We Filipinos are known to be creative in many ways, this includes how we utilize our motorcycles. For many, the motorcycle is not just something that we ride for leisure, but also something that should be robust enough to be a worthy workhorse. This is especially true in the provinces where the motorcycle lives up to this role in its fullest.
Suzuki is very familiar with this expectation and has tapped the expertise of their Japanese engineers to create an all-around motorcycle that is “designed for Philippine roads, built for the Filipinos.”
According to Suzuki, the Raider J Crossover was developed with the help of their engineers in Japan with the Philippine roads and Filipino way of living in mind. Suzuki went back to the drawing board and redesigned its existing Raider J 115 to make it a suitable riding and work companion — especially in the far-flung areas where roads are typically compacted dirt trails.
The Raider J Crossover was designed under the concept, "Expand your range." The idea was to “broaden the rider’s horizons to both paved and unpaved roads,” said Chief Designer, Hideshi Morii. The bike was intended to evoke a “slim yet powerful, nimble image,” adds Tatsuya Nakamura, Styling Manager.
To relay that message, Suzuki looked no further than one of its highly successful off-road machines, the RM-Z. The RM-Z is Suzuki’s competition-focused off-road motorcycle. It’s available in both 250, and 450cc displacements. The model favored by racing teams all around the world competing in various off-road disciplines.
“Since we were looking for an off-road image, we used bar-type handlebars and changed the riding position to make it more comfortable,” said Morii. “Its front suspension is bigger and more rigid,” says Morii. “The rear suspension is a double tube type. This means it incorporates a damper function in both the compression and extension directions. We changed the tire pattern, building it with unpaved roads in mind, so the riding stability under those conditions is improved.”
“The front tip of the seat is enlarged, preventing the rider from pitching forward when braking,” said Nakamura. “The contours of the seat are designed in three dimensions, not just two, for a comfortable ride that keeps the knees from becoming spread too far apart.”
As the new Raider J Crossover, it comes complete with a long-travel front fork, longer mudguards, wider handlebars, dual-sport tires and a sturdier frame.
The Suzuki Raider J Crossover is powered by a compact 113cc, four-stroke, air-cooled engine paired to a 4-speed transmission. Fuel management is handled by an Electronic Fuel Injection – assuring that the Raider J Crossover is one of the most fuel-efficient motorcycles in its class. Suzuki says its it can hit an average fuel consumption figure of 66 kilometers per liter and it can reach a top speed of 102 kilometers per hour.
Being an avid off-roader myself, the first order of business was to take the Raider J Crossover to the mountains. I have to admit, taking the Raider J Crossover to the mountains might have been a tall order, considering that the trail we took that day was usually reserved for horses and enduro bikes. Still, the Raider J Crossover was able to cross boulders, patches of mud, and climbed steep inclines without breaking a sweat. There were parts of the trail that were a little tight and would require lifting the motorcycle with bare hands. With only 98-kilograms total weight, the Raider J Crossover was light enough to easily be lifted out of those tight situations.
Altogether, the Raider J Crossover took the challenge and was able to conquer the mountains. It even crossed an almost waist-deep river without any problems.
Back in the city, the Raider J Crossover can easily go from zero to 60 kilometers per hour in just a matter of seconds. This speed is more than enough to go through Metro Manila’s busy thoroughfares and is quick enough to use for most errands. If you are in a rush, it can reach a maximum speed of more than 100 kilometers per hour.
The best part is that the Suzuki Raider J Crossover is so fuel-efficient I never had to refill its 4-liter tank even after riding it off-road. The combined fuel economy was 45 kilometers per liter after a 164-kilometer total ride, both off-road and on the highway.
I think the Suzuki Raider J Crossover lives up to its motto “Adventure Across Borders.” I took it to the mountains where it took a real beating and survived. Remember, the Suzuki Raider J Crossover wasn't designed for enduro riding but the bike was still able to manage the trails, what more if it is just a light compacted barangay dirt road?
In the city, due to the Raider J Crossover’s robust construction and excellent fuel efficiency, it makes for a good workhorse, especially for those in the motorcycle courier industry, like Lalamove, Grab or Toktok. Its semi-automatic clutch also makes riding it a bit easier, almost comparable to a scooter, and can be enjoyed by both new and experienced motorcycle riders.
At only PHP 63,900, the Raider J Crossover makes it the most affordable all-around motorcycle for Filipinos.