Named after the Florida county that’s home to motorcycling’s Mecca, the Suzuki’s Intruder 800 V-twin motorcycle set new standards for the class.
The Suzuki Intruder is a series of cruiser motorcycles made by Suzuki from 1985 to 2005. After 2005, the Intruder lineup was replaced by the Boulevard range. In Europe, the Intruder name remains in use on certain models. The VS Intruder bikes all have 4-stroke V-twin engines.
The Intruder line started life in North America with the Intruder 700 and the Intruder 1400, which was actually a 1360cc machine. The smaller version was designed to be small enough to escape the projected 45% US import tariff on imported bikes, while the larger version designed to take on the Harley 1340cc Evolution models as well as Japanese bikes like the Kawasaki Vulcan 1500.
The US tariff, when passed into law, actually set the import limit at 750ccs instead of 700. So Suzuki soon bumped the Intruder up to be a 750, which it continued to produce until 1991 despite the tariff going away in 1987.
For the 1992 model year the small Intruder became an 800 (technically an 805), with a larger engine, larger radiator, and larger forks to go with the extra engine. The model would continue in this form until 2004, the only change of note being that Suzuki started painting the engine black in 1999.
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Other changes to the VS800 included straighter bars with longer risers; the addition of four-way flashers; a one-piece seat; smaller turn signals; the deletion of the sissy bar; and the addition of a plastic fake air cleaner on the side of the engine (to hold the took kit formerly stored in the sissy bar). But mechanically they are the same, and parts can be swapped between the Intruder 800 to the S50. The exception is that fake air cleaner, which screws to threaded holes in blocks cast into the cooling fins on the cylinders, which the Intruder 800 did not have.
As a side note, the VX800 standard/ naked sportbike was produced and sold in the US from 1991 to 1993. It used the same engine as the VS800 Intruder, only with a vacuum operated fuel pump instead of the Intruder’s electric one. The rest of the bike is totally different, but the engines interchange.