• Suzuki GSX 1250 FA Test Ride

     “Suzuki GSX 1250 FA: Sport or Sport Touring?”


    Have we got a bike for you….Suzuki has a prime candidate that fits nicely into the versatility genre – their 2011 Suzuki GSX 1250 FA is essentially a fully faired replacement for their former half-faired Bandit 1250S. The “F” designation is of course for full fairing, while the “A” stands for ABS anti-lock brakes, which come as a standard feature. This GSXer also provides better wind protection, and comes with a standard center stand in addition to the traditional side stand. No longer in production, it’s worth the time and effort to locate and snag a used one that’s been well taken care of.

    Obviously, it would be great if each of us were able to collect as many bikes as we would like? How about one for each purpose and riding scenario? Unfortunately, for most of us, that’s not an option due to the recent downturn in our nation’s economy and progressively rising fuel costs that seems to have impacted the majority of the country’s population.

    How does one go about making the right choice when considering the purchase of a new or used motorcycle, particularly when there are so many to choose from, in a variety of configurations, each tailored or designed to serve a seemingly singular purpose? Versatility is the key my friends. There are a select few bikes that serve multiple purposes equally well. One needs but to shop around and carefully choose a bike that is capable of fulfilling more than one of your riding requirements, while also satisfying specific tastes in styling and design. The choice is clearly yours to make – concentrate on a narrowly specialized ride, or go for a bike that is both functional and versatile over a broad spectrum of uses. The 2011 Suzuki GSX 1250 FA, even though it’s no longer available on your Suzuki dealer’s showroom floor, fills that bill quite nicely.


    This Suzuki GSXer is powered by a 1255cc, DOHC, 16-valve, fuel injected, 4-stroke, liquid-cooled inline four-cylinder engine that makes 98.9 horses at 8,800 rpm while also cranking out 77.4 pound feet f torque at 5,900 rpm. Motive energy is metered to the rear wheel through a six-speed constant mesh sequential manual gearbox via a 118-link chain final drive. The low-end torque may be likened to that of a freight train even though this is not a GSX-R. 0-60 mph may be clicked of in a mere 3.0 seconds.


    In terms of its styling, the Suzuki GSX 1250 FA comes across looking for the most part like an all out sport bike, and while it is not really as aggressive as some sport bikes in its design, it certainly qualifies as a bonafide sport tourer. The full fairing, vertically stacked headlight and beefy stainless exhaust right side exhaust canister hint at the bike’s performance potential.

    The suspension set up consists of telescopic oil damped, coil spring front forks with spring preload and 5.1 – inches of claimed wheel travel, and a link-type oil damped coil spring, swingarm out back. Rolling stock is by Bridgestone, in the form of tubeless, 17-inch ZR-rated Battlax BT 023 rubber mounted on 3-spoke, painted cast alloy wheels – 120/70 ZR 17 in the front and 180/55 ZR17 in the rear. Reining in the powerful Suzuki is accomplished via dual disc brakes up front and a single disc in the rear with digital ABS.


    The wheelbase of the Suzuki GSX 1250 FA measures 58.5-inches, while the overall length is 83.9-inches, and the bike’s dry weight is a manageable 537 pounds. The standard seat height is 31.7-inches which may be adjusted to 32.5-inches.

    My test 2011 Suzuki GSX 1250 FA sported an exterior finish of Gloss Black flecked with Blue metallic flakes and a minimum of bright work. The base price was set at $11,599, while the estimated totaled after factoring in dealer handling and prep (which is variable from dealer to dealer) came to $11,849.

    SUMMARY:  First off, let me say that any claims of exceptional versatility made by the folks at Suzuki when referencing the GSX 1250 FA are totally legitimate and uninflated. This bike is extremely smooth to ride in virtually any scenario. It’s not an all-out sport bike, nor des it fit exclusively into the cruiser genre. It delivers inspirational levels of both chassis and engine performance capability, while providing a comfortable ride quality, even for long distance rides. In other words, this bike provides an outlet for aggressive riding or for sport touring – it can serve equally well in a variety of riding situations. It’s good for commuting, good for boulevard cruising, good for canyon carving and good for touring. Basically, it’s good for just about anything that might be ailing you.


    The riding position is quite comfortable, though longer-legged types will note that a little more sculpting in the sides of the fuel tank’s rearward dimensions would prove to be beneficial. The rider’s foot pegs are rubber cushioned and well placed in a mid/rear position. The handlebars are at a comfortable level and angle back nicely for a more than suitable riding position.

    The ride quality, which is adjustable, is readily compliant without being extremely tight or loose. The seating is plush by sporting standards, supporting and even encouraging longer treks on the open road.

    Low-end torque is incredible and the pull of the engine’s midrange is athletic, but a little less than dramatic at the upper end of the rev limit. Not to worry, the bike’s smoothness and broad torque delivery offsets any misgivings one might have initially.


    Bottom-line, the Suzuki GSX 1250 FA is perfectly capable of serving in more than one capacity, ranking it as highly versatile, not to mention both desirable and affordable.

    On The Fast Lane Car’s rating scale of:

    • Buy It.

    • Rent It

    • Lease It.

    • Forget It.


    Buy It used for an ideally versatile bike for a sporty touring ride.

    Base Price $11,599. Price as Tested: $11,849 * est – dealer prep and handling costs vary.

    SPECIFICATIONS: 2011 Suzuki GSX 1250 FA

    Base Price:                              $11,599.

    Price as Tested:                      $11,849.

    Engine Type and Size:               1255cc, DOHC, 16-valve, fuel injected, 4-stroke,

    liquid-cooled inline four-cylinder.

    Horsepower (bhp):                        98.9            @ 8,800 rpm

    Torque (ft./ lbs.):                            77.4            @ 5,900 rpm

    Transmission:                               Six-speed constant mesh sequential manual.

    Drive Train:                                    Final drive – 118-link Chain.

    Suspension:                                    Front – Telescopic oil damped, coil spring front forks

    with spring preload and 5.1 – inches of claimed wheel travel.

                                                              Rear  – Link-type oil damped coil spring rear
                                                              swingarm and 5.4-9nches of claimed wheel travel.

    Brakes:                                          Dual discs front / single disc rear with digital ABS.

    Tires:                                            Bridgestone Battlax BT 023 -120/70 ZR17 M/C

    58W tubeless front / 180/55 ZR17 M/C 73W tubeless rear mounted on 3-spoke cast

    alloy wheels.

    Wheelbase:                                   58.5            inches

    Length Overall:                            83.9            inches

    Curb Weight dry:                            537            lbs. (dry)

    Fuel Capacity:                                 4.9            gallons.

    Seat height:                                    31.7           inches Low / 32.5 inches High

    0 – 60 mph:                                    3.0            seconds


    Review by Arv Voss, Auto Impressions












    Arv Voss
    Arv Voss
    Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring journalist and member and past officer of several noted automotive journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles as well.