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My very unprofessional quick review of the loan bike, a 2015 Suzuki GSF 1250s the semi faired bandit I have had for a smidge over a month now and put over 1000 miles on the clock, it was delivered to me with 8000 on the clock which is nothing for a bike which had obviously made for touring, as it had a rack and pannier frames added. Oddly the aftermarket rack for the top box encroaches onto the rear seat which is a poor design and would make it really uncomfortable two up. I did not try carrying a pillion which you will understand as you read on.

Firstly I really do not know why they choose this bike as an option for a replacement for a Harley, but from all reviews I have read they promote the Bandit as an all-rounder and it has similar output so I suppose that is why. I would also think there are only so many types of loan bike you can have on a fleet. It seems though this bike has now been dropped from the Suzuki range as I believe it no longer meets euro regulation. It was about £8000 new and the hire for the month would have been £4000 ouch.

Reading other reviews I wonder if others are riding the same bike, they say it is suitable for short and tall riders, I realise the seat possibly may not be on the lowest setting but the whole bike is tall if you have short legs like me. I had to be cautious on the camber on some roads and parking on grass was interesting. With the rack covering the rear of the seat I could easily kick it mounting the bike. I think if it had the side boxes attached I may have struggled more. This rack was not the best for strapping stuff too either as drivers found being attacked by bottles of water one day which escaped.

The riding position is very neutral but naturally pushes you forward, while the bars make you sit up which means the wind off the short fairing hits you full blast. While for a male rider certain parts of your anatomy are crushed against the tank. I never found the full extent of the fabled Bandit grunt as I was very cautious on the throttle, although I did venture into the lower levels of the fun zone at 4000rpm, and this also surprised me with a very poor 40 miles to the gallon. I seemed to spend a lot of time in petrol stations.

It was a first for me to have a bike where the forks moved and fairing stayed static odd at first but soon used to it. When the radiator fan came on first time that was also a shock, I am not used to such things.

The centre stand is one of the best and requires very little effort, the paint quality on the tank was also really good as did not scuff like the Harley Davidson Paint, though the plastics were fading and look had a few knocks and wallops from previous riders which proved how flimsy these are, it was however very easy to move around when off the bike.

One of the best points was filtering I have never felt so safe filtering as on the Bandit, even over the white lines it did not shake or skip, in fact you never had to worry where the bike was going as is very stable and in whatever gear it pulls and handles well.

I do realise this is very much a bike built to a price and so some of the niceties like self-cancelling indicators I missed a lot. I have to admit to being very lazy also and didn’t do any checks during that time, after a brief check on the first day, as was told was fully serviced, but then I do not have things like chain oil anymore, I mean chain drive how quaint. It would be nice too if the foot pegs were a bigger size for moving around, and they do tend to wallop back of legs when you put leg down.

Sound wise it is very quiet with an exhaust the size of a small cannon, and being water cooled there is no sound from the engine either, this to mean takes away the soul of motorcycling I do not want loud but I would like to know its running.

Would a bandit ever join the Bosun stable? Well maybe not the 1250 even though I did become happy on it, but never had the thought this is for me, the older ones were a lot lower. Looks wise it did not do it for me either, just a bit too dull, there’s a saying if you can walk away from your bike and not look back it’s not the bike for you, but that’s just being picky.


Specifications from the web:

Suzuki Bandit 1250S

Engine: 1255cc in-line-four

Power: 97hp @ 7,500rpm

Torque: 80lbft @ 3,700rpm

Kerb weight: 254kg


Frame: tubular steel double cradle

Tank capacity: 19 litres

Seat height: 805-825mm

Colours: red, black, white