After taking a leave of absence from American shores last year due the economic downturn, Suzuki is back in a big way for 2011. In addition to the redesigned Gixxers I covered last week, Suzuki is bringing a new, fully-faired model of the Bandit to the US for 2011.
Introduced last year in Europe as the GSX-1250FA, Suzuki has done much the same thing with the Bandit that Kawasaki did with the Z1000, which is to transform it from a naked bike to a sporty, fully faired one–without the more tortuous ergonomics of the GSX-Rs, albeit with a little extra weight thrown in, too. But the main idea is to build a sportbike that can tour, like the Ninja 1000.
Engine: Liquid-cooled, DOHC Inline Four
Bore x Stroke: 79.0 x 64.0mm
Compression Ratio: 10.5:1
Final Drive: Chain
Front Suspension: 43mm fork, 5.1 inches travel
Rear Suspension: Single shock, adjustable for preload, 5.4 inches travel
Front Brakes: Dual 310mm disc, four-piston calipers Rear Brakes: Single 240mm disc, single-piston calipers
Fuel Tank: 5.0 gallons
Wheelbase: 58.5 inches
Seat Height: 31.7 inches / 32.5 inches
Curb Weight: 567 pounds
In addition, Suzuki has unveiled the 2011 Cruiser line-up, of which, two new things stand out for me. The big-bore M109, with it’s unique, attractive, and modern styling cues now has a much more modern cockpit, with the instrumentation being tucked inside the cowling, rather than handlebar mounted.
The M109 is one of my favorite cruisers, in terms of styling, mainly because it looks like a cruiser that actually designed in this century, rather than back when Elvis was in the Army. The big 1800cc mill that poweres the thing isn’t bad, either.
Another standout item is that the new version of their smaller, 800cc cruiser, dubbed the C50T, comes fully set up for touring, with bags, windshield,and even a passenger backrest.
I suspect, however, that a small bike like this might get a little cramped with two-up riding over long distances. It’s a nice option for the single rider who wants to tour, without breaking the bank, though.
The bad economy and poor sales forecasts for 2010 led Suzuki to suspend sending any new 2010-model bikes to the US, in lieu of reducing the inventories of 2009 models. But, this afternoon, Suzuki announced that, for 2011, they’ll be back on our shores, and they previewed the first wave of what they’ll be bringing with them next year.
First up, new versions of the Boulevard M109R and M109 Limited power cruisers–in my opinion, some of the most beautifully-designed, modern-looking cruisers in existence. Next, the Hyabusa is back, although with what appears to be mainly mild cosmetic changes. The V-Strom is also back with a new 2011 model, as well.
Welcome back, Suzuki!