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2 weeks in Tasmania - Review of the GSX650F

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' at netrider.net.au started by friction, Jan 3, 2011.

  1. Cross post from https://netrider.net.au/forums/showthread.php?t=118156

    Being quite a big bike, it comfortably held a Ventura Rack with the Aero Spada on the back (clothes and food), the Aero Delta zipped to it (motorbike gear linings, jumpers etc), the Monza Panniers (tent, cooker, sleeping bags), the Thruxton tank bag (snacks, water, rechargers, papers etc), AND a Pillion. That's impressive I think.

    Being a 650 carrying that much weight, it wasn't as zippy as normal, but with it's power being in the lower rev range than the 600R, it was sufficiently quick after a tight bend providing you're in the correct gear.

    Having the vertical headlight I think makes it a snazzy looking bike, but it sure can do with an aftermarket exhaust and a fender eliminator. It's also worth replacing the antennae style front indicators with flush mounts and replacing the mirrors with ones that have a built-in LED.

    My biggest problem is the lack of ABS on the 2008 model. With that much weight, the stopping power is greatly reduced and at times with some loose stones the back end got a bit out of shape. In an emergency braking situation, ABS would mean the difference between a fall and a scare.

    It had reasonably fuel economy, 300km per tank of 15L or so with a single rider, about 260km with a pillion and full luggage.

    It does tend to get warm, even after fairly easy riding a stop of more than about 2 mins will kick on the electric fan.

    Also the use of sports faring does limit the places you can put gear. The popular "over the handlebars" spot for a foam mattress isn't available, but this isn't a huge problem.

    My only complaint is the shape of the seat - which is angled such that the pillion slides forward under even the lightest braking leaving a whole heap or room behind them. On the plus, the pillion foot pegs are positioned much better than on usual sports bikes.

    In general, the GSX650F is no track bike, nor would you do the Long Way Round on it, but as something you can commute on, do a day trip in the twisties, and do a two week trip around Tassie, it's the perfect one-bike-fits-all-situations choice.

  2. Nice setup for the trip. How did you find the suspension coped with the riding you did?

  3. They're a fantastic bike.

    I hope to do Tassie with Wifey next year at the latest.