Test: Honda CBF 1000 F against Suzuki GSX 1250 FA

Test: Honda CBF 1000 F against Suzuki GSX 1250 FA
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Test: Honda CBF 1000 F against Suzuki GSX 1250 FA

Sporty Nippon tourers in a comparison test

Content of

Displacement and draft shield – the ideal ingredients for whirling fun on the country road? At least that’s how Suzuki sees it and gives his bandit a full disguise. Can the GSX 1250 FA prevail against Honda’s CBF 1000 F.?

In times of economic crisis, model extensions are a little less complex than usual, even for large manufacturers. With the GSX 1250 FA, Suzuki is nominally presenting a new, high-displacement variant of the GSX-F series, but under the neat full fairing there is a technically almost unchanged bandit.

L.Only in detail did the Japanese improve something. In addition to a superfluous gearshift light, the cockpit now also houses a gear indicator – probably a courtesy to the FA’s internal target group: aging GSX-R pilots. Other changes affect the cooling: The 1250 now has two fans and a larger cooler. The lights have also been handcrafted: the front headlight is suspiciously reminiscent of older GSX-R models, the rear light comes from the 2009 Bandit. Last but not least, the Japanese adapted the fork springs to the additional load on the front wheel (the FA weighs three kilograms more than a Bandit S).

Will these modifications give the arch-conservative bandit enough pep to satisfy veteran superbike burners? Questionable, especially since Honda is also adding another model to the market for large-volume Nippon soft athletes: the CBF 1000 F. The double F costs 900 euros more than the basic variant and has eight additional horses and some technical and visual innovations. The headlights from the CBR 600 RR spare parts store fit perfectly into the angular front fairing, and the four-in-one exhaust system underlines the sporty appearance. The revised cockpit with a central rev counter now also informs the driver about average and total consumption. Other changes affect the chassis: the spring strut can be adjusted as usual in terms of the spring base and rebound stage, but has recently been linked directly. The biggest change, however, affects the engine. In the double-F, the Japanese combine the cylinder head of the CB 1000 R with the camshafts of the standard CBF, and voilà: the thousand-engine engine is already producing 107 instead of 98 hp. Can you feel this eight hp difference? Try out!


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Two heavy tourers who are not so sedate.

The narrow, somewhat strangely cranked handlebars stand out when you sit up. The bench is height adjustable by 35 millimeters and, in combination with the notches positioned very low, enables a relaxed knee angle suitable for touring. The engine accelerates gently, pulls forward properly from idling speed and announces its activity very cautiously to the outside world, even with the four-in-one system. The CB double F engine seems to run a little softer than that of the standard variant – at least in the lower speed range. From 6000 rpm, clearly noticeable vibrations find their way to the notches and handlebar ends. At the same time, the four-cylinder noticeably increases its power, sprints through the rev range with quite sporty ambitions, reaches its maximum output at 9000 rpm and is caught again by the rev limiter at 10200 rpm. In order not to exceed the specified top speed of 230 km / h, Honda cuts the forward thrust of the tourer in fifth gear at 9500 rpm and in sixth at 8700 rpm. Strangely, the new one has a significantly longer gear ratio than the standard model, whose top speed is 228 km / h – the sixth gear of the CBF 1000 F is supposed to act as an overdrive and make motorway stages more bearable with the four-way adjustable windshield. In practice, the changed gear ratio is particularly noticeable due to the significantly poorer pulling power: from 50 to 150 km / h, the new one lacks a full two seconds on the sister model.

Too long a translation also plagues the Suzuki. The theoretically possible maximum speed of 271 km / h in sixth gear is compared to 230 km / h in practice. The fact that the GSX-FA still pulls through much better than the Honda is due to the powerful bandit engine. 115 Nm are already available at 3500 rpm. In general, the 1250 is a robust fellow. It distributes vibrations properly over the entire speed range and also goes to work in a rustic way with load changes. Nonetheless, the slightly grayed-out four-cylinder with its bearish appearance is still an ideal country road engine. It doesn’t really matter that he runs out of air from 7000 rpm.

The Suzuki also makes a good ergonomic impression. The wind protection of the fully faired tourer is just as impressive as the wide handlebars. Despite the height-adjustable seat (20 mm), the knee angle is less comfortable than on the Honda – but the Suzuki has more lean angle.


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Better power delivery and good handling of the Honda versus comfortable tourers with long-distance quality in the Suzuki.

On the chassis side, both test candidates make no secret of their tourist sentiment: The Bandit chassis is still on the very comfortable side, but responds properly and thanks to long suspension travel (130 mm at the front, 136 mm at the rear) it still has good speed on bumpy back roads a few reserves ready. These are missing from the more tightly tuned Honda: The directly hinged shock absorber hits the ground early when accelerating over bumps. The Honda fork in particular is also quite insensitive to work. In return, the brakes on the Honda – like the Suzuki system equipped with ABS as standard – are a bit more snappy.

The biggest plus point of the Honda, however, is its great handling for a softie of a thousand. Thanks to the 160 rear tire, it bends effortlessly and stays clean on course. The slightly antiquated BT57 seem to harmonize well with the CBF: The Honda steers in neutral and behaves in an exemplary manner even with line corrections, bumps or braking maneuvers in an inclined position. The Suzuki can do this with its 180 BT021 "AA" hardly anything to oppose. It requires a strong hand, is reluctant to turn and has to be kept on course when cornering with a light pull on the wide handlebars. This disturbance goes on side streets at the expense of driving fun – especially in direct comparison with the fast-moving Honda.

All in all, the CBF 1000 F is more sporty than the fully wrapped Bandit. The firmer chassis, the snappier brakes, the revving motor and the good handling encourage a brisk driving style. The GSX 1250 FA, on the other hand, appeals more to comfort-spoiled, shift-lazy power cruisers – just like the Bandit S. The price of the GSX-FA is also similar to that of its half-faired sister: only 200 euros separate the two. Perhaps Suzuki would have invested a few euros more in the conception of the FA and breathed a little more sport into it – the GSX-R veterans would have thanked them.

Conclusion: The Honda CBF 1000 F wins the battle with the fully faired Suzuki GSX 1250 FA with a wafer-thin lead. In the end, the significantly better handling of the Honda tipped the scales. The 1250 is too similar to the big Bandit – a more sporty design would do it good.

Technical specifications


Drawing: archive

Performance diagram of Honda CBF 1000 F and Suzuki GSX 1250 FA.

The Suzuki unit pushes forward brutally from idle speed and generates its maximum torque of 112 Nm at 3500 rpm. From 7000 rpm, however, the large four-cylinder slackens noticeably. With a real 108 hp, the bottom line is that the Suzuki is 10 hp above the factory specification. The Honda drive is of a completely different character. The mixture of Fireblade, CB 1000 R and CBF engines needs speed to wake up. From 5500 rpm the thousands sprint enthusiastically, passed the Suzuki curve just above the 8000 mark and reached their maximum output of 110 hp at 9000 rpm. Both motorcycles are geared far too long: The GSX could theoretically reach 271 km / h instead of 230 in sixth gear, the CBF 1000 F 260 km / h.

Honda CBF 1000 F.


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The Honda CBF 1000 F can still be ridden well on one bike.

drive:
Four-cylinder in-line engine, 79 kW (107 PS) at 9000 / min *, 96 Nm at 6500 / min *, 998 cm³, bore / stroke: 75.0 / 56.5 mm, compression ratio: 11.2: 1, ignition / Injection system, 36 mm throttle valves, hydraulically operated multi-plate oil bath clutch, six-speed gearbox, G-Kat

landing gear:
Light alloy bridge frame, steering head angle: 64 degrees, caster: 110mm, wheelbase: 1495 mm, telescopic fork, inner fork tube diameter: 41 mm, adjustable in the spring base, directly hinged central spring strut, adjustable in spring base and rebound, spring travel front / rear: 120/120 mm

Wheels and brakes:

Light alloy cast wheels, 3.50 x 17"/5.00 x 17", Front tires: 120/70 ZR 17, rear: 160/60 ZR 17, initial tires: Bridgestone BT57 "U"/"E.", 296 mm double disc brake with three-piston floating calipers at the front, 240 mm disc with single-piston floating caliper at the rear, ABS / CBS

Measurements and weight:
Length / width / height: 2230/870/1230 mm, seat / handlebar height: 780-815 / 1050 mm, handlebar width: 690 mm, 244 kg fully fueled, front / rear: 49.2 / 50.8%

Rear wheel power in last gear:
74 kW (101 PS) at 221 km / h

Performance:
Acceleration 0-100 / 150/200 km / h: 3.5 s / 6.7 s / 14 s
Pulling speed 50-100 / 100-150 km / h: 5.6 s / 6.3 s

Top speed: 230 km / h

Consumption:

Normal, average test consumption: 5.5 liters / 100 km, tank capacity / of which reserve: 20 / k. A. liters, range: 363 km

Base price: 10 890 euros (plus additional costs)

Suzuki GSX 1250 FA


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The Suzuki GSX 1250 FA does not lack engine power either.

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, telescopic fork, Ø fork inner 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, ABS

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:
Normal, average test consumption: 5.7 liters / 100 km, tank capacity / of which reserve: 20 / k. A. liters, range: 349 km

Base price: 9590 euros (plus additional costs)

1st place: Honda CBF 1000 F


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Honda CBF 1000 F.

Category engine:
The four-cylinder Honda is especially fun from 5500 rpm and hangs nicely on the gas. The load change behavior is good, but not perfect.

4 out of 5 stars

Category chassis:
The handling of the CBF is convincing. She angles lightly and keeps the line clean. The brake is also pleasing. The shock absorber hits in bumps.

3 out of 5 stars

Category ergonomics:
The seating position on the Honda is okay and does not become uncomfortable even on longer tours. The handlebar offset and the low lean angle are bothersome.

4 out of 5 stars

Category driving fun:
This is where CBF’s hour strikes: its high-revving motor, snappy brake and effortless handling bring it the decisive star.

4 out of 5 stars

PS judgment:
Narrow points win for the Honda. Performance development, seating position and handling are convincing, but the lack of reserves in the shock absorber is a nuisance.

15 out of 20 stars

2nd place: Suzuki GSX 1250 FA


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Suzuki GSX 1250 FA

Category engine:
The 1250 engine is a stunner in the lower speed range, but it slackens noticeably from 7000 rpm. The shift travel should be a little shorter.

4 out of 5 stars

Category chassis:
The GSX only falls into a lean position with greater effort and must also be kept on course in the curve. The chassis is soft, but does not block.

3 out of 5 stars

Category ergonomics:
You can also travel on the Suzuki. The wind protection is good, the handlebars also fit. The notches are mounted higher and further forward than with the CBF.

4 out of 5 stars

Category driving fun:
The high-torque four-cylinder is really fun on the country road. There are deductions for the slow handling of the Suzi, which costs strength and nerves.

3 out of 5 stars


PS judgment:

Even when fully disguised, the 1250 Bandit makes a good country road motorcycle. However, she needs a strong hand on winding roads.

14 out of 20 stars

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