The superbike market is witnessing a rush of action as a host of new, big bikes hit the market. Suzuki, too, has brought in the Bandit 1250S, a versatile bike reputed for being a no nonsense cruiser.
The Bandit 1250S is an XXL size motorcycle with its three-spoke alloy wheels and several cycle parts sheeted in black. Unlike most CBU counterparts, the Bandit uses classic design that gives it a down-to-earth character and understated class as opposed to new-age pizzazz. The macho Bandit's upright front fairing provides protection from the wind and houses a wide headlight with a kink leading to its visor. The Bandit's headlight stays on, a safety feature common to several big bikes.
The fairing-mounted mirrors are high quality, and provide wide and rear vision. The instruments are dated and look out of place, but are easy to read. The chrome handlebar is high-set and houses switchgear that works with a crisp feel. The Bandit 1250S also has excellent palm grips and exquisite alloy and reach-adjustable brake and clutch levers. Its chunky 19-litre fuel tank fits snugly against your thighs. A prominent step divides the pillion perch from the riding saddle, whose height adjusts 20 mm from its mount. The bike's rear cowl ends in a body-coloured grab-rail and large, kinked brake light.
The 1250S comes with a centre-stand, which owners would do well to deploy using the correct technique. The paint lustre is excellent and while the overall construction and quality is good, it doesn't quite match up to the standards of its closest rivals.
A highlight of the 1250S is its cultured, four-stroke, four valves-per-cylinder, 1255 cc engine. Bore and stroke measure 79 mm x 64 mm, with each cylinder pumping a compression ratio of 10.5:1.
Its peak power of 98 bhp at 7500 rpm is modest for this much capacity but it is still plenty to rule Indian highways. The power is superbly delivered thanks to its torque of 11 kgm twisting out as low as 3700 rpm. The bike doesn't feel like it should have the Bandit tag, particularly when you experience its silken performance and hushed gentlemanly power.
Few motorcycles match the 1250S's smooth, stutter-free power band and crisp, meaty throttle response. Clutch feel is precise, nicely damped via a hydraulic system, and the Bandit delivers flawless gearshifts.
Each of its six ratios is perfectly spaced, with shifts in the one-down, all-up pattern. The Bandit can comfortably hold 140 kph on a highway for sustained periods of time, with minimal gearshifts even while racing. It flies from 0 to 100 kph in a mere 3.79 seconds and to 160 kph in 8.37 seconds. The Suzuki hurtles to a top, hurtling to a top speed of 235 kph.
The Bandit 1250S uses a robust, double-cradle frame constructed of high tensile steel and joined to an alloy swing-arm brace at the rear. The suspension can be adjusted for spring pre-load at both ends, beefy telescopic forks in front and a single linked damper at the rear. Seventeen-inch wheels are a constant at both ends.
The Bandit has a comfortable riding position, for both the rider and pillion; it is more upright than leaning forward and is complemented by an adjustable padded saddle. The footpegs and one-piece handlebar are nicely positioned so you enjoy riding on Indian streets. The 1250S weighs 250 kg and is tall, making it better suited for tall, well built people.
It isn't surprising that the large-capacity Bandit doesn't deliver in the mileage department. The 1250S gave us 16.5 kpl in the city and 22.3 kpl on the highway.