Strip Tease

The GT650N, a naked version of the impressive Hyosung GT650R, is out in the market. We swing a leg over it to see in what ways it differs from the earlier fully faired supersport

Story: Sarmad Kadiri
Photography: Sanjay Raikar

Just because this is the naked version of the impressive Hyosung GT650R, please don’t expect any sexually laced anecdotes, or, maybe, you should. Look at the pictures around these pages and you will admit that after disrobing this supersport has taken the sexual quotient to the max level. The tank curves now get highlighted more than in the full-faired ‘R’. The naked GT650N retains the old instrument console with its digital speedo and analogue tachometer, but now gets a neat shroud. Unlike the GT650R, this one has clearly marked ‘GT650’ decals on the rear panels. Like a glamour model’s recurring dream these cosmetic changes have made the GT seven kg lighter and now it weighs just 208 kg. Well, that’ll be like half-a-dozen super-models on a weighing scale, but this gives the bike a good power-to-weight ratio.

The GT650N seems to have borrowed several styling cues from various popular motorcycles. The new headlight seems to be inspired by the Yamaha FZ and the LED tail-light resemble the Suzuki GSXR’s. Having said that, one must also add that the bike’s overall design is quite appealing. It does not look disproportionate from any angle.

The fairings on most superbikes look great, but once they get ridden on our country’s badly surfaced or broken roads, the plastic cowls often tend to rattle and squeak. Introducing a no-nonsense and no-fairing 650-cc bike is an intelligent move by Garware Motors. Firstly, 650s make better sense as we don’t have adequate roads or highways in India where we can squeeze the fun out of bigger, litre-class bikes. Moreover, the smaller the bike, the easier it is to manoeuvre in our bustling cities and towns. These 650-cc bikes seem to have the best mix of good performance and adequate size, which are ideal for our conditions.

The GT650R, like most sportsbikes, has an aggressive riding position that makes the rider lean on the fuel tank, which is not a very popular posture in India and has a limited appeal. Now the naked GT replaces the clip-ons with a new, wide handlebar that adds to its streetfighter looks and gives the bike a more upright and comfortable riding position. All this makes cruising on the highway and weaving through the city convenient and fun.

Like the GT650R, a strong 90-degree V-twin motor also powers the GT650N, with peak power at 73.68 PS and a staggering mid-range, as the 67 Nm of torque is served right from 7,250 RPM. Unlike the performance-oriented ‘R’, the streetfighter has been designed to be more apt for city riding. Due to time restraints during this exclusive ride we could not test the naked GT, but we did feel the bike’s ECU has been retuned and there is a definite change in the torque curve. The V-twin offers ample torque throughout the powerband, due to which it is not necessary to shift down while overtaking. Just a twist of the throttle is enough to let you surge ahead. Another highlight is the free revving engine that comfortably goes beyond 10,000 RPM and has a stunning top-end. The first gear went up to 81 km/h and the second can run up to 135 km/h at red line. Using the six-speed transmission I managed to reach 160 km/h on the speedo without much struggle, but ran out of road. The company claims a figure of 210 km/h.

One of the prime reasons why I got the confidence to reach such a high speed was the bike’s on road mannerism and good riding position. Its short wheelbase, tall seat and wide handlebar give it a dynamic stance. The GT650N also runs on Bridgestone Battlax BT56 160/60-ZR17 at the rear and 120/60-ZR17 at the front. The Battlax rubber grips well on dry surfaces and is well rooted even on wet ones. The trellis-type twin spar frame is now more prominently visible and adds to the bike’s streetfighter character. More importantly, the chassis feels neutral, agile yet spurs the rider to speed at will. The fully adjustable front suspension and pre-load adjustable rear monoshock have also been tweaked to better suit the naked bike’s character. The suspension setting is another highlight of this bike and it makes the bike very stable at high speed, although the rear mono-shock felt a bit on the firmer side.

This is a good opportunity for Garware Motors to make a mark. The bike is great for long rides and effortlessly fits into the role of a daily commuter due to its riding position and fairing-free design. It all comes down to price now. At Rs 5 lakh (OTR, Pune) it’s neck-to-neck with the Kawasaki Ninja 650R. Since Bajaj currently have a limited number of Ninja 650Rs to offer, Garware can cash in on the demand for this price bracket if they can manage smooth deliveries. Something which only time can tell.'

Bike India Team – who has written posts on Bike India.

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