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2008 Suzuki GSX650F Review Why is the first motorcycle review of 2009 an '08 model? Funny you should ask; I was fortunate enough to have tested so many bikes in 2008 that I couldn't write them all up before year's end.

The Suzuki GSX650F, in my opinion, felt like the perfect motorcycle for somebody who wants a mean-looking bike that's not a mean ride. Think of it as a kindred spirit to the ever-popular Kawasaki Ninja 250R, only heavier and more powerful.

One of our 10 Great Beginner Motorcycles (which almost made it to our list of 10 Great Advanced Beginner Bikes, thanks to its 656 cc inline-4 engine), the GSX650F occupies a unique niche in the entry level bike market. To find out why, read my 2008 Suzuki GSX650F Review.


Photo Basem Wasef
Click for 2008 Suzuki GSX650F Photo Gallery

January 5, 2009 at 10:58 am
(1) Mick says:

What, no reference to the competition (Ninja 650R, Yamaha FZ6R, Suzuki’s own SV650)?

I’m more partial to the Ninja 650R, as the balance of that bike is just so perfect. It’s made to fit the rider, and it works. As for the GSX650F, I like the gauge setup (plus for the fuel gauge and gear indicator), but it leaves so much empty plastic space in the dash, it adds a cheap feel to the bike. The stock pipe is hideous…it’s so ‘Katana.’ And does anyone else think Suzuki’s alphanumerics are getting carried away? GSX650F-L-M-N-O-P…I liked this bike better when it was simply called a Bandit.

Not a bad starter, and newbs have stylish options now, besides just standard nakeds like the SV650/Gladius, Kawi ER-6n, and Honda’s defunct 599. But if style is really that important, I’d look elsewhere…the restyled Ninja 650R and new Yamaha FZ6R trounce the Suzuki in that department.

One complaint about all the bikes in this catagory, however…the upright handlebars don’t really mix with the high-set pegs. It makes for great handling/lean-angles, but on rides over a half hour, any rider with an inseam over 30″ will cramp up quickly.

June 23, 2009 at 2:22 am
(2) C. U. Jimmie says:

The GSX650F is a fantastic motorcycle and gets nothing but compliments on its looks (I have the black one). Goes round bends like its on rails and feels so safe and planted at speed. Lots of “extras” as standard. Fast enough for anyone without a death-wish (do you need to go faster than 130?). Love this bike (and no, I’m not a newbie).

July 4, 2009 at 11:04 pm
(3) George says:

I have a bone to pick on top speed. I’ve hit 180 and still had room for more! I’ve been riding for 31 years and this is one great bike. I am a shorter (5″5″) man and it is quite comfortable on longer rides. The only drawback to this bike is no center stand.

October 15, 2009 at 7:50 pm
(4) Slon says:

Hello everyone!

I justed wanted to say that I have bought Suzuki GSX 650F (2008 model) as my first bike! Partially thanks to this article.

I actually got my education on Ninja 600R, but i find it quite nervious and very light weighted…

Suzuki, is very balanced, very stable, i feel very safe having the weight under me It is very calm, i am able to release the gas without any problems and keep going… i am actually used to keeping my right hand free more than the left one – cougld’t do that with Ninja.
GSX650F is yet quite powerful, it was always able to get me going fast! Aceleration is a blast ! and i am still running within the first 1000km, so i can’t go up in to the high revs…but i must say, this bike forgives you the wrong gears, and i am able to drive on 4-5th gear about 40 km/h without realizing it…

it may be a little bit heavy for newcommers, or short people…but it has really grown on me…I have stoped feeling it after about 100 km. It was heavy on the feet though, at the first week. But i did manage to do the figure of 8 and etc for the driving exam on kawasaki 600R without anyproblems on the first go after driving Suzuki…

Sure GSX650F is not very agile, but on the motorway it is extremely pleasent to drive, and even in the city it takes the curves great! it is just not light enough for traffic madness…but maybe, it’s just me not being skilled enough.

Breaks are great, and the engine aids a lot in stopping power. Plus you feel almost no vibrations from the engine.

in total – GREAT bike, i love it. I actually bought it without ever trying it…and i was pleasently surprised!

The funny thing is: At first my driving instructed said it was a bad idea getting a big bike as the first…he said it is too clumsy, too big for the city…so i gave him to try it for 30 minutes in the city traffic. And he told me that when i decide to sell it in the future…i should talk to him :) Haha ha He was very impressed with it too…

And just if you are interested …why km and all…I am Russian, and I live and drive in Italy :)

PS: i was considering Yamaha too…but i saw a FZ6R crashed on the day i was getting a motocycle…and i thought it was a bad sign…

PSS: GSX650F is not a common bike…which means that it is less likely to be stolen. Cause here a lot of motorbikes are stolen and then sold for parts at the black market…especially this is common for popular models….

I will be glad if someone finds my comments usefull.- oh…GSX650F also has a fuel and gear gauge…very useful to me :)

January 2, 2010 at 6:11 pm
(5) Chris Shockley says:

I bought my “f” in Oct 08 at the end of the riding season. I got a good deal and have enjoyed it completely. It was and still is my first bike.

I have just over 11,000 miles on it.

Been thinking about getting something bigger so that I can migrate into doing a little more sport touring kind of riding. I’ve been looking at Concours 14, VFR 1200, and the Triuph Sprint ST (which is really a sport bike with bags). Would love a 1250FA if they’d sell it here in the states.

April 22, 2010 at 7:37 am
(6) Sean says:

I am a 42 yr old male and I have the Blue and White 2008 model. I have read some of the comments above and agree this is a great all around bike. Not my only bike and also not my first bike. I have ridden full blown rockets and also cruisers. The GSX650F is designed to give you the balance of performance and comfort. I have even taken it on several longer road trips with pretty good comfort. I did read above that someone posted that this bike can go 180, that would have to be km. I have topped this bike out on a back road with no inlets and it will go a little over 130 tucked in and throttle buried. I have almost 5000 miles on the bike and have not had a single problem. Regardless of what I add to my collection, I will hold on to this bike for a long time.

December 7, 2011 at 12:10 pm
(7) mark webber says:

I have a 2008 GSX650F,I took it up to 240KM on the freeway.It is very comfi and easy to ride.

April 7, 2013 at 11:06 pm
(8) Andrew says:

I am looking at buying one(650f) as I have sold my suzuki gt500 f. am asking people what its like with two up on long trips????

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