Quick Review of the 2002 Suzuki Intruder 1400 and 1500 LC

Two different V-twins from Suzuki

The wheelbase of the 1500 (right) is 5.5 inches longer and weighs over 100 pounds more than the 1400 (left).James Brown

This article was originally published in the April 2002 issue of Motorcycle Cruiser.

While other companies have appeared to see how many components they can share between different models, Suzuki seems to have set out to make its two V-twins as different as possible. At the most basic level, the two engines are the same, with the same 45-degree V angle, offset crankpins to eliminate vibration, lower-end shafts in the same places, overhead cams operating three valves per cylinder, additional oil supplying some of the cooling, and five speeds with shaft final drives. But virtually nothing else crosses between models.

The 1500 engine has a wider bore and longer stroke, lower compression, and it uses oil to cool both cylinders, not just the rear as on the 1400.James Brown

Introduced a decade and a half ago, when cruiser style favored chopperesque themes and a lean profile, the 1400 was engineered to be clean and lanky. It has a small tank, narrow saddle, pullback handlebar, raked-out skinny fork legs straddling a thin 19-inch wire wheel, chopped fenders, a little headlight, a small speedo mounted adjacent to the handlebar, one pipe on either side of the bike, and a small passenger backrest.

The 1400 wears each carb behind its cylinder.James Brown

The 1500, on the other hand, is massive and broad in the style that came back into style in the 1990s. It has wide cast wheels (a 16-incher up front and a 15 in back), fat covered fork tubes pulled in 4 degrees steeper than the 1400's, a big headlight, deep fenders, staggered dual mufflers, and a wide saddle. It gets big rider floorboards instead of the 1400's pegs. A large speedometer is set in the top of the conventional fuel tank area, although the actual 4.1-gallon tank is under the saddle. All of the 1500's running gear is different. The wheelbase is 5.5 inches longer, and the LC weighs over 100 pounds more than the 1400. Even the 1500's engine has been styled to look bigger. You'll find many other differences inside the engines, which share virtually no common components. The 1500, actually 1462cc, has a wider bore and longer stroke, lower compression, and uses oil to cool both cylinders, not just the rear as on the 1400 (1360cc). It puts both its carbs between the cylinders, while the 1400 wears each carb behind its cylinder. Changes for 2002 are minor on the 1400 – just a new tire model. The 1500 has grown an additional brake caliper and rotor on the front, and its wheels have a revised style. The prices remain attractive, with the 1400 fetching just $8349 – substantially less than any other bike here, and the 1500LC stickered at a neat $9999.