2008 Suzuki GSX650F - First Look - Up To Speed

Suzuki fans chapped that the company didn't see fit to import its new-generation, liquid-cooled Bandit 650 to the U.S. for '07 should be stoked to hear about the '08 GSX650F. Built using the new-gen Bandit's engine and chassis wrapped with slinky bodywork front to back-including the front cowl and headlight from the '05-'06 GSX-R1000-the GSX is positioned in the slot once occupied by the now-defunct Katana 600 and 750s. It's a kinder, gentler middleweight sportbike that's less intimidating than the fire-breathing GSX-R600 and 750, yet sportier than the SV650. It's also cheap, retailing for just $6999.

Don't let Suzuki's parts-bin approach confuse the issue. This is a thoroughly modern motorcycle, powered by a brand-new, liquid-cooled, DOHC inline-four featuring fuel injection, 11.5:1 compression and 16 valves. The chassis, anchored by a double-cradle tubular-steel frame, is equally modern. Rounding out the parts manifest is a 41mm fork, dual 310mm front discs grabbed by four-piston calipers, a single-shock rear suspension with spring preload and rebound damping adjustability, and 3.5/5.0-inch GSX-R-type wheels. Look for the GSX this October at Suzuki dealers nationwide.