The Madura was a cruiser motorcycle sold by Suzuki in 1985 and 1986. It was available with either 1200 cc or 700 cc V4 engines. It was created as a response to Honda's Magna V4 muscle cruiser and was a direct competitor with Yamaha's V-Max power cruiser, also released in 1985.
In response to the Honda Magna, Suzuki made the Madura model. Like the Magna, it was a V-four powered cruiser. Like the Magna, the Madura was offered with two different engine sizes. Both bikes' smaller engines displaced 700 cc, but while the big Magna displaced 1100 cc, (actual 1098 cc) the big Madura displaced 1200 cc (actual 1165 cc).
Production of the Madura was halted after just two years. According to Peter Seifert of Vernon, B.C., Canada, 5099 Maduras were produced.
The Madura had a V-four engine with hydraulic-lifters. The lifters reduced maintenance, and avoided the kind of cam-wear problems that plagued the Magna. Despite displacing 100 cc more, the Madura didn't make much more horsepower or torque than the Magna. The Madura was factory rated at 117hp, while the Magna was rated at 116hp. Actual horsepower in a road-tested bike was found to be about 89. For comparison, a same year V65 put down 93hp.
In addition to the maintenance-free lifters, the Madura had a self-adjusting hydraulically actuated clutch, and a low-maintenance, shaft final drive. The rear suspension was a sophisticated monoshock arrangement that used a single rear swingarm tube to carry the driveshaft as well.
Ergonomically, the Madura featured a low, scooped seat, swept-back handle-bars, and foot-controls that wouldn't be considered "forward" by later standards, but at the time were noted for being 14" ahead of the center of the seat.
According to Cycle magazine, the 1200 cc Madura completed the 1/4-mile in 11.753 seconds at 115.08 mph. For comparison, on the same day the V65 Magna ran 11.86 at 115.86mph
Cycle Guide recorded an 11.36 at 117.18 1/4 mile. while their Magna clocked 11.44 at 118.42
Motorcyclist clocked a corrected 11.47 at 117.6 with the GV1200 Madura.
Cycle World magazine reported the 700 cc Madura doing the 1/4-mile in 12.89 seconds at 102.68 mph.
"Madura" is an island, a people and a language. It also means "mature" in Spanish. The characteristicly serpentine dagger known universally as a Madura was produced by the island's natives and was likely the inspiration for this motorcycle's name as it's unique curved stepped seat and smoothly flowing lines resemble this knife. Also the knife was often used in passion in a swift surprise attack defending honor.
The Madura may have been named after the bull racing popular on the island. Riding these animals was most likely similarly exhilarating.