Suzuki GSF 650 SA Bandit ABS, (2011-current): Almost for every road use, limits are exempted.Engine: The liquid-cooled 656 cc engine, delivers 85 bhp / 10500 rpm and 6.1 kg / 9000 rpm torque, claimed values.
Actually 2500 rpm will be required to get a weak acceleration. From 3500 rpm upwards there is adequate thrust, providing continuous power up to about 12700 rpm, where rev limiter intervenes.
Very observant riders will notice that there is a small power step at 8000 rpm, that is a slight increase in power delivered.
The lowest part of the power band up to 5000 rpm is sufficient for commuting. An engine temperature indication would be welcomed. Power provided is not impressive, adequate for every use though.
Compared with the former model which provided thrust from 1500 rpm upwards, the 2011 model will ask for at least 2500 rpm for an equivalent acceleration. Maximum top power is increased by 7 bhp. The selected gear indication is very useful.
Riding position: The seat height is adjustable, 790-810 mm. It is considered to be normal at the standard position, it will allow average height riders, or higher, a confident foot on the road. The width of the bike is moderate, however the length of the Bandit is increased. Generally rider gets the feeling of an elongated bike.
Rider is placed in and over the bike, riding position is neutral. The bike feels relatively heavy, 247 Kgs curb weight.
On the road: Suspension stiffness feels average. A 41 mm fork is equipped at the front, it may be adjusted to the spring preload only. There is a linkage for the shock absorber, which is adjustable to spring preload and rebound damping.
A 120/70-17 Bridgestone BT-011 had been fitted at the front while a 160/60-17 BT- 020 at the rear. These tyres are relatively good on high friction tarmac roads, if rider is willing to travel. On low-average friction factor roads the rear tyre should be replaced with a softer compound. Its very simple.
On town rides the Bandit is a neutral bike, that will not require any compromises. ItĘs a relatively comfortable bike over road imperfections. If rider wishes for greater comfort, the V-strom is a better choice.
Consequently Bandit is a relatively long, narrow, bulky and heavy bike on town rides which will not result in a great problem for the rider.
At the process of filtering, although the handlebar-mirrors are about the same height with the mirrors of cars and SUV respectively, due to the small width of the bike, this will not be a problem for the rider either.
Steering lock is really good, considered the character of the bike.
Commuting downtown will be adequate as long as there is not any traffic congestion. If this is a common case though, a scooter or a moped will be also desired by the owner.
Ground clearance will permit ascending or descending of low-average street pavements.
On low friction B- roads the GSF is a neutral and robust bike which will meet the expectations of the rider. On low friction factor B-roads, tyres fitted are not suitable for a higher pace of riding. Feedback to the rider is decreased, rear tyre slides are very often.
On high friction factor B-roads at fast pace, the Bandit feels solid, feedback to the rider is very good.
As the pace gets faster, the slow steering geometry is gradually evident. Change of direction is not instant, however stability is great. Additionally the weight will soon result in a problem for the rider. Also the neutral riding position will be a disadvantage when riding fast, rider will not be able to charge adequately the front of the bike.
Tyres fitted are also unsuitable for a pace like that, however the bike has the potential to reciprocate, rider will not be disappointed. Summarily, handling is neutral at an average pace, at the fast pace though itĘs a clearly touring one, that means relatively slow change of direction.
On the highway the Bandit will satisfy every rider, high-speed travelling is permitted. The redesigned fairing and the hole on the screen, create a relatively weak airflow towards the rider. This air flux feels dispersed , not concentrated. The outcome of these changes is that rider is comfortable.
Thus the 160 Km/h travelling speed is a really comfortable one, while rider feels OK even at 190 Km/h. Engine will feel slightly underpowered at such a pace. Suspension feels rather soft on sweepers. Travelling comfort is well increased compared to the 2007 model. The Bandit is still a very stable bike, mostly due to the 1470 mm wheelbase.
In case that rider wishes for faster-more comfortable- highway use, there are several models on this segment. Otherwise there wouldnĘt be any reason to produce bikes like the GSF 1250 SA Bandit. The anatomical pillion saddle is very comfortable.
On dirt roads the Bandit will ask for two compromises. First the bike hat to be kept upright. Because of the weight of the Gsf of course. Second, the suspension feels firm for off-road use. Its obvious that this field of use is not intended for a street bike, the V-strom is much more suitable then. However its indicative concerning the user friendly character of the Bandit.
Dual 310 mm disc brakes are equipped at the front, a single 240 mm at the rear, ABS system is included at the SA version. Four piston calipers are equipped at the front, a dual piston caliper at the rear. Braking is very good and progressive, feedback from the ABS is moderate.
During the operation of the ABS, a vivid vibration may be felt from the rear brake, the vibration from the front is hardly noticed.
On low-moderate friction factor streets, in case of emergency braking, rider gets the impression that front tyre just starts to lock, as the ABS intervenes. Naturally this does not result in a problem for the rider, it will just need some psychological familiarization in such conditions.
Comments: There are two gloves compartments at either side of the fairing at the current model. A 12 V socket is provided at the left one. Mirrors provide excellent visibility. The muffler is large, provided that there is no indication concerning the engine capacity, this exhaust could be indicative for a 1000 c.c. bike.
In 2009 a design upgrade was performed. In 2011 the Bandit gets a well increased touring potential and a new dash. The gap from V-strom grew bigger, after all the V-strom is a great bike, although an internal contestant in the factoryĘs line up, also. The gap from the Gsf 1250 SA was reduced though.
Price GSF 650 SA ABS BANDIT: 6695 §
+ Travelling potential, general road use
- Commuting on traffic congested streets
- Test fitted tyres on low-moderate friction factor streets.