At its base, the 2009 Bandit, be it ABS-equipped or not is the same impressive sport-touring motorcycle kept competitive by the liquid-cooled 1255cc DOHC engine that is fuel injected, providing great power and torque. The 79.0mm bore and 64.0mm stroke result into a 10.5:1 compression ratio and, by featuring 36mm throttle bodies, the Suzuki Dual Throttle Valve fuel injection ads up to performance and increases your chances to get a speeding ticket.
Still, the reliability of the Suzuki Bandit had to continue being something worth to brag about so the cylinders are now plated with Suzuki’s Composite Electrochemical Material. Another 2009 addition, the secondary balancer shaft, smoothens out the rides making the engine well balanced source of excitement. The Bandit engine makes an unbeatable team with the six speed gearbox, concluding in 39 mpg for city riding (we reckon things get a lot better on the highway).
Also, for the same roads, the 2009 Suzuki Bandit is quite a choice as it is comfortable and fast as well as very stable. With a curb weight of 551 lbs underneath you, there are few chances to be bothered by other traffic participant’s air tunnel. With 20mm height adjustable seat and LCD digital speedometer, fuel gauge and clock, make sure you don’t confuse it with a tourer before actually buying it.
The motorcycle market had first seen the GSF 1200 Bandit in 1995 as a naked motorcycle weighing a decent 458 lbs. Created for long, relaxing rides, the first Bandit featured an air and oil-cooled 1,156cc four-cylinder DOHC, 16-valves engine producing 98 hp at 8,500 rpm and 96.1 Nm at 4,000 rpm.
Only a year later, torque was decreased to 90.7 Nm at 4,500 rpm, but, most importantly, the Bandit received a half-fairing with screen, turning suddenly into a sport-tourer and carrying on two separate ways.
1997 model year saw the introduction of the GSF1200SA Bandit which featured front and rear ABS. But that was like a preamble of the modern Bandit ABS and didn’t continue being produced.
For the next three years, the engine was retuned for even less torque (83.6 Nm at 4,500 rpm) in expectancy of the entirely new 2001 Suzuki GSF 1200 Bandit and GSF 1200 S Bandit. Power was still the same, but the engine finally got more torque (91.7 Nm at 6,500 rpm). Apart from the revised engine, the frame, front fork and brake (now six calipers instead of four) were also new as well as the fairing and headlight of the half-faired model.
The next revision was prepared for the 2004 model year. This was aimed at the exhaust system which now had a stainless steel silencer and catalyer on models that were produced with the destination California.
Having worked more on the engine than the body, for the 2006 model year, Suzuki prepared a redesigned Bandit 1200. This is when the height adjustable seat saw its way on the bike while the fuel tank and side panels have been reshaped. Also, the “S” model now had a new fairing and mirrors as well as a brand new headlight. This is when the ABS started being available on the “S” model.
Because the engine of the 2006 model didn’t meet Euro 3 regulations, it was upgraded to 1,255cc, got fuel-injected and water-cooled. Suzuki combined the need to meet the standards with the need for more torque so that is why displacement increased, resulting the 108 Nm at 3,700 rpm Bandit 1250 S and 1250 S ABS. This was the last major upgrade that the big Bandit suffered.
The Suzuki Bandit gets its fair share of competitors also from Japan and they give it plenty of reasons to worry about. A sportier alternative to it is the 2009 Yamaha FZ1. With its R1 fuel-injected 998cc liquid-cooled inline-four, DOHC, 20-valves engine, this bike is all about horsepower, but the best of it is that versatile chassis that makes for commuting, touring and even track days. More sports than touring, the FZ1 weights 485 lbs wet, looks sharper and has an MSRP of $9,790.
A naked that can go 38 miles with one gallon is the Kawasaki Z1000. Not much of a competitor for the Bandit in the touring department because of the lack of a half-fairing, but features an economical fuel-injected 953cc liquid-cooled inline-four, DOHC, 4-valve engine that makes it worthy of a chance for this battle. The $8,899 MSRP also helps.
Even though the Suzuki Bandits didn’t feature any redesign since 2007, the bikes look modern and attractive, with no styling detail to set one apart from the other.
The front end is dominated by the in line-beam headlights integrated into the half fairing on which the windscreen and mirrors are mounted. The tank is narrow in order to allow a tight knee grip and positioned low into the frame, leaving a lot of room for the rider to huddle under the windscreen.
Massive, a real torque provider, the engine clearly says “not for beginners”, but we would have loved to see it matte black covered for 2009. In what concerns the stainless steel exhaust, this would also have to get smaller on future model years, but after seeing those rocket launchers on the GSX-R 1000 , I think it is better to keep my mouth shot.
As I mentioned earlier, the seat features 20mm height adjustability. That is possible due to a spacer seat mounting system, allowing each and every rider to adjust the riding position.
At least the 17-inch rims get matte black painted if the engine doesn’t and, you must agree with me on this one, they make a nice contrast with the Blue color available for both the simple and the ABS model. Apart from the Blue, the ABS-equipped Bandit also features a Black color scheme.
2008 Suzuki Bandit 1250S Test Drive
The 2009 Suzuki Bandit 1250 S has the smallest MSRP in its class – $8,699 – while the 1250 S ABS will require $9,199, which is still significantly lower than Yamaha’s 2009 FZ1.
Now that we’ve seen what an awesome bang the Bandit provides for the buck, not only we all wish one in our garages, but already start finding plausible reasons to make that dream possible. These would be: good fuel consumption, comfort, power and acceleration and, last but not least, a way of life.
Engine and Transmission
Engine: 1255 cc (76.6 cu. in), 4-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC
Bore Stroke: 79.0 mm (3.110 in) x 64.0 mm (2.520 in)
Compression Ratio: 10.5 : 1
Fuel System: Fuel injection
Lubrication: Wet sump
Ignition: Electronic ignition (Transistorized)
Transmission: 6-speed constant mesh
Final Drive: RK GB50GSVZ3, 118 links
Chassis and Dimensions
Suspension Front: Telescopic, coil spring, oil damped
Suspension Rear: Link type, coil spring, oil damped
Brakes Front: Disc brake, twin
Brakes Rear: Disc brake
Tires Front: 120/70ZR17M/C (58W), tubeless
Tires Rear: 180/55ZR17M/C (73W), tubeless
Overall Length: 2130 mm (83.9in)
Overall Width: 790 mm (31.1 in)
Overall Height: 1235 mm (48.6 in)
Seat Height: 785/805 mm (30.9/31.7 in) - Low/High
Ground Clearance: 135 mm ( 5.3 in)
Wheelbase: 1485 mm (58.5 in)
Curb Weight: 250 kg (551 lbs)
Fuel Tank Capacity: