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Suzuki GSF650 BANDIT Naked Motorbike Review

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2009 Suzuki Bandit 650SA
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Suzuki GSF650 Bandit (2007-2012)



Detail Value
New price £5,725
Used price range View Suzuki GSF650 BANDIT bikes for sale to see current asking prices
Engine size 656 cc
Power 84 bhp
Top speed 130 mph
Insurance group 11 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 4 rating is 4
Engine rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Ride & Handling rating is 4 rating is 4
Equipment rating is 4 rating is 3.5
Quality & Reliability rating is 4 rating is 4
Value rating is 5 rating is 4

MCN overall verdict rating is 4

Take a look again. Yes, that first picture really is the new Suzuki Bandit 650, but only a trained Bandit anorak would be able to spot the differences between it and the previous incarnation. The Bandit has come under a bit of fire in recent years as it's not quite as polished or accomplished as rivals like the Fazer, or Honda's Hornet. But on its own at the bike's launch in the Isle of Wight you could be convinced it's all the bike you'll ever need, especially in half-faired S specification with optional ABS. The Bandit is the Ford Focus of the bike world and a true all rounder in every sense of the word.

Engine

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

The Suzuki GSF650 Bandit's engine evolved in 2007 into a 650 with ever stricter emissions laws putting pay to the old GSX-R600-derived air/oil-cooled motor and gaining more torque and a touch more power at 84bhp. It was out with the carbs and in with the all-new fuel injection, it’s also now water-cooled. Peak power is up and there is great amount of torque. The motor is creamy smooth from idle and revs quickly and cleanly letting you tear up to 12,000rpm if you feel that way inclined, though many owners never will. And in fact it's much better to sit back and shift about 11,000rpm when it feels like the power has dropped off.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

The Bandit got it's last major frame and suspension update in 2007. According to Suzuki it is 10% stiffer than previously with larger diameter frame tubes. Suspension has been played around with on the Suzuki GSF650 Bandit, giving stiffer rear shock but slightly softer front end. The swingarm also increased in length. OK, it’s not on par with a sports bike but the Suzuki GSF650 Bandit is more than enough for 99% of riders - very forgiving. The riding position is every bit junior tourer, it's undoubtedly good at doing distance and the screen does a good job of taking the windblast off your shoulders.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 3.5

For the bargain price you’re pretty much going to get what it says on the tin with the Suzuki GSF650 Bandit.  For 2009 the S gets a new nose fairing making it look much sleeker and grown-up and complete with two useful storage pockets in the fairing. The naked version gets a more modern looking front light, and then both bikes get black engines, new silencers, a new set of clocks, a new tail light and new indicators. Optional ABS is not as modern as the competition but it's more than adequate.

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4

The old 600 Bandit was near indstructable, used by learner schools up and down the country. The old Bandits could take a real canning engine wise and as London couriers proved they stand up to a hard life. There’s no reason why the new Suzuki GSF650 Bandit won’t be the same. However, you need to look after you bike, especially in winter. A few neglected winters and your new Suzuki GSF650 Bandit will start to age.

Value

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 4

For sheer value for money you aren’t going to go wrong with the Suzuki GSF650 Bandit - in fact for £4999 unfaired and £5500 for the S model it’s a bargain. There is a hell of a lot of motorcycle for the money. The Suzuki GSF650 Bandit is incredibly versatile at touring, learning, back lane scratching and even pulling a few tricks for amazed on-lookers, all for a very reasonable price. Find a Suzuki GSF650 Bandit for sale.

Insurance

Insurance group: 11 of 17

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Model History

2007: All-new Suzuki GSF650 Bandit launched.
2009: Updated model released with styling changes. Mechanically the same.

Other Versions

Suzuki GSF650: Naked version
2011: Suzuki GSF650SA: half-faired version with two handy cubby-holes in the fairing [£6,235]

Specifications

Top speed 130 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 12.2 secs
Max power 84 bhp
Max torque 45 ft-lb
Weight 215 kg
Seat height 770 mm
Fuel capacity 19 litres
Average fuel consumption 46 mpg
Tank range 145 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 11 of 17
Engine size 656 cc
Engine specification 16v four cylinder four stroke, 6 gears
Frame Steel double cradle
Front suspension adjustment Preload
Rear suspension adjustment Preload and rebound
Front brakes 2 x 310mm disc (ABS optional)
Rear brake 240mm disc, single piston caliper
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 160/60 x 17

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£2,890

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£1,700

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£3,299

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4(20 reviews)

  • Great bike

    EUAN CLAYTON

    Average rating rating is 4

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    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Bought my 2008 650 Naked back in December from the local dealer for £2200, for my daily commute into work, as well as the odd weekend thrash. Love it to bits and reckon even more fun than my last Z750s, albeit not quite as fast. Was getting about 42-45 mpg around town, however a change in job means I now have a 45mile motorway commute, and am now getting 60-65 mpg at an average (indicated) 75-80mph. Plan to change to a 17tooth front sprocket, so will hopefully reach 70mpg without ruining the accelleration too much. It can currently pull away in 4th, so reckon there is scope to increase the gearing a bit

    03 July 2012

  • First bike after accident

    Will Girdlestone

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Engine

    Brilliant bike, wouldn't recommend for first bike as it is heavy. The ABS is life saving and I love it. TANK!

    09 April 2012

  • My first big bike

    JellyBelly1984

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Bought a 2007 naked version of this bike with 4500 miles on the clock a few months back. My first big bike after using a 125cc for a few months. Absolutely love this machine. It responds to everything you want it to do without complaint, it's quick and easy to manoeuvre and fantastic fun for a first big bike. I use this to commute to work every day, a 50 mile round-trip, and am getting between 50 and 60 mpg on average, which for such a quick machine is great. I personally don't have too much experience of other bikes but from my perspective this is a fantastic bike to start off your biking career, I couldn't be happier with the machine and would highly recommend to any new rider.

    28 September 2011

  • Suzuki warranty issues and corrosion are the problems of a nice entry level bike

    ssevillano

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    The bandit 650 engine is very reliable and can stand long trips without any problem. The handling is quite good taking into account the price. The downside of the bike is the quality of some components that start to rust very quickly even if you clean the bike regularly. Some parts are completely rusted after two years and some other parts have only some spots rusted. The other problem is the Suzuki warranty that is the same that having no warranty. I had two issues and they didn't accept responsability in any of them. They just sell you a bike and don't want to cover anything on warranty unless forced by VOSA. http://www.dft.gov.uk/vosa/apps/recalls/searches/expand.asp?uniqueID=CDA736AF75F6B94F8025783F0035E278&freeText=Blank&tx

    05 July 2011

  • Bullet proof engine but other problems and Suzuki poor warranty service

    ssevillano

    Average rating rating is 3

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    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    The bike is in some ways great. The engine is very reliable the handling as well and the price is very good for a 650cc. The problems come after the winter when all the corrosion appears on the bike even if you clean it regularly and use a cover. Suzuki won't help you most likely after you've paid the bike and none of the problems I had with the bike within the two first years have been covered by the warranty so doesn't make sense to take it to authorised garages that are a rip off. Other than the poor Suzuki service and some quality issues the bike is a good choice.

    08 February 2011

  • Bullet proof engine but other problems and Suzuki poor warranty service

    ssevillano

    Average rating rating is 3

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    The bike is in some ways great. The engine is very reliable the handling as well and the price is very good for a 650cc. The problems come after the winter when all the corrosion appears on the bike even if you clean it regularly and use a cover. Suzuki won't help you most likely after you've paid the bike and none of the problems I had with the bike within the two first years have been covered by the warranty. Other than the poor Suzuki service and some quality isses the bike is good.

    08 February 2011

  • Nice bike, shame about problems!

    simonfisher

    Average rating rating is 3.5

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    Ride and Handling
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    Value
    Engine

    Returned to Biking a couple of years ago and started with a GS500F which kept going back to dealer under warranty. Fed up after 12 months of hassle and good reviews of GSF650SA indicated this bike would be an ideal commuter. Have to say I love the bike, with easy handling and willing engine, however I have had numerous problems. I admit I use it in all weathers and aware of usual corrosion issues if not maintained; hence clean bike very regularly and thoroughly during the winter months to try and hold off the worst. However bike has done 6,500 miles and been back to dealer twice as front brake corrosion so severe that brakes built up heat on Motorway and when I pulled in clutch to change gear, the bike nose dived and I had to drop the clutch and gun accelerate against the brakes to pull off on to the hard shoulder. Dealer said I will just have to clen & lubricate the brakes more often! Also bike has been back to dealer three times in 1,500 miles owing to the ECU / Fuel Injection needing to be re-set / adjusted to make it run correctly. Initially noticed problems when running at slower speeds in traffic, when the silky smoothness advised in some reviews was just not there. Dealer did cover cost first time, but since then I have had to cover as Suzuki GB apparently indicated not a warranty issue! As abive, I love the bike but just wish I didn't have these recurring problems. If they continue and Warrany won't cover, then bike will be history and I move brands. Shame really as this bike should be an ideal all rounder, and from other reviews it seems everyone thinks the bike is great; I must have picked up a "Friday Afternoon" one!

    15 May 2010

  • An honest bike

    jrha

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Ride and Handling
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    Value
    Engine

    I have been riding for over thirty years and needed a good hack for a 40 minute each way commute in all weathers. I had a break from biking for 2years previously had a 1200 bandit so I was prepared to be disappointed. So far I am pleasently surprised, abs has been good in the snow and the handling and power delivery is good and honest. The finish as usual can be ropey but regular cleaning helps look after that, this is afterall a good value bike, what do you expect?

    27 January 2010

  • Best In It's Class

    joeguvnor

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Engine

    Bought my second one in Nov.06 new, done 85000 miles so far, riding everyday(Despatch) apart from Tyres I do all servicing myself, never had a problem with the bike now on my second Chain and Sprocket set thanks to Scottoiler, changed the rear sprocket to 47 teeth and the front to 14, get 255 miles from a full tank and when I fill-up I still have just over 1 Lit left.I go on biking holidays once year and use it for my work the rest of the time, there are better bikes in the market but not in it's class(600/650).

    30 May 2009

  • 650sa

    3lvis56

    Average rating rating is 4

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    Engine

    Had mine new since June 2007 done 16500 used daily never let me down no rust on my third set of tyres 021 I looked at all sorts of bikes still think I made the right choice I would recomend to anyone

    28 May 2009

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brucieg

User's Badge

bruciegsays

Good bike, shocking build quality!

Bought mine new august 07, 14000 miles on it now, used daily on a 33 mile round commute.

Rust appearing in most places, centre stand has to be pushed back up manually as no longer springs back up, I only have to look at the paintwork for another scratch to appear, neutral light doesn't always come on, the rear brake pedal jammed up 3 times last winter each time had to be freed with wd40  ( this is to be expected according to a Suzuki mechanic! ) , and today while washing the bike the paint on the rear wheel literally peeled off in front of my eyes!

Also be aware if you plan on doing high mileage, the servicing costs are astronomical and need doing every 4000 miles. It is cheaper to service my car (Citroen C4) at a main dealer than it is to service the Bandit at a Suzuki dealer!

Tyres last around 5-6000 miles, and the original chain lasted just under 12000 miles by the skin of it's teeth! I was advised at the 8000 mile service it was on it's way out.

On the plus side, reliability has been faultless, the engine will probably still be running when everything else has fallen apart!

To sum up, the Bandit is a fine bike for warm weather riders, but if you are looking for an all year round commuter, stay well clear!

 

05 April 2009 22:16

darkeneddream

User's Badge

darkeneddreamsays

Range

The GSF650 above is 46mpg and does 145miles on the tank but the GSF1250 manages only 42mpg but 150 miles on a tank?????? Since they both accommodate the same tank size, I'm baffled.  Please can anyone explain???

15 November 2008 17:51

GlanBandit

User's Badge

GlanBanditsays

GSF650s Bandit K8

For the money I paid, I love the bike. Its getting me settled right into the biking scene and is the ideal first bike. Everything about it is great and I would recommend to anyone. GlanBandit

06 August 2008 18:16

007tdk

User's Badge

007tdksays

1st big bike

Due to laws in Northern Ireland my bandit has to be resticted to 33bhp sicne passing my test on a Cbr 125. The K5 bandit is more than enough for any novice rider.Seating postition is excellent and practical for commuting and pleasure.Smooth acceleration and gearbox, so easy to ride for a bigger bike.

19 September 2007 00:12

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