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Suzuki GSX1250FA: Versatile, Desirable, Affordable

By Arv Voss, December 3rd, 2011

Wouldn't it be great if each of us were able to collect as many bikes as we'd like? Unfortunately, for most of us owning multiple motorcycles is not realistic. Versatility is the key my friends.

There are a select few bikes that serve multiple purposes. The choice is clearly yours to make -- concentrate on a narrowly specialized ride, or go for a bike that is both functional and versatile over a broad spectrum of uses.

Suzuki has a prime candidate that fits nicely into the versatility genre: the GSX1250FA. It is essentially a fully faired replacement for the former half-faired Bandit 1250S. The "F" designation is of course for full fairing, while the "A" stands for ABS anti-lock brakes. The new Suzuki GSX model also provides better wind protection, and comes with a center stand, in addition to the traditional side stand.

The new GSX Suzuki is powered by a 1255cc, DOHC, 16-valve, fuel injected, 4-stroke, liquid-cooled inline four-cylinder engine that makes 98.9 horses at 8,800 rpm while also cranking out 77.4 lb.-ft. of torque at 5,900 rpm. Motive energy is metered to the rear wheel through a six-speed constant mesh sequential manual gearbox via a 118-link chain final drive. The low-end torque may be likened to that of a freight train, even though this is not a GSX-R, but the 0-to-60 mph may be clicked off in a mere 3.0 seconds.

In terms of its styling, the GSX1250FA comes across looking like a sport bike, and while it is not really as aggressive as some sport bikes in its design, it certainly qualifies as a bonafide sport tourer. The full fairing, vertically stacked headlight and beefy stainless right side exhaust canister hint at the bike's performance potential.

The suspension consists of telescopic oil damped, coil spring front forks with spring preload and 5.1 inches of claimed wheel travel, and a link-type oil damped coil spring, swingarm out back. Rolling stock is by Bridgestone in the form of tubeless, 17-inch ZR-rated Battlax BT 023 rubber mounted on three-spoke, painted cast alloy wheels. Reining in the powerful Suzuki is accomplished via dual disc brakes up front and a single disc in the rear with digital ABS.

The wheelbase of the GSX1250FA measures 58.5 inches, while the overall length is 83.9 inches and the bike's dry weight is a manageable 537 pounds. The standard seat height is 31.7 inches, which can be adjusted to 32.5 inches.

My test Suzuki GSX1250FA sported an exterior finish of Gloss Black flecked with Blue metallic flakes and a minimum of bright work. The base price was set at $11,599.

First off, let me say that claims of exceptional versatility made by the folks at Suzuki about the GSX1250FA are legitimate and uninflated. This bike is extremely smooth to ride in virtually any scenario.

It's not an all-out sport bike, nor does it fit exclusively into the cruiser genre. It delivers inspirational levels of both chassis and engine performance capability, while providing a comfortable ride quality, even for long distance rides. In other words, this bike provides an outlet for aggressive riding or for sport touring. It's good for commuting, good for boulevard cruising, good for canyon carving and good for touring. Basically, it's good for just about any road you want to ride.

The riding position is quite comfortable, though longer-legged riders will note that a little more sculpting in the sides of the fuel tank's rearward dimensions would prove to be beneficial. The rider's foot pegs are rubber cushioned and well placed in a mid/rear position. The handlebars are at a comfortable level and angle back nicely for a more than suitable riding position.

The ride quality, which is adjustable, is readily compliant without being extremely tight or loose. The seating is plush by sporting standards, supporting and even encouraging longer treks on the open road.

Low-end torque is incredible and the pull of the engine's mid-range is athletic, but a little less than dramatic at the upper end of the rev limit. Not to worry, the bike's smoothness and broad torque delivery offsets any misgivings one might have initially.

Bottom-line, the Suzuki GSX1250FA is perfectly capable of serving in more than one capacity, ranking it as highly versatile, not to mention both desirable and affordable.

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