Suzuki GSX650F (LAMS)
When I first sampled Suzuki’s GSX650F I concluded with a comment that as a sportsbike, the GSX-F offered enough sportiness to excite, yet as a sportstourer it offered enough practicality and comfort for everyday use.
Having recently sampled the LAMS version of the GSX650F, I’ve little reason to change that assessment. In LAMS format it makes perfect sense for a novice rider, especially with the wallet-friendly $10,490 (plus ORC) price tag.
Along with its SV650S V-twin cousin, the LAMS GSX650F gets a re-jigged ECM (Engine Control Module) to bring it in under the 150kW per tonne power-to-weight ratio for sub-660cc learner-approved motorcycles (all states bar Western Australia).
The re-tuning via the replacement ECM isn’t overly noticeable up to 7000rpm, but above that not much happens – other than the tacho needle moving. An indicated 100km/h registers 5100rpm.
The restricted 650F’s engine remains flexible – and especially in the 3000-6000rpm range. There’s no buzziness or annoying vibes from the fuel-injected four-cylinder powerplant. The gearbox is the usual Suzuki slick-shifting item.
I personally prefer the SV650S power delivery in LAMS configuration to that provided by the GSX650F, as the SV offers more punch down low.
But I like the F’s rational riding position that sees little in the way of weight placed on the wrists. The 26-degree rake is conservative by sportsbike standards, but the F is more about rider comfort and practicality – something it delivers in bucketloads.
I found the suspension a bit harsh over urban bumps, and a little more compliance wouldn’t go astray. The 41mm KYB front fork offers adjustable spring preload, while the KYB single-shock rear gets adjustable spring preload and rebound damping.
The stylish blue and white bodywork offers good wind protection, although the mirrors could do with a little more width. A lack of underseat storage is compensated by sturdy attachment points to strap luggage to the seat.
Cockpit instrumentation is comprehensive, the 19lt tank is good for 350km between fills, and finish on the test bike was of a high standard in view of the budget price. Makes you wonder how long it will be before other manufacturers go the same ECM route. Good one, Suzuki.
• Rock-bottom pricetag
• Easy to ride
• Paint and chrome
• Smooth engine
• Budget suspension
• Underseat storage
Type: Liquid-cooled, DOHC, in-line four-cylinder
Bore x stroke: 65.5 x 48.7mm
Compression ratio: 11.5:1
Fuel system: EFI
Type: Six-speed, constant mesh
Final drive: Chain
CHASSIS AND RUNNING GEAR
Front suspension: Conventional 41mm fork, adjustable for preload
Rear suspension: Monoshock, adjustable for preload and rebound
Front brake: Twin 310mm discs with four-piston calipers
Rear brake: Single 240mm disc with twin-piston caliper
DIMENSIONS AND CAPACITIES
Dry weight: 216kg
Seat height: 790mm
Fuel capacity: 19lt
Max power: N/A
Max torque: N/A
Bike supplied by: Suzuki Australia
Warranty: 24 months, unlimited kilometres
*Manufacturer’s list price excluding dealer and statutory costs