Top test Suzuki GSF 600 Bandit
The bandit class
It is the VW Golf of the motorcycle world. For years on the market, it says on every corner? and still sells well. What does it look like, the Wolfsburg recipe for success from Hamamatsu?
The auto strategists are really clever ones. We quickly realized that the “lower middle class” is not a nice term.
That is why the lower middle class has been called the “golf class” after its protagonist for years. Sounds much better right away. After upper-class sports, after vacation in southern Europe. Simply chic. Seen in this way, it is almost a shame that the motorcycle scene is a harmonious solidarity community in which snobbish caste thinking has no place. Otherwise the lower middle class would undoubtedly come across as the “bandit class”. That would be something. With a touch of freedom and adventure and that little touch of lawlessness that motorcyclists like to adorn themselves with.
Bandit class, then. Equipped in this way, the many 1000 owners who have decided in favor of little Suzi with the real name GSF 600 for years can confidently stand up and confess: Yes, I bought my motorcycle for rational reasons. And if I didn’t win the lottery, I would do it again. Because it is practical and because my demands are practical.
It starts with the price. 6200 euros is pretty handy. Of course, you can also put one of these fine Öhlins racing forks in the showcase. You can then adjust everything, lock yourself in day by day and click by click. Those who want to do without driving are certainly well served.
Everyone else should get serious about the bandit. You can’t adjust anything (except for the spring base and rebound on the shock absorber). You don’t need it either. The bandit carries you over hill and dale, through the city traffic and to the quarry pond. Just like that, so easy. The fact that the fork lacks damping, that it sometimes blocks when braking and that the shock absorber sometimes pumps hard on the verge of collapse in two-person operation – so be it. You can be prepared for that. Moves ?? especially on bumpy ground ?? just a little slower. After all, it would not occur to anyone to accuse a VW Golf of premature understeering or rolling movements of the body just because a Porsche shows this less clearly.
On the other hand, if there were criticisms of the handiness or clarity of the Golf, it would have to be trumpeted out loud. In the present case, this means that there are motorbikes that are not suitable for commuting to work or a short shopping trip to the city. The bandit does. Small overall width, relaxed seating position, wide handlebars, low seat height, large steering angle and, despite its full tank weight of 220 kilograms, very light-footed handling: There it goes – whoosh – to get bread, to the hairdresser, to the outdoor pool. Past lines of cars, over manhole covers and curbs. Even pedestrian zones seem possible because the bandit, with its inconspicuous habitus, arouses neither envy nor revenge, but rather understanding for those who want to get from A to B in a hurry.
Another pleasant side effect of the brisk but modest appearance: the worry-free parking. Who would steal a bandit? Or grope, possess illegally, even knock over? The very cautious still have a security option. Main stand. It is also helpful when lubricating chains. And when cleaning the wheels. And when parking on dubious surfaces. We notice: Reason drives the bandit class.
Especially in the interpersonal area. You already lend this motorcycle here. Even to distant friends. Throw the key over, because anyone can move it straight away without any problems. Also because unexpected outbreaks in performance can never be expected. In such a chain of arguments, in which averageity rises to the mark of quality, even the engine has a good chance of getting off lightly. “It does,” one is inclined to say, because even a 1.6-liter Golf does not expect top-class driving dynamics. The fact that the Bandit (in spite of much better acceleration and pulling power values) sometimes feels just as lackluster leads to criticism even in hopeless pragmatist circles. Mainly because the rotating horrors with which the short-stroke row quad has to be persuaded to deliver power are more reminiscent of pubescent self-importance than the rational ways of getting around and do not at all want to fit the character of the bandit. Two or three times the gears are rearranged in the neatly shifting six-speed gearbox, then it goes forward. In numbers: it should be 7000 rpm if an intermediate sprint is pending. Then the power output moves just below 50 HP, while the torque curve swings up to heights of over 50 Newton meters. On the other hand, anyone who hopes for significant propulsion in the long-geared sixth gear below this speed will reap the courageous start of a shifting dune.
Something like that doesn’t have to be. Not even in the bandit class. The SV 650 in-house demonstrates that this savings-stocking characteristic is not necessary when considering a contemporary (the design goes back to the engine of the first GSX-R from 1985). Just as little as the eternal fingering on the choke lever, because the cold Bandit engine either turns too high or does not accept gas even in warm outside temperatures. In the golf class, neither Wolfsburg, Cologne nor Rüsselsheim residents would expect that from their customers.
Nor would they withhold a trunk from them. Okay, let’s pass it as a small, refreshing hint of stupidity that the bandit doesn’t have a porter. If you absolutely need one, you can retrofit it (which wouldn’t be so easy with golf). After all, it has four large luggage hooks. The cockpit also shows that it does not elude every trend. Without the speedometer and rev counter needles swinging wildly when the ignition is switched on, it is no longer possible even in the lower middle class. And in the area of the remaining fuel quantity display, the Bandit even offers double protection: on the one hand, a digital fuel gauge with a warning signal, on the other hand, with the good old fuel tap. In view of the 5.2 liter consumption on the country road and a tank capacity of 20 liters, this is certainly an exaggerated precautionary measure, because no one will voluntarily expose themselves to almost 400 kilometers at a time in view of annoying vibrations in the upper speed range.
A.Even if the seating position for the driver and pillion is definitely suitable for travel and the seat upholstery pampers you with comfort even on longer journeys. Which brings us back to the lower middle class. And its characteristics: a little of everything, but nothing in excess. Besides high utility value for every day at a low price. A very digestible compromise that deserves its own name. “Bandit class”.
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Top test Suzuki GSF 600 Bandit
The bandit class
What else caught my eye – Suzuki GSF 600 Bandit
PlusGood visibility in the rear-view mirrorsComfortable bench suitable for long journeysSimple oil check and easy refilling
MOTORCYCLE readings – Suzuki GSF 600 Bandit
MOTORCYCLE measured valuesBraking and driving dynamicsBrake measurement Braking distance from 100 km / h 39.4 m Average deceleration 9.8 m / s2 Comments: Somewhat blunt and with little bite, the Suzuki brake requires a lot of manual force for optimal deceleration values. The soft fork is on the block, but overall the little bandit remains sufficiently stable and secure. Handling-Parcours I. (fast slalom) Best lap time 21.3 secVmax at the measuring point 98.9 km / h The Suzuki cannot fully implement the pleasantly low steering force due to the softly tuned chassis. It dips deep when changing lean angles and loses steering precision and stability. Handling course II. (Narrow slalom) Best lap time 28.6 secVmax at the measuring point 54.0 km / h Comments: The Suzuki can be circled around the long arcs with very little force, remains sufficiently stable and precise and benefits from the sporty Bridgestone that has now been installed BT-56 tires. Only when notches or stands are put on does unrest get into the chassis.Circular path 0 46 metersBest lap time 11.3 secVmax at the measuring point 49.5 km / h Comments: The freedom from leaning is limited by the side stands and notches When driving over the parting line at a steep incline, the fork reaches its limits, the front wheel jumps and loses its grip for a brief moment.
Conclusion – Suzuki GSF 600 Bandit
In the bandit class you are neither a technical pioneer nor an extroverted diva. You just work. So does the Bandit, with the emphasis on “easy”. The GSF 600 poses no problems for the engine or chassis. However, the engine’s many years can now be clearly seen because it lacks the punch from low speeds.
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