2008 Suzuki GSX650F Review

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2008 Suzuki GSX650F Review

Post by ganahsokmo on Thu Jul 08, 2010 11:57 am

When I think of Suzuki motorcycles the
first two models that instantly come to my mind are the GSX-R and
SV-class motorcycles. Both are extremely capable and popular motorcycles
in their respective classes, performing well on both the street and
track. I have owned a healthy number of GSX-Rs and have spoken with many
happy SV owners at many a track and local bike nights.



One motorcycle in the Suzuki line-up that never really gave me that
warm fuzzy feeling, however, was the Katana. The Katana was Suzuki's
answer for an inexpensive entry level motorcycle with sportbike looks
and sport-touring comfort. While I am sure there are plenty of happy
Katana owners out there, the somewhat alien-looking styling of the bike
has always turned me off.

Well, for 2008 the Katana has received the axe to make room for the
all new 2008 GSX650F. The new Suzuki is purpose built as a low-cost
middleweight for the novice rider or the economical commuter looking for
a comfortable ride with a sporty design. The GSX650F is based off the
European Bandit 650 naked bike. It's an inline-Four with minimal
upgrades from the Bandit such as full fairing, remapping for more revs
and suspension which has been slightly tweaked.

A first glance
of the blue and white GSX650F revealed the classic color combination and
appearance of its close family relative, the GSX-R. It's no coincidence
the front fairing shares a strong resemblance to the previous
generation GSX-R600 and 750s. While it will not be mistaken for an
exotic Italian bike, the GSX650F has clean sporty lines in a design that
is a big improvement over the Katana models.
The GSX650F features an attractive and easy-to-read instrument
cluster with tachometer, dual tripmeters, reserve tripmeter, clock, fuel
gauge, and a useful gear-position indicator. Moving around on the
Suzuki is easy with a roomy cockpit, comfortable one-piece seat with a
low seat height and a well-positioned, rubber-mounted, tubular
handlebar.



The GSX650F sports a liquid-cooled, fuel injected, 16-valve, DOHC
656cc engine utilizing a bore and stroke of 65.5 mm x 48.7 mm. The
Suzuki Dual Throttle Valve fuel-injection system provides smooth
acceleration. Four-hole injectors are used for optimum fuel atomization
and greater power output. The cylinder head achieves a narrow included
valve angle of 17 degrees for high intake and exhaust efficiency. Cam
profiles are chosen with a priority on low-to-mid-range power output to
deliver performance that is well suited to an entry-level street rider.



The Suzuki's full fairing design wrapped around a double cradle steel
frame will have you thinking GSX-R thanks to the sport-oriented design.
Geometry numbers are 26 degrees of rake and 4.25 inches of trail, with a
57.9-inch wheelbase. The fork is a 41mm Kayaba unit with adjustment for
preload only. The rear shock comes equipped with adjustment for both
rebound and preload. Heading out on the open road? The 5.0 gallon gas
tank should allow you enough capacity to bust a few bugs before having
to refill.
Taking the Suzuki out for its first excursion I was really looking
forward to a day in the saddle that wasn't going to have me walking like
a cripple when I returned with knees and back aching. The layout of the
GSX650F suited me nicely with an easy reach to the bars and a relaxing
bend at the knees. The riding position was well suited to both cruising
and aggressive riding when the road gets a little twisted. Wind
protection was decent and there was a good deal of room to tuck in if
needed.
'The GSX650F motor has all the necessary
ingredients to deliver an entertaining ride...'
The GSX650F fires up easily and runs smooth without unnecessary
vibration. Spin the flexible motor up and it does a great job of putting
the power down where you will likely be spending most of your time, in
the low- and mid-range. Chasing through traffic full of stop signs and
motorists, I really came to enjoy the motor which was well-suited to
this type of riding. The short first gear on the GSX650F was a nice
change from the supersport bikes which come equipped with gearing more
suited for the track than stop-and-go traffic. Just dump the clutch and
start clicking through the 6-speed transmission without worry, the
GSX650F surges forward without a hiccup. An effortless clutch pull and
smooth-shifting transmission made city traffic a breeze. With no
under-tail exhaust or excessive engine heat pouring out at the legs, the
Suzuki was quite bearable if traffic came to a stop for any amount of
time.
There is no berserk rush to the power delivery but it won't put you
to sleep either. Redline is at 12,500 rpm but it likes to be run in the
4,000-8,000 rpm range where it sings nicely in the power curve. The
GSX650F motor has all the necessary ingredients to deliver an
entertaining ride to anyone in the market for an inexpensive sporty ride
in the middleweight class. If you are in the mood for utter madness,
however, this motor will probably not suit your primal likings as the
Suzuki pumps out the ponies in a pretty civilized manner.
Overall handling on the Suzuki was quite balanced and agile. It turns
in well, sticks to a line, and can be gassed hard out of a turn. While
not being the most sophisticated chassis, the GSX650F isn't going to do
anything to get you in trouble. That is, of course, if you don't push it
far beyond its limits.
I tried to do just that to see where its breaking point was. I saw my
opportunity in the form of two rapidly approaching GSX-R1000s in my
mirror with some young aggressive riders at the controls. What better
way to see how the GSX650F would fare against some much more advanced
hardware. As I let the young bucks come by, they took a quick glance,
surely with fear in their eyes as they observed my proper upright riding
position and the very intimidating backpack carrying my camera. I
decided to tag along the rear as we hit a twisty section of road. As it
turned out, the little Suzuki didn't fair too bad, staying right with my
two test subjects quite easily until we hit some open road where the
bigger bikes could flex their muscle. Soon I was a mere speck in the
mirror as Suzuki's natural pecking order took over and the GSX650F was
shuffled to the back.


'Overall handling on the Suzuki was
quite balanced and agile. It turns in well, sticks to a line, and can be
gassed hard out of a turn.'

The GSX650F is quite composed, and its 475-pound claimed dry weight
transitioned nicely at a moderate pace. The wide handlebar does a good
job of giving you the proper leverage to position the bike into the
apex. While it is quite balanced and agile, it might not be your
favorite track-day weapon. At more serious speeds while pushing the
bike, the front end seemed to have a touch more trouble staying
composed, becoming quite uneasy and a little on the springy side. The
rear seemed to be doing a good job keeping the back end in line, but I
was easily able to find the limits of the front fork with a good amount
of flex and some quivering at the bars. You could tie the GSX650F into a
bit of a knot if you really wanted to get aggressive with transitions,
throwing the bike hard on it's side or really doing some late braking.
Speaking of brakes, while not the strongest I've ever put my hands
on, they do have good feel and more than capable stopping power. The
GSX650F comes equipped with Tokico 4-piston front brake calipers and
310mm brake rotors combined with a lightweight single-piston rear
caliper and a 240mm rear brake disc.
Keeping the rubber side down were Bridgestone Battlax BT-011s up
front and BT-020s in the rear, with a 120/70 ZR17 and 160/60 ZR17
front/rear tire combo. These tires worked excellent in many different
conditions. My two weeks with the bike were filled with a generous
amount of wet-weather riding on the GSX650F, and the Bridgestones gave
me good confidence in the rain, enough to ride a few wheelies in a
slight drizzle for some photo opportunities. In the dry conditions they
were equally up to par, providing good traction both front and rear.
I have found that some people tend to think that because I race
motorcycles I am a total speed-crazed adrenaline junkie always looking
to run off with the neighbor's daughter. While the latter may be true
and it may not be a bad idea to keep the daughters locked up, I actually
do enjoy a restrained leisurely ride on a motorcycle that is composed
at street speeds and not excruciating on the body. In fact I found that
the GSX650F was really starting to grow on me over the two weeks.
Constant commuting in the rain had me quite happy that I was riding a
motorcycle with a mild temperament and a chassis I could trust.
While the limits of the GSX650F's capabilities can be reached quite
easily by an experienced rider, I was not turned off by the Suzuki.
Instead, I grew to appreciate the many qualities the GSX650F possesses.
This is no one-trick pony. In fact it's an extremely versatile
motorcycle. Whether you are into sport riding, touring or everyday
commuting, the GSX650F has the ability to do it all. At an MSRP of
$6.999 this will surely be an attractive option for the budget-conscious
rider or someone looking for that first bike that gets it all started.


Related Reading
2008
Suzuki - First Look
2008
Suzuki GSX-R600 Review
First
Look: 2008 Suzuki GSX-R600/GSX-R750

ganahsokmo

Join date : 16/01/2010
Age : 35

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Suzuki GSX650F

Post by blade99 on Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:12 pm

Salam,

Just bought this bike Suzuki GSX650F alhamdulillah.
Baru 2 minggu.....semalam baru buat first service after clocking 1000km.
previously owned Suzuki Katana GSX600F which is the nenek or atok for this current bike.

Increase of 50cc and a bhp improvement of 5.
Katana 600cc, 80 bhp, GSX650F 650 cc, 85 bhp.

Overall performance is superb for a beginner's bike.

Good low and mid power delivery just that lack of top end compared to Katana. Looking forward to change the end can to improve some power and most important the sound. hehe. The original muffler is huge and heavy.


blade99

blade99

Join date : 08/02/2011
Age : 43

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Re: 2008 Suzuki GSX650F Review

Post by blade99 on Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:21 pm

Handles both high speed and low speed cornering very-very well.

Proven by rode up to short cornering in Fraser's Hill and previously went to Awana for a high speed cornering at Karak Highway....superb. Both handles very well for a sport touring bike.

A lot of power thru out the rev. From 5000rpm to 9000rpm Yummy. Enough power to handles high speed "F1 driver" wanna be....on highway.

blade99

blade99

Join date : 08/02/2011
Age : 43

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Re: 2008 Suzuki GSX650F Review

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