Suzuki is offering the 1250cc, full-faired all-rounder GSX1250F for less than £7k. That’s partly because mechanically it’s almost entirely a Bandit 1250SA – but the fairing and accessories list make it more useful and sportier looking.
The 1255cc engine is as effortlessly grunty as it was in the Bandit 1250 – power is concentrated in the low and midrange with a seamless delivery. It tails off in the top half of the rev range – most of the time you’ll get the best by short shifting and making use of the poke around 4000rpm.
Quality and Reliability
Bandits are traditionally mechanically tough, but with poor build quality. The GSX1250FA’s steel frame is smartly powdercoated, but fasteners and fittings will suffer if you don’t stay on top of cleaning it in bad weather. It’s neatly designed – the fairing is smart, the metallic paint looks good and the dash trim looks smarter than bare sportsbike cockpits. Learn to use a bucket and sponge.
Ride and Handling
The GSX1250F might pack a 257kg fully-fuelled weight, but it hides it well. The seat is low and the bars raised, putting you in a good position for low-speed traffic-splitting or hustling along an open road. Bumps expose the limits of the cheap suspension – using the rebound damping adjusters might help. Smooth roads are no problem, the GSX steering sweetly but stably with no excess pitching back and forth – the uprated springs/damping in the forks over the Bandit help. The ABS is good too – there’s pulsing through the lever, but it’s not harsh and it rarely cuts in even on greasy roads.
As a £7000 big-bore machine there’s not a lot of goodies as standard, but what the GSX1250F has is useful. A centrestand is standard, the seat height adjusts between 805mm and 825mm, there’s fuel gauge, gear indicator, twin trip meters plus a trip that starts counting when you hit reserve. Incidentally, ‘reserve’ is 5.5 litres of the 19 litre tank, so the first warning comes on early, and a final warning comes on with just a litre to go. It doesn’t help form a realistic picture of when you should fill up. The mirrors are effective too.
The GSX1250FA does give a little away to more expensive rivals, but it’s stupendously cheap as bike prices rise across the board. It’s barely more expensive than 600 all rounders, and the same money as three or four year old premium all-rounders. If you’re after a motorcycle as a workhorse, the GSX1250F fits the bill – there’s nothing else for the money that’s as happy to tour, commute and scratch on backroads.