Haven't ridden one, and probably won't. The write-ups say it's sportier than the CBF1000, but not as sporty as the FZ1. They say it's much better: engine, suspension, handling, etc. than the previous 1200. It'd be a good, light ST/GT bike for minimal money. If money's not a primary objective, though, I suspect you'd feel it's a little "budget."
I'm curious how this bike would fare in a real, ful test. Most magazine and websites will either ignor the bike, or give a quick write up, devoide of any real information. Then these same publications wonder why the market is rich with impractical, one dimensional bike that are "obsolete" every 2 years. If a manufacturer does make a b8ike, like the Bandit, there is little reward. Buyer and publications forget that most of us are on a budget AND mostt of us ride only on the street.
the 1250 has been out over here in europe for a while, and (from what i can tell after a test drive) it would make a great tourer/pretty decent commuter. here is what the british mag motorcycle news (who gave the 1250 five out of five stars for value) had to say about it:
"...Suzuki have created a 1255cc water-cooled, fuel-injected, tourque-laden peach of an engine. The frame and suspension have also been upgraded to give a sumptuous, well-mannered mileage machine that can also run in the twisties... Suzuki havent changed the chassis too much from the old (k6) model, just beefed up the frame rails and revised the suspension damping and springs. Big difference, though, as it now steers faultlessly, stable and hides its weight well.
With nigh-on 80ftlb of torque delivered to the rear wheel at 3700rpm, the Bandits new six-speed gearbox needs little provocation. Itll cheerfully pull from 3500rpm in top gear and run on to 140+mph. That gearbox is typical Suzuki: precise, perfectly spaced ratios. And, hoorah, no sign of any fuel-injection stutters or flat spots in its performance delivery."
I'm a Honda fan, but am wondering when the will make a shift in design (i.e. get some cajones) in the MC department. I think the automotive wing is moving in the right direction with the new Civic and the 2008 Accord Coupe (IMHO).
Lacking anything but sheer guesswork I assume that Honda's m/c division has become ruled by committee. That's one sure way to make any organization become too cautious. Nothing exciting is ever discovered by a committee.
It would be nice to see an article on tuning one of these new banditos vs the old one. The older bandits were good for an extra 10-15 or so hp with slip-on, rejet, and drilling a hole in the airbox. Some big bang for the buck. Stiff springs in front and a GSXR shock out back tightened up the suspension nicely, and for cheap. I wonder if the new bike is as receptive to mods, or needs them.
It has not been tested here because it is not a Cruiser over 1000cc or a sportbike that has 130 Hp @ 15K RPM and weighs under 400lbs.
Our present market (...and society) is all about EXTREMES. Extreme bling, extreme fast, exteme chopper or even extreme practical (the ugly BMW 1200GS) The mainsteam press refuses to focus on entry level or practical bikes that are popular in Europe. People don't even know practical bikes exist...most beginners start out on a Sportster or CBR600!
Practical bikes, like my ZRX1200R or the New Bandit get left behind (If the engine in the Bandit was a detuned Hayabusa engine, then magazines would make it a project bike for 9 second quarter mile times). All the editors can say is "they are too heavy, too slow and don't lap the track fast enough". That is why the motorcycle boom of the 1970s eventually died and with it, the broad acceptability and appeal of motorcycling and motorcyclists. Motorcycles have become lifestyle statements and are no longer about the ride itself. Riders are divided into various groups: stunters, Harley lifestyle dudes, roadracer wanabees. Divided we fall...
It's a mystery why the mags push most heavily the bikes that kill the most riders. You know... the 'safe' ones. Read too many mags and you begin to think that SV650s, Bandits, et al, are 'underpowered'. Yeah. Underpowered compared to what? The Bandit is 'boring' because it only does the 1/4 mile in around 11 sec. and isn't competitive in pro racing. The suspension is 'crappy' because it gets squirrely on public roads at 150% of the maximum speed limit. LOL! Who would ever want to buy a bike that you couldn't compete on professionally? (snicker, as if you could compete professionally on any bike off of the showroom floor.)