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Suzuki Bandit 250 vs Yamaha FZX 250 (Zeal)

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by jimbob80, Jan 25, 2012.

  1. Hello all,

    It has been a while since I have been here..! Life and time gets away sometime.

    Anyway, I am just wanting some opinions on two bikes, if you have another to recommend then please do so. But I am currently wanting to know which of the two would be better for comfort, performance and economy.

    I have been riding for 5 years, have owned a GS 500 and a GSXR-600. I have not had a bike for two years now and need to get one for commuting to and from work. I am not looking for anything too big, hence the choice of 250. I am also not fussed with having something underpowered in comparison to what I once owned.

    Currently I am looking at either a Suzuki Bandit 250 or Yamaha FZX 250 (Zeal).

  2. From the two on offer my choice would be the Zeal - great little bikes.
    Relatively simple and nimble with a bit of style to boot (y)
  3. Another GS500 not an option?

    I've got an FZX 250, they're a fun little bike - but I'm only a learner, and 2 months down the track I already want something with more torque (that said it is lugging my 100 kg body around).

    GS500 are better on fuel too, I think. I'm lucky to get 220 km on the zeal before hitting reserve (5L+/100km)

    One thing to consider with the zeal is parts availability/price, complexity to service etc... it doesn't seem to be overly great.
  4. 220km on a tank is a luxury on a bigger sport bike to be sure
  5. People tend to report 4 - 4.5L/100km on GS500. 300 - 350km per tank

    At any rate what's a litre/100km between friends? :p
  6. Ha! :D

    I'm not on a litre - I ride a 650.

    On the daily commute I'd get 150-160km from a 15L Tank - not good (but I am a "spirited rider")

    On a weekend trip or tour I can achieve near double - up to 260 -270km.

    In the twisties and having fun I'd be lucky to see 140 - 150.
  7. Another GS500 is as option, fantastic bike!
    I was looking at the two 250's really only based on price for used. But I guess spending a little more for something a little larger would be a good option.

    I know that the GS is extremely easy and cheap to work on, compared to non air-cooled options like the bandit and zeal. But I only need a cheap run around.

    So the GS would be better on fuel? How many of you can confirm this?

    Also, what is the power difference on the two 250's and the GS500?
  8. I have a Zeal, 1998, had done around 49000kms when I got it. It's been a great bike - I've put 20000km on since Feb last year. Good as a commuter, forgiving of sloppy learner clutch and throttle control, yet competes well with bigger bikes. Looks good even scratched up and dropped like mine is.

    As thetert says however, production of the Zeal stopped in 1998 and so these bikes are starting to get a bit long in the tooth. Many parts are generic but I'm thinking some aren't and may be harder to find. I also get about 220-230km when I hit reserve - I think the total capacity is 15 litres (of which reserve is about 3L). I weigh about 80kg so I'm getting worse fuel economy than thetert though... I tend to flog the wee beastie too. I've heard fork seals are a common problem on the Zeal but mine have been fine.

    Comfortwise - I like it. It's fairly upright and you can hug the tank if you want to get down low. It does have quite a low seat height - so if you are tall, this may count against it as your knees will be up fairly high. I've ridden it on long rides - eg the Snowy Ride (5 days) with around 6 hours in the saddle no problem. But this might depend on your ergonomics.

    I'm looking to upgrade in March so I'll sell you mine and you can ride it back to Brisbane ;-) Having said all that, I love the bike, will be sorry to move it on.
  9. As if not considering Hornet 250 from honda, the magazines at the time consider it to be better then both i highly recommend you check it out. Amazing bike. Does everything well.

    As for comfort, ive done 13 hour cross country stints on my hornet. No dramas if you wear earplugs.

    Search my posts for hornet as a keyword, you will find many posts defending/talking it up/trashign ninja 250's. I cant really be bothered to repeat it here because i have said it so many times. But seriously check it out.
  10. The GS will get the liters per 100k stated in previous posts..
    And also being air/oil cooled means one less fluid and radiator to monitor, replace, etc..
    It's also one of the easiest bikes to self maintain with easy access to almost anything...
    It was my first bike and I would nearly all the time get better economy than most of the 250ies I ever rode with.
    Main reason is that most smaller capacity bikes need to rev a lot higher for the same speeds.

    GS500 will sit at 100kph at around 5500rpm where most 2fidys will be up towards the 8k mark or there abouts.
    Here's something else to ponder, I can get the same economy as the GS500on my current TDM900 for the same reasons..

    Come to think of it, I wouldn't even think of fuel before 350k and often got to 400k before needing to switch to reserve..

    I'd def go the gs500 rather than a 2fidy...

    Good luck which ever way you go...

  11. GS500 revs only to about 11000RPM

    4cyl 250s rev to about 15000

    at the end of the day, both are reving about half way through their rev range.

    doenst really make a huge difference, 8k on a bike that can do 16 is not a big deal.
  12. If you're interested in the Zeal and Bandit, you might as well consider the Hornet. As another poster stated, it's generally considered to be the best bike of the three.

    One thing worth considering is how easy it will be to find parts for these bikes when you need them. Bandits are no problem because they are everywhere, as both locals and greys. Hornet 250s are rarer and only come as grey imports, but share many of their parts with their local brothers, the Hornet 600 and the CBR 250 (the key is finding part numbers - I can help there). I haven't had any experience working on a Zeal, but my feeling is that, due to its rarity, it might be the hardest of the three to find parts for, even though it was sold locally.
  13. My GS gets 5-6L per 100km whereas my old 250 4cyl used to get high 3s and up to 5L per 100. Both were ridden hard. Seems to be very little variance in overall consumption regardless of the throttle usage for the smaller bikes
  14. Thank you all for your awesome replies!

    A few final questions for you all... Any ideas as to the size difference between the Bandit 250 and the GS 500? By size, I mean height, width and weight. If I were to sit on the Bandit, would it feel smaller than the GS?

    I am 6.3" 80kgs. The GS was great and had no issues with my height and weight. Will this be a clear issue if I were to jump on the bandit?

  15. Might be an issue, the Bandit is a bit smaller than the GS (not a whole lot) but I'd say you will be fine. There's always things we can't tell over the net though so you're best sitting on one (both feet on footpegs) to see how you fit
  16. Looking at one tomorrow afternoon, see how I fit then.
    I have done some research and where power in concerned, it is only slightly less than the GS.

    It has done 30,000 k's. Not so bad, for a 2000 model.
  17. Hornets have the same frame etc as the 600cc bike, so it should probably be the most accommodating for you. Im about 6ft tall and its fine for me, comfortable and obviously can flat foot the shit out of it.

    You would be silly not to try the hornet out.
  18. When i was looking for a learner bike the hornet was the rarest out of the zeal, bandit and hornet. In NSW at least.

    Ended up getting a vtr250 because there were so many more/local/not as old.
  19. yea they are really quite rare, i was lucky to be able to purchase my mates (toadcat on here) from him, which was great because he had kept me up to date with the goings on with his bike during the year he owned it, so i knew he had taken care of it properly.

    My second choice was a VTR250, they sound quite nice with a pipe and look pretty good too.

  20. That was my experience with my GS. A 20 litre tank would get me somewhere between 350-400ks. Which is 5/5.5 litres per 100k.

    Interestingly, my Bandit 1250 would average 5.3/5.5 litres per 100k and my FJR1300 does a little better than that. Fuel injection makes a real difference to fuel economy.