2011 Suzuki Bandit GSX1250SEA ABS Touring
If you regard the 2011 Suzuki Bandit GSX1250SEA ABS Touring as a big slap in the face to the 2011 Kawasaki Concours 14 ABS, you're not too far off the mark. Although giving up 97 cc in displacement and skewing a bit more to the sporting side of the sport touring equation than the big Kawi, the Bandit GSX1250SEA ABS Touring has to be considered as a contender for the crown of sport tourer of the decade.
The Bandit GSX1250SEA ABS Touring starts from the more basic Bandit GSX1250FA ABS and loads on the touring goodies like a starving man piling up a buffet plate. The touring windshield, color matching removable side and top hard bags, and chromed bar end weights take the Bandit GSX1250FA ABS and nudge it ever so slightly into Gold Wing territory.
The power delivery of the 1255 cc four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC Universal Japanese Motorcycle engine belies its sportbike origins as there are more than enough ponies on tap at any given time. Even with all the touring paraphernalia the Bandit GSX1250SEA ABS Touring still tips the scales at under 600 pounds and although not svelte, it's certainly noticeably lighter than the 679 lb. 2011 Kawasaki Concours 14 ABS.
Although the first time you set off the ABS on a motorcycle it can scare the living beejeezus out of you, the braking system on the Bandit GSX1250SEA ABS Touring is as smooth and predictable as any ABS can be. The 310mm dual front disc brakes with four piston calipers work effortlessly with the 240mm rear disc and single piston calliper to haul the Suzi to an eyeball bulging stop, regardless of road conditions.
The Bandit GSX1250SEA ABS Touring is not perfect. The scrawny boy-racer two piece height adjustable saddle becomes literally painful after a couple of hours if you weigh any more than Kelly Ripa. The side and top hard bags lack any type of styling coherence with the rest of the motorcycle, and look like they are generic aftermarket add ons. The enormous upswept catalyzed muffler forces the side bags to be unacceptably tiny, and combined with an overly lozenge shaped top bag, you'll be hard pressed to pack enough for a weekend jaunt.
Then again, the Bandit GSX1250SEA ABS Touring does not share that stomach-turning hideous Chrysler Crossfire / Ford Flex bodywork serration that makes the 2011 Kawasaki Concours 14 ABS resemble a corrugated steel shack. The 2011 Suzuki Bandit GSX1250SEA ABS Touring is not the bike a senior citizen couple wants to take on an Interstate four corners trip, but it certainly shines if your idea of touring are the squiggly lines on Google Maps.
2011 Suzuki Bandit GSX1250SEA ABS Touring At A Glance
Base MSRP: $13,299
Engine Displacement: 1,255 cc
Engine Type: Water cooled 4 stroke inline four
Bore & Stroke: 79 mm x 64 mm
Ignition Type: Electronic
Compression Ratio: 10.5:1
Valve Train Type:
Transmission Type: Six-speed, constant mesh
Final Drive Type: Chain
Front Tire: 120/70ZR17M/C
Rear Tire: 180/55ZR17M/C
Wheelbase: 1,485 mm
Saddle Height: 785 mm
Curb Dry Weight: 269 kg
Fuel Capacity: 19 L
* Specs/pix apply to 2010 model, updates as released