors


Battery powered inductive



Max Power

36.4 kW / 50 hp @ 7200 rpm

Max Torque

61 Nm / 6.22 lgf-m / 45.0 lb-ft @ 3500 rpm


5 Speed

Final Drive


Front Suspension

35mm Air assisted forks

Front Wheel Travel

132 mm / 5.2 in

Rear Suspension

Single shock adjustable spring preload

Rear Wheel Travel

74 mm / 2.9 in

Front Brakes

Single 260mm disc, 1 piston caliper

Rear Brakes


Front Tyre


Rear Tyre



1430 mm / 56.3 in

Seat Height

775 mm / 30.5 in

Dry Weight

181 kg / 399 lbs

Fuel Capacity 

12 Litres / 3.2 US gal / 2.6 Imp gal

Consumption  average

4.9 L/100 km / 20.3 km/l / 47.7 US mpg / 57.2 Imp mpg

Standing ¼ Mile  

13.7 sec

Top Speed

177 km/h / 110 mph


The Suzuki Tempter GR650-X was produced in two models, the budget “X” model has traditional spoked wheels, a single color paint scheme and non-adjustable front forks, all out the door for $2,149. The upgraded “D” version got a two tone color paint scheme, magi style wheels and upgraded adjustable front air forks for $2,399. Cycle World’s test boasted, “For a little over 2 grand you can own a real, honest-to-gosh, full-size, brand-new undented motorcycle.” Today a low mileage model will run about $1,500 – and most well under that reasonable sum – if you can find them.

But besides the clean retro “roadster” styling, the GR sported some interesting innovations under the hood. The engine is a four-stroke twin, with dual overhead cams on each cylinder, and utilizes a twin dome combustion chamber first introduced in the 1981 Suzuki GS650 models, which improves combustion efficiency, and added an air swirl feature to the fuel mixture. Suzuki also made a bold engineering design with a trick two-stage flywheel, that when under 3,000 RPM creates added torque – allowing the rider to lug forward in almost any gear without stalling the motor.

Power is delivered to the rear tire by a traditional chain. No kickstart option was offered – but the electric start and handlebar choke adjustment work well. The twin megaphone style exhaust has a sweet subdued sound, and pleasing swept-back lines.

The bike dry weighs in just shy of 400 pounds, making it very agile for a cycle with the power of a 650cc engine. Its 3.4 gallon tank provides a decent distance between fill ups, as the mileage leans toward the mid 50mpg mark when not driven hard. The seat is pretty comfortable and relatively low at just under 30 inches, with plenty of space for a single rider, and decent for two. Under the one-piece seat is a small tool tray and access to the battery, as well as a helmet lock on each side of the frame.

The “full floater” swing arm suspension includes the ability to adjust the preload from 1 (low) to 5 (high) with the round knob located under carbs – useful when riding two-up. The single front disc and rear drum brake provide adequate braking since the bike is so light for its class. The entire package makes for a nice ride on a twisty road, banks and turns with ease, and has plenty of power. The low-end torque makes the bike forgiving in any gear.

Some performance comments rose about the gearing, which is as a bit low and make the bikes rev high, annoying mostly when cruising at higher speeds. Changing out the rear sprocket from the stock 38 to a 36-tooth model is a popular modification, along with swapping the front 15 to a 16-tooth sprocket. The electrical system is another potential weak spot, with the stock regulator/rectifier unit somewhat underpowered, so another popular modification is to replace the unit with a larger more powerful one. My bike came with the rear sprocket modification already, and in the course of owning it I’ve upgraded the R/R unit, as well as rebuilt the starter motor and added some aftermarket accessories.

When first introduced the bikes were well received by the motorcycle press. Cycle World wrote in their favorable review, “You’ll notice we’ve been carefully referring to this as the GR650, a perfectly good name for this great bike…Tempter is a silly name. This is not a silly motorcycle.”