Say hello to an all-new Raider nation.
Honda has dominated the Philippine bike market forever, but a new challenger has appeared. The Suzuki Raider J Crossover is looking to unseat the champ.
It seems the Raider J was designed to dethrone Honda’s popular XRM 125, and priced 3,000 PhP cheaper, it might just do so. The Raider J is powered by a single cylindered, air-cooled 113cc four-stroke SOHC fuel-injected engine. A four-speed, constant mesh transmission transfers power to the rear wheel, while a disc brake on the front and a drum on the rear provide stopping power.
The raider J features tubed tires, which might be a good idea as they can be easily patched should they become punctured by something on the rough Philippine roads. The four-liter fuel tank will get you almost 150 miles at Suzuki’s estimate of 60km per liter.
Suzuki designed its new Raider J Crossover specifically for the Philippine roads; or lack thereof, depending on your opinion. Who can blame them, considering 2019 broke a record for motorcycle sales in the Philippines, with 1.66 million units sold? The Raider J is designed for roads which might be no more than a hard-packed dirt trail which larger motorcycles might not be able to navigate.
Suzuki revealed the Raider J back in February, 2020, and hosted a three-day ride featuring 20 riders on a 560 -kilometer trek across five Philippine provinces through city, gravel, sand, mud, and even rivers to demonstrate the Raider J’s capabilities.
The journey began at Dahilayan Adventure Park which immediately subjected the brand-new machines to three kilometers of dirt and gravel. Next, the journey took them to Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon where the riders were invited to abuse their rides in the dirt of the Del Monte Pineapple farm. Next, it was off to Cathedral Falls in Lanao del Norte, where the riders put their machines to the test in a water crossing. They then finished the second day with a steep climb to Hoyohoy Highland Resort in Misamis.
The final day started with a visit to the Suzuki 3S Shop in Ozamis. From there, it was on to Dipolog Boulevard, and Rizal Landing in Dapitan for photos. Finally, it was time to head to Dakak Park and Beach Resort, where the journey ended.
Does the new Suzuki have what it takes to dethrone the Honda dynasty in the Philippines? Only time will tell. Considering the reactions we’ve seen from those who have taken it for a ride, we think it has a good chance of at least taking a sizable piece of the market.