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My Bandit turns two, so here's a review...

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  • My Bandit turns two, so here's a review...

    Gee time goes fast.

    Two years ago today I wandered up to Lloyd Chapmans in Perth and picked up the Black Bandit 1250SK8, as it had just arrived off the boat from Japan. Signed a few bits of paper, handed over 12 gorilla's and rode away, no more to pay, 12 months rego included.

    Since then, he has covered 25552km's. Not bad considering he has shared the garage with up to 3 other bikes, during the same period they have also covered around 25000kms. In the same period, my car has covered about 55000kms. Sheesh.

    The first service was done at LC's and it had the Givi brackets and panniers fitted (they were complementary with the bike). I have used the panniers a few times for down south trips, the topbox is so darn handy and always attached. All the subsequent services have been conducted by the boys at Witch Suzuki Rockingham, mainly as they were on my way to work, so it made life pretty easy to drop it off and pick up a loaner and proceed to work.

    First mod to be fitted was the Staintune exhaust. The standard can weighed a ton and radiated so much heat it made life very uncomfortable for my sons when they were pillions. The Staintune is virtually no maintainence (a bit of metal polish every now and then) and sounds ok too. Have also added a tankpad, Radguard and a simple throttle lock cruise control. The seat on the Bandits is not the most comfy for long trips, as the vibes from the big 1250 being transmitted through the seat and into my arse. The tears used to start trickling after about 150kms, an Airhawk pretty much cured that and can now get through a whole tank non-stop (250-300kms) without feeling like I'd been locked in a room full of horny Yamaha riders.

    The bike in now on its fourth set of boots. The OE tyres, Dunlop D218's, were simply woefull and made the bike feel as nervous as, well, me stuck in a room full of horney Yamaha riders. So after 6000kms, they were replaced by a set of BT020's I bought of a mate with about 800kms on them, for the princely sum of 80 bucks. I got about 6500km's out of the rear, and an astonishing 17000kms out of the front. It simply would not die and was an awesome wet weather tyre (especially for 40 bucks). The rear was replaced with a Bt021 - which survived about 12000kms and did an excellent job. I replaced the front Bt020 when it did pass away with a 10000km old Dunlop Qualifyer off my TL1000R which still had plenty of meat on it after putting some Pirelli Diablo's on it. When it got some heat into it, it transformed the way the bike handled and braked. The front is pretty important on the Bandit (apart from the obvious), the Bandit transmits a lot of weight and torque through the rear tyre, and consequently kills rears and is pretty gentle on the front, so might as well get a grippy one. Last week I bought its first ever set of brand new tyres - a new set of Pilot Powers. Since the TLR did so well on Pilot Powers, and they were such similiar bikes to ride, I have opted to give him some grippy rubber and see how it goes. Well, so far it feels like a different bike. Touring rubber gets you many kms on a Bandit, but also gives you quite nervous handling when pushing it hard. Well the Bandit begs to be pushed, the PP's have turned it into a grippy corner meister, no sports bike for sure but a load of fun. I expect these tyres to be dead by the end of summer....

    So why a Bandit? Well, if you can find a better all round tourer/scratcher/commuter for 12 grand - let me know. The beauty of this bike lies in its engine. Unlike a sportsbike, where all the power and torque lie at revs that make your license melt, the Bandit supplies its prodigious torque between idle and 7000 rpm, which means when blatting around town you've always got the torque right where you need it. Any gear will do. On group rides around town, you simply just tap between 3'rd and 4th and have no probs keeping up (except when the rubber is dead...). It is a very neutral and forgiving handler, its suspension gives you the right mix of feel and suppleness for our shitty roads, the same bumpy country roads that try to shake your teeth loose on a sportsbike - you don't even notice on the Bandit, but when the corners come along, even at a good clip, it was take them just as easily. The brakes are quite adequate, the rear brake is very good and will quite handily allow you to tighten your line through a corner if you go in a bit too hot. I would love to put a set of gixxer K9 BPF Showa's and radial mount front brakes on it......

    Anyway, I could not be more happier with what 12 large got me. Hot, cold, wet, dry, the big fella has never let me down, always started first go, and the only 'moments' have been of my own doing. It will get 300kms from a tank, allow you to do 1000kms in a day easy (with an Airhawk!), with panniers and topbox you can carry enough gear for two people with ease, and not have the handling or performance dramatically altered. He does, on occasions, get a bit jealous of the hussy gixxer thou K9 he currently shares the garage with. Lucky they are related!

    Happy birthday old friend.....
    Attached Files
    Christie. 1972-2012. RIP my dear friend. Never forgotten.

  • #2
    I like your avatar

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Rock - good review! What sort of throttle lock did you end up fitting? I've got a 2001 edition Bandit 1200 and have been looking for something to give my right hand a rest on long trips. None of the throttle locks I've found on the web seem to be made for this bike, or have poor reviews (relating to fitment) from other Bandit riders.

      Also, - have you experienced the poor old blue Bandit 600 that is the loan bike at Witch's? It gets you from A to B, but could do with some love!

      Comment


      • #4
        Don't recall the brand mate, but I got it from Witch Suzuki.
        Yes I have...she's a peach isn't she. It feels like two different bikes welded together. I did have some new rubber on it last time I borrowed it.
        The throttle lock I have isn't the best one ever created, but it gives me the opportunity to give the right wrist a rest on the odd straight bit.
        Christie. 1972-2012. RIP my dear friend. Never forgotten.

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi Rock, My Bandit will be 2 in a few weeks too and have to agree it has been a good ride even though i have only done half the k's you have.

          I gave thought to trading it in on a new one with ABS but to be honest i have never had an issue with the brakes it dives a little in the front but pulls up pretty good for a heavy machine.

          They may be cheap & might not have some of the fancy stuff that other bikes have but they sure do go well & if i had to make the choice between any of the sub 20k sports tourers again i would likely buy another Bandit.

          Comment


          • #6
            I think I have seen you around, do you run around with a top box on and a Yoshi (or could be another brand) endcan?
            Anyway, was a bit miffed that ABS came out just after I bought it, but like you, have not had any issues with its braking. Just a few weekends ago was down south in abismal weather on worn tyres and she still braked true (the rear was a bit taily though).
            They are the best value big bike around for sure. Was reading the latest "Bike" mag (UK) with a test of the new 650 Bandit. They are not sold here (gawd knows why not), but the new fairing and dash should be on next years 1250, finally it has a gear position indicator.
            Christie. 1972-2012. RIP my dear friend. Never forgotten.

            Comment


            • #7
              Aren't they just a fantastic allrounder.

              I bought mine Xmas 2007 and in 12 months put 20.000kms on it.
              Then in Xmas 2008, got hit by a car and it is now fixed but I am not.

              Decided to give it a big lift in performance seeing as how I can't ride it for a while.

              Arrow headers
              Yoshi Muffler
              Dale Walker tuning box [does the same as Power commander]
              Ignition retard eliminator
              K&N filter
              Cut out the top of the airbox
              Remove secondary butterflies
              Renthal bars
              Full set of braided brake lines
              Sargeant seat
              Raised the back end 20mm
              Rebuilt the forks

              The engine mods will give it approx. 132hp at the tyre and a huge lift in torque.

              I will give you guys a yell when I have finished and when I am able, we will have to go for a ride and compere bikes.

              Regards buelllord
              Women are like motorcycles, they should be ridden hard and kept well lubricated ...

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Rock View Post
                I think I have seen you around, do you run around with a top box on and a Yoshi (or could be another brand) endcan?
                .
                Yeah i use the topbox alot especially in the winter have never used the panniers probably never will, It is a Yoshi RS3 slipon midpipe & can.

                Only other additions are:

                GIpro.
                Warpspeed radiator guard.
                Crash bars (unsure of brand)

                Wishlist:

                PC3
                Gel Seat not decided on which yet.
                Dyno tune
                Peer valve block off plate kit. (currently hose is plugged)

                Originally posted by buelllord View Post
                Aren't they just a fantastic allrounder.

                The engine mods will give it approx. 132hp at the tyre and a huge lift in torque.

                Yep they are a good value allrounder your mods sound nice.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Rock View Post
                  So why a Bandit? Well, if you can find a better all round tourer/scratcher/commuter for 12 grand - let me know.
                  Second best would probably go to the biffer. A bit dearer up front and the price of the box's will make you head spin. Though you can get in from the states for half price.

                  But, it isn't a suzuki so I'm sure it isn't even on your radar!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by buelllord View Post
                    Aren't they just a fantastic allrounder.

                    I bought mine Xmas 2007 and in 12 months put 20.000kms on it.
                    Then in Xmas 2008, got hit by a car and it is now fixed but I am not.

                    Decided to give it a big lift in performance seeing as how I can't ride it for a while.

                    Arrow headers
                    Yoshi Muffler
                    Dale Walker tuning box [does the same as Power commander]
                    Ignition retard eliminator
                    K&N filter
                    Cut out the top of the airbox
                    Remove secondary butterflies
                    Renthal bars
                    Full set of braided brake lines
                    Sargeant seat
                    Raised the back end 20mm
                    Rebuilt the forks

                    The engine mods will give it approx. 132hp at the tyre and a huge lift in torque.

                    I will give you guys a yell when I have finished and when I am able, we will have to go for a ride and compere bikes.

                    Regards buelllord
                    Sweet, there is not doubt the big 1250 has plenty of room for making some serious power and torque. Some wild cams, up the comp ratio, ported and polished heads and bigger throttle bodies would make a beasty!
                    Christie. 1972-2012. RIP my dear friend. Never forgotten.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hi guys, my local bike shop here in Albany is lining up a 1250 Bandit for me to try next week. If I like it I'll most likely buy it.
                      Naked one with ABS $10500 brand new! Apparently theres a Wholesaler discount on till end of Sept.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Rock... Maybe we should have a Bandit run sometime since there is a few of us?


                        Whitey 10500 is insane for a brand new bike. If you like it as much as we all seem to like the S model then you'll have a grin when you get back to the dealership and lay down the coin.

                        Mine cost me 13K with ABS nearly 2 years ago and hasn't missed a beat. I have taken it on track dayz, but it is hard work especially at Collie where the track is quite short.

                        The Bandit is really suited to WA roads and will keep up with the majority of bikes out there. Some people I have ridden with are blown away by just how quick she goes, even two up it rides pretty much the same although it dives a touch more under braking.

                        The ABS version is definitely worthwhile, you'll have fun trying to activate it. Unfortunately it won't allow you to do a burn out or a stoppie which is the only bad point.

                        good luck with the test ride anyhow.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Yes a Bandit overnighter to Bridgetown will have to be organised.

                          I am fucked for a while yet, am waiting on an operation on my right wrist, will let you dudes know when I am able. Can't wait in all honesty.


                          Would it be in bad taste to bring my Buell Firebolt ??????????
                          Women are like motorcycles, they should be ridden hard and kept well lubricated ...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I retract that last comment about bringing a Buell on the grounds I was stoned.

                            It would have to be Bandits only and I insist on including the 1200's.

                            bent and broken buelllord out.
                            Women are like motorcycles, they should be ridden hard and kept well lubricated ...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              My bandit turned one not so long ago. not so many kms tho. such a good allrounder and a keeper for the forseeable future

                              current mods

                              AMHP headlight protector
                              R&G Racing frame sliders
                              GSX650F handlebar
                              Tankpad
                              Skidmark hugger
                              Givi top box
                              Self trimmed seat (more to do but getting close)
                              fuel adjusted to be +2% across the board (still tinkering)
                              Beowulf oval black shorty muffler (jsut fitted tonight)



                              maybe the bandit ride could include all bandits - 250 and up
                              Last edited by dhula; 22-09-2009, 07:15 PM.

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