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2010 Suzuki GSX1250FA ABS Review


by Pascal Bastien ,

Derived from the much acclaimed Bandit 1250, the new 2010 GSX1250FA is decked out in a full fairing and front air intakes and vents, as well as a triangular headlamp reminiscent of the 2006 GSX-R1000. I commend Suzuki for this simple and very effective way of transforming and improving one of their best and most popular models. What’s more, Suzuki is also offering the GSX1250SEA ABS Touring, which is identical to the FA save for the addition of hard side bags, a passenger backrest and an adjustable deflector mounted on the windshield.

The 1250's lines appeal to lovers of elegance, with a simple as well as efficient aerodynamics in a tight package. (Photo: Philippe Champoux/

This new GSX is a swanky beast, with a fairing giving it some high-end flair, a stylish and well laid out dashboard reminiscent of GSX-R 600 and 750 sport bikes, an elegant fuel tank and reasonably-sized silencer.

Smooth-running, eager engine
Ever faithful to the transverse-mounted in-line four layout, Suzuki has endowed its GSX1250FA with the most recent evolution of the now-defunct Bandit 1250 engine, displacing 1,157 cc and featuring dual overhead cams, 16 valves, liquid cooling and electronic injection – as we would expect. It generates 98 hp at a low 7500 rpm and 79.6 ft-lb of torque an amazingly low 3700 rpm, numbers that speak eloquently of the engine’s wide operating band, delivering some serious torque as early as 1,500 rpm and right up to 6500 rpm. The intake system uses twin throttle butterflies, one controlled by the rider and the other by the ECU, which help produce the liberal distribution of torque at low and mid rpm.

Shifting through the six gears requires a little more effort than is typical, while the nice and wide touring-optimized ratios reduce the need to constantly jump from one gear to the next. It’s easy to keep the engine in the fat part of the torque band, where it’s at its best.

Reinforced frame and surprisingly efficient brakes
As a touring bike, the 1250 must carry around two people and gear on all types of surfaces, from the smoothest to the most rutted. Suzuki needed to strengthen the frame so it could tolerate that load while offering a stable base to optimize suspension and brake efficiency. The new 1250 thus inherited the very best features from recent Bandits: multi-tube, strengthened steel frame, a pre-load adjustable 43-mm fork and, especially, powerful brakes supported by an efficient, if slightly intrusive, ABS system.

And it works. Panic stops on full load feel like you’ve just dropped anchor, while both suspensions ensure decent comfort on decaying roads, compliments of their smoothness and effective travel.

The simple handle bars can be raised by a savvy owner and combine with the adjustable seat height to accommodate virtually every size and preferences of riders. The analog tach and digital speedo are easy to find and read. (Photo: Philippe Champoux/
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