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Launched in the late 1980s, the "Bandit’ series earned a reputation early on as a ’hooligan’ bike. More recently, however, the series has taken on a more respectable look and feel that brings it in line with sport-tourers and street bikes. Reintroduced for 2016, the Bandit GSF1250S from Suzuki has a new sculpted half-fairing — denoted by the "S" in the model number — that envelopes the radiator shrouds. A vent in front below the headlight smooths airflow over and around the rider and passenger for less wind buffeting and noise, affording you a ride with refined styling and attention to comfort.

Continue reading for my review of the 2016 Suzuki Bandit 1250S.

  • 2016 Suzuki Bandit 1250S
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    4-stroke, 4-cylinder, liquid-cooled
  • Displacement:
    1255 cc
  • Top Speed:
    149 mph
  • Price:


2016 Suzuki Bandit 1250S Exterior
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A mix of old and new on the instrument cluster combines an analog tach with an LCD panel that displays a digital speedometer and odometer as well as dual trip meters, clock and fuel gauge. I always appreciate when I see manufacturers acknowledging the diversity of their customers by offering adjustable seat heights. On the Bandit 1250S, you have 0.78 inche to play with, and even though the lowest height is too tall for us short folks, at least it’s a start that we have any adjustment at all.


2016 Suzuki Bandit 1250S Exterior
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While the frame geometry and design is not particularly noteworthy, it does the job and provides nearly effortless handling at all speeds. A sophisticated ABS system monitors wheel speed via inconspicuous sensors on each of the 17-inch wheels, and it intervenes to minimize wheel slippage and prevent loss of traction. Dual, four-piston brake calipers bind the 310 mm front brake discs, and a single-pot caliper binds the 240 mm rear disc to provide the braking power for you and the ABS to work with.

Front suspension design makes use of the traditional, non-adjustable, non-inverted hydraulic forks that are adequate, but lack some of the features one might expect on a bike this sporty. The rear monoshock does, however, come with adjustable settings for rebound damping and preload, and it is tucked away out of sight leaving an unimpeded view of the rear wheel and a clean rear end.


2016 Suzuki Bandit 1250S High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Driving the rather vanilla chassis is a 1,255 cc engine that is replete with cool design features. Sporting an absolute alphabet soup of proprietary Suzuki subsystems, the engine is definitely the star of this show. The fuel-injected, DOHC mill produces 97 horsepower at 7,500 rpm and 80 pound-feet of torque at 3,700 rpm, which according to one unofficial source is enough to turn in an 11.04-second quarter-mile time at 118.98 mph – not too shabby.

The fuel-injected, DOHC mill produces 97 horsepower at 7,500 rpm and 80 pound-feet of torque at 3,700 rpm, which according to one unofficial source is enough to turn in an 11.04-second quarter-mile time at 118.98 mph – not too shabby.

Now for some soup; Suzuki coated the rings with chrome-nitride compound through the use of its physical vapor deposition (PVD) system in order to minimize losses due to ring-to-cylinder friction and blowby. These virtues are enhanced by the Suzuki Composite Electrochemical Material (SCEM) used to coat the aluminum cylinder bores, which aids in cooling and allows for tighter piston-to-cylinder tolerances. Induction-control duties fall to the 36 mm throttle bodies and the Suzuki Dual Throttle Valve (SDTV) system.

The Engine Control Module (ECM) processes input from various sensors, and it intervenes through the throttle control to preserve engine efficiency and emissions while delivering a smooth throttle response. An automatic Idle Speed Control (ISC) keeps the engine smooth at idle and aids with cold starts. Suzuki’s Pulsed-Air (PAIR) system injects filtered air into the exhaust stream to burn off excess free hydrocarbons, and a catalyst in the exhaust system burns off whatever is left, to meet current emission standards.

The liquid cooling system pulls double duty; not only does it draw waste heat off through the engine water jacket, but it also cools the oil through a liquid heat-exchanger similar to the type used on the GSX-R750. I personally like this type of system over the usual ’cooling-by-association’ style, and find the extra protection for the oil comforting.


2016 Suzuki Bandit 1250S Exterior
- image 625610

Price on the Bandit 1250S starts at $9,899. You have your choice of Candy Daring Red or Glass Sparkle Black with a 12-month unlimited mileage limited warranty.

He Said

My husband and fellow writer, TJ Hinton, says, “Not too bad for this price. While there are some glaring holes in the chassis subsystems, the engine almost makes up for it. With a $9,899 sticker, it’s hard to bust on it too hard because it does put a lot of nice features within reach of buyers on a budget.”

She Said

"Overall, I want to say this is a yawner, but really, if you compare it to Yamaha’s FZ1 as I’ve seen some folks do, you can’t ignore the torque on the Bandit. You just can’t compare the FZ1’s 67 pound-feet at 9,350 rpm to the Bandit’s 80 pound-feet at 3,750 rpm. If I can get that much torque without having to wind this baby up, why isn’t that a good thing?"


Engine:: four-stroke, four-cylinder, liquid-cooled, DOHC
Displacement: 1,255 cc
Bore:: 79.0 mm
Stroke: 64.0 mm
Power:: 97 horsepower @ 7,500 rpm
Torque:: 80 pound-feet @ 3,700 rpm
Compression ratio:: 10.5 to 1
Lubrication:: Wet sump
Ignition:: Electronic ignition (transistorized)
Fuel system:: Fuel Injection
Starter:: Electric
Transmission:: Six-speed constant mesh
Drive:: Chain
Front suspension:: Telescopic, coil spring, oil damped
Rear suspension:: Link type, coil spring, oil damped
Front brakes:: Disc, twin
Rear brakes:: Disc
Front tires:: 120/70ZR17M/C (58W), tubeless
Rear tires:: 180/55ZR17M/C (73W), tubeless
Overall length:: 83.9 inches
Overall width:: 31.1 inches
Overall height:: 48.6 inches
Wheelbase:: 58.5 inches
Seat height:: 31.7 inches
Ground clearance:: 5.3 inches
Wet Weight: 560 pounds
Dry Weight: 496 pounds
Fuel capacity:: 5 Gallons
Warranty: 12-month unlimited mileage limited warranty.
Color Options:: Candy Daring Red, Glass Sparkle Black, Pearl Glacier White
Price:: $9,899
Allyn Hinton
Allyn Hinton
Writer and Associate Motorcycle Editor -
If it had moving parts, it had Allyn's interest from a very early age. At age 11 when bicycles were too simple to hold her interest any longer, her father found her taking apart the lawn mower. When he asked why she was doing it, she replied, “I need to see how it works.” That curiosity and mechanical drive served her well over the next 40 years as she pursued careers in both the automotive and motorcycle industries. Having shared her love of motorcycles with her now husband, biker TJ Hinton, Allyn brings that love and knowledge to TopSpeed as writer and associate motorcycle editor.  Read full bio
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