Comparison Honda Hornet-Suzuki GSF 600 Bandit

Comparison of Honda Hornet / Suzuki GSF 600 Bandit

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In the duel between Hornet and Bandit, the choice of weapons is a matter of form. The outcome of the dispute was not, because Suzuki polished the club and Honda sharpened the sting. We then!

An evil look, a movement from the wrist, the gauntlet lies. Satisfaction! It was clear that the Honda would demand satisfaction. With this history.
Because the rivalry had been simmering for a long time. Strictly speaking, since the first rays of sun warmed the two-wheeled spring of 1998, the bandit, spoiled for success, begged its supporters for a brisk season opening dance ?? and this new Hornet wanted to overtake her. The bandit effectively parried this attack on the public’s favor. Til today. Because the new one looked quite insecure despite all the plastering. 16-inch front wheel with 130 tires, a thick 180 at the rear, blunt brakes: the Hornet staggered a little instead of moving smoothly through the curve terrain.
Now she’s back there, determined. And apparently better equipped. Still with boldly raised silencer, still with the huge 180 at the back. But now it carries a 17-inch model with a width of 120 millimeters, other brake pads that are supposed to provide more bite and steel-sheathed brake lines. Is that enough? The challenger began to have doubts because the darling of the masses did not let the winter break pass unused. The old woman is unmistakably, but a completely different bandit. New frame, new tank, new cockpit. A lot also happened technically. The tire width grew from 150 to 160 millimeters at the rear, to 120 millimeters at the front on a now 3.5 inch wide rim, but with has 60 mm cross-section. The wheelbase was three millimeters longer, but the steering head angle and caster decreased. The bandit also trained her muscles. New 32 mm Keihin carburetors with throttle valve sensors are supposed to bring the necessary dynamics in the event of sudden attacks from low revs, a tighter fork and a shock absorber that can now be adjusted in the rebound damping increase the reserves when parrying road construction insubordination . Let’s go, the impatient pilots are ready.
And have to wait a little longer because both actors take their time for the warm-up phase. The bandit in particular needs a sensitive hand to adapt the mixture to the operating status. That the Hornet holds back for so long is a matter of honor in these circles. So both start at the same time, determined to do everything. Because despite all the coquetry, they have not forgotten their destiny. Just be fun, undisguised action.
No wonder that both use a tried and tested 600 series quad as a drive. But their temperament is as different as their family tree. The sports comrade in the Hornet, who used to sprint in the CBR 600, gets going in a flash. Turns up lively and without holes and still has a lot of staying power beyond 10,000 rpm. No wonder that the driver forgets every net chain and turns the whisk wildly. Because even though only 92 of the promised 98 hp remain on the test bench: In combination with the hornet weight of 197 kilograms, the Honda goes like a stab with a full tank. Zero to one hundred km / h in 3.1 seconds, not even eleven of them pass to 180. Touche, the bandit is hit. Its magnificently finely ribbed engine adorns the bike like an order of merit on the uniform, but it behaves like with all awards: The achievements of bygone days are honored. Although the four-cylinder shows goodwill and delivers a whopping 84 instead of the planned 78 hp? For the values ​​of the Honda, the 225 kilogram heavy Suzuki is not enough when fully fueled. 3.9 seconds to 100 km / h, even sixteen to 180 km / h. Not enough for an immediate attack.
The fact that the bandit pilot almost incidentally registers this little faux pas is due to the fact that his pedestal continues the beneficial tradition of calmly influencing his rider. This quality is even further cultivated in the latest edition. The Suzuki fits like a tailor-made suit, doesn’t squeeze, doesn’t pinch, sits. Very comfortable, with pleasantly cranked handlebar ends and an appropriate distance between footrests and the redesigned seat. The hot spur Hornet demands more from the pilot. Hunched over the delicate tank, he crouches there, facing the front wheel, his legs more bent. This encourages those sporting feats for which the saucer itself appears ready.
Indeed, it is because she took the derisive comments after her first appearance to heart. Gone are the days of blunt stoppers. The double-piston calipers take the 296-millimeter discs between the pads so wonderfully that it is a pleasure. The newly dimensioned front wheel leads purposefully through the meandering curves, the fork springs and dampens sensitively without losing composure on rough bumps, and the directly hinged shock absorber is also able to cope with all requirements, although it does without adjustable compression or rebound damping. There is another reason why the fork would occasionally look around confusedly towards the stern if it could. This protector of rear tires makes you look incredibly important when you are standing, but when you move briskly it occasionally causes trouble. Above all, uneven ground in a sloping position bring him out of step and restlessness in the hindquarters, so that the handlebars have to take corrective action. Things are not made easier by the fact that the engine responds more spontaneously, but also harder than that of the Suzuki and the drive train has significantly more play. Fate of duelists? Not quite. The Hornet is delivered with Michelins TX 15/25, but also with Bridgestone BT 56. So: If the choice of weapons is different, at least the rubbers should match. In fairness. And lo and behold: When converted in this way, the Hornet is much more neutral, hardly irritates with its nervous rear end, and stands up less. And that’s how it really shows off its qualities
Despite the sovereignty gained in this way, a puzzled look in the rearview mirror is inevitable. Because there the bandit really plays with a refreshing mix of routine and targeted development. Take the fork, for example: it is not tight, but tighter, still does not offer any clear feedback, but is no longer on the block with every little thing. Together with the spring strut, which is now also four-way adjustable in the rebound stage damping, this results in a comfortable yet precise chassis set-up. This in turn harmonizes perfectly with the relaxed engine characteristics. And although the Bandit four-cylinder feels much smoother than the Honda engine in all speed ranges, despite significant vibrations beyond 5000 rpm, and only seems to bite from 7000 rpm, it is not difficult to follow the Hornet when dancing on country roads. The explanation is provided by a look at the performance curves and torque values. The Hornet only has significantly more to offer in the speed range that is hardly used on this terrain, while the Suzuki four-cylinder between 4000 and 5500 rpm even just outperforms the Honda. And in tight corners? Hand on heart ?? Even would-be Biaggis make extensive use of this area.
Just like the front braking system. Usually. Not so much on the bandit. On the one hand, because the double-piston pliers combine significantly higher manual strength than with the Hornet with poorer control. On the other hand, because the wider rim and the changed tire dimensions also increase the tendency to lean up when braking. A bad habit that the Honda with a 70’s cross-section hardly knows.
NOTThis is not the only reason why the Hornet wins just on points. It is a real jump-in, agile, lively. She also demands these characteristics from the driver. And that’s exactly where the difference lies. The Suzuki has also grown with the facelift, but in a different direction. She is sovereign, calm, and demands less effort. And it is the better choice for couples because the bench also provides enough space in the second row, while the Hornet bench is a little short. But that fits? strict ?? exactly to their character.

1st place – Honda Hornet

She is just ahead in this duel, the Hornet. It is stronger, more agile, more manageable. But also more impetuous. She wants to be driven more consciously. If you are ready, you will have a lot of fun with the little hot spur. Because she worked on her weaknesses. Nevertheless, there is room for improvement. This thick 180 is just as superfluous as the excessive play in the drive train.

2nd place – Suzuki Bandit

Just next to it is not over at all. Because even if the bandit is beaten here: You got the makeover? except for the wider tire at the front? done really well. Uncomplicated, handy, neutral ?? the Suzuki sets its balance against the impetuous nature of the Hornet. Even drives if the driver is not completely at the point. It’s nice that the price is still almost a minor matter.

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