Getting a 1,250cc bike for around the same price as a 600cc has to have a downside, right? I mean, how could Suzuki produce a full-bore, large-capacity roadster like the Bandit for just over $8,000? The engine must be a real old lump, in a dated chassis with no modern parts, huh?
Well no, actually. In fact, the Bandit 1250 has an all-new liquid-cooled 16-valve engine, forced upon Suzuki by emissions regulations in Europe. That engine has a high-tech, dual-valve fuel injection system, and makes a very creditable 97 bhp, with a strong, torquey power delivery. It’s smooth low-down, and has stomping midrange drive too.
The 1250’s chassis is largely similar to the older air-cooled 1200 Bandit, with a simple steel tube frame, monoshock rear suspension and conventional front forks. Suzuki offers the Bandit as a faired machine, with a small half-fairing, or as a naked roadster, with no bodywork at all. The naked version is best kept around town, where its lack of wind protection isn’t a problem, but the faired Bandit makes a good sporty tourer, with comfortable long-distance accommodation for two.
Suzuki also offers an optional ABS anti-lock braking system for the Bandit, further underlining the bike’s suitability for less-experienced riders.