To me the Gladius looks even stranger in person. That is when you can see the the colored plastic parts. I guess what is weird is that appears to use colored plastic instead of painted plastic. Makes it look like a toy.
I have not seen the bike in person yet for a real first impression, who knows it might be a good performer... But definitely, I think Suzuki went south with the Gladius... I hope they rectify that machine soon, sales will send them the hint either way...
I have been curious about 4 cylinder engines. Seems like they would be smoother and have more power, but I guess that would make them more complicated and expensive. I really like the power on the V. Great for me. First bike, older, but like a little excitement.
In this category Suzuki has been able to maintain a dominant presence... specially on the $7K entry level. The I4 Bandits have always been known to be smooth torque monsters and the GSX650F is no exception, I actually got to test ride a used one that dealer was trying to sell me, very impressed. Torque where you needed at lowered RPMs and silky smooth engine... I was taken on a 7mi tour, just a big circle around the dealer, but from the minute we took off, I felt right at home on the 650F, very comfortable, bike fit me very well, no complaints.
The issue with 650F is the insurance, for some reason insurance companies are just scared of the 650F, the collision coverage for the bike is insane... For my 800cc cruiser I have Geico and I currently pay $205/YR and I have all coverages with pretty good limits including collision. I called Geico and the quoted me $950 for the 650F, $399 for the Verys and $289 for the 650R (same engine as the Versys). I called dairy land and they were higher then Geico, but still the same facts remained, the 650F was the worse. I work for an insurance company so I go one of our local agents that I work with to rate me the same there bikes with the best rate possible, once again, the same came true, the 650F was away out on its own, then the versys and the 650R was the cheapest.
I just don't get why the Versys would be more expensive then the 650R, same engine but the 650R has way more plastics to be replaced in case of a collision. I would estimate that the type of riders the 650R would attracts are going to be less responsible then the typical riders for Versys.
Yamaha on the other hand... very Buzzy I4 (not smooth) with the FZ series and the engine power only comes alive on the north side of 6K RPMs, meaning you have to be breaking the speed law for the bike to show you what it can do... I don't think the FZ6R is going to be any different then the FZ6 and FZ1, known to be buzzers and upper revs monsters with very lazy low end engines.