Posted: 11 Oct 2012
Quite simply, Suzuki’s GSX650F is one of the most underrated and often forgotten about bikes on the market. And this is extremely puzzling because its £6285 price tag is amazingly cheap for what the GSX really is: a practical all-rounder that performs without fuss or thrills, but simply does what a motorcycle should do – put a smile on your face going from A to B.
Derived from a GSX-R sports Suzuki, the engine is as solid and reliable as Big Ben. It’s as happy to crawl along in traffic as it is to sit at motorway speeds. The gearbox is Suzuki through and through by being slightly notchy at first and then wearing to be positive and easy to shift up or down the six-speed gearbox.
Performance-wise, it is friendly rather than intimidating. Ok, from the first turn of the throttle to flat out in any gear, acceleration is elastic, but then it is a supersport-derived engine. At least the higher rpm delivery gives an idea of what to expect when stepping to a larger capacity superbike.
The GSXF is happy to be ridden slow or fast and that is a good thing when making the next step from passing provisional licence requirements. It is also very adept at being ridden fast through the twists or commuting to and from work.
The full-length fairing does ok at protection from the elements, but is mainly there to reduce windblast to the body, which it does very well. Rider position is likeable from the off due to the upright bars and flat, supportive seat with low-placed footpegs that are set to give a natural seating stance. The pegs are prone to touch down…
Steering is neutral and the budget-priced suspension can get a little floaty when covering ground at speed, especially over today’s bump-strewn routes we laughingly call roads. But there are no major handling surprises to appear and upset the fun.
There are a couple of minor issues that can turn major if owners do not learn how to maintain a motorcycle. The GSXF is built to a price and unfortunately it shows in some areas. Brake disc rotors are prone to rust spots where the covering paint gets marked and the chain adjusters and wheels soon turn to furballs if left dirty through winter. Clean and protect equates to continuous love and joy for GSX650.
+ points – affordable, competent all-rounder
- points – budget suspension, some areas prone to corrosion
Power: 85bhp, 45.4ft lbs
Kerb weight: 241kg
Seat height: 770mm
Colours: Blue/white, blue-black