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Suzuki GSF1200 BANDIT Naked Motorbike Review

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Suzuki GSF1200 Bandit motorcycle review - Riding
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Suzuki GSF1200 Bandit (1996-2006)



Detail Value
Used price range View Suzuki GSF1200 BANDIT bikes for sale to see current asking prices
Engine size 1152 cc
Power 100 bhp
Top speed 145 mph
Insurance group 13 of 17
  MCN ratings Owners' ratings
Overall rating is 4 rating is 4.5
Engine rating is 5 rating is 4.5
Ride & Handling rating is 3 rating is 4.5
Equipment rating is 3 rating is 4
Quality & Reliability rating is 3 rating is 4.5
Value rating is 4 rating is 4.5

MCN overall verdict rating is 4

The Suzuki GSF1200 Bandit is one of biking's true bargains. Grunty Suzuki GSX-R1100 derived engine, decent handling for its day and simple to tune up should you require more lairy A roads fun. The 2000 onwards GSF1200 Bandit's are more touring based, bit softer, but the finish is slightly better.

Engine

MCN rating rating is 5
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

The engine in the Suzuki GSF1200 Bandit a really tough, torquey old motor from the 80s and by simply junking the stock end can on the 1996-99 Suzuki Bandits you can get another 15bhp from it - handy. Later versions are slightly better on fuel and have a tougher clutch.

Ride and Handling

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

The Suzuki GSF1200 Bandit was never the best handling big retro around in the 90s and the 2000 onwards modifications made the bike feel even mushier, more vague, when pushed hard on bumpy roads. The GSF1200 Badnit is more stable than the GSF600 Bandit, especially at the front end, but it's no Suzuki GSX-R750 that's for sure.

Equipment

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 4

Suspension and braking are adequate on the Suzuki GSF1200 Bandit, but nothing special. The six pot calipers on the 2000 onwards bikes are loads better. The later Suzuki GSF1200S Bandit is a comfortable semi-tourer, and has stainless steel downpipes, decent lighting, bigger half fairing.

Quality and Reliability

MCN rating rating is 3
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

The overall finish on the early Suzuki GSF1200 Bandit wasn't great. The bikes look shabby pretty quickly and although the engine wears well, the suspension and braking need regular attention or the bike begins to handle like a Lambrini girl on a hen night.

Value

MCN rating rating is 4
Owners' rating rating is 4.5

There are loads of GSF1200 Bandits to choose from on the used market and for relatively low money, you get a versatile motorcycle which can commute in the week, then let you play silly buggers at the weekend. The original Suzuki GSF1200N Bandit still has a certain raw-edged, brutal charm. Find a Suzuki GSF1200 Bandit for sale.

Insurance

Insurance group: 13 of 17

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Model History

1996: Suzuki 1200N/1200S Bandit models launched.
2000: Engine receive 116 tweaks, chassis updated with new fairing, brakes, seat, shorter wheelbase.
2004: Suzuki GB chop £450 off list price.
2005: Price drops another £300.

Other Versions

None.

Specifications

Top speed 145 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 11.3 secs
Max power 100 bhp
Max torque 67 ft-lb
Weight 214 kg
Seat height 835 mm
Fuel capacity 19 litres
Average fuel consumption 35 mpg
Tank range 130 miles
Annual road tax
Insurance group 13 of 17
Engine size 1152 cc
Engine specification 16v, in line four, 6 gears
Frame Steel tubular cradle
Front suspension adjustment Preload
Rear suspension adjustment Preload, compression
Front brakes Twin 310mm disc
Rear brake 240mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17 in
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17 in

See all Suzuki GSF1200 BANDIT motorcycles for sale

Suzuki
GSF1200 BANDIT

9563 miles

£3,399

Suzuki
GSF1200 BANDIT

4000 miles

£2,100

Suzuki
GSF1200 BANDIT

12710 miles

£3,295

Suzuki
GSF1200 BANDIT

42460 miles

£1,250

Suzuki
GSF1200 BANDIT

23000 miles

£3,495

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4.5(36 reviews)

  • Bought the bike 12mths ago and dont regret a single day of it

    dickandmutley

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I returned to bikes 3yrs ago with the 600 version and soon wanted the bigger brother. Have owned my Bandit now for 12mths, have used it for day trips and for touring in Europe to watch MotoGP. It passes each test admirably whether as a solo or with pillion and full luggage. Can be a bit lairy on the front end if abused equally is a pussycat around town. Ideal as an entry into large muscle biking. Strengths:
    The engine is bomb proof, found it to be very torquey, just open the throttle and hang on. MPG not too bad at 40mpg whilst travelling to Assen fully loaded. Parts are easy to come by and custom parts make it an ideal bike to make to individual tastes. Weaknesses: Looking a bit dated now in relation to colour scheme. Can rip out rear tyre if not treated with respect.

    13 January 2006

  • It's ok

    alberttdm

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Had it for a year now, as an old git it suits me. Power/torque all there, comfort up to about 100 miles. Screen to much wind blast at 80+fuel a lot better than you could wish for from a bike like this 45mpg+easy. Finish for winter is poor. BT 020's made a very big change to the way it handles. Strengths: A good alround bike for the real would. Weaknesses: Don,t try to ride it in winter!

    19 December 2005

  • Fabulous all rounder

    shanestrong

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Tank range 100 miles (35mpg). Handling reasonable, Tyre life good F8000 R6000 (macadams). Service every 4000 (doddle). Comfortable. Excellent gearbox. Far better looking than the latest bikes. Cheap insurance for old farts, £150 comp. Engine is unburstable with regular servicing. A difficult package to beat. This is the preffered tool of loony's and stunt riders the world over. To you and me that means in our hands its going to last a very very long time. Strengths: Strong, powerful, flexible(Torquey) engine. Simple cheap maintenance. long component life. Weaknesses:  Quality of finish, will deteriorate quickly if not looked after. Zillions of them so trade in prices ridiculous. (run it into the ground, should take about 20 years :-)

    18 October 2005

  • A bike for all reasons does everything asked of it and still gives me a buzz on every trip. Amazin'

    lawrence7

    Average rating rating is 3

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    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    From the engine to the suspension this is a bitsa bike and this makes it really easy to source parts and improve on the basic concept where it is found lacking. Mine has the compulsory race can, extra 5bhp, white power rear shock, progressive wp front shocks and a dyno jet free flow filter and jet kit. I have owned the bike for 4 years and put 12000 miles on it, best mpg has been 86 at the mag economy run and worst is usually around 25. Its a good all rounder and can tour and scratch with the rest but it is limited by the size of its tank and by its lack of protection for the rider. Clutches are a major glitch on an otherwise clear horizon and replacement is getting to be a chore, I am on my third and that has started to slip again. I have had 6 rear tyres on this bike so this is one of the penalties of a heavy right hand. I am currently on my second front but this will need changing soon as it has become pointed, too many roundabouts? No major rust but lots of minor chips where the.. Strengths: Bandits are easy to work on there is nothing that you cant do yourself with a normal range of tools. Performance and usability are good. Weaknesses:
    From my own experience the clutch has failed twice and rear tyres are a major ongoing expense. Finish is thin but ok if you use a winter bike to prevent the worst of the weather from attacking it.

    30 July 2005

  • 2003 Naked Bandit 1200 with pre2000 fairing fitted

    geordiegasman

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    This bike will do anything you ask of it. Spend a few quid on some stainless bolts and away you go. Potter around all day or scare your pants off, it'll do it all. Only 2 gripes are diving front end under braking (progressive springs imminent) and blurred mirrors (cured above 110 which it'll do all day at unbelievably low revs). And there's a zillion aftermarket bits to personalise it too. If it's economy you're after the Bandit will do over 200 miles to a tankful. Do you think I'm pleased with it? You bet I am. You just can't get this much fun anywhere else for under 5 grand :-) Strengths: Proven, simple torquey engine. Weaknesses: Front suspension, cheap nuts n bolts.

    23 July 2005

  • 1200s 1999 model

    mrwotsits

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I have just entered the bigger bore bike game by buying a used Bandit form a dealer in my area, it was advertised at £2500, but after some haggling I got the deal for £2200!!, when I first opened it up it took me by shock not suprise, what an engine!. It does not seem to shake it one or two up it just pulls and pulls, not in the uk officer (honest) I was doing 120mph two up and when I opened the throttle it just surged forwards, (big grin). I have now added the aftermarket can and it sounds awsome and it really does unleash the extra horses you hear about. The seat is uncomfy after about 80 miles but I am awaiting a custom seat that should cure this, a great deal form the guys at justbandits. I can only say that if you are thinking about a bandit 12 stop thinking and do it!!.....Strengths: The engine, and riding position. Weaknesses: Brakes but still ok, wind blast but good with an aftermarket flipup fitted.

    23 July 2005

  • The grin says it all!

    manicmax

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Bought this 2003 model in April 05. First big bike after a Fazer 600, but the weight is carried low. Do alot of town riding (there's no way I 'need' this bike 'cause I live 3 miles from work!!) & it's very nimble @ getting through the traffic. Just came back from an afternoon in the Welsh valleys & boy is this bike gorgeous. There's loads of torque & the acceleration is oh so silky smooth through all the gears. BUT the bike pulls hard & its easy to get 100+. Overtaking is no problem & the corners are great. I can highly recommend thi bike - amazing value for money. Strengths: Strong acceleration, loads of torque, grin factor, value for money. Weaknesses: Poor suspension, tank range (150m), finish not brilliant.

    17 July 2005

  • Bought bike new in 1996 £6250, yes £6250!

    dyerd

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    This bike is ideal for people who want a fun bike but dont want a race rep,plenty of torque, half sensible handling, 40 to the gallon if you take it easy, (I dont), had the bike 9 years and the finish is still pretty good, just keep it clean, I coat all the ally bits with vasaline in the winter, you must have a race can to get the best from the engine, believe me it makes a real difference, the bike revs out properly with the art can i have, feels strangled with one can. Strengths: Price, you wont get more fun for your money, you can do all the servicing yourself. Weaknesses: Wind blast over 90, but its the same for all naked bikes, vibration! replaced about 15 bulbs in the clocks, they buzz like mad.

    07 May 2005

  • The big Bandit has plenty of detractors, all of them I suspect people who have never owned one

    sprag

    leicester , UK

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    I bought my Bandit two years ago after three years on a Kawasaki W650 [that was a great bike in its own right] from day one I was in love with this big, red basterd of a bike. It just blew me away with it instant stomp and it can still take me by surprise if I wap the throttle open without thinking. One hell of a bike and I'm damn glad I went into the bike shop that day 2 years ago to buy a can of chain oil. Strengths:
    Big engine that looks the biz, goes like hell from tickover to the red line.
    Weaknesses: It just lacks the horse power to really tear your arms off and with the standard can on sounds like a Honda.

    04 June 2004

  • Best thing I did buying one, why I kept my gsxr750 for so long I don`t know

    c750jp

    Average rating rating is 4.5

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    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    What a beast lives up to it`s reputation oh and it had to be a black one love it.
    Strengths: The engine its just got so much power all you need for the road ride sensible or like a lunatic it makes no difference. Weaknesses: Suspension when you start to push it.

    02 June 2004

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trackdayfreak

trackdayfreaksays

GSF 1200 n Bandit

I am on my third 1200 n Bandit,all have been early 1996 ones,my last one was dyno-jetted and was fitted with an after market end can and put out the usual extra 15 bhp,my latest one has full Givi luggage,Renthal handle bars and I have just fitted Goodrich brake lines front and rear and a Givi screen.

The bike was a mates he owned it from new but had only covered 10,500 miles it is in very good nick,just needed the brakes bleeding and an oil,oil filter and plug change,it has been spot on and a great all rounder.I have had better handling bikes my last bike being a Honda CBR 900 RRT again a 1996 model but due to back problems I had to buy something more upright.It handles no where near as well as the blade but if you use it for what it was designed for you won't go far wrong.My back is much better now too!

When pushed hard in fast corners the bike gets all out of shape and bucks and weaves all over the place but if you just get into sports touring mode and slow down a bit it is really great to ride!

You can leave it in top gear most of the time and to overtake you just wind it on and it pulls beautifully like a train,no need to snick it down a couple of gears like on my Fireblade just open it up and it goes!GREAT!

I paid just £2000 for my bike and I think that's cheap biking particularly as it came with a complete set of luggage,Renthal bars,Scott oiler ,full service history and low low miles!

01 November 2013 06:44

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