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Review: 2008 Hyosung GT650S Tourer, A Torque Filled Rocket

December 15th, 2007
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Torque, torque and torque that’s all we’ve been talking about since we picked up the Hyosung GT650S Tourer. A lot of bikes and particularly the Hyosung 650’s competitors lack enough torque, for anyone upgrading from a 250cc to something bigger and craving a sporty bike that won’t bust your back over long distances read on.

The Hyosung brand has been building motorcycle since 1979 and they know a thing or two about making a bike look good. The Hyosung motorcycle company is a South Korean based manufacturer with a research and development office in Japan enabling the company and its bikes to keep up with the latest technology and design trends.

Hyosung GT650 S Tourer

Hyosung started building bikes for its riders to use as commuters; they were nothing flash, no tricks or gadgets just commuting bikes and scooters. Nowadays since the company was bought out by the large cashed-up S&T Motors of South Korea, Hyosung is manufacturing some of the best looking bikes at the lowest prices giving motorcycling enthusiasts with lower budgets the opportunity to ride their dream type of motorcycle.

Hyosung are able to keep their motorcycle prices low and obtainable for the average rider, the frame designs are simple and the engines don’t have to rev to a million rpm to get some speed up.

We didn’t know what to expect from the Hyosung GT650S Tourer and like all products we review had an open mind, the Tourer segment is competitive with lots of product to choose from within a 150cc gap either side.

Hyosung GT650S Tourer

These types of Tourers are my favourite type of motorcycle, for the simple reason I live 40 kilometres from Melbourne’s CBD where the office is and I’m in love with anything with wheels that uses petrol.

Traveling to work every day I use back streets, freeways, highways and tram tracks therefore I’m going to want a high seated motorcycle with a view above traffic, enough power to keep up with and ahead of traffic (and taxi drivers) and a comfortable seating position because Melbourne’s peak hour traffic drives me crazy and I hate laying front ways traveling 30km/h each way to work everyday. And I nearly forgot the bike’s got to look the part.

After riding the Hyosung GT650S Tourer to and from work it ticks all the boxes for me, my back was not stiff which made it more enjoyable. The Titanium silver coloured faring is the pick but it also comes in Mango yellow and Hot chilli red. The GT650S Tourer’s seating position is at 780mm and having the larger saddle you can opt to sit nearer to the tank keeping your back upright or sit towards the rear for a more spirited ride.

Hyosung GT650S Tourer

The GT650S Tourer has heated hand grips, a feature typically found in higher end bikes. These proved to be great during our test period as I was lucky enough to ride in some of Melbourne’s four seasons in one day weather. Hyosung offer throw over panniers for your laptop and other bit and pieces which are worth their weight in gold and safer than wearing a backpack. For the odd occasion when traveling with a parcel the Tourer is fitted with a chrome grab handle behind the pillion seat which doubles as a mounting point for tying down smaller items such as a first aid kit or a helmet.

Riding on the freeway in 6th gear doing 100km/h the GT650S Tourer feels likes it’s stuck to the road, weighing in at 190kg even in the strongest of winds the bike still feels very stable. Doing those speeds is even more comfortable thanks to the medium sized windshield. I don’t usually like windshields but this one is curved and tinted forming as part of the front faring.

Front on the Tourer looks so good with projector type headlights, they not only look the business but light up the road adequately in areas without street lights.

Hyosung GT650S Tourer

The 647cc V-twin engine uses a twin carby set-up, so warming it up with the choke on for those frosty mornings is a good tip. The 58 kW is enough power to pull away from traffic and overtaking at 100 km/h is a breeze. The loads of torque means you need to hold on to the handlebars so you don’t fall off the back. For less experienced riders this is enough power for everyday and weekend riding without the front wheel lifting under rapid acceleration.

The stock standard exhaust might look plain but it sounds great, it has that nice V-twin throaty exhaust note at idle and revving to 10,000 rpm it screams, imagine what an upgraded exhaust could sound like?

The GT650S Tourer pulls up nice and has plenty of feedback. Featuring twin front discs and two piston calipers, front upside down forks the long suspension travel absorbs the majority of the braking force. The shocks can be tweaked for a more firmer ride for when you take it for some more spirited riding.

Hyosung GT650S Tourer

Steering is direct and the raised handlebars make for a comfortable riding position. The height of the handlebars means that the mirrors are positioned perfectly showing a wide view of the traffic instead of your elbows.

Like I stated in the start of the review, if you’re after a bigger bike and coming off your 250cc then consider riding the GT65S Tourer, Hyosung are selling this bike for a competitive $8,790. One test ride and you’ll be in like Flynn. And for those that can’t wait until you’re off your Learner restrictions then buy the de-tuned GT650 S Tourer model.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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