Brought home a new Bandit 1250SA
today. After getting the new bike run through at the dealer's, I did a 50-mile shakedown cruise. First impressions are based on this short ride on highway, twistys, town, and city. The bike will be broken in per Suzuki's recommendation: initial 500 miles below 4500 RPMs and vary the speed, so comments on high speeds and high performance will come later.
Torque O' Plenty! This engine pulls hard. With its flat torque curve the Bandit generates 64.5 lb-ft of torque at just 1,800 rpm, and from 2,700 rpm thereâ€™s more than 70 lb-ft on your right hand. On the highway, I found myself in a big rig's blind spot. A slight wrist twist in 6th gear (no need to downshift!) and I was gone. The engine, coupled with the rocket launcher exhaust can is very quiet under 4K RPMs. So quiet in fact, that it's too easy to go too fast very quickly. I normally like a bit more exhaust grunt, but for touring and 2-up riding, this will be a nice change.
The steering is very neutral. She leans over easily and once there, requires no additional input to keep your line. Its five hundred pounds leans and steers effortlessly. Definitely looking forward to more spirited rides on the twists once the break-in is done, but know this isn't a sport bike and isn't intended to handle like one.
A little soon to tell, but seems downright nice. A little tuning front and rear will make it behave even better no doubt. Contrary to what I had read, the front end doesn't dive badly under hard braking. Ride is smooth and solid.
My first bike with ABS. Didn't engage it on this ride, but the 'whir' from the front brake is interesting if you've never heard it before. Aside from that, plenty of stopping power all in all. The levers feel a little spongy but nothing some braided lines won't cure.
Both the clutch and the front brake are adjustable and provide a nice reach. The hydraulic clutch with its coil springs is new on this model and engages easily and very smoothly. I really like this. A lot. Shifter and rear brake are pretty normal. The transmission coupled with that hydraulic clutch is very smooth. I may have to adjust the shifter a bit, it seems too low to me. I noticed my right foot was pretty warm, more than I'm used to. Oh, I didn't find the bars or their angle awkward at all.
I actually like the stock screen. On the way to the dealer, as I'm blasting down the road at 72 on the 919, I wondered if I'd miss the totally naked ride. Windscreens have been hit or miss for me on bikes and I liked not
having one on the 919. But this Bandit's screen seem adequate for my height (5'9"). I was getting wind blast, but it was clean air and I wasn't doing any bobble head impersonations. Another sign of decent protection: the cockpit is not terribly noisey at highway speeds.
I have to say something about mirrors because I've replaced stock mirrors on almost every bike I've owned. Usually they are terrible in form and function. Although I'm not crazy about the look of screen-mounted mirrors these ones actually work. My shoulders are big (54") and they are all I usually see in mirrors, and normally they vibrate. With just some minor adjstments, I was clearly seeing everything behind me and quite a good ways to the sides too. And no vibration. Nice job here Suzuki.
Fit & Finish:
Everything looks to be top notch. Seat fits well. Plastic is firm and doesn't vibrate or buzz. Paint is fantastic. Hopefully the clearcoat on the tank isn't soft and easily scratched like my last two Hondas.
The extended forecast is clear and sunny this week. I'm aching to get back out on this bike. With a little luck, and maybe a day off from work, I could kill the 600 mile break-in this week. Here's some pics. Loking forward to many more miles.