It seems only to have been a few days since I picked up my Suzuki GSX1250FA, but it’s already done nearly 700 miles and been returned to Suzuki GB for its first service. I have to admit, I’m missing its numerous virtues already, despite only being absent from my life for 24 hours! I guess the longing for the 1250’s return comes after a very satisfying and productive month with it, including one particularly lengthy trip.
With just 100 miles on the clock I left my bed early to view the newly opened David Silver Honda Collection in Leiston, Suffolk. As the name implies, it’s a museum collection of Hondas, all 150 of them, from the 50s-90s, and I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to what’s a very impressive and highly recommended venue.
Getting under way at 05:30 for the 420 mile round trip was straightforward enough; I just stuffed the Suzuki GSX1250FA’s luggage full of kit, set the Garmin sat nav, and off I went. Starting so early allowed me to make a good progress slong relatively empty roads, giving me the chance to really enjoy the bike without much hindrance.
Using a back route of A and B roads to Milton Keynes and beyond soon had me raving about the Suzuki’s engine. It’s a fantastic unit and provides strong drive whenever required, regardless of what gear it’s in, or how low it’s revving. Its lazy style is really relaxing and highly efficient – I absolutely love the way it goes about its business.
Stopping for fuel with 166 miles showing on the trip turned out to be a little premature – keeping the revs lower, out of respect for the engine’s sub-300 mile newness, had returned 52mpg. But the pessimistic fuel gauge had suggested higher consumption and I could have made the whole trip on one tank. I guess I’ll need more experience with the bike to discover when it really does need topping up. Walking freshly into the petrol station revealed a comfortable ride so far, and with me feeling just as good by the time I got to Leiston. Back home at the end of the trip, I voted the Suzuki GSX1250FA as a comfy mile-eater.
I made quite a few comparisons with my recently-returned 2016 Honda NC750X long-termer during the journey. The extra engine power is really welcome and makes executing overtakes a very swift and secure event. There is of course a price to pay for this and I’m anticipating around 10-15mpg of extra thirst, with tyres and other consumables bound to wear out quicker too.
I do miss the Honda’s superb DCT gearbox and super-useful tank compartment, and on quite a few occasions I’m reminded of how much lighter it was than the Suzuki GSX1250FA. In fairness, I’ve largely got used to the extra weight and now rarely note it as an issue. Besides, the ‘heavy’ handling is negated almost completely by the upright riding position, which allows more leverage and easier control.
The Suzuki GSX1250FA is so damned good at clocking miles that I can’t wait to go and pick it up and add some more to its clocks. It’s a brilliant servant and makes everything I use it for seem a lot less fuss – even 420-miles, seven hour round trips!
Suzuki GSX1250FA Specifications and Price
Engine : 4-Stroke, Inline-Four, DOHC 16-Valve, Liquid-Cooled
Bore x Stroke : 76 x 64 mm
Capacity : 1254 cc
Compression Ratio : 10.5 : 1
Induction : Fuel Injection
Transmission : 6-Speed, Chain-Drive
Power : 96.5 BHP @ 7.500 RPM (claimed)
Torque : 108 N.m @ 3.500 RPM (claimed)
Dimensions (LxWxH) : 2.130 x 790 x 1.235 mm
Wheelbase : 1.485 mm
Seat Height : 805 mm
Fuel Tank Capacity : 19 litres
Weight : 257 kg (wet, claimed)
Frame : Steel Double Cradle Frame
Front Suspension : 43mm Showa Telescopic Fork, Adjustable Preload
Rear Suspension : Link-type Monoshock, Adjustable Preload
Front Brakes : Twin 310mm Floating Discs, with Tokico 2-Piston Caliper, ABS
Rear Brakes : 240mm Discs, with 1-piston Caliper, ABS
Front Tyre : 120/70 – ZR17
Rear Tyre : 180/55 – ZR17
Price : £8336
Miles this month : 666
Miles on clock : 693
Average mpg : 48
Current tyres : Bridgestone BT021
Modifications : Suzuki top box and panniers, tank bag, Garmin sat-nav, Yoshimura end-can, Vario touring screen
Total value of mods : £1075