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From Korea, with love

Hyosung wants to return to India with a bang and its weapon of choice is the sporty GT650R.

autos Updated: May 06, 2011 01:25 IST

The recently launched Hyosung GT650R, which rolls out from the joint Hyosung and Garware operation, seems poised to fulfil the aspirations of those looking for a middleweight sports bike.

The GT650R is aggressive and sporty, true to its ‘R’ suffix. Look closer and you will spot styling cues from the Suzuki GSX-R family. The instruments panel looks dated, while the 17-litre fuel tank is a touch too tall for a sports bike, preventing the rider from properly tucking into a racing crouch behind the GT’s flyscreen.

An LED taillight, behind the contoured tailpiece and two-piece grab handle, is a nice touch. Six-spoke alloy wheels, a fat rear tyre, exposed drive chain and large exhaust canister all give the GT650R a purposeful attitude.

The GT650R employs a four-stroke, liquid-cooled engine that displaces 647cc. Peak power developed is 72.6bhp at 9,000rpm while maximum torque is 6.2kgm at 7,250rpm. Thumb the starter and this Korean sports bike cranks to life with an unimpressive note.

Too many vibrations
On the whole, this Hyosung engine is down on refinement, sending harsh vibrations upward to the rider as the revs rise. The riding position is unashamedly sporty, with a radical lean into its clip-on handlebars. This, however, makes it an uncomfortable motorcycle that is ill-suited for daily use. Ride quality was only average, with the suspension left at factory settings.

A big positive on the bike is the really sticky Bridgestone tyres that provide leech-like traction. Straight-line stability is good and the GT maintains a reassuring composure even over 140kph. The sports bike managed to cover 20.4km on a litre of fuel when in the city, while it returned 24.3kpl on the highway.

Verdict
Hyosung and Garware need to polish several rough edges on their flagship product for India. The GT650R loses most of its sheen when you learn of its Rs5lakh price tag. The bike will dent a hole in your pocket, but for bike lovers the price tag is just a number. At present, the Korean sportsbike has no competition but Bajaj and Kawasaki will soon spoil this party when they launch the exciting 650cc Ninja in India.