Test: Honda CB 1300, Suzuki GSX 1250 FA and Yamaha FZ1 Fazer

Test: Honda CB 1300, Suzuki GSX 1250 FA and Yamaha FZ1 Fazer
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Comparison test: Japanese sports tourers

Four disguised big bikes on tour

Content of

Knees on the ground, kilometers tearing – Kraftmeier disguised for touring are good for both disciplines. With the Z 1000 SX, Kawasaki now also has such an all-rounder in its range. Can the new one prevail against the Honda CB 1300, Suzuki GSX 1250 FA and Yamaha FZ1 Fazer?

First course, shower up and down, the post goes. The new Kawasaki Z 1000 SX pulls around the bend with a bold line, climbs briefly onto the rear wheel at the end of the curve and burns up the mountain, accompanied by a snotty airbox rattle. Honda’s CB 1300 cubic capacity sofa and Suzuki’s GSX 1250 FA follow closely behind. Although less spectacular than the Kawa, the two torque bombers push them out of the curve all the more powerfully. Nobody gives in. The fourth in the league, Yamaha’s FZ1 Fazer, presses its way into the next vertex, then loses touch and rushes after the three-man team. Oh yes – motorcycling in its most beautiful form: on a sun-drenched pass in the middle of nowhere. The ideal terrain to compare Kawasaki’s Z 1000 SX sports tourer to the Japanese competition.

D.he kawa’s sportiest adversary is clearly Yamaha’s FZ1 Fazer. The engine and brakes are from the 2006 R1 and have lots of racing genes. The Suzuki GSX 1250 FA is a little less sporty. Behind the abbreviation of its name is a bandit that has been given a full fairing for use in sports touring.

The Honda CB 1300 dispenses with this and is satisfied with a half-shell. The CB stands for retro look, displacement and top workmanship. However, the quality has its price: At just under 12,500 euros, the grande dame of the test field costs almost as much as the brand new Kawa. And what does the Z 1000 SX have to offer for its money? Definitely a good basis: The Z 1000, released in 2010, drove away from the competition thanks to its powerful engine, good chassis and lots of emotion on the country road. For use as a sports tourer, Kawasaki gave the Z a fairing, softened the shock absorber, enlarged the tank to 19 liters and reduced the sprocket by one tooth. Most of the rest of the bike was left untouched.

engine


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The Kawasaki hangs neatly on the gas and pulls properly.

The 135 hp Kawasaki engine hangs neatly on the gas, pushes forward stormily at the slightest turn of the throttle and underlines the energetic start with a fiery roar. At 7000 rpm, the four-cylinder goes up a gear again and chases the Japanese horses up the speed ladder without pausing until the limiter catches them again. This is impressive, but cannot cover up minor nickel issues. Most noticeable is the undersized chain, which stretched significantly on the 500 test kilometers and had to be readjusted twice. You would also like to readjust the clutch lever. It protrudes far from the handlebars and, due to the lack of adjustment options, ensures fat forearms on longer distances. Not bad, but annoying in the long run. The same applies to the permanent vibrations of the engine and the somewhat delayed throttle response in tight bends.

The Honda four-cylinder has no problems with the response behavior. Silky smooth and direct, it accelerates, puffs forward without jerking from idle and has enough pressure ready in every driving situation to confidently push the 270 kilogram CB 1300 forward. Also exemplary: its smooth running. Vibrations are alien to him, the five-speed gearbox, which is no longer entirely up to date, can be shifted smoothly. However, the Honda engine lacks agility in the upper speed range.

The engine of the Suzuki shows even less revving. From 7000 rpm the Bandit 1250 engine seems listless and torments its way towards the rev limiter. The fact that the GSX 1250 FA has a shift light can only be meant ironically. Fortunately, on the narrow mountain pass, the pressure from the engine speed cell is more important, because the Suzuki is a force there! Somewhat superior to the Honda, the 1250 squeezes out of the corners so that tears of joy spring to your eyes. Since the introduction of the big bandit, this motorcycle has lived on torque, a real timeless fun.


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The disguised bandit is really good for touring.

However, there are also inconsistencies in the Suzuki. On the one hand, the GSX goes hard on the gas, on the other hand, gear shifts and gear ratios are too long. Only at 270 km / h would the GSX turn into the limiter in sixth gear. The torque values ​​are correspondingly poor: Despite the brawny acceleration, the 1250 loses a full 2.5 seconds on the Z 1000 SX when accelerating in the last gear from 50 to 150 km / h.

Only the FZ1 Fazer takes more time. In addition to a gear ratio that is too long, it suffers from a lack of pressure at low speeds and requires another two tenths of a second more than the Bandit to pull through from 50 to 150 km / h. And although it has the most powerful engine with measured 140 hp, it is also the lightest in the test field. The modified R1 engine only comes to life at around 7000 rpm, then suddenly pours out more than enough power, catapults the pilot forward amid infernal war cries and mercilessly pulls his arms out to the rev limiter. This feels cool in spacious passages, but is rather unsuitable for use on country roads.

Yamaha tried to counteract this problem in 2010 with a mapping change, but only achieved an increase in performance above 7000 rpm, while the speed range relevant to rural roads continues to be almost dead. There is still room for improvement here. This also applies to the noticeable load changes and the slightly delayed response of the E-Gas YCCT, which has also plagued Fazer since its very beginning.

Comparison test sports tourer: Part 2


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Sport and comfort come together in these four Japanese bikes.

landing gear
On the other hand, the FZ1 Fazers benefit from their athletic genes on the brakes. Two fingers are easily enough to catch the sports tourer precisely before every bend. The Yamaha is having a harder time in the curve. To turn in, she needs a strong impulse on the wide, straight handlebars. In an inclined position it is restless and does not drive a clean line. With a carefully adjusted chassis this problem is noticeably reduced, but it cannot be completely eliminated. The spring elements, which are somewhat insensitive to hard hits, and the footpegs that come down quite early, also disturb the flow.

The Honda CB 1300 also has to struggle with a lack of lean angle. In contrast to the Yamaha, however, it not only touches down with the notch, but even with the manifold of the outer cylinder when the pace is harder. This can override the motorcycle when it is tilted and put the pilot in acute danger of falling. An absolute no-go! And a really bitter pill, because apart from this problem, the now six-year-old Honda drives amazingly well. The chassis with the two Showa struts responds very well, is comfortable and still keeps the thick ship on course at a sporty pace. The CB 1300 only becomes restless on the last groove. The tires announce their limit earlier. The greyed-out Dunlop D 220 ST begin to slide when descending rapidly through the pass. For this they have a sufficiently wide border area to catch the sports tourer cleanly at all times.

The tire dimensions are praiseworthy: thanks to the 180 rear tires, the CB 1300 circles the corner very neutrally and precisely, turns in surprisingly light-footed for a 270 kilo bike and stays true to the line. The brake fits this driving impression. It does its job reliably, without too much sporting enthusiasm, is easy to dose and provides a clear pressure point. However, the C-ABS regulates early and throws a spanner in the works for those who brake late.


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The Fazer is the most balanced bike. Unfortunately on a somewhat lower level.

The Suzuki brakes also want to be activated very early before tight bends. The bandit stoppers have never been known for their aggressive bite, but this time the rubbers grip the discs particularly bluntly, especially when they are cold. The pressure point also shifts: after two jagged downhill runs, the brake lever was almost on the handlebars.

When you turn in, the world is fine again – almost. Like the Honda, the heavy Suzuki also works without great effort in an inclined position – thanks to the 180 rear tire. The chassis of the GSX 1250 FA works on the comfortable side. The spring elements respond well, but do not achieve the sofa feeling of the Honda. In addition, the fork, which cannot be adjusted in terms of damping, should provide a little more feedback.

In return, the GSX drives neutral and stable in the curve. Mightily angled, it tilts inwards a little abruptly, but even then does not touch the notches. The Z 1000 SX, which as an overall package is by far the sportiest of the four test candidates, is also inclined. The appealing chassis offers large reserves and can be sensitively tuned from soft to sporty.

The Bridgestone BT 016 in the BB special specification, new for 2011, are only convincing when they are warmed up. Cold, they are unwilling and stubbornly resist the steering impulses. If the tires are at operating temperature, the SX turns lightly, but needs constant pressure on the handlebars in an inclined position to maintain the radius. This behavior can also be blamed on the front tire, which was already completely worn out on the flanks when the odometer reading was 1400 kilometers. Without an excuse, however, the righting moment of the 190 rear tire remains in an inclined position on hard bumps and braking maneuvers.

The brakes are one of the absolute strengths of the Z 1000 SX. Bite, controllability and pressure point are at the very high level of the FZ1 Fazer and match the sporty, successful tuning of the engine.

ergonomics


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She is the oldest in the field and can still keep up well, but you can tell her age.

The seating position of the Kawa is also pleasing. Similar to the bare Z 1000, the SX embeds its pilot in a front-wheel-oriented and compact manner. Thanks to the ten millimeter thicker seat cushion, the sports tourer is not uncomfortable even on longer stages. The windshield can be tilted in three positions by a total of 20 degrees. We liked the lowest setting best. In this position you can feel the wind, but the air flows very evenly and the noise level is low.

Despite its sporty character, the passenger on the Z 1000 SX also sits very comfortably. With a sports tourer, you can say that. The co-pilot’s knee angle is relaxed, the seat cushion is grippy and wide, but tightly padded. The Fazer passenger is not doing that well. The Yamaha forces him into a super sporty position with high pegs and a small and slippery seat bun. But the pilot’s seating position also takes getting used to. The combination of wide, straight handlebars, fat tank and pegs mounted far forward still feels strange even after several hours of test drive. The windbreak, however, is okay.

The same applies to the GSX 1250 FA. Wind protection okay, wind noise clear. The passenger sits comfortably. The cushion is wide, the knee angle is okay and lies between that of the Kawa and the Fazer. Amazingly, the very touristy Honda bedding its passenger is noticeably more uncomfortable. The seat cushion is soft and wide, but the footrests are uncomfortably far forward.

The draft shield of the CB 1300 could also be better. Even in a racing position, the small Honda windshield does not adequately protect its pilot from the incoming wind. If you take it a little easier, there is nothing to complain about in terms of the ergonomics of the CB 1300. The soft seat cushion, the relaxed knee angle and the high handlebars do not become uncomfortable even on long tours. Nevertheless, the seating position, which has not changed for five years, is also suitable for the four-way battle on the small pass road.

There the Yamaha is pulling past the Honda in a hairpin on the outside, which tries to stay on the Suzuki and the Kawa with resting stops. At the exit of the bend, the CB bumps forward with a big punch, pushes itself to the side of the GSX 1250 FA and just sees the Z 1000 SX pulling away at the head of the field with an angry roar and a little wheelie of joy.


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All four offer kilometers and lots of steam.

Conclusion: The Z 1000 SX won its first comparison test with ease. The powerful engine, the good brakes, the stiff chassis and their independent character set them apart from the aging competition. The second place goes to the CB 1300. Its strength lies in the tourist sector. However, the coherent overall concept is also good for the fast pace. Suzuki and Yamaha share 3rd place. The GSX 1250 FA mainly suffers from its bad brakes, the Fazer has too little punch at low speeds.

Honda CB 1300


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Honda CB 1300

Category drive:
The smoothness and throttle response of the big block are exemplary. When the engine is idling, the CB 1300 really pushes forward; at high speeds it looks tired.

4 out of 5 stars

Category chassis:
Deductions for the manifold that touches the motorcycle. The chassis responds great, the handling is okay.

2 out of 5 stars

Category ergonomics:
The Honda rider sits enthroned very comfortably, the rest and handlebar positions are perfect for touring. The wind protection should be a bit better.

4 out of 5 stars

Category driving fun:
The thrust from the low revs is just as fun as the neutral driving behavior. The dragging bends cost trust.

3 out of 5 stars

PS judgment:
Given its age and weight, the CB 1300 does well. For contemporaries who are interested in tourism, it is the ideal motorcycle.

13 out of 20 stars

Kawasaki Z 1000 SX


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Kawasaki Z 1000 SX

Category drive:
The aggressive sound and the rough engine run are just as suitable for the powerful Kawa engine as the greedy acceleration in the partial load range. Emotional and strong as a bear.

4 out of 5 stars

Category chassis:
The spring elements are tightly coordinated, react sensitively to setup changes and respond well. The brakes are also great.

4 out of 5 stars

Category ergonomics:
The seating position is suitable for both sporty driving and touring. The pillion is very comfortably accommodated on the SX.

5 out of 5 stars

Category driving fun:
Lots of character, good chassis, powerful engine – the Kawa is fun. The tough turning behavior of Bridgestone tires is a problem when cold.

4 out of 5 stars

PS judgment:
The Z 1000 SX takes on the character of its naked sister, but gains in touring suitability. The concept works: test victory for the Kawasaki.

17 out of 20 stars

Suzuki GSX 1250 FA


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Suzuki GSX 1250 FA

Category drive:
The well-known 1250 four-cylinder pushes forward even more vehemently than the Honda, but loses its desire at 7000 rpm.

3 out of 5 stars

Category chassis:
The Suzuki’s brake is extremely blunt and costs points. The chassis works at a decent level without really shining.

2 out of 5 stars

Category ergonomics:
The pegs and handlebars of the Suzuki position the pilot very upright. The wind protection is good. The copilot also sits comfortably on the GSX 1250 FA.

4 out of 5 stars

Category driving fun:
The high-torque motor brings driving pleasure, the very blunt brake spoils it again. The handling of the 250 kg bike is okay.

3 out of 5 stars

PS judgment:
The disguised version of the Bandit is good for touring, conditionally for the home route, but impresses above all with the low price.

12 out of 20 stars

Yamaha FZ1 Fazer


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Yamaha FZ1 Fazer

Category drive:
The Yamaha has the most top performance, but the long gear ratio and lack of pressure at low speeds cost points.

3 out of 5 stars

Category chassis:
The brake of the Fazer convinces all along the line. The chassis has to be adjusted very precisely, even then the Yamaha remains a bit restless.

3 out of 5 stars

Category ergonomics:
For years complained, still annoying: The straight, unusually cranked handlebars and the wide tank. The windbreak is ok.

3 out of 5 stars

Category driving fun:
The brakes on the Yamaha are great, as is the high-speed performance. It lacks pressure below 7000 rpm, and it doesn’t drive a clean line.

3 out of 5 stars

PS judgment:
In terms of chassis and engine, the Fazer has clear strengths, but also weaknesses. In the end, the Yamaha shares 3rd place with the Suzuki.

12 out of 20 stars

Technical specifications


Drawing: archive

The performance diagram of the four sports tourers.

The torque curves of the four test candidates correspond to the driving impressions: The fat four-cylinder cylinders from Honda and Suzuki are extremely strong at low speeds. The GSX engine already pushes over 100 Nm of torque at 2000 rpm. The CB 1300 also pushes forward tremendously from idle, but decreases from 6000 rpm. The two big blocks also set the tone in the lower speed range when it comes to performance. The Z 1000 SX only takes the lead at 7500 rpm. Their clear dominance in the pulling values ​​- around two seconds compared to the rest of the field – is primarily due to the successful translation. The Yamaha only scores above the 10,000 mark.

Honda CB 1300


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The two Showa shock absorbers respond very well, but have to be pretensioned for sporting use.

drive:
Four-cylinder in-line engine, four valves / cylinder, 84 kW (114 PS) at 7750 / min, 116 Nm at 6000 / min, 1284 cm3, bore / stroke 78.0 / 67.2 mm, compression ratio 9.6: 1, ignition – / injection system, 36 mm throttle valves, hydraulically operated multi-disc clutch, five-speed gearbox, G-Kat

landing gear:
Tubular steel double loop frame, steering head angle: 65.0 degrees, caster: 99 mm, wheelbase: 1515 mm. Conventional telescopic fork, Ø fork inner tube: 43 mm, adjustable in spring base and rebound. Stereo shock absorbers, adjustable in spring base and rebound. Suspension travel front / rear: 120/116 mm

Wheels and brakes:
Light alloy cast wheels, 3.50 x 17"/5.50 x 17", Front tires: 120/70 ZR 17, rear: 180/55 ZR 17. First tires: Dunlop D 220 ST. 310 mm double disc brake with four-piston fixed calipers at the front, 256 mm single disc with single-piston floating caliper at the rear

Measurements and weight:

Length / width / height 2220/825/1240 mm, seat / handlebar height 815/1040 mm, handlebar width 700 mm, 271 kg fully fueled, f / r 49.4% / 50.6%

Rear wheel power in last gear:
79 kW (107 PS) at 210 km / h

Performance:
Acceleration 0-100 / 150/200 km / h 3.3 s / 6.5 s / 13.0 s
Pulling speed 50-100 / 100-150 km / h 4.8 s / 5.3 s
Top speed: 230 km / h *

Consumption:
Fuel type: normal unleaded. Average test consumption: 9.1 liters / 100 km, tank capacity / of which reserve 21 / 4.5 liters, range: 230 km

Base price (2010): 12 490 euros (plus ancillary costs)

Kawasaki Z 1000 SX


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The unusual muffler design and the eccentric chain tension are typical of the Z series.

drive:
Four-cylinder in-line engine, four valves / cylinder, 101.5 kW (138 PS) at 9600 / min *, 110 Nm at 7800 / min *, 1043 cm³, bore / stroke: 77.0 / 56.0 mm, compression: 11 , 8: 1, ignition / injection system, 38 mm throttle valves, mechanically operated multi-plate oil bath clutch, six-speed gearbox, G-Kat

landing gear:
Light alloy central tube frame, steering head angle: 65.5 degrees, caster: 102 mm, wheelbase: 1440 mm, upside-down fork, Ø fork inner tube: 41 mm, adjustable in spring base, rebound and compression stage, central spring strut with deflection, adjustable in spring base and rebound, spring travel front / rear: 120/138 mm

Wheels and brakes:
Light alloy cast wheels, 3.50 x 17"/6.00 x 17", Front tires: 120/70 ZR 17, rear: 190/50 ZR 17, initial tires: Bridgestone BT 016 "BB", 300 mm double disc brake with four-piston fixed calipers at the front, 250 mm single disc brake with single-piston floating caliper at the rear

Measurements and weight:
Length / width / height: 2105/790/1230 mm, seat / handlebar height: 820/1020 mm, handlebar width: 700 mm, 231 kg fully fueled, v./h .: 50.8 / 49.2%

Rear wheel power in last gear: 91 kW (124 PS) at 219 km / h

Performance:
Acceleration 0-100 / 150/200 km / h 3.3 s / 5.6 s / 9.6 s
Pulling speed 50-100 / 100-150 km / h 4.2 s / 4.0 s
Top speed: 245 km / h *

consumption:
Fuel type: Super unleaded. Average test consumption: 8.1 liters / 100 km, tank capacity 19 liters, range: 234 km

Base price: 12 595 euros (plus ancillary costs)

Suzuki GSX 1250 FA


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The brakes on the Suzuki turned out to be even more blunt than usual from the Bandit. The pressure point shifted significantly with a sporty driving style.

drive:
Four-cylinder in-line engine, 72 kW (98 PS) at 7500 / min *, 108 Nm at 3700 / min *, 1255 cm³, bore / stroke: 79.0 / 64 mm, compression ratio: 10.5: 1, ignition / injection system , 36 mm throttle valves, hydraulically operated multi-plate oil bath clutch, six-speed gearbox, G-Kat

landing gear:
Steel double loop frame, steering head angle: 64.7 degrees, caster: 104 mm, wheelbase: 1485 mm, conventional telescopic fork, Ø inner fork tube: 43 mm, adjustable in spring base, central spring strut with deflection, adjustable in spring base and rebound, spring travel front / rear: 130 / 136 mm

Wheels and brakes:
Light alloy cast wheels, 3.50 x 17"/5.00 x 17", Front tires: 120/70 ZR 17, rear: 180/55 ZR 17, initial tires: Bridgestone BT021 "AA", 310 mm double disc brake with four-piston fixed calipers at the front, 240 mm single disc with single-piston floating caliper at the rear

Measurements and weight:

Length / width / height: 2130/790/1235 mm, seat / handlebar height: 810-830 / 1045 mm, handlebar width: 695 mm, 258 kg fully fueled, front / rear: 51.1 / 48.9%

Rear wheel power in last gear:
74 kW (100 PS) at 197 km / h

Performance:
Acceleration 0-100 / 150/200 km / h 3.5 s / 6.9 s / 14.2 s
Pulling speed 50-100 / 100-150 km / h 5.1 s / 5.6 s
Top speed: 230 km / h *

consumption:
Fuel type: normal unleaded. Average test consumption: 8.6 liters / 100 km, tank capacity 19 liters, range: 221 km

Base price: 9590 Euro (plus ancillary costs)

Yamaha FZ1 Fazer


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The Yamaha only drives around the corner reasonably quietly with a properly adjusted chassis. The fork legs are separated according to rebound and compression.

drive:
Four-cylinder in-line engine, four valves / cylinder, 110 kW (150 PS) at 11,000 / min *, 106 Nm at 8,000 / min *, 998 cm3, bore / stroke 77.0 / 53.6 mm, compression ratio 11.5: 1, ignition / injection system, 42 mm throttle valves, mechanically operated multi-disc oil bath clutch, six-speed gearbox, G-Kat

landing gear:
Light alloy bridge frame, steering head angle: 65.0 degrees, caster: 109 mm, wheelbase: 1460 mm. Upside-down fork, Ø fork inner tube: 43 mm, adjustable in spring base, rebound and compression. Central spring strut with deflection, adjustable in spring base, rebound and compression. Suspension travel front / rear: 130/130 mm

Wheels and brakes:

Light alloy cast wheels, 3.50 x 17"/6.00 x 17", Front tires: 120/70 ZR 17, rear: 190/50 ZR 17. Test tires: Dunlop Roadsmart, 320 mm double disc brakes with four-piston fixed calipers at the front, 245 mm single disc brakes with single-piston floating calipers at the rear

Measurements and weight:
Length / width / height: 2170/880/1210 mm, seat / handlebar height: 810/1010 mm, handlebar width: 685 mm, 229 kg fully fueled, v./h .: 50.7 / 49.3%

Rear wheel power in last gear: 93 kW (127 PS) at 264 km / h

Performance:
Acceleration 0-100 / 150/200 km / h 3.6 s / 6.0 s / 10.3 s
Pulling 50-100 / 100-150 km / h 5.5 s / 5.4 s
Top speed: 252 km / h *

consumption:
Fuel type: Super unleaded. Average test consumption: 9.2 liters / 100 km, tank capacity 18 liters, range: 196 km

Base price: 11 495 euros (plus ancillary costs)

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