Hyosung GT650N : First Ride
There is no better way to describe the hooligan that resides inside the Hyosung GT650. Real, radical, and ravishing, the newest bloke from Garware Motors has a lot more to it than its faired sibling, the GT650R
In the Indian motorcycling space, it is critical that performance and practicality blend in like a leaf-tailed gecko on a tree – either one fails to sync with the other and the result is directly visible in dropping sales numbers and wavering product value in the market. Be it the race for fuel efficient 100cc machines or the premium pocket-rocket 1000cc machines – the unspoken law remains unchanged. The mantra then is to give the best of both worlds. So when it comes to superbiking, not only in India but anywhere in the world, the domain for presenting a mix of real world use and excitement hugely lies in the hands of naked bikes, some hot enough to be termed street-fighters, which offer oodles of functionality for everyday use with just as much power to make every Monday seem like a Saturday night!
Sadly, Indian bikers have been left wanting for naked superbikes with respectable power and an affordable price tag for a long time. But things are about to change and bringing in this change is Garware Motors’ newest offering, the Hyosung GT650 – a naked iteration of its middleweight supersports offering the GT650R.
While the fully faired race-spec Hyosung GT650R is a fantastic product for the hardcore race-replica patrons, the GT650 trumps its race-spec sibling by miles on practicality and, wait for it, on excitement too! Swing a leg over this Korean-made vee-twin motorcycle and the first thing one notices is the ultra friendly riding posture that allows one to not only be confident and feel in-control but also extremely comfortable for spending long hours on the saddle. Even if the 1000cc race-replica machines might make one feel all jazzed up like a MotoGP racer, on our roads and conditions they simply end up being overtly stressful and demanding with their race-crouched riding stance and mega power delivery which quickly turns pleasure into pain whereas their non-faired cousins offer almost identical performance in a more manageable package with the comfortable riding stance and friendlier power delivery that if exploited correctly, can change untrained hands into artists of speed in a lot safer and forgiving manner.
And that is precisely what the new Hyosung GT650 does with aplomb and conviction with its welcoming stance and comforting feel from the raised handlebars and the forward shifted rider footpegs. Even though the tall-ish 830mm saddle height is identical to its racy GT650R sibling, softer rear suspension set-up on GT650 results into a lower riding stance with the rider onboard thus leading to an unperturbed riding experience. In simpler terms, the Hyosung GT650 is a one-size-fits-all package with age no bar, despite the fact that the motor has a quite wilder and gut-wrenching power delivery in line with the bike’s streetfighter temperament. As distant as the two things seem, they gel perfectly well in the GT650’s gorgeous looking trellis frame which adds so much to the bike’s overall visual appeal. A few might find the bulk of the motorcycle fairly intimidating but it’s only till one takes it out for a spin. Rolling down the streets, the kind of attention the GT650 draws is truly humbling, destroying the usual credence that only the faired motorcycles draw eyeballs. The hulk-like presence of the GT650 barely escapes any eyes on the road not to forget the rumble of the powerful liquid-cooled DOHC 90-degree 647cc vee-twin motor humming in the background leaving no stone unturned to grab complete attention.
The fantastic new front cowl on the 2012 model houses an MV Agusta Brutale inspired headlight that adds a lot of chutzpah to the naked GT650 highlighting the attention to detail on the GT650. The idea to keep the front wheel mudguard black only exercises the manufacturer’s line of thought for a good looking motorcycle and it certainly excels at its job as it underplays its presence diverting the attention onto the smart new headlight cowl. The clever play of colour does more than just bring attention to detail but also plays its part in hiding the bike’s lack of fairing but proudly showing off the massive black V-twin motor and the chunky frame along with the stylishly large exhaust unit. There is certainly not a shadow of a doubt in our minds about the GT650’s gorgeous design and head-turning abilities.
If there were any doubts, they were about the performance credentials of the machine and how much muscle the GT650 packed in its naked form. Just like when a shirtless Salman Khan is more dangerous than when he has all his clothes on! The boffins at Hyosung confirmed that the GT650 employs the same mill from the GT650R without any changes whatsoever. Firing up our own heartbeat appreciably is the prospect of a whopping 72PS of power on tap let loose at 9,000rpm and 60.9Nm of torque peaking at 7,500rpm, certainly very impressive numbers for a sporty middleweight vee-twin motorcycle. And impressive it was, but a bit too much as the docile feel of the GT650’s power delivery at lower revs quickly turned into brutal aggression when the rev needle swung up the 5000rpm mark blurring everything in sight while I gathered the last vestiges of bravery and tried to hang as best as I could on to the bars with the speedometer dial mischievously flaunting 207km/h!
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