SUZUKI GSF650 BANDIT (2005 - 2006) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£150|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
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 & brakesNext up: Engine
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.
EngineNext up: Reliability
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.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
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 vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
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.
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.
|Engine type||16v in-line four, 6 gears|
|Frame type||Tubular steel cradle|
|Fuel capacity||20 litres|
|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|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||42 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£93|
|Annual service cost||£150|
11 of 17
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two year unlimited mileage|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||77 bhp|
|Max torque||44 ft-lb|
|Top speed||120 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||12.6 secs|
|Tank range||185 miles|
Model history & versions
2005: Suzuki GSF650 Bandit launched.
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.
Owners' reviews for the SUZUKI GSF650 BANDIT (2005 - 2006)
17 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.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£150|
Annual servicing cost: £150
This is a good size ergonomically, it's comfy, at 5'9" I can flat foot when stationary. The bike is very stable at motorway speeds and the half fairing really helps with the wind.
The bike is pretty powerful, under 5000rpm it's quite tame, but once above it has plenty of power. It's comfy for around 2 hours before needing a break.
The engine is quite tappety when cold, quitens down once it is warm. I think the oil-air cooled motors are a bit noisy. The power delivery is smooth up to 5 to 6000, then it does take you by surprise when you first start riding it.
The bike is 13 years old and does have bits of rust here and there. Overall the bike feels well built. It starts first time with full choke then turn choke off after 30 seconds and it runs fine.
I think the features are fine, it has a fuel gauge, trip meter, but a gear indicator would of been good.
Version: SA ABS
Gave it a 5. It does exactly what I bought it for, to use all year round and have a bit of fun with it
It is a good bike for every day use, quite smooth, the brakes are more than good enough you wont hit anything
Easy enough to coax a few more horses out to play, smooth and quite tractable. An ideal motor for buzzing about on or to go touring, light clutch action and so easy to service
Bit of paint flaked off of the wheels and fur started to get in. I just keep the spots clean and use a marker pen to touch them up, does a great job of keeping the fur away
service it myself.
Everything is functional and well placed. It did have some continental concrete economy tyres which were shite. Fitted a pair of Avon storm 2 ultra's, very good tyres indeed
Buying experience: Second hand from a dealer
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...)
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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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
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 £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.
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 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.
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 enough and easy to ride.
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!
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 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.
I bought this bike to get back into biking, and have found it to be a much better bike than I expected. Most of my riding is done two up and it copes brilliantly, It does not require endless gear changes to make good progress. It is a very comfy bike as a 6hr trip to Ireland confirmed, although I found side winds a bit of a problem. Ive also found that the engine is very willing to rev and results in great performance. So pleased am I with this bike I dont plan on changing it anytime soon. Strengths: Smooth power delivery right through the rev range, ease of handling and novice freindly brakes. Weaknesses: Finish - the paint is too thin and all to easy to scratch.
Had this bike for 3 months now and its fun every time I take it out. The engine has more than enough power to put a grin on your face at the weekend but enough low down pulling power to make the daily commute a pleasure. My fun riding, round the somerset lanes, realy shows the bikes handling to its full and the extra 56cc gives enough power through out the rev range to make town / city riding less of a pain. Strengths: Good power through out the rev range. Taller than the average bike of its type, ideal if you are 6 foot. Good looking and easy to clean. Weaknesses: Build quality not as good as some. Not easy to change the headlight bulb.
I use my bandit to commute to work on, every day 12 mths of the year. I've owned a few bikes over the years from bmw to Honda's and this is the first bike I have not wanted to sell within 6 mths of having it. after a week of doing a 50 mile round trip to work it still come up tops for a blast on a Sunday morning. Strengths: Engine, it has the extra grunt compare to the old bandit for easier overtaking. Weaknesses: Finish, bit and bobs are starting to look a bit naff even after careful cleaning.
My review is slightly biased because this is my first bike since passing my test. I think the bandit is a great 1st bike, especially the 650...not too small and not too big...that said, it looks and sounds big. Great styling and comfort. The 656cc engine can easily deliver its full potential when you feel the need. Get your head down to the windscreen and it's stunning. Strengths: Ease of handling, great looks (especially in silver!). Weaknesses: Clutch is not the easiest. Finding neutral is an effort sometimes unless it's just me!
The press has an in-built bias against this type of bike. I need a bike that I can ride EVERY day, that can take some luggage, and is easy to maintain, while still being able to smoke any car that costs less than £100,000. This can! It easily lives with Fazers and Hornets unless they are piloted by nutters. Don't get me wrong, if I could afford 2 bikes I would have an R6 for the weekend, but the Bandit still puts a grin on my face every day. Strengths: More than enough power for most, bulletproof, cheap to maintain. Weaknesses: Could do with losing 20kg.