All Duels – The Two Big Routsters! – Dance with the rain!

The two big Routsters !

All Duels - The Two Big Routsters! - Dance with the rain!

No longer really roadsters but not quite road, the Honda CBF1000F and the Suzuki Bandit 1250S combine the advantages of these two categories to lead to a concept that is increasingly appreciated: road roadsters … or routsters! Duel.

Dance with the rain !

In these almost apocalyptic conditions, the world’s leading manufacturer took a very clear advantage over its Hamamatsu rival: in the high position, the Honda bubble correctly protects the torso and a good part of the head, while on the Suzuki the elements unleashed hardly spare the upper chest to the tip of the helmet.

Well installed on a comfortable and adjustable saddle, the pilot of the CBF benefits from a handlebars fixed higher and of footrests placed less back than on the Bandit. They also offer growths that allow you to put your heels on. Not binding for a penny, the driving position of the Honda offers above all an almost intuitive control of the bike. A feeling reinforced by the agility of gazelle conferred by its rear tire, which is only 160 mm wide (180 mm on the Suz ‘).

Equally welcoming at the level of the seat (the height of which can vary from 790 to 810 mm), the Bandit shows a hint more restrictive at the level of the wrists and will bend in a more sensitive way the thighs of the older ones. Heavier, it spreads the knees less than the Honda, penalized by its voluminous covers below the 20-liter tank (19 on the Bandit).

These appendages allow the CBF1000FA to camouflage part of its 998 cc four-cylinder and aluminum chassis, where the GSF1250 shows off its entire 1255 cc block and tubular steel double cradle frame. However, the additional trim of the Honda has two advantages: camouflage its injection system and a large part of the electrical network, while offering appreciable support for the thighs under braking..

Braking is made all the more comfortable on the CBF as its saddle rises delicately near the reservoir, which prevents the pilot from mortgaging his fertility with each pressing of the brakes! Despite the pleasant ergonomics of its tank, the Suzuki does not offer the same downforce, forcing the use of arm force more frequently to dampen decelerations..

The Honda’s simple ABS-CBS – only the action of the rear brake is coupled with the front – takes precedence over the Suzuki’s ABS, especially on the saturated and soggy peripheral that separates us from the "ki-go" roads -good" ! Not only is the winged brand device more responsive, but in these difficult conditions its coupling offers good management of mass transfers and increased grip which makes it possible to stop with disconcerting rapidity in view of the precarious grip..

Sufficiently powerful but as biting as a toothless poodle (a point common to both machines), the Suz ‘braking is in line with its more road vocation. But its anti-lock system betrays the older design of a Bandit "12" whose latest developments date back to 2007 (abandonment of the 1200 cc air-oil for the 1250 cc injected and cooled by water and addition of a sixth gear). On wet and slippery roads, Suzuki ABS lets micro blockages filter through while the limits of the Honda system seem simply unfathomable…

A particularly important point in town, where our two rivals show touching attentions: placed at the same height, the mirrors do their job correctly and go above those of most city cars. Only the retro – many! – MPVs hang up when going up the queue, during which the presence of the warning is appreciated on each motorcycle.

The turning radius is satisfactory (with a slight advantage to the left for the Bandit) and the clutch controls are evenly matched in terms of lubricity, but the Honda gearbox is smoother than that of the Suzuki, especially when locking. reports. Well balanced, these two roadsters-GT suffer however from their overweight compared to their stripped sisters: maneuvers at low speed, at a standstill or during the central standoff will require some attention. !

Once again, the Honda is a cut above during these tests: a finding probably due to its more moderate weight – although its recent facelift and the switch to aluminum of its chassis only resulted in a loss of 5 kg – and better weight positioning.

Indeed, despite higher wheelbase and caster angle values ​​than on the Bandit (1495 mm and 26 ° for the CBF1000FA against 1480 mm and 25.2 ° for the GSF1250SA), the CBF is handled more easily than the Bandit whose heavy front axle and understeer below 40 km / h affect handling.

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