SUZUKI GSF650 BANDIT (2007 - 2012) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£150|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
Although deleted half a decade ago, the Bandit 650 is still as relevant as ever and great value on the used market. The Bandit 650 is a good, honest, straightforward and 'no frills' machine. There's no complexity, no excess, no gimmicks, the Bandit 650 just gets on with it. There are plenty of good used examples out there - the great, bargain all-rounders they always were.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
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.
EngineNext up: Reliability
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.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
Not much goes wrong with the 650 Bandit. The engine's solid; the cycle parts simple and the build quality isn't bad either. Instead, as a popular budget machine, condition is everything. The classifieds are full of used and abused Bandits that have either been dropped or neglected by novices or caned and crashed by hooligans.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
The Bandit 650 has always been great value for money, and you can pick up used examples in great condition for under £3000 if you shop around. Not all of them are in great condition, mind, so make sure you're careful. 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.
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 got 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 received a more modern looking front light, and then both bikes got 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.
|Engine type||16v four cylinder four stroke, 6 gears|
|Frame type||Steel double cradle|
|Fuel capacity||19 litres|
|Rear suspension||Preload and rebound|
|Front brake||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|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||46 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£93|
|Annual service cost||£150|
11 of 17
How much to insure?
Top speed & performance
|Max power||84 bhp|
|Max torque||45 ft-lb|
|Top speed||130 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||12.2 secs|
|Tank range||145 miles|
Model history & versions
2007: All-new Suzuki GSF650 Bandit launched.
2009: Updated model released with styling changes. Mechanically the same.
Suzuki GSF650: Naked version
2011: Suzuki GSF650SA: half-faired version with two handy cubby-holes in the fairing [£6,235]
Owners' reviews for the SUZUKI GSF650 BANDIT (2007 - 2012)
23 owners have reviewed their SUZUKI GSF650 BANDIT (2007 - 2012) 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|
Quite simply one of the best bikes I have ever owned. So good thinking of selling and now looking for something the same but new and up to date.
As the bike is a little solid in build you will need a thought when braking, but ride quality is very good.
Power is good and engine is strong. it is a quality 650.
Build is solid no problems and reliability as far as I am concerned I keep well serviced every year and have had no problems what so ever.
As the bike is a little heavy running costs can be a little high but the bike is not too bad running around 40-50 mph.
Have always used mid-range tyres and had little problems. Cold and wet the back did loose grip on a few roundabouts.
Buying experience: Bought off a bike shop, had a few miles on the clock paid £2500 was 5 years old. Found out later it was an ex-police bike, not a bad thing, well serviced and looked after.
Annual servicing cost: £150
A good all-rounder to own, reliable, comfortable, rides well even on twisty roads despite its weight. A2 license friendly too. One to consider if your budget is tight.
Very comfortable to ride thanks to its very natural riding position and thick seat. Lots of room for taller riders, a bit too wide for shorter people. Suspension set-up is good, brakes are rather average though.
Very good spread of torque, respectable top-end, easy to restrict and de-restrict. Stock exhaust sounds good too.
This bike is literally built like a tank! Very reliable, good paintwork, good resistance to corrosion and accident damage. Easy to maintain and repair too.
One of the cheaper motorcycles above 600cc to own, thanks to its great reliability. Insurance-friendly too.
Digital speedo and odometer, analogue rev counter, fuel gauge, grab rail and ABS on some models. Quite comprehensive indeed, only thing missing is a gear indicator.
Buying experience: Used for my A2 license test.
Had the K7 version for a few years. Fantastic motorbike, bulletproof. Never let me down. The only issue I had was with the weight, quite heavy to manoeuvre in London traffic. But on the open, a pleasure to ride. Hardly needed any maintenance other than the usual oil change and lubrication.
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
Brilliant bike, wouldn't recommend for first bike as it is heavy. The ABS is life saving and I love it. TANK!
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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?
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).
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
I've had my GSF650SA from new in December 2007. I've added a double bubble screen to try to reduce windblast as I'm 6'3" it hasn't reduced it but it is more stable with less buffeting at speed. I've done about 5500 miles so far, changed tyres at 4000 for BT 021's which are excellent in all conditions. I find the engine and gearbox absolutely superb, it can hussle when required and is easy to just potter around on when in the mood to take it easy. It's not that terrific on fuel 45-50 but I suppose you can't have everything on what is basically a budget allrounder. It will certainly do me for a while yet as the trade in value is not great but the bike still is and it does everything I expect from this class of bike and more. Highly recommended.
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! The gearbox is rubbish as well. 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!
Absolutley brilliant bike, passed my DAS and suzuki sponsored my school and so i was entitled to £99 insurance on 600cc bikes. Choose the bandit mainly on looks and the ABS as i knew nought about bikes when i first passed, and have never regreted it. The original tyres where excellent no matter the road condition but squared off quite quick so i now have 021 rear and 014 front. The only thing i'm not very keen on is the bazooka sized standard exhaust. But she has never missed a beat and always starts on the button every time. Obviously its not as nimble as the sports 600s but still gives them a run for their money.
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
After an enforced break due to children, it's great to be back on two wheels again. I wanted something to commute on and be able to play at the weekends. The half faired Bandit fills the bill perfectly as far as I am concerned. I am quickly heading for 10k miles but with a 160 mile round commute no wonder! The Bandit takes towns, dual carriageways and motorways in it's stride and the half fairing makes quick cruising really comfortable, The midrange power comes into play in town, overtaking and exiting corners. I don't ride really hard and consequently the original Bridgestones are just getting to the end of their life. So far no problems at all, but as the miles mount up we'll see. I thought I'd need a bigger machine but this is ticking all the boxes for me for now.
I'ne been riding one since last year.After 8500km, no problems so far.Engine power enough for every day tour but also for travelling,smooth ride feeling,brakes capable but lacking a bit of sense,well equiped, adequate comfort. I've been riding every day to work, doing lot of city ride and i've found this moto to be absolutely great.Water-cooled engine provides extra summer protection,bikini-fairing gives amazing air protection until 140km/h,hydraulic clutch is very useful. All that for 6000 euros...top value/money score. Over all a very good 'all round' bike.
Riding too many years, had about 5 years doing classics, now had to go for longer comuting, decided on the suzuki sa, it gave me some wind protection, and being short in the leg seat height was good for me, i think its a great bike done 700 miles in 3 weeks.
I have been riding bikes for 35 years and the last 2 bikes I owned were a 2004 600 bandit, which was an excellent bike, and a 2006 GSR600 which I loved but it got written off in August by a moron in a vw golf, so got the new 650 bandit as soon as the cast was off my left wrist. It's smoother than either of the previous bikes, almost as quick as the GSR and more comfortable too, especially two up. I find the handling to be fairly neutral. I'd advise the fitting of a scottoiler and a double-bubble screen, but apart from that there's not a lot wrong with it. Happily, I haven't noticed the ABS kicking in yet! For the money I don't think you could do better.
Not got a lot to compare it to, the last bike I owned was a CX500 maaany years ago, but seems to do exactly what is required of it. The throttle is a little sharp on initial opening and there is some right handgrip vibration at ~6000 rpm but overall the engine is great, easy to use, ride/handling suit my skill and it's good value. I have the S with ABS and half-faring, using it for commuting and weekend, getting 45-50 mpg. Love it.
The new K7 650 Bandit S is a peach of a bike for the money. Before you even get aboard it looks fantastic and has the appearance of a much bigger 1 litre bike (indeed it looks almost identical and has similar dimensions to its 1255cc bigger brother). In the saddle, the new liquid cooled, fuel injected engine is silky smooth, purring quietly like a cat in slow traffic and pouncing like a tiger whenever you need to accelerate fast. You can certainly feel the power in the engine and (I’m told) 120mph and beyond is achieved with ease! Despite its 220kg weight, its upright riding position makes the bike feel perfectly balanced at all speeds and this generates a lot of confidence in the bike. And when you need to stop, the ABS brakes do the job very effectively. The two clocks, analogue tachometer and LCD speedo, are all very clear and the 6 speed gear box works well. Minor niggles are the lack of a gear position indicator, the very limited under seat storage, the very occasional slightest of judders from the fuel injection at very slow speeds and a screen that could have done with a few extra centimetres in height. But these are all minor points and none of them is worth worrying about whatsoever. Of course the Bandit doesn’t have the speed or shape of a GSX sports bike. But for the majority of riders it does everything you need to it in a superbly refined and enjoyable way and for the money your smile will get bigger and bigger the more you ride it. Highly recommended.