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Suzuki GSF1200 BANDIT Naked Motorbike Review

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Suzuki GSF1200 Bandit motorcycle review - Riding
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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.

Suzuki GSF1200 Bandit (1996-2006)

Detail Value
Dealer used prices
£1,680 (1997) - £3,610 (2005)
Private used prices
£1,510 (1997) - £3,250 (2005)
  View full used price info
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

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

19312 miles

£2,794

Suzuki
GSF1200 BANDIT

15591 miles

£2,500

Suzuki
GSF1200 BANDIT

17050 miles

£2,295

Suzuki
GSF1200 BANDIT

20000 miles

£3,499

Suzuki
GSF1200 BANDIT

34759 miles

£1,500

Owners' Overall Rating rating is 4.5(37 reviews)

  • 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

    Show Details

    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

  • My Review

    4418

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Love it! Forget your race reps, look after your back and get a Bandit!

    18 May 2002

  • My Review

    jas74

    Average rating rating is 4

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Equating price, power and insurance group it's very hard to beat, must be best all rounder under £5000. Very comfy riding position, just as happy in town as it is ripping up the open road. 70ft/lbs of torque, pulls from 1500rpm in fifth, 40 to 150mph without changing gear! Racing can essential to liberate all those extra ponies, saves 2-3kg also. GSX-R engine indestructable, runs forever. Only problems are underdamped front forks and softish rear shock, but then again it is a musclebike.

    16 May 2002

  • My Review

    bhuczek

    Average rating rating is 4.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Carb icing problems on damp chilly morning @ 0-5degrees. Cutting out after 2-5 miles on tickover. Once properly warmed up, problem vanishes. Dealer assures me it's a petrol issue and as it only happens in these condition, I'm inclined to believe them. I like the comfort, torque and 140 on the clock with loads of revs to go, is plenty fast enough for me. It's an easy, efforyless bike to ride with some serious credibility.

    06 March 2002

  • My Review

    stevehamer

    Average rating rating is 4

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    A riot for little money. We all want the latest exotica but the bandit is a barrel of laughs in an affordable package. The finish is budget buy but keep on top of the cleaning and it can be ridden in all weather. The tyres are OK when warmed up, quite easy to grind out on sweeping bends, and look like they'll last for ages yet. On the horizon? a race can and dynojet (more is never enough!) an Ohlins for the rear and does anyone know if the front end of a GSXR will go on to sort out the braking and handling?

    06 July 2001

  • My Review

    levnajic

    Average rating rating is 3.5

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    This is my first bike, having passed my test via Direct Access on a 1996 600 Bandit. The 1200s was in my top 4 of bikes, I bought it as the insurance was by far the cheapest. from Carole Nash. The other bikes were Fazer 1000, X-Raptor, Tiger. The Bandit is cool to look at and is easy to drive and I would recommend it anyone as a first bike. It still needs a little running in, but is already showing characteristics for torque and speed. I'm please with it, and aboveall I got an excellent price for the new bike. ;-)

    27 June 2001

  • My Review

    mrpants

    Average rating rating is 4

    Show Details

    Overall
    Ride and Handling
    Equipment
    Quality and Reliabilty
    Value
    Engine

    Probably the best thing I have ever bought and got my money's worth. Its a project bike in waiting. Any extras you buy for it will improve performance and looks. A rear hugger and extended front fender are the best things to do first. Protect that rear shock and downpipes. For more larfs and wider grins try a race can, wow.

    26 April 2001

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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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