SUZUKI GSF650 BANDIT (2005-2006) Review

Published: 23 November 2006

"Well-mannered middleweight that's simple to use, cheap to buy and cheap to run"

Suzuki GSF650 Bandit motorcycle review - Side view

"Well-mannered middleweight that's simple to use, cheap to buy and cheap to run"

  • At a glance
  • 656cc  -  77 bhp
  • 42 mpg  -  185 miles range
  • Medium seat height (780mm)

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

A well-mannered middleweight that’s simple to use, cheap to buy and cheap to run. The Suzuki GSF650 Bandit doesn’t particularly excel in any one department, but for newer riders it’s worth considering with a low seat height and forgiving manners. The GSF650 Bandit's capacity advantage over its older GSF600 Bandit sibling doesn’t actually translate into significantly more go.

Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5

The Suzuki GSF650 Bandit's suspension is just as workmanlike as the motor, though the range of adjustment available doesn’t make much appreciable difference to the ride quality. Of more importance to the newer riders the GSF650 Bandit’s aimed at is the variable seat height adjuster, giving a shortie-friendly low of 770mm. The brakes do a reasonable job, but don’t expect miracles.

Engine 3 out of 5

The Suzuki GSF650 Bandit's in-line four DOHC motor is adequate, but neither inspiring nor invigorating. Suzuki simply bored out the older GSF600 Bandit’s engine by 57cc, but lined up against each other there’s little in it, though the new Suzuki GSF650 Bandit is significantly less vibey.

Build Quality & Reliability 2 out of 5

Bandit build quality is generally poor. Fork legs fur, things rust, engine cases dull. Invest in a case of WD40 and apply it liberally if you intend to ride through winter. Mechanically-speaking the Suzuki GSF650 Bandit is extremely reliable, especially the carb-fed motor, which will run and run and is simple to home service.

Value & Running Costs 2 out of 5

The Suzuki GSF650 Bandit is a hard bike to recommend as a good investment. New bikes plummet in price and older GSF600S Bandits are almost as good on the road for a fraction of the price. A Yamaha FZS600 Fazer will comprehensively beat it in any criteria except insurance (it’s one group higher). Find a Suzuki GSF650 Bandit for sale.

Insurance group: 11 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 3 out of 5

There’s an ABS version of the Suzuki GSF650 Bandit (which was a £300 premium when new), an ignition-based immobiliser as standard and a range of official and unofficial Bandit ephemera ranging from luggage to gaudy engine bolt kits that all fit the the GSF650 Bandit motorcycle.

Owners' Reviews

15 owners have reviewed their SUZUKI GSF650 BANDIT (2005-2006) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

We’re currently improving the way this section works, which means we’ve had to suspend the submission of new owners’ reviews for a short period. Please check back soon.

Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.1 out of 5
Engine 4.3 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.6 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Torsti

10 August 2011 by Torsti

An easy bike. I just bought this and it's my ninth one. Needs a lot of revs at highways, but is very agile at town. Suspension is a bit wobblin compared to previous bikes. (R1100S, VTR1000F, Versys...) Read more

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

2006 GSF650 SA

26 July 2010 by kevinzhou1989

MCN guys sure got this one wrong my friends. Bought my 05-06 faired bandit with 3k miles on the clock couple months back. I am loving it very much. Very nice smooth engine, and with a beowulf can fitted, it sounds super sweet. 30mph in sixth... Read more gear spins at 2100rpm, 40 at 3000rpm, and 60 at 5000rpm, 80 about 6800rpm. Accelerate nicely from 30 to 80 in sixth gear, nice amount of torque. When accelerating in lower gears, very smooth delivery from 3000-8000rpm, then you feel the kick from the engine. Not a big kick like on a gsxr but just enough to put a big smile on your face without killing you. only down side is the bike is way too heavy. With a full tank, it weights about 240 kg. at speed, it's easy enough to handle though and i got my knee down the other day at roundabout so it's ok once you get used to it. I have fitted Oxford LED indicators front and rear, and let me tell you, they are such a pain to fit on. The connectors from the Oxford LEDs are totally different from the factory lights. So i had to cut the wires and connect them together manually. Had to use superglue to glue the LED on to the indicator holders as there just wasn't any other way to stick it on the bike. Overall, as my second bike, it's very nice looking and makes nice noise. very nice fuel economy(5 blocks of fuel, 180 miles till the last block starts to flash meaning you almost at reserve). Mine is ABS model and it does work. I had to break hard once at 80mph and i can feel the abs kicking in to stop wheel locking.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
5 out of 5

2006 GSF650 SA

26 July 2010 by kevinzhou1989

MCN guys sure got this one wrong my friends. Bought my 05-06 faired bandit couple months back. I am loving it very much. Very nice smooth engine, and with a beowulf can fitted, it sounds super sweet. 30mph in sixth gear spins at 2100rpm, 40 at... Read more 3000rpm, and 60 at 5000rpm, 80 about 6800rpm. Accelerate nicely from 30 to 80 in sixth gear, nice amount of torque. When accelerating in lower gears, very smooth delivery from 3000-8000rpm, then you feel the kick from the engine. Not a big kick like on a gsxr but just enough to put a big smile on your face without killing you. only down side is the bike is way too heavy. With a full tank, it weights about 240 kg. at speed, it's easy enough to handle though and i got my knee down the other day at roundabout so it's ok once you get used to it. I have fitted Oxford LED indicators front and rear, and let me tell you, they are such a pain to fit on. The connectors from the Oxford LEDs are totally different from the factory lights. So i had to cut the wires and connect them together manually. Had to use superglue to glue the LED on to the indicator holders as there just wasn't any other way to stick it on the bike. Overall, as my second bike, it's very nice looking and makes nice noise. very nice fuel economy(5 blocks of fuel, 180 miles till the last block starts to flash meaning you almost at reserve). Mine is ABS model and it does work. I had to break hard once at 80mph and i can feel the abs kicking in to stop wheel locking.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 5 out of 5
4 out of 5

2006 GSF 650 Bandit

07 April 2009 by kato1964

I don't know what bike the MCN guys were riding, but I don't agree with much of what they say. If you're looking for a cutting edge crotch rocket to use on the racing circuit, then you're looking at the wrong bike. If you're looking at something that... Read more is a blast to ride, easy on the eyes and wallet, then this is bike for you. I just picked up a gently used '06 Bandit. 5100 kms on the clock, and I didn't realize it wasn't a new bike until the saleman pointed out it was a used one. In beautiful condition. Obviously well cared for by the original owner. I'm rather advanced in age to be buying my first sportbike, but maybe it is a case of midlife crisis or middle age crazy...call it what you will. I've been riding for over 20 years, and must admit I am glad the whole sportbike thing didn't appeal to me when I was younger. I'm sure I'd have died in the 80's. It is hard to be sensible when riding something this fun. It seems well put together, goes like stink, and is pretty comfortable to ride, even for an old fart with a bad back. I'm not quite ready to give up Harley quite yet, but I certainly have a new daily commuter! BTW...I'm 6' even and weight a touch over 250 lbs, so I'm not exactly a flyweight. This bike hauls my big meat locker around with little problem, so unless you're Andre The Giant's twin brother, this bike should fit you.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
4 out of 5

good bike

05 July 2008 by 3lvis56

Had this bike now 12 months covered 9000 miles ride it every day (sold the car )longest trip 650 miles driven in rain ,snow shine .With me and the Mrs on there's not much change out of 30 stone I'm 6 foot. I've never felt that i needed more power... Read more always been able to over take any car I've wanted to it handles pretty good and is fun to ride ,sometimes hard to stay in speed limit your doing 80 with out realising it.On long trips we stop every 120 miles or so to stretch our legs and fill up ,it does get painful if I ride for much longer.I'm very happy with it ,But...It could do with higher screen and when I ride with summer gloves on after 20 minutes my fingers start to go numb . I dont think i have ever had less than 50 to the gallon.Over all good every day bike and good touring bike as long as you have regular stops

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
4 out of 5

GSF650 SA

23 June 2008 by gparker

I bought this bike new after I passed my direct access. I got the candy blue one which i think is the best. Although it was hard to decide between the black. I was never looking at a new bike - looking at a 2001 naked bandit 600 which was going for... Read more £2100. Only with advice from the old man and 0% finance made much more sence. I dropped it on the way to the first service at 600 miles. Very lucky, very little damage. just scratched the engine casings and new indicator. No faults to report with anything really. As a first bike and my lack of experience I think it is a brilliant bike. Its comfy, cheap and goes fast enough. Its no sports bike but it still goes around bends good enough to scrape your boots and it will sit on the motorway all day (as a trip to france proved). The fairing screen is a little low but its good enough, and theres plenty of aftermarket ones about. Dont listen to the road tests they arent your everyday bandit riders...if you want a cheap and cheerful bike for commuting every day, something for a newbie (like me) or even someone returning to biking the GSF650 SA is in my oppinion is GREAT. I've put a aftermarket can on because the standard one is FAR to quiet (but thats not a bad thing really) and I do recomend a Oil Cooler cover because the fins dent and bend really easy. There are better bikes out there, but value for money i think you cant go wrong.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
4 out of 5

GSF650 Bandit

26 March 2008 by rossmark

I purchased this bike new in 06 having ridden 29K+ the bike has had an oil cooler replaced, clutch cover replaced, rear brake disc replaced, 1 electrical short behind the front light and it has broken down again with another electrical fault. The... Read more bike has cost a small fortune in servicing. not a bad first bike, I get about 150 to 200 miles to a tank. Finish has seen better days resale value is about 1K for an 18 month old bike. Would I buy another maybe.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 5
Engine 2 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 3 out of 5
Equipment 3 out of 5
4 out of 5

My wife likes it

27 September 2007 by psmith51

I bought this to get back to bikes after 12 years and to use every day so it is no dry-only weekend prima-donna. Compared to anything else I've ever owned its a pretty good bike for the money. I had to to raise the seat though. It's reliable, fast... Read more enough and easy to ride.

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
4 out of 5

best bike i have owned

09 June 2007 by 56bandit

well i have owned ten bikes in 20 years but this 650bandit is so far the best bike i have owned and intend to keep it even if i get a new 1250S, easy handling, good controls, cheap ins and parts aplenty dont knock them until you tried one! Read more

Overall Rating 4 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4 out of 5
Engine 4 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
5 out of 5

Bandit 650

08 May 2007 by stephen01

I see the Bandit gets a general poor review from MCN. Dont let that put you off this excellent bike, read what 'proper' owners say. My bike has been completly reliable, fun to ride and feels like aproper big bike. Still looks like new 12 months on... Read more and several thousand miles later. No rust, no defects to date and seems to get smoother and faster with every mile i put on it. A hard act to follow for VALUE for money.

Overall Rating 5 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 5 out of 5
Engine 5 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 5 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 5 out of 5
Equipment 4 out of 5
Read all 15 owners' reviews in full

Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 2005
Year discontinued 2006
Original price £4,299
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 11 of 17
Annual road tax £80
Annual service cost -
Performance
Max power 77 bhp
Max torque 44 ft-lb
Top speed 120 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 12.6 secs
Average fuel consumption 42 mpg
Tank range 185 miles
Specification
Engine size 656cc
Engine type 16v in-line four, 6 gears
Frame type Tubular steel cradle
Fuel capacity 20 litres
Seat height 780mm
Bike weight 201kg
Front suspension Preload
Rear suspension Preload, rebound
Front brake Twin 290mm discs
Rear brake 240mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17
Rear tyre size 160/60 x 17

History & Versions

Model history

2005: Suzuki GSF650 Bandit launched.

Other versions

Suzuki GSF650S Bandit: Nose fairing creates a very decent mini-tourer. It’s also insurance group 11.
Suzuki GSF650ABS Bandit: Advanced Braking System version for novice-friendly stopping.

Photo Gallery

  • Suzuki GSF650 Bandit motorcycle review - Side view
  • Suzuki GSF650 Bandit motorcycle review - Side view
  • Suzuki GSF650 Bandit motorcycle review - Engine
  • Suzuki GSF650 Bandit motorcycle review - Side view
  • Suzuki GSF650 Bandit motorcycle review - Side view
  • Suzuki GSF650 Bandit motorcycle review - Side view
  • Suzuki GSF650 Bandit motorcycle review - Engine
  • Suzuki GSF650 Bandit motorcycle review
  • Suzuki GSF650 Bandit motorcycle review - Exhaust
  • Suzuki GSF650 Bandit motorcycle review - Front view
  • Suzuki GSF650 Bandit motorcycle review - Front view
  • Suzuki GSF650 Bandit motorcycle review - Side view
  • Suzuki GSF650 Bandit motorcycle review - Engine
  • Suzuki GSF650 Bandit motorcycle review - Instruments
  • Suzuki GSF650 Bandit motorcycle review - Rear view
  • Suzuki GSF650 Bandit motorcycle review - Side view
  • Suzuki GSF650 Bandit motorcycle review - Side view
  • Suzuki GSF650 Bandit motorcycle review - Engine
  • Suzuki GSF650 Bandit motorcycle review - Side view
  • Suzuki GSF650 Bandit motorcycle review - Side view
  • Suzuki GSF650 Bandit motorcycle review - Side view
  • Suzuki GSF650 Bandit motorcycle review - Engine
  • Suzuki GSF650 Bandit motorcycle review
  • Suzuki GSF650 Bandit motorcycle review - Exhaust
  • Suzuki GSF650 Bandit motorcycle review - Front view
  • Suzuki GSF650 Bandit motorcycle review - Front view
  • Suzuki GSF650 Bandit motorcycle review - Side view
  • Suzuki GSF650 Bandit motorcycle review - Engine
  • Suzuki GSF650 Bandit motorcycle review - Instruments
  • Suzuki GSF650 Bandit motorcycle review - Rear view
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