So, I picked up this on Saturday: I figure that other learners might be interested in what my experience so far has been with it. Now, I know there is a tendency for people to buy something and then say, "I bought this, so therefore its awesome, so you should buy it too", so I'll stay away from that, and just be objective from the point of view of a newbie. I won't bore you with the story of why I bought the GSX650FU, instead of other bikes in the LAMS range such as the Ninja 250R or the CB400, or why I didn't just stick with the CB250. To cut a long story short, I wasn't happy on the CB250, and the GSX650FU was everything I was looking for in a bike. The LAMS ECU The Suzuki GSX650FU is the LAMS version of the GSX650F. If you don't know about this bike, the way the LAMS restriction is performed is by fitting a reprogrammed ECU that limits the power output at high revs, which is intended to keep the power output below 150kw/tonne. I'd done a lot of research on the bike, on netrider and out on the net. A lot of people are shy of the LAMS version of the GSX650F, due to the lack of an official option for unrestricting the bike after you are on an unrestricted license. This is certainly a concern. As the law stands, you have to either get a new GSX650F ECU and fit it yourself (~$1200) or buy one from a wreckers in the US (~$400+). The SV650 ECU is compatible, so some might use that. But, once you've done that, you've increased the power output of the bike, and it then is no longer a LAMS bike. You'll need to get it re-evaluated by an engineer, and some paperwork would need to be submitted to say that the bike meets all of the ADRs, and then somehow get the LAMS designation removed from it's registration details. This could easily cost you several thousands of dollars! You could of course choose to say nothing, and if you're on unrestricted license, this might be ok. Many people ride with modified exhausts where technically this isn't 100% legal if the exhaust is louder than the factory fitted one. (I believe - from reading the relevant ADRs, etc) In my opinion this is a huge oversight by Suzuki, and it must be costing them sales. I don't know what the best solution is, but I think a step forward would be if they sell the GSX650F as a LAMS and non-LAMS bike like the Hyosung, and give the dealers a method of flashing the ECU to the LAMS version and back to non-LAMS. Even though all of this was a bit of a worry, I ended up buying the bike anyway because I figured that in 2 years, I might want to upgrade and the market for recent LAMS bikes is not too bad. So, I got the GSX650FU on order, it arrived on Saturday, I put the money down and rode away. Controls and Instruments All of the controls are in easy reach, with nice clear and bright instrument panel. The panel has a digital odometer which can be cycled to two separate trip meters and a clock (very handy!). There is a shift light, which you can set to illuminate at any particular rev for each gear, which is so bright you don't have to look at it to see it. A nice big tacho, and a digital speed display. The clutch and brake levers are adjustable, so you can adjust how far out they stand from the grips. The clutch itself is very forgiving. The friction point is reasonably large and smooth, so its easy to start off the bike in first and not jerk around like an idiot. Riding position The riding position is a lot more "Sport Tourer" than "Sport", so when riding you can grip with your legs and comfortably sit without much weight if any on your hands, assuming you're not a noob and you're not gripping onto the handlebars out of sheer terror like I was for the first few hours riding it. The gear lever is a little high for me, so I'll be adjusting it down a little so I can rest my foot on it comfortably. The brake pedal is also a little high, so will need to be adjusted, but its not as bad as the gear lever. Edit: I had the dealer set up the preload on the suspension for a load of my weight and gear. This made it quite firm, and the ride on rough Sydney roads is a little bumpy but the shocks take care of most of it nicely. My feet are able to go flat on the ground when stopped. Engine and drivetrain The engine is liquid-cooled, and after it warms up a bit the fans will inevitably kick in if you've been riding through stop/start traffic like what I experience every day. The sound of the engine is just lovely, in my opinion, but thats terribly subjective. Acceleration is smooth and constant with this bike, with a lot of torque in low revs. If you find yourself having to slow for other traffic, and you're in a higher gear, you can easily accelerate smoothly from low speeds back up to 50-60km/h without it feeling sluggish. The old 250 just never had this much grunt; and forced me to change down to low gear every time. Shifting on the bike is smooth. I have managed to put it into 3rd and have it pop out into a false neutral once, when shifting without the clutch, so I think maybe if you want to clutchlessly shift on this bike do it from 3rd onwards. Opening up the throttle a little, I didn't feel any lack of power with the cut down ECU. Being a learner, I can only go 80, but it can clearly do the posted speed limits and get there quickly, restricted ECU or not. I might not be able to race it on a track, but on the road its a nice tame beast that can easily keep up (and outrun) traffic. I doubt I could get it to do a wheelie though, which is probably a good thing Brakes and Tires Brakes are excellent, compared to an older bike. If you're looking at buying newer vs buying very old, then the brakes I think are an important thing to look at. My 1992 CB250 had one small front disk brake and a rear drum bake which was mostly worn. Stopping was an exercise in terror, especially with my providing another 120 odd kg of mass into the equation. The Suzuki GSX650FU has two large front disk brakes and a single rear disk brake. This stops the bike dead in half the distance that I'm used to, even with all the additional weight, so I feel much more confident that I could stop quickly in an emergency. The bike was fitted with Bridgestones and they seem to grip very well in the dry. I havn't done any serious cornering with it yet, as the tyres are still wearing in, but a few tight corners I've taken and its felt very secure on the road. Impressions while riding So far I've done a few hundred K's worth of city riding. Up Princes highway, through Drummoyne, back down via King Georges' road, along Forest road. Did a commute this morning. It handled all of this effortlessly, and never was I conscious of any issues with the bike. It has enough power to accelerate smoothly from traffic at the lights, the brakes have saved me several times already from people cutting me off or stomping on their brakes in front of me. Filtering through traffic in Sydney, it isn't so fat that I worry that it will scrape against a car, and the mirrors are a little higher than my old bike, so they seem to keep away from other mirrors. A little rear brake, 2nd gear, slip the clutch, slowly move through the traffic. Easy to wrestle past wing mirrors, it is surprisingly nimble at slow speeds. Conclusion This bike is heavy. 241 curb mass is to be respected. If you're a small guy with short legs, you might want to give this thing a miss. I'm large, have plenty of muscle power in my legs, and I managed to put it on the ground while doing a full lock low speed turn, and wasn't able to save it. Not enough throttle, stalled it, thud, crunch, indicator light shattered. (I know you're laughing at me now, you bastards ) Standing it back up wasn't particularly easy, though I managed it reasonably quickly. Likewise, you should be aware that this is a lot of weight to end up on your legs if you end up in that position. Is this bike good for a learner? I think that if you're a taller person, with a fair bit of strength in your legs, you'd be ok with the weight. I'd be a bit worried if you were under say, 5'8", or you were stick thin. Experienced riders wouldn't have a problem, obviously, but for us noobs, being able to get both feet on the ground, being able to pick it up if (and when) we drop it, and being able to save it from a drop in the first place using a leg provides a nice amount of confidence that if we get into slow speed trouble, we might have a chance of saving it. The bike has an awful lot of power. Compared to a 250cc bike, this is a rocket ship. My very first trip on it was spent simultanously grinning from ear to ear and wetting myself. While the bike is very forgiving, smooth, and easy to ride, like all bikes if you don't respect it, it will very quickly get you into trouble. As a learner, I'm excited to have a bike that I know will last me for many, many years. I suddenly don't care about the neutered ECU, as I know the bike will easily do highway speeds and then some without any problems at all. I don't intend on racing the thing, so for me, the issue with the restricted ECU is now irrelevant. I can only ride at the posted speed limit anyway, and it can get me to that in a couple of heartbeats. So, if youre a learner with some riding experience under their belt and who want something that will last beyond their restrictions (goddamn NSW government changing the rules) the Suzuki GSX650FU may be a good choice for you. I'm confident that it's going to easily meet everything I throw at it from my daily commute, to long weekend rides with my mates. Oh, and learners? If you buy a new bike, for fcuks sake buy some oggy knobs. edit: fixed the spelling of tyres. Thanks RED!