2005 Bandit: First test

Published: 01 December 2004

MCN road tester Adam Child has just got back from the first test of the new 650cc Suzuki Bandit and reckons it will make a great first bike.

Despite the 50cc rise in capacity the new Bandit gets no more peak power. Instead Suzuki has used the extra cubes to give the bike a much more useable mid range.

The original Bandit was always thought of as a bit of a hooligan’s tool as well as being a budget bike. But anyone looking to the 650 to be even more aggressive will be slightly disappointed.

Suzuki has retargeted the Bandit firmly at the new rider market and it now competes directly with the Honda CBF600 rather than the sportier Yamaha FZ6 Fazer or Kawasaki Z750.

“They’ve just made it really easy to ride, it’s now a perfect learner bike” said Child. “The engine is tuned for mid range, the tank is narrower, the bars and seat are adjustable and ABS is now an option.

“The Bandit started life as a hooligans tool but now it is more of a yellow bib learner bike. It has hung up its bomber jacket and put on a comfy cardigan.

“The engine in the Bandit is much better than the one in the CBF but the Honda is better built, and, I think, better looking. So we’ll have to wait till we can do a side-by-side test to see which is the better bike.”

You can read the full report in the next issue of MCN, out December 8.