cruiser motorcycles

Suzuki Intruder 1400 Vs Honda Shadow 1100

Suzuki Intruder 1400 Vs Honda Shadow 1100

Suzuki and Honda have always remained at the forefront to provide tough competition to other major motorcycle brands existing globally. Both these remarkable Japanese brands have turned out to be victorious several times whenever they face competition. Regardless of being versatile manufacturers and not having a command over the cruiser category, Honda with its Shadow lineup, and Suzuki with its Intruder lineup have done a spectacular job in turning the tables.

The two best middleweight cruisers from the past, Suzuki and Honda have ever produced, including the Suzuki Intruder 1400 and the Honda Shadow Sabre 1100, still hold a reputable image in the used-bike market. The Intruder series was a well-known brand before the name was replaced by the Boulevard. The way this bike looks and performs makes it a highly relevant motorcycle even in today’s world.

Meanwhile, the Shadow series still rules the cruiser market and has one of the most successful longest production runs of more than around 40 years. Though discontinued in 2007, the VT1100 series made quite a huge wave in the motorcycling community. The “Sabre” became a well-known name in the Shadow series with its unmatched look and performance characteristics. Continue reading this article to learn more about the detailed comparison between the Suzuki VS1400GLP Intruder and the Honda VT1100C2 Shadow Sabre.

1. Specs Comparison: Suzuki Intruder 1400 Vs Honda Shadow Sabre 1100

Specs Comparison: Suzuki Intruder 1400 Vs Honda Shadow Sabre 1100
2004 Suzuki VS1400GLP Intruder   2007 Honda VT1100C2 Shadow Sabre
General Info
Suzuki Maker Honda
Intruder 1400 Model Shadow Sabre
VS1400GLP Model ID VT1100C2
Custom / Cruiser Motorcycle Type Custom / Cruiser
1987 Introduction Year 2000
2005 Discontinued In 2007
Black & Gray
Silver & Purple
Color Options Candy Black Cherry
$8,399 Original Price $8,699
$2,500-3,500 Used-Bike Price Range (Estimated) $2,500-4,000
1,360 cc Displacement 1,099 cc
45° V-Twin; Four-Stroke Engine Engine Type 45° V-Twin; Four-Stroke Engine
Two No. of Cylinders Two
Air & Oil-Cooled Cooling System Liquid-Cooled
SOHC; Three Valves Per Cylinder Valve Train SOHC; Three Valves Per Cylinder
9.3:1 Compression Ratio 8:1
3.9 in Stroke 3.6 mm
3.7 in Bore 3.45 mm
Dual 36 mm Mikuni BDS36 Carburetors Fuel Delivery System Dual 36 mm Constant Velocity (CV) Carburetors
Electric Starter Electric
115 Nm / 84.8 lb-ft at 2,800 rpm Torque 91 Nm / 67 lb-ft at 2,700 rpm
72 hp / 53.7 kW at 4800 rpm Horsepower 67 hp / 49.28 kW at 5,500 rpm
47.04 mpg Fuel Economy 45.5 mpg
105 mph Top Speed 107 mph
Five-Speed Gearbox Five-Speed
Shaft Drive Final Drive Shaft Drive
Wet; Multi-Disc Clutch Wet; Multi-Disc
Twin-Sided Swing Arm Swing-Arm Twin-Sided Swing Arm
Steel Frame Steel
Oil-Damped Telescopic Front Fork with Coil Spring Front 41 mm Telescopic Front Fork
No Adjustability (Front) No
160 mm Wheel Travel (Front) 119.4 mm
Oil-Damped Twin Rear Shock Absorbers Rear Dual Rear Shock Absorbers
Five-Way Spring Preload Adjustable Adjustability (Rear) Five-Position Spring Preload Adjustable
105 mm Wheel Travel (Rear) 99.1 mm
295 mm Single Front Disc with Dual-Piston Caliper Front 316 mm Single Front Disc with Dual-Piston Caliper
275 mm Single Rear Disc with Single-Piston Caliper Rear 276 mm Single Rear Disc with Single-Piston Caliper
Wheels & Tires
Aluminum Wire-Spoked Chrome Wheels Wheel Type Machined Cast-Aluminum Wheels  with a Satin Finish
19 in Front Wheel Size (Diameter) 18 in
15 in Rear Wheel Size (Diameter) 15 in
110/90 HR19 Front Tire 120/90 R18
170/80 HR15 Rear Tire 170/80 R15
Dimensions & Measurements
28.9 in / 734 mm Seat Height 27.2 in / 691 mm
63.8 in / 1,621 mm Wheelbase 64.6 in / 1,640.8 mm
5.9 in / 150 mm Ground Clearance 5.5 in / 140 mm
534 lbs / 242 kg Wet Weight 612 lbs / 277.6 kg
533 lbs / 242 kg Dry Weight 577 lbs / 261.7 kg
165 mm Trail 161 mm
36° Rake 32.7°
3.4 gal Fuel Tank Capacity 4.2 gal
30.3 in / 770 mm Width 38 in / 965 mm
91.9 in / 2,334 mm Length 96 in / 2,440 mm
48.0 in / 1,220 mm Height 46 in / 1,160 mm

2. Overview: Suzuki Intruder 1400

Overview: Suzuki Intruder 1400
Photo Credit: Wikipedia

The name “Intruder” was first coined in 1985 and it was aimed to target the global cruiser market. The company made several efforts to enter the American cruiser market by introducing the Intruder 700 model to avoid the additional 45% tax on imported motorbikes with bigger engine sizes. Meanwhile, the Intruder 1400 was set to compete with the Harley cruisers powered by the 1,340 cc Evolution engine and the large-displacement Kawasaki Vulcan models.

After 20 years of production run, the brand name “Intruder” was changed to “Boulevard”. It was done as part of the branding strategy because the name “Intruder” was observed to be slightly impolite for conventional American motorcycle riders. The Suzuki Intruder 1400 became the Suzuki Boulevard S83 after 2005, where the 83 represents the 1,400 cc in cubic inches.

Overall, the Suzuki Intruder 1400 is stylish, sporty, comfortable, and unconventional, attracting a great number of riders.

3. Overview: Honda Shadow Sabre 1100

Overview: Honda Shadow Sabre 1100
Photo Credit: Triumph of Westchester

The Honda Shadow Sabre 1100 was known as the hot rod of the Honda lineup due to its classic custom styling, trendy design, and improved performance. The word “Sabre” means a sword with a wide and curved blade. This bike has no such sharp edges and blades. It comes with several shiny chrome parts.

The Shadow Sabre was one of the few factory-made custom-designed models that became a sensation. The 1,100 cc Shadows were produced alongside the riders’ favorite 750 cc Shadow models to provide them with a more powerful option. Though the production stopped in 2007, the craze and legacy of this bike continue.

The one thing that makes the Honda Shadow Sabre 1100 stand out from the rest of the Shadow 1100 models is its lower gear ratios which in turn provide several advantages, including better acceleration and more power to the rear wheel.

4. Design and Looks Comparison: Suzuki Intruder 1400 Vs Honda Shadow Sabre 1100

4.1 Suzuki Intruder 1400

The Suzuki Intruder 1400 is a tall, chopper-style custom cruiser with a slim and sleek design. This bike has long-stroke front forks which gives a true chopper vibe. The front tire is at a good distance from where the rider sits on this bike. There is a light sword-style mudguard towards the front and the rear fender is a slim sports-style and high-mounted part, giving a full view of the rear tire.

Apart from its long-raked-out forks, the long-stroke V-Twin engine cylinders also play a crucial role in giving this bike its taller stature. The fuel tank is also small and reasonable which complements the overall look of this bike. Unlike conventional gas tank designs hanging on both sides of the frame, the teardrop-shaped Intruder 1400 gas tank rests on the back of the frame’s backbone. The rider and passenger seats are quite rugged and padded, along with the stock sissy bar and passenger backrest. The separate dual slash-cut chrome exhaust pipes originate from each cylinder and are fitted on both sides, ensuring a balanced look. If maintained and kept nicely, this bike is the most stunning chopper available in the used motorcycle market.

4.2 Honda Shadow Sabre 1100

The Honda Shadow Sabre 1100 has one of the most striking factory-made custom looks, particularly the one with flame graphics on it. This bike has a bulky look with oversized parts, particularly the headlamp and fuel tank. The Shadow Sabre features large-sized chopped front and rear fenders. Despite the less-inclined and shorter trail and rake angle, this bike has a comparatively longer wheelbase and is 7.7 inches wider than the Suzuki Intruder 1400. For two-up riding, the Shadow Sabre 1100 also features a single-piece gunfighter-style saddle.

Though the Shadow Sabre 1100 is oversized and heavy, it sits lower to the ground with a comparatively lower seat height and ground clearance than the Intruder 1400. There are a lot of chrome parts installed on this bike which looks quite amazing with the blacked-out frame and engine cylinders.

5. Engine & Performance Comparison: Suzuki Intruder 1400 Vs Honda Shadow Sabre 1100

5.1 Suzuki Intruder 1400

The Suzuki Intruder 1400 is one of those motorbikes that were ahead of its time in terms of effective performance, unmatched style, and effective design. The key highlight of the Intruder 1400 was its ability to produce remarkable torque compared to its tough competitors, including the large-displacement Harley cruisers, Kawasaki Vulcan, and the Honda Shadow series. However, when it comes to peak power output, the Intruder 1400 lags slightly behind its competitors. Though most riders consider this a negative point, the Intruder 1400, in its standard build and form, is an ideal cruiser and touring bike thanks to its torquey engine and impressive power delivery in the midrange.

The factory tweaked the engine to make sure it became a highly economical bike for touring and highway cruising. One noticeable issue with the Intruder 1400 was the excessive vibrations produced by the engine which became quite evident as the speed went above 65 mph.

Despite being fitted with a powerful large-displacement engine, the Intruder 1400 was a lightweight chopper. It was a performance cruiser of its era with an outstanding torque-producing ability of 115 Nm. The engine also churns out a competitive horsepower of 72 hp, making it a fast motorcycle.

Suzuki also released a 1,500 cc version of the Intruder but the Intruder 1400 was quite a unique bike. It was a highly practical and effective factory-made chopper-style cruiser with an unmatched style and performance.

5.2 Honda Shadow Sabre 1100

Despite being smaller than the 1,360 cc V-twin engine, the Honda Shadow Sabre 1100’s engine still brings more power and speed. The 1,099 cc 45° V-Twin engine has a liquid-cooled technology for heat dissipation which is more effective than the air and oil-cooled system installed in the Intruder 1400. Though this bike does not match the torque figure when compared to the Intruder 1400, the engine produces a highly effective power output in the useable range which makes it slightly faster than the Intruder.

The Shadow Sabre 1100 is a heavier bike with loads of bulky parts installed on this bike. However, the powerful and well-built engine ensures that the bike picks up the acceleration smoothly. The throttle response is also quite good with the power output immediately available as the rider twists the throttle. The 1,100 cc engine and the power it produces are quite high for a beginner. If you are experienced, you will probably never get bored of this bike due to the thrilling response and experience it offers to riders.

6. Ergonomics & Comfort Comparison: Suzuki Intruder 1400 Vs Honda Shadow Sabre 1100

6.1 Suzuki Intruder 1400

Suzuki Intruder 1400
Photo Credit: Reddit

Talking about comfortability, the Suzuki Intruder 1400 offers quite relaxed ergonomics to even taller riders. The legroom is quite wide and comfy for relaxed city commuting and cruising. Being a chopper, the Intruder 1400 ensures a highly laid-back ergonomics and riders can also comfortably recline against the cushioned passenger seat. The handlebars are also quite tall and swept back to fall within a very comfortable reach of the rider. However, for a taller rider, elbows may get slightly kinked up which can urge the rider to sit in a slouched back position. Riding with a slouched back position can cause lower back pain if you are riding continuously on long-distance rides.

6.2 Honda Shadow Sabre 1100

Despite being famous for its street rod styling, the Honda Shadow Sabre 1100 is one of the perfect cruisers with relaxed cruising ergonomics. The foot controls are mounted forward to allow riders to stretch their legs while cruising on highways. The seat and handlebar positions allow riders to sit in a comfortable upright posture. The handlebars are sufficiently wide and swept back for a comfortable arm position and better control. The overall ergonomics of the Shadow Sabre 1100 are exactly what you expect from a traditional cruiser. However, for a more plush touring experience, there are several parts that you can attach to this bike, including a sissy bar, backrest, and windshield.

7. Handling and Ride Quality Comparison: Suzuki Intruder 1400 Vs Honda Shadow Sabre 1100

7.1 Suzuki Intruder 1400

Though there are a vast number of riders who are passionate about choppers and their bold looks, these bikes have certain flaws connected to them. The Suzuki Intruder 1400, being a chopper bike, is difficult to steer and maneuver to a certain extent due to its extended, long-stroke, and inclined front end. The Intruder 1400 provides you with remarkable linear stability and performance, but it is not as flickable and easy to handle as other cruisers, like the Honda Shadow Sabre 1100. This bike has a clear edge of being lightweight over the Shadow Sabre 1100, but the low weight does not prove to be useful in terms of light handling. The front fork, steering angle, and handlebars assembly prefer to turn slowly.

7.2 Honda Shadow Sabre 1100

Regardless of its smaller engine, the Shadow Sabre 1100 is 19.7 kg heavier (without the oil and gas). However, due to its planted and compact styling, this bike is quite easy to maneuver. It makes turning the twisties and curves quite easier. This is one of the greatest advantages that you will observe on this bike as cornering becomes trickier as the engine size increases. The Shadow Sabre 1100 not only performs remarkably well while turning corners at slow speeds, but you can also confidently turn corners at high speeds.

8. Pros & Cons: Suzuki Intruder 1400 Vs Honda Shadow Sabre 1100

8.1 Pros & Cons: Suzuki Intruder 1400

Suzuki Intruder 1400 Pros Suzuki Intruder 1400 Cons
Classic chopper design Small fuel tank capacity
Aesthetically appealing Uncomfortable for passenger
Slim and smart look The engine produces excessive vibrations
Torquey engine Difficult to steer
Lightweight Difficult to handle
Laidback ergonomics Tapping noise issue
Better fuel mileage No liquid-cooled system
Accelerates well Tall seat height in the category
Good linear performance No fuel injection system
Maintenance-free shaft final drive No ABS

8.2 Pros & Cons: Honda Shadow Sabre 1100

Honda Shadow Sabre 1100 Pros Honda Shadow Sabre 1100 Cons
Stylish bike Heavyweight
Ideal cruiser build The fat look may not attract every rider
Easy to handle and steer No fuel injection system
Fun-to-ride bike No ABS
Accelerates perfectly Comparatively less torquey engine
Good throttle response Shorter suspension wheel travel
Comparatively more quick Stiffer suspensions
Comparatively more flickable  
Low seat height  
Fairly comfortable  
Maintenance-free shaft final drive  
Comparatively large fuel tank  

9. Final Verdict: Suzuki Intruder 1400 Vs Honda Shadow Sabre 1100

Both the Suzuki Intruder 1400 and the Honda Shadow Sabre 1100 are highly competitive cruisers that are quite different from each other in terms of styling and performance. One being a chopper and the other being a perfect cruiser bike have no common features and characteristics. However, based on the practical performance and functionality, the Shadow Sabre 1100 is an altogether better package for versatile operationality. The Shadow Sabre is powerful, quick, comfortable, and nimble with a crisp throttle response, better acceleration, and highly effective handling at both slow and fast speeds.

Meanwhile, the Suzuki Intruder 1400 has no match when it comes to aesthetics and design. However, a chopper-style bike comes naturally with certain shortcomings, including difficult steering and compromised handling.

Cruisers are the most efficient type of bike with the ability to be easily transformed into a tourer when required. For a laid-back touring experience, Viking Bags offers several motorcycle parts, including backrests for your Honda and Suzuki bikes and luggage-carrying options for your cruiser. You can easily find good-quality saddlebags for your Suzuki Intruder and the Honda Shadow Sabre 1100 to ensure a premium look. There are several other luggage bag options specially made for the cruiser category available at Viking Bags’ online store, including tank bags, backpacks, tool bags, tail bags, roll bags, and solo bags.

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