Now here's one out of left field. Despite the massive development costs of hundreds of new models by dozens of motorcycle manufacturers, and numerous landmark motorcycle launches of 2009, Suzuki's middleweight Gladius 650 has gained the most prestigious award of the Japanese market, taking the honours in the motorcycle category of the famous 'Good Design Awards'. Launched in the spring of 2009, the Gladius features a trellis-styled steel frame and a unique style but unlike most motorcycle award winners (generally assessed by sports oriented motorcycle journalists with added testosterone), it's not a bike designed for the racetrack – it is an entry-level machine aimed at people who want an all-round machine for economical and enjoyable road usage.
With a chassis and bodywork designed to be slender and light and with an extra low seat-height of just 785mm, the Gladius 650 also has a very low recommended retail price in those markets where it is available.
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