SUZUKI GSF1250S BANDIT (2015 - 2016) Review
- Highly dependable, affordable and practical
- A great all-rounder motorcycle
- Better value than most other sports tourers
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£200|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
Suzuki are right to re-release the Suzuki Bandit 1250 S after dropping it from their range in 2012. It’s a good, honest, big-bore, do-anything, go-anywhere and above all, affordable motorcycle. Plus it’s much smoother and gruntier than the modern ride-by-wire bikes. The 1250 S Bandit is reliable, fun, practical and affordable.
Wrapping around the radiator sides and vented just below the headlight, the sculpted half-fairing design is the result of repeated windtunnel testing. The design achieves better aerodynamics improving wind protection for both the rider and passenger.
Once you've read this review and our owners' reviews, you may want to join an online community to meet likeminded owners. We'd recommend the Bandit Owners' Club
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
There’s decent wind and rain protection around the knees and upper body, and although the mid-height screen isn’t adjustable, buffeting is kept to a minimum at motorway speeds. The seat is comfy on long stints and the neutral riding position is friendly for tall and short riders alike.
Despite not having fully adjustable suspension and weighing as much as the moon (254kg), the Bandit 1250 S boasts decent handling and is surprisingly agile on the move. The steering is light, there’s ample ground clearance for fast road riding and it feels unflappable at speed.
One concession to the 21st century is the addition of ABS. This is a basic system though, not the advanced cornering ABS seen on many new bikes.
Standard Dunlop D218 tyres work perfectly well, but fit a set of the latestgeneration sport-touring tyres and you’ll get an even plusher ride, more confidence in the bends and superior wet and dry grip.
The height of the seat can be adjusted up or down 20mm by removing, flipping over and reinstalling clever mounting spacers between the seat and the frame rails. The ample grab bar incorporates hooks on either side to make it easy to strap luggage across the seat for weekends away.
EngineNext up: Reliability
Propelling the Bandit’s mass is a 1255cc liquid-cooled fuel-injected DOHC engine knocking out 97bhp and 80ftlb. Inside there’s chrome-nitride coated piston rings, and Suzuki’s Composite Electrochemical Material-coated cylinder bores. A secondary balancer shaft keeps things smooth.
Suzuki’s Dual Throttle Valve (SDTV) digital closed-loop fuel injection gives superb throttle response, improved mileage and reduced emissions. Each 36mm throttle body contains a primary valve – controlled by the rider – and a secondary valve controlled by the bike’s ECU.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
The previous Bandit 1250 had a solid reputation for reliability and considering this model is based around the same engine mostly with just a few cosmetic changes, as a whole there should be no reason to believe that this one should be any different.
Our Suzuki Bandit 1250 owners' reviews show very positive results, the only negative being a lack of centre stand, which seems a little mean to us.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
The ethos of Suzuki with the Bandit has always been to provide a great value, straightforward bike. This model is no different, undercutting its big-bore touring rivals by a considerable margin; it’s a lot of bike for the money.
Compared to the latest, greatest, sports touring rivals, the Bandit now seems decidedly low-tech. You won’t find electronic riding modes, traction control, quickshifters or wheelie control here – just two wheels, an engine and somewhere to sit. It does however feature ABS as standard.
The analogue tachometer on the left incorporates FI and ABS indicators, while the LCD panel on the right displays a digital speedometer and odometer, dual trip meters, clock, and a fuel gauge. Simple – but what more do you need?
|Engine type||16 valve inline four|
|Frame type||Tubular steel cradle|
|Fuel capacity||19 litres|
|Front tyre size||-|
|Rear tyre size||-|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||-|
|Annual road tax||£96|
|Annual service cost||£200|
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||2 years|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||97 bhp|
|Max torque||80 ft-lb|
|1/4 mile acceleration||-|
|Tank range||217 miles|
Model history & versions
Owners' reviews for the SUZUKI GSF1250S BANDIT (2015 - 2016)
2 owners have reviewed their SUZUKI GSF1250S BANDIT (2015 - 2016) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£200|
Version: 2016 GSF1250s Bandit
Annual servicing cost: £200
I was looking for a Gen1 1200 Bandit to accompany my 1200RT. I could not find one in good condition and my search led me to a pre-reg 2016 model offered at £1,000 under list price. With the Bandit being such great value to start with it was a no-brainer.
The ride felt harsh and heavy when I first got the bike. Although the available suspension adjustments are basic setting the bike up for properly for me transformed the ride. It now handles well solo or two up although the weight will always limit exploring the extremes of sporty riding. But that's OK because it isn't that sort of bike and is absolutely fine 95% of the time. It feels very much 'old skool' to ride (think late 70's GS1000 and you are not far off) and I love it for that.
The bike is defined by the engine. It takes centre stage in every way. Silky smooth, loads of torque available everywhere and a slightly lazy power delivery. Flexible enough that you can use all the gears in the box or just a couple and it will still pull hard.
The build quality is really impressive, particularly at this price level. The quality & finish on things like the allen bolts and fittings is at least as good as those adorning my R1200RT. The plastic on the fairing is a little flimsy and I managed to damage a locating tab when fitting an after-market screen. This was easily repaired with epoxy compound and being on the inside of the fairing the repair is not visible. The paint on both the body work and the frame has a good finish.
Basic mechanics and no bodywork to remove means servicing costs are reasonable - even at main dealer prices. The overall value if difficult to beat - particularly considering how much bike you are getting for your money in the first place.
There is enough info from the dash although, on this style of bike, I would like to see an analogue speedo as the digital one seems a little out of place. It is pleasing to have a bike with a centre stand. (Manufacturers take note, a centre stand is necessity - not a luxury) ABS offer peace of mind but has never actually kicked in on my bike.
Buying experience: I purchased mine new from CW Motorcycles in Chichester and they were decent guys to deal with.
Version: GSF 1250
This is a great all round motorcycle and offers excellent value for money. The bike handles really well, munches miles very easily and makes a great all round tourer especially two up. Having absolutely heaps of mid range torque means that when you do open the throttle the bike pulls like a train which I find quite intoxicating. For me the only two things I can fault is the lack of a gear position indicator (which for some reason is fitted to the FA version but not Bandit) and the physical weight of the machine to handle whilst it is at rest.
I would describe the ride quality as firm, has excellent brakes and is really suited to carrying a pillion (unlike most bikes today where the pillion is at best a cosmetic after thought )
The engine in this bike is its best feature 1250cc of super smooth power with mountains of torque.
As the bike is still new virtually I can only really comment on the build quality which seems excellent.
The only thing I can comment on here is fuel economy. My bike hasn't as yet done many miles (about 1400) but I get on average high 40s almost 50 if ridden under 70 mph but if you travel a very high speeds it can drop into the high 30s.
Lacks a gear position indicator, but has a feature that most of the latest bikes seem to omit and thats a main stand. (I know it adds weight but like the ommission of a spare wheel on many cars today it has become a daft trend.
Buying experience: I purchased this bike new (no miles but pre registered)