Time for the injection
The Koreans move with the times
Hyosung has been on the Australian market for a few years and the brand keeps improving. The latest bikes have gone a long way towards answering the criticism of the brakes, throttle response and lack-lustre looks that some earlier models copped.
But of course the main difference is that electronic fuel injection (EFI) is now standard on the Hyosung range. The result is easier starting, better performance, low emissions and better fuel economy. On the road, the EFI unit works well, with no lurching, snatching or rough spots. Even modern EFI can be rough but Hyosung happens to be owned by the S&T Group, which includes Daewoo. That gives it access to good EFI components in-house.
Brakes have been improved up front to four-piston calipers with 300mm discs. That’s welcome but they still have a somewhat wooden feel to them.
All the GTs share the proven dual lateral oval bar steel frame and swingarm. A monoshock and upside-down forks, both with limited adjustment, allow the bikes to handle predictably if not sensationally. At 196kg, 203kg and 208kg respectively, they are not overweight but require more rider input to turn and a willingness to understand where the engine’s strengths lie. Once you work out the comfort zone, the bikes come into their own. No real handling vices were revealed by the ghastly road test route. The tyres are well-mannered Bridgestones.
The naked GT650 actually has a tiny but effective bikini headlight cowl, deflecting some of the wind and protecting the electronic instruments. There’s a new seat and pillion pad, a new tailpiece and a brilliant pair of pillion grab handles. Other bits of beautification include modern clear turn signal lenses, piercing LED tail and stop lamp, black upside down forks and a new satin finish on the comfortable upright handlebars. There are new footpegs and pillion peg hangers. Travelling? There are also heavy duty tie-down points. The bike comes in signal red, polar white and solid black. Optional accessories include a sports muffler and rack. Indicative pricing for the GT650 is $7990 plus on-road costs.
The mix ‘n’ match fun starts with the GT650S, which comes with a tidy looking fairing but with the same upright bars as the naked. If you have a bad back or weak wrists, the higher bars will suit you really well. The adjustable rear-sets do give the bike a more racy look and feel, but there’s a footpeg option. Simply remove the adjustment plate and replace the gearshift link rod with the one from the GT650 naked. Your dealer can also add the lower fairing from the GT650R to give you a full fairing and change the upright bars to the lower GT650R if that suits you.
The price has come down this year. The touring gear that previously came with the bike has been deleted and the 2010 price is $8590 plus on road costs. At that price you can afford to add your own choice of touring gear.
The fully faired GT650Rs have definite boy/girl racer appeal and easily pass the Universal Stare Test which is determined by the number of minutes you want to stand and look at a bike. You can get optional sports mufflers, a sports carrier and a tinted screen. The price remains the same as last year at $8990 plus on road costs.
All 2010 Hyosung 650s are available in detuned Learner Approved Motorcycle form, but still have a healthy 40kW of power (up from 25kW) and can be upgraded to the full 59kW when you’re not a learner any more. This doesn’t (yet) apply in WA and there are some problems to be sorted out in Queensland – check with the authorities.
The net effect has been a very significant improvement in Hyosung’s LAMs bikes over the ones we rode for the ARR Buyers Guide; you’ll be pleased to adjust your expectations!
Models: GT650 EFI/GT650S EFI/GT650R EFI
Prices: $7990/$8590/$8990 plus on-road costs
Warranty: Two years, unlimited kilometres
Power: 59kW @ 9250rpm (LAMS Versions 40kW @ 8500rpm)
Torque: 67Nm @7250rpm
Engine: Liquid-cooled 90 degree V-twin, four stroke, four valves per cylinder, DOHC, fuel-injection digital ignition
Bore x stroke: 81.5 x 62mm
Transmission: Constant mesh five-speed, wet multi-plate clutch, final drive by chain
Suspension: Front, 41mm USD adjustable rebound and compression. Rear, adjustable preload
Dimensions: Seat height 790mm, weight, GT650 EFI 196kg/GT650S 203kg/GT650R 208kg, fuel capacity 17 litres, wheelbase 1435mm
Tyres: Front, 120/60ZR-17 55W, Rear, 160/60ZR-17 69W
Frame: Dual lateral oval bar
Brakes: Front, semi-floating 300mm twin discs with four-piston calipers, rear, 230mm single disc
Colours: GT650 EFI signal red, polar white, solid black/GT650S EFI hot chilli red, titanium silver/GT650R EFI hot chilli red, solid black GT650R EFI two-tone: hot chilli red-solid black, titanium silver-solid black, polar white-solid black
Verdict: Getting better all the time