Dyno Shootout: FZ1 Vs. Bandit 1200S

Brent Avis
by Brent Avis
Now that we have our semi-long-term Yamaha FZ-1, we are able to do back-to-back dyno runs with it and our long-term Suzuki Bandit 1200S. While we know that dyno runs don't mean everything, they do make good fodder for speculation.

Recent posts on some e-mail lists indicate that some pundits feel the Suzuki's displacement advantage will allow it to overpower the smaller Yamaha. Well, not to be the bearer of such bad news (for some people, anyway), but that's simply not the case...

A quick glance at the dyno chart reveals the FZ-1 to have a horsepower advantage to the tune of 19.6 ponies. Surprisingly, the Yamaha also makes a half-pound more torque as well. Take into account, then, that the FZ-1 also weighs some 26-pounds less than the Suzuki.

Now, in relation to the YZF-R1 that it's derived from, the "R1 for the real world" makes 6.9 less horses than our most recent R1 test unit, though it ups the torque peak by 0.3 foot-pounds.

Again, though, numbers don't mean everything. For example: Up until the Yamaha's torque peak at 7,400 RPM, the Suzuki has it covered in some heavy foot-pounds. Also, the Suzuki makes more horsepower than the Yamaha up until the 7,200 RPM mark.

So what does this all mean? The two bikes seem to address a similar market niche with completely different tactics. The Yamaha is the sportier of the two with its higher-revving motor, lighter weight and less wind protection. The Suzuki, on the other hand, seems more suited towards long-range comfort and sport-touring duty.

What do you MO readers think about this rivalry?

Update, 03/28/01 5:05 PST: Meet us on the 29that 5:00 PM in our chat rooms for a discussion of these two bikes. All the MO Staff will be there! Look to the top left for a countdown timer.

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Brent Avis
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