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Suzuki Bandit 1250S ABS - GSF1250SA

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by Silatman, Dec 29, 2015.

  1. Just looking, thoughts & comments appreciated

  2. Your a man of few words.
  3. Yeah, didn't want to crowd the thread ;)

    In the market to upgrade to my open bike and love the streetfighter/naked style. Looking at a few different options but loving the price of the Bandit 1250's that keep cropping up.
    Having no experience with them though was hoping to get some opinions good or bad about the bike.

    I'm not after track days, blistering straight line speed, or the latest and greatest, more something with enough torque and power to play with when the mood takes me, but comfortable to ride daily for general town riding but then can throw the wife on the back and go for a weekend cruise to a country pub for a meal and a beer with other like minded mates.
  4. Basically the same but I have to say my GSX1250FA ticks a lot of boxes. Like you say the buy price is right they are pretty damn tough easy to work on. Parts aren't expensive and more than enough grunt to lose you licence great torque and pretty comfy. So IMHO you wouldn't regret getting one for the purpose stated.
  5. I've never ridden one, but have been a pillion on them few times. Very comfy riding position for both short and long journeys, even with my very long legs the position of pillion pegs was fine. So if your wife's comfort is of any consideration, this bike ticks that box too (y)
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  6. They are pretty basic bikes, hence the low price. Not much goes wrong with them. I know the old air/oil cooled models would go for ever if you changed the oil regularly.
  7. I've got a 1250S. It ticks all the boxes that you've mentioned in post #3. I've had it for a couple of years. Used for general dodging about the town, day to day short trips, longer excursions (300-500km) and the odd long tour (1000s of km)

    While I have accessorised mine, I've done nothing to the engine (100hp approx is plenty), or the suspension, I have risers on the bars, heated grips, friction type throttle lock, a slightly taller screen, a slightly louder exhaust (Megacycle) crash bars, panniers and rack, and a Pro-Oiler to keep the chain in lube. All money well spent.

    I'd endorse the comments re: parts. they are a common bike with a long model run. There is a very large range of aftermarket parts and accessories available to do whatever you want in terms of personalising the bike at a very fair price, easily without a lot of hunting for what you want. The Pro-oiler for example came already set up for the bike.

    Personally, I don't find the bike wanting in a "must be fixed immediately" sense. I find the suspension a little soft in feel, but I've never bottomed it. There is no need to upgrade it for me. I don't ride the twists hard, so a firmer, tighter rig is of no benefit. I'll save the upgrade for when things get "a little tired" It stops and goes well, is smooth, with no hint of snatchiness to surprisingly low revs. As 80%+ of the torque is developed at around 3000revs, there is no need to go for another gear when overtaking, and round the town it's an easy ride in 2nd and 3rd gears. It's a good ride for a lazy person such as myself who would rather ride a gear down that I know I can pull away in smoothly than shift for every turn in town. It is plenty smooth and does not choke and jerk when hauling up even from below 2000 revs. It doesn't have the top heavy feel at low speeds that I've noticed in certain other bikes - a certain Kawa GTR1000 springs to mind, but in all fairness, it also carries more fuel.

    Now some gripes:

    The seat, while being very well shaped and allowing good foot contact is a little soft. Long rides end up with me gravitating to "the spot" which ends up feeling a bit hard as a result. I have ducks disease (short legs), and thought I could fix this with an aftermarket seat. A Corbin seat was fitted, and while it is a pearler on longer rides and trips, and does fix a slight "ground access" issue because it is lower, it is also wider and I'd rather have rounder seat edges where I am getting on and off often. I use that seat only for longer trips.

    The headlight. I thought it was woeful initially, but discovered the previous owner had it adjusted way low - I don't think he ever rode it at night! It's still not the brightest candle in the business by a long shot, and I've considered brighter globes (it uses standard H7 globes) I can get brighter lights by a simple globe change. I can live with it and have done some lengthy night time rides. It does help to keep my speed legal after dark.

    The speedo reliably reads 7 kph fast at 100kph - this can be fixed with a "speedo healer"

    The valve adjustment is bucket and shim - for me, that means I get someone else to do them. It's a 24K km interval, so in the long run, it's not THAT expensive. Service costs do not resemble those of a Ducati or BMW.

    Changing oil, specifically changing filter, requires a little thought - you will need to squeeze the filter past the radiator hose on the left to get out and in. It's a close fit.

    I had a lengthy test ride on another one before I bought the one I got. I did not like the exhaust at all on the stocker that I test rode. Too quiet - the loudest thing about the bike underway at highway speeds (apart from wind noise) was the cooling fan. I like an audible reminder of how fast I'm travelling.

    Other owners have had a problem with a fuel strainer - an integrated part of the fuel pump in the tank. It blocks, can be cleaned, but the best fix can be found with an aftermarket pump of a slightly different design. This fix is well known and documented in forums relating to the model. There is an excellent Australian Bandit Forum, where much knowledge about the bike is shared. Here Suzuki Bandit / GSX1250 Forum Australia It seems that most of the origin of this problem is about fuel quality. Most owners never encounter this problem. Incidentally, this bike runs as well on 91 RON as it should, and 98 RON is simply a waste of money. Any difference between 91 and 95 is indiscernible - I gave up trying to compare. In the end, I just couldn't see that there was any advantage in running anything other than 91. According to the manufacturer Ethanol blends of up to 10% are OK to run in the bike. I have no experience - I just don't use them, apart from the occasional tank early among a 2 or 3 tank run on a trip just as a dewater precaution. I've not noticed any difference. It's a 100 hp motorcycle, any difference in performance would be unnoticeable and unless you are pushing the engine hard consistently, you wouldn't notice any difference.

    End of gripes

    All in all, the bike is reliable, good value for money, not overly complex, and many find it a great basis for doing what they want with their motorcycle. The engine responds well to performance modifications without the need to go all the way to cams and high comp pistons. Add a set of headers, open up the air box, remove the secondary butterflies and disable the PAIRS system and get it dyno tuned and the ECU remapped - $$$ can produce 125 HP) In its stock form it is often regarded as bulletproof. People can expect to see these go well in excess of 100, 000, without any drama. Mine gives me (with a completely stock engine) reliably gives me 20 kpl fuel economy, and I have to be doing silly things to knock it below 18 (I've never seen 16) and it has been known to return 23 out on the road. The fuel range is good - the 19 litre tank will easily see me get 320 km before I need to even think about fuel. I'm happy to stop that often when travelling.

    Personally, I think the rear foot pegs are too high for a long pillion ride. Aftermarket lowering kits are available. My "significant other" will never ride on the back, so it is a complete non-issue for me.

    One last thing: Check the recall list here Suzuki Australia —Suzuki SFV650,DL650,GSR750,GSX650,GSF650,GSX1250,GSF1250 & AN650 Motorcycles It seems there was a "batch" problem affecting certain years. The one you are looking at may or not be affected.

    Do your homework. Most people who own Bandit 1250 motorcycles like them and tend to hang onto them for awhile. They represent a lot of motorcycle for the money.
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  8. Wow, awesome feedback. Thanks allot.

    How does it compare to something like the GSX 1400 or the XJR 1300?
    All of these seem to tick my boxes.
  9. Basically agree with most of the above given mostly painless relationships with an early GSF1200 & GS1100 (GSX in OZ)) only to add:
    Avoid ABS systems if possible whatever your choice of ride. If you've ever been rapping down Thunderbolt Way, testing out Mt Mee triple twisties or perhaps avoiding a garbage truck running red lights in West Perth at 4 AM in the wee small hours with a massive front brake fail you'll understand where I'm coming from. The GSF ABS, after having failed twice (supposedly fully serviced by local dealership Suzuki Edge HA effing HA) with the bypass valve failing on final occasion we took to it with demolition tools & a fist full of legal aide.
    The whole system, a substantial metal box weighing in at a whopping 2.4 kilo's now sits on the bar awaiting the next "WTF is it" chinwag.
    Having received a double negative plus much rude, ignorant crapspeak from Suzuki Australia we will never recommend them ever again. Period.

    Reminds this old biker somewhat of them lousy undersized asbestos shoed drum brakes on an AJS stormer / SL350 but even they were/are at least fixable & do give you some warning before they burst into flames !

    Moral of the story:
    Do not trust life or limb - & remember well, one front wheel or contact patch handles the majority of your stopping power - with electronic braking systems on a motorcycle.

    After thought: the '83 GS had another useless front braking system called "anti dive" where the fork & brake hydraulic systems were connected. No electronics involved & yet again one lost that progressive feel of the whole front end.
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  10. I have three friends who have GSX1400s. They are very keen to keep them. One has had more than one and the other has had his for a very long time - his only bike. They all regard them as "Capt'n Grunt". Very comfortable to ride out on the road with the old school flatter type seat. Very smooth engine that just cannot be thrashed, and I've heard of no obvious deficiencies in brakes or handling, and some 20 kg lighter than my 07 Bandit due to the air/oil cooling system instead of coolant/radiator.

    No mechanical issues are known to me. All of these guys are very open about "issues" Apparently there are very few with that model. They seem to be holding their value very well.
  11. Jstava, only thing that stops me with the GSX's are their age. Didn't they stop making them in 2008?? Love the look of them though, never ridden one but on paper they are exactly what I want.

    Ozbiker1, sounds like you have had some bad experiences with ABS systems, surely not the usual story though??
  12. They did indeed. In later years the torque available was up to 124 Nm. That's a lot of grunt.

    They are not exactly rare and if you are planning to own one for up to 10 years, you shouldn't have too much trouble finding spares. Maintained well, they have good prospects of not depreciating at all! My other bike was made in 1986 and I can still get most parts - A replacement tank would be the hardest thing to come by. Everything else? No problem.
  13. I test rode an '02 model GSX1400 and XJR1200 (I bought the Bandit instead). My only real gripe with either of them was that the fuelling didn't seem right, around town they were both 'hunting', almost surging. They were great out on the open road, but I don't own a car so any bike I own has to do the daily commute.

    I know a few blokes who have the later model 1400 and (now) 1300 and they swear by them.
  14. Life used to be about choices :banghead: & we're all lookin' at you Vicroads et al. A 'report' about which the terms of reference are highly dodgy :shifty: i.e. ulterior motif intentional in making ABS mandatory for road bikes. Can almost guarantee most of these 'experts' are military engineers & have never ridden a m/c. Also very strange when you can't download the report or check on exactly WHO was on the committee.
    404 Page not found :)))))))))
    from the link
    "You can download a copy of this report from the Monash University Accident Research Centre (External link)."

    If they made it switchable as with the old Beema 650's or Optional I would have less concerns.

    Two Wheels horror blurb written by industry guru M.Shields around Sept/Oct 2011 tells a dark story. If I can find it in the archives will post.
    There are some forensic stats concerning ABS failures via crash reports ... hard to to source tho' if your not at the coalface anymore.
    Wonder why that is.

    Fairly laborious & often flawed discussions here

    F650 ABS FAQ
    Motorcycle ABS: Why you should have it, and how it works : VicRoads
  15. Having owned an 2011 bandit for the last couple of years I agree nearly completely with the other guys comments. The ABS never let me down and worked really well. As said before there are plenty of reasonability priced accessories avaible for them. Being vertically challenged (another short arse) the bike was quite good height wise for me. The major change I made was to put a Sargent jell seat on it. It gave the freckle a bit more rest on a long ride. It is a good combination of power, speed when wanted and rider comfort. Very happy with mine.
  16. Not wanting to derail the thread HOTRODHOTROD but was there a significant difference between the old seat and the Sargent as I'm thinking of going that way too.
  17. Price the seat and find out what a motor trimmer can do for you. Some of these guys actually do quite a few motorbike seats and understand the issues.

    There are people who can give you exactly what you want in terms of shape and hardness. Some of the better ones will even straighten you out over the fallacy that a softer seat is necessarily more comfortable. A bit of a hunt through forums may turn some up that people have had and recommend. It's not hard to save over $100 going this route. Do your homework.

    Having said that Sargent seats have an excellent reputation.
  18. Thanks jstavajstava ya I have been given the name of a semi retired master upholsterer in Brisvegas that has big raps from a few people for the work he does. Will be contacting him to have a chat.
  19. Have a look at Delboy's Garage on YouTube. He commutes year round in the UK and rat-biked a Bandit for that purpose.

    He's got vids on maintenance, Vlogs and other bits.
    The guy's been riding all his life and seemed to like the Bandit, as a cheap bike, which is reliable, good to ride and easy to work on.

    P.s I'm biased as I have as I have a massive man-crush on Delboy. Just saying.
  20. ^ On the seat topic, I had an 08 1250s and found that with the addition of a sheep-skin cover I could ride all day without a problem.