The Suzuki  LS650P "Savage" is a medium cruiser built by Suzuki Heavy Industries from 1986 until 2005, when it was renamed the S40 "Boulevard", a name it retains to this day. Perhaps the most distinctive feature of the Savage is its single massive 652cc cylinder --- it is one of the largest single-cylinder motorcycles you're likely to encounter on the road. Otherwise, it looks much like any other cruiser, with its low center of gravity, forward-mounted foot controls, upright seating position, and raked handlebars.

Reasons why the Savage is awesome mostly center around its engine design. Its engine is easy to maintain; you only have one spark plug, one set of valves, one carburetor, and one cam assembly. In urban traffic, the Savage dominates, since the single cylinder provides excellent low-to-mid range torque, giving it a surprising amount of get-up-and-go. At a dry weight of 352 pounds, it is lighter than most bikes of similar displacement, giving it agile handling in addition to acceleration.

However, the engine design also limits the bike in a number of ways, not the least of which is that one cylinder can only move up and down so fast, which limits how high it can rev. A stock Savage has a top speed of between 82 - 88 mph (140kph), which doesn't compare favorably with most other 650cc-class bikes. The bike's light weight gives it some seriously squirrely handling past 65mph (110kph), especially in gusty conditions. The engine is not counterbalanced, which means the bike vibrates like a jackhammer. This will fatigue even the most iron-assed rider. The belt drive absorbs much of the pulses generated by the engine, but it also introduces some significant energy losses to the power system that make the bike somewhat less fuel-efficient than bikes with chain drives and more up-to-date valve systems. Aftermarket modifications can make up a significant chunk of that difference, but most stock Savages rate around 45-50 mpg. That's still about as good as a Toyota Prius. The fuel tank holds only 2.3 gallons (8.7 L), 0.3 of which are reserve, so that means you're stopping about every 100 miles to fill up.

The Savage is not a fast bike, but if you wanted a fast bike, you'd buy a GSX-R. The Savage is not a comfortable bike, but if you wanted a comfortable bike, you'd buy a Gold Wing. The Savage is a low-maintenance cruiser, ideal for urban commuters who take the occasional trip out to the back roads once in a while when the city gets a bit much for them. It will handle Interstates well enough, but is really at home in twisting back roads and never more than 50 miles from a gas station.

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