SUZUKI GSF1200 BANDIT (1996-2006) Review

Published: 24 November 2006

"One of biking's true bargains"

Suzuki GSF1200 Bandit motorcycle review - Riding

"One of biking's true bargains"

Overall Rating 4 out of 5

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.

Ride Quality & Brakes 3 out of 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.

Engine 5 out of 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.

Build Quality & Reliability 3 out of 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.

Insurance, running costs & value 4 out of 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 group: 13 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.

Equipment 3 out of 5

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.

Owners' Reviews

41 owners have reviewed their SUZUKI GSF1200 BANDIT (1996-2006) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.

Review your SUZUKI GSF1200 BANDIT (1996-2006)
Summary of Owners' Reviews
Overall Rating 4.8 out of 5
Ride Quality & Brakes 4.6 out of 5
Engine 4.8 out of 5
Build Quality & Reliability 4.6 out of 5
Value & Running Costs 4.8 out of 5
Equipment 4.2 out of 5
5 out of 5

Rocket ship at moped money

14 June 2017 by Birdy

Cheap as chips but durable and competes easily with far more expensive bikes.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
lots of talk re less than perfect handling but doesnt wash with me ,perfectly adequate considering its such a quick powerful machine.
Engine
5 out of 5
Bullet proof engine - find one better.
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
Not the most frugal machine but service costs are affordable.
Equipment
5 out of 5
Has everything required and all good quality
5 out of 5

great all-arounder great value

21 February 2016 by Black Bandit

This bike does everything from a long day of touring to commuting to work to horsing around on a Sunday afternoon

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
brake quality improved after 2000
Engine
5 out of 5
bulletproof rocket launcher
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
The Engine is bulletproof and have had no problems with anything. Regular service is required on brakes, valve adjustments, and finish but that's half the fun of ownership
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
about average for any bike I would think, depending on how much you ride
Equipment
5 out of 5
Love the gas guage
Buying experience

This bike came off a private lot in pristine condition with only 3500 miles. only paid $1750. a bargain!! Had to rebuild carbs (sitting to long)-stage 3 jet kit and aftermarket pipe.

5 out of 5

Bandit Bandit Bandit

17 September 2015 by gixerfixer

Upgrade suspension,brakes are early GSXR items and work really well, they do on my bike anyway!

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
changing standard soft shock for a GSXR 1100L unit, standard is soft and bouncy...progressive springs should sort out the front end
Engine
5 out of 5
cant beat GSXR motors even detuned they go like stink when you pull the throttle back, though mk1 bandit benefits from 14tooth front sprocket, gearing is too long standard and struggles to get to its top speed, 14t sprocket sorts that out quickly and easily, and cheaply!!
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
my bike has only done 1500 miles, the only corrosion on the bike is on the torque arm, and the little piece of mild steel guard over the collector on the exhaust, other than that it is pretty mint for an 18 year old bike
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
good on fuel for a bike its size, £11 to do 85 miles, and that isn't travelling slow! is better than my car that does 42.5 mpg
Equipment
5 out of 5
engine all day long is the best part of the bike but I am a GSXR fanatic.
Buying experience

my bandit is an italian import, got it with 1300 miles on the clock, (in kmh) paid £2295.00 for it, absolute bargain, basically a new bike!!

4 out of 5

Huge piece of machinery for little money

29 May 2015 by Daddy Gray

Fantastic machine for the money. Mechanically simple and more than ample for what most people would ever need.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
I find the seat super comfy, and the brakes are more than sufficient to bring me to a halt. Rear brake seems a bit vague, but it is a heavy machine so that is more due to physics than mechanics.
Engine
5 out of 5
Grunty 1200cc engine means you dont have to rev it above 5k. If you are bringing up the revs, you'll be doing some serious illegal speeds. The engine is a bit lumpy at tickover, but once moving is fine.
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
Travelling around Scotland the link pipe rotted through and it made one heck of a noise. Had to get all the way back to Lincolnshire with one shouty pipe. Everything else is engineered well enough to last if looked after, whilst not feeling over engineered to make it expensive.
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
I've only had it a few months and decided to replace oil, filter an plugs. All cheap standard items so no issues there. One big trip around Scotland I was getting almost 200 miles per tank, which means about 50mpg.
Equipment
4 out of 5
Mine came with Renthal bars which are great around town, not so great after 4 hours. The fairing seems to direct air into my face once you get past motorway speeds, but that might just be my long body.
Buying experience

Bought privately. Offered a fair price as plenty for sale and the seller knew that.

5 out of 5

Great Bike Properly Tuned

16 June 2014 by dwfree

The 1200 Bandit is nothing special stock, but modified correctly it's the best value out there. The engine is easy - jet kit, exh can, big hole in the airbox, then one has to know how to tune carbs. Suspension - revalve forks, custom shock highly recommended, raise the rear 1-1/2" for quicker handling. With these changes it will handle as well as anything out there, and the engine will make 120 hp 80 #-ft torque from 4400to7500 rpm. Nothing else out there with that king of torque in that rev range - perfect for the street. All that at a very affordable price! I've had my '97 for 15 yrs and 55k of the 60k miles on the clock. I did have to replace 3rd gear (broken tooth) so it gets knocked down some for that.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

great bike

24 March 2014 by daibandit12

after riding and owning a large number of bikes for over 40 years i wanted a more upright riding position but still a bike with a fair amount of power and i must say the bandit lived up to both. I bought a 2004 1200S with 8000 miles on the clock in very good condition one owner and good history for just over £2000 and in the last year have done over 4000 miles on weekends and days off from work and must say i have loved every mile.It pulls like a train,is more than fast enough for todays camera infested roads and is comfortable one or two up my wife reckons it is more comfortable on the back than my previous bike which was a vfr800 and i must say i prefer it myself. Overall a very easy bike to ride and to work on with good build quality and looks like a bike should

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

My Great Find!!!

01 December 2013 by BRACK73RT

I bought my bike with 7488 miles on the odometer and paid $2500 in May 2013. I mainly use it for commuting 140 miles round trip in Northern Virginia stop & go traffic, and now have right at 12,000 on her. The summer heat took a toll on me but this bikes engine is bullet-proof and withstood the heat and traffic. I run full synthetic oil to lube the engine and clutch(wet-sump). This bike has sleeper like power. It will lift the tire off at a slight twist of the throttle in 1st gear and won't set it down until 3rd gear. This is my Diamond in the Rough!! Could not be more pleased in a bike. Suzuki hit a home run with this bike

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

My Great Find!!!

01 December 2013 by BRACK73RT

I bought my bike with 7488 miles on the odometer and paid $2500 in May 2013. I mainly use it for commuting 140 miles round trip in Northern Virginia stop & go traffic, and now have right at 12,000 on her. The summer heat took a toll on me but this bikes engine is bullet-proof and withstood the heat and traffic. I run full synthetic oil to lube the engine and clutch(wet-sump). This bike has sleeper like power. It will lift the tire off at a slight twist of the throttle in 1st gear and won't set it down until 3rd gear. This is my Diamond in the Rough!! Could not be more pleased in a bike. Suzuki hit a home run with this bike

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

2000 Suzuki Bandit 1200S

01 December 2013 by BRACK73RT

I bought my bike with 7488 miles on the odometer and paid $2500 in May 2013. I mainly use it for commuting 140 miles round trip in Northern Virginia stop & go traffic, and now have right at 12,000 on her. The summer heat took a toll on me but this bikes engine is bullet-proof and withstood the heat and traffic. I run full synthetic oil to lube the engine and clutch(wet-sump). This bike has sleeper like power. It will lift the tire off at a slight twist of the throttle in 1st gear and won't set it down until 3rd gear. This is my Diamond in the Rough!! Could not be more pleased in a bike. Suzuki hit a home run with this bike

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

2000 Suzuki Bandit 1200S

01 December 2013 by BRACK73RT

I bought my bike with 7488 miles on the odometer and paid $2500 in May 2013. I mainly use it for commuting 140 miles round trip in Northern Virginia stop & go traffic, and now have right at 12,000 on her. The summer heat took a toll on me but this bikes engine is bullet-proof and withstood the heat and traffic. I run full synthetic oil to lube the engine and clutch(wet-sump). This bike has sleeper like power. It will lift the tire off at a slight twist of the throttle in 1st gear and won't set it down until 3rd gear. This is my Diamond in the Rough!! Could not be more pleased in a bike. Suzuki hit a home run with this bike

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

Great Bike

08 January 2013 by mrjaybee

Recently picked up my K1 bandit 1200s after owning several 600s (incl gsf) and a long spell away from bikes before that. Was between the bandit 1200s mk2 and a fazer 1000. Have always had a secret passion for Suzuki and especially the oil cooled variety. I found my 12 in a dealer and it ticked all the boxes.. Lowish mileage, 1 owner and no tacky add ons which seems to be rife on these bikes.. After the first 150 mile ride out I havnt been disappointed and the silky smooth black lump jus surges forward with no fuss. I had reservations after reading scary stories of this bikes tendency to drink fuel, but no need to worry as fuel consumption was reasonable. Still 2 bars on the fuel guage after the trip and we werent exactly hanging about. Complaints of uncomfortable standard seat I didnt experience.. Handles well, stops well and pulls like a train.. If there are any gripes then that would have to be the nigh on useless fairing screen at any decent speed and annoying engine vibes around the motorway legal limit, of course a 6th gear would be bonus too. The standard can is staying as lost count of the amount I have bought for previous bikes and to be honest the novelty has worn thin.. If you are looking to buy one these then I wont hesitate to recommend.. Go do it.. You wont regret it..

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

LOVE IT

03 July 2012 by ratchetman

I bought my 1997 1200s bandit 8 years ago with 15,000m on the clock the bike has been dynajetted with a race exhaust and k&n air filter it makes 130bhp on the down side i only get 30mpg But its a bit of a wolf in sheeps clothing. Definatly the most fun bike i have owned full of charactor,relable,quick,comfortable and handles reasonably well on a smooth surface. best feature is the grunty engine and riding it always puts a smile on my face.worst feature doesnt like braking going into corners (But if you enter a bend a bit hot dont touch the brakes and the bike will get you round). I have bought 2 other bikes since owning the bandit but i wouldnt ever sell it because i love it to bits. its that good

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

Great bike until its pushed

14 September 2011 by urbanfireblade

I've had my K1 '02 1200 Bandit for 6 months now, have owned a '95 'Blade for 5 yrs, vfr750, as well as other bikes, and currently have a Kawasaki GPZ500 too as a 2nd bike. My Bandit had 11k on it in March, i've done almost 2500miles in 6 months and its been a love hate affair. Recently had issues with the coils/ignition cdi unit failing causing misfire, but also the fuel tap needing attention(fuel starvation/vacuum problem). These have highlighted the crazy dealer prices for parts, £116 for a fuel tap, £94 for an ignition coil, £56 for a neutral switch, £32 for an individual rubber inlet manifold(between carb and engine), thats almost £130 for, in essence, 4 rubber tubes! I was shocked by these prices for a motorcycle built solely from Suzuki's 'spare parts' bin and for an engine thats been around for 20-odd years. Anyway its sorted now. The handling at general speeds is good, as too are the 6 pot twin calliper brakes, but as soon as you push the bike a little on country roads you will highlight the very soft front end diving under braking, and in corners it becomes very soggy/jelly-like handling, god forbid if its bumpy too, you'll experience the very essence of a bike out of its comfort zone! The rear is soft too, causing the back to feel 'squidgy' if accelerating round a bend, imagine wobbling the 'bars in a small circular motion(like when pedaling a bike) while leaned over and that is what it will do as it protests as the suspension cannot cope. I am assuming this is very much down to the basic suspension with only a pre-load adjustment and a weight in excess of 214kg. If your a country road rider this isn't the bike for you. But this paints a negative view on a bike which has many highlights. Centre stand is ace, accurate fuel gauge, clock, 2 trip meters, decent headlight, averaging 45-50mpg, decent low down grunt, simple air/oil cooled engine, excellent brakes front and rear, well spaced gearing, able to trickle along at walking pace, easy to keep balance, a small amount of underseat storage too. Overall this bike is an excellent commuter bike, giving effortless overtaking in a leisurely way-no need to rev it to make progress. Keep the bike upright and its a pretty good bike, but corners can show up the basic suspension if done mildly enthusiastically. Hagon springs and shock are available to improve this, but they won't sort the excessive weight problem, rivals are down below 200kg nowadays, even 180kg. Its no cutting edge technology so accept that and you'll be happy.

Ride Quality & Brakes
2 out of 5
-
Engine
3 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
2 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
3 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

k1 1200

07 April 2010 by taz1200

moved over to the bandit 1200 from a triumph and have never looked back had it for 10 years now and have just got a second one to do up for her indoors to ride would not think of changing it for another bike it has such a following and the owners club is the best around many more years fun to be had on it my advice buy one now

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

Torque about grunt!

09 March 2010 by Bigdog365

I traded up to my 1200s from a GSX750f (teapot) which was getting a bit long in the tooth at 11 years old. Although the Bandit only has another 7BHP, it's the torque that makes the real difference. If it had enough grip, it could pull tree stumps out, no problem! It's comfortable enough to spend all day riding, and there's no aching wrists or knees to complain about afterwards. My only gripe was that the screen didn't do much, but a £50 touring screen from Banditmania soon sorted that, without affecting the looks of the bike either. If you buy a 1200 Bandit, you won't be disappointed.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
4 out of 5

do what you want

24 February 2009 by H2pots

i've owned my 1200S for over a year now, bought has a second bike for 2 up touring. second bike must be friendly for home servicing and repairs, be comfy enough for me and her indoors for all day riding and be able to carry gear whether its camping gear or just panniers. the 1200 bandit does all of these jobs and more. i knew the motor form past experience (gsxr1100) and knew it wouldn't disapoint... it didn't. the bike is good to work on and has plenty of power and handling for 2 up work. riding solo is no bad thing neither... its good on the twisties and feels secure (its no race rep though). i had a gsx750f has the 2nd bike before this, good bike but 2 up destroyed the performance. brakes on the 1200 are a masive improvement but keep them in good shape. 6 pot calipers don't have much clearance around the pistons, they can soon fill with crud and start to bind/seize up. overall.. the 1200 bandit is very good bike for very little money with a bulletproof engine, easy to work on, cheap to fix and service and a comfy riding position... it will... do what you want

Ride Quality & Brakes
3 out of 5
-
Engine
4 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
3 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
-
Equipment
3 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

bandit 1200s

29 May 2008 by alberttdm

now had it for another year,thats 4 years near enough,and still nothing has tempted me to part with my cash for a better bike etc.which there are, but at a lot more COST!for little gain.now fitted a hayabusa shock(£50 breakers)plus forks sorted.The difference is just amazing the way it now corners once set up,this + the jet kit and evo can+ignition advancer,more than fast enough thank you .Don,t think i want to spend that extra £3000+ to upgrade.

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
5 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

Had one for 3 years, changed to sports bike for 3 months and have had this one for 3 years!

30 October 2006 by adamup

Does just about everything you need it to. Makes me smile every time I ride it. Have noticed this year I am riding harder than ever, have tried BT020 and currently using D208 (good allround choice I think). Buy one you will not be diapointed, I have a flyscreen on the current one and it allows you to run a good 10mph faster on longer journeys, looks a bit weak but works! Strengths: Makes you smile and works in all places. You can ride it right to its limit if you like that sort of thing. Weaknesses: When youv'e had one a while you may like a little more performace and handling. But we all like a bit of a wobble now and then!

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

What else can I add to other reviews on this great bike.

21 September 2006 by Mikewindmill

I was looking at a Tuono that was 3 years old and 12k on the clock and had almost bought it - then I thought I would do a last visit to the Suzuki dealership in York (top shop by the way - have bought 2 new bike there) and there was a new (old shape K4) Bandit for sale at £4500!! I had convinced myself for years that I would not like the Bandit but took an old one with 20k out for a blast - and within 5 miles was convinced I had found a gem. Walked straight into the shop and bought the new one on the spot. I am still enjoying it 5 months on - put it this way, except for a service and some polish - I haven't been in a bike shop since - which makes a change from once a week. I have started buying some trick bits for - Renthal Handlebars, HEL Brakelines - but what a bike for the price - Great!!! Strengths: Price Price Price! The torque is good - top end speed great fun - instant wheelies - but only if you want them. Fun and Fun! Weaknesses: Always hated the shape of the tank - but is that a weakness or just my personal taste? Some bits do feel cheap (but £4500 new!) - Stainless Steel brakelines are a must.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

My Review

18 September 2006 by StreetGeeza

Just upgraded to the 1200S from a naked Bandit 600. The bike is fantastic!!! It just pulls in all gears and handles like stink. When I picked it up it was fitted with fairing lowers giving it the look of a sports tourer and with only 11,000 on the clock it's got lots of life left. I was cruising along enjoying the ride before I realised I was doing 100MPH and when I ducked down under the fairin gI ot 145MPH before I decided enough was enough (On private land of course). I think the only thing I don't like about the bike is the way I keep burning my boots on the exhaust (maybe my feet are just too big). I plan on keeping this bike for a lot of years and will likely enjoy every mile. Strengths: Pulling power, handling, looks, bulletproof engine, comfort, economy (I used to commute Newcastle to Edinburgh on my 600 and it would cost me £11-12 each way, it cost a little over £10 on the 1200). Weaknesses: I can't really find any that aren't just being too picky.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

Still an amazing bike for the money

27 July 2006 by Manicmax37

Its a year since I last reviewed the bike. I was tempted to px for a sports bike & I tested a R1 & it cooled me down. This was an amazingly fast bike but it just felt clinical & the position killed me. Getting back on the bandit & it just felt it had more character - its that wallop load of torque @ 4k revs. So I've decided to keep it - @ the end of the day the riding position makes it great around town & it pulls fine on the open road - just wish it had the extra gear. The engine is strong & so far after 15 mths its been completely reliable - I use it everyday through the winter. Mods - fitted a blueflame pipe, fendaextenda & screen - not sure about the screen - The next is to get a decent seat as the stock it like stone after 100 miles. Aparently fitting a 14 teeth front sprocket releases 7% more torque with a slight loss @ the top end BUT post 2001 the speed is recorded from the front sprocket & so the electronic speedo will record extra miles than have actually been done. Strengths: Great bike - good around town & great on the open road - the torque is alot of fun. Weaknesses:
Wsh it had an extra gear.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

Excellent bike to tour or blast

20 April 2006 by qwertylockley

Bought my 2003 1200s a year and a half ago, it had 1100 miles on the clock with over £1500 worth of accessories, scottoilier, absoloute protec alarm, corbin seat, panniers, etc etc, been ridden two since I had it, pulls great, breaks great, and the screen is good, especially when you get over 90mph as you enter a 'pocket of air flow'. can be a little to heavy with luggage, other half and me. have addes loads of 'nice' mods, belly pan from france, stainless bolts, wavey black front discs, goodridge hoses, k+n filter, Yoshi can and stage 3 kit, ignition advancer, deristrictor kit for the ignition, as there restricted for the eu market, 14 tooth front sprocket adding 7% more tourque, nearly there now!!! Strengths: Engine, ride position, breaks, loads of accessories, grunt!! Weaknesses: Bolts, weight, lean angle (grounds out to easily).

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

Bog standard 1200 Bandit

13 April 2006 by bradiedog

What a bike ! At this price , including 2 years free servicing !! There is no other choice. I was contemplating a vfr , but once I had a ride, I was convinced. all the write ups about monster wheelies filled me with trepidation , but there is no need to worry you can ride this bike and still enjoy oodles of performance without gunning it. the other good thing about this bike is that it looks like a real old fashioned proper bike. Strengths: Engine, torque, looks. Weaknesses: Haven´t found any.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

Bought bike second hand, 10 months old when I got my hands on it

07 April 2006 by buffallobill

As an older rider I find the bike comfortable to travel 100 miles + in one go, very impressed with the engine no matter what you do with it it wants more, the screen needs to be a little higher for my style of riding, but thats just my own opinion, on good advice I have fitted chrome engine protectors which fully protect the lower casing , this I think is a must. Strengths: Good riding position, mpg good if rode sensibly, good gear box nice and smooth. Weaknesses: Screen a bit low, foot pegs mounted on rubbers move a bit.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

Best naked bike of all time

25 January 2006 by bandithooligan

Ive had my bandit for over 3 years now, and I must say it is the best bike I have ever owned, and Ive had a few, I have never had a problem with it, it is very easy to maintain and is cheap to run I get 5500 miles out of the tyres no problem, it must be good if Ive kept it for over 3 years, I normally get bored after 12 months. Strengths: Very easy to ride, powerfull, reliable. Weaknesses: The finish is not as good as it should be, nuts and bolts and exhausts the main worry, but can be replaced quite cheaply.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
-
Engine
5 out of 5
-
Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
-
Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
-
Equipment
4 out of 5
-
5 out of 5

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

13 January 2006 by dickandmutley

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.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
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Engine
5 out of 5
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Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
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Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
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Equipment
4 out of 5
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5 out of 5

It's ok

19 December 2005 by alberttdm

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!

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
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Engine
5 out of 5
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Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
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Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
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Equipment
4 out of 5
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5 out of 5

Fabulous all rounder

18 October 2005 by shanestrong

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 :-)

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
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Engine
5 out of 5
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Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
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Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
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Equipment
4 out of 5
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3 out of 5

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

30 July 2005 by lawrence7

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.

Ride Quality & Brakes
3 out of 5
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Engine
3 out of 5
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Build Quality & Reliability
3 out of 5
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Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
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Equipment
4 out of 5
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5 out of 5

2003 Naked Bandit 1200 with pre2000 fairing fitted

23 July 2005 by geordiegasman

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.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
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Engine
5 out of 5
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Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
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Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
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Equipment
4 out of 5
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5 out of 5

1200s 1999 model

23 July 2005 by mrwotsits

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.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
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Engine
5 out of 5
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Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
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Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
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Equipment
4 out of 5
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5 out of 5

The grin says it all!

17 July 2005 by manicmax

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.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
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Engine
5 out of 5
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Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
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Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
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Equipment
4 out of 5
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5 out of 5

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

07 May 2005 by dyerd

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.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
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Engine
5 out of 5
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Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
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Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
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Equipment
4 out of 5
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5 out of 5

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

04 June 2004 by sprag

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.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
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Engine
5 out of 5
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Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
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Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
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Equipment
4 out of 5
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5 out of 5

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

02 June 2004 by c750jp

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.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
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Engine
5 out of 5
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Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
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Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
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Equipment
4 out of 5
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5 out of 5

My Review

18 May 2002 by 4418

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

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
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Engine
5 out of 5
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Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
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Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
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Equipment
4 out of 5
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4 out of 5

My Review

16 May 2002 by jas74

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.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
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Engine
5 out of 5
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Build Quality & Reliability
3 out of 5
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Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
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Equipment
4 out of 5
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5 out of 5

My Review

06 March 2002 by bhuczek

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.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
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Engine
5 out of 5
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Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
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Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
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Equipment
4 out of 5
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4 out of 5

My Review

06 July 2001 by stevehamer

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?

Ride Quality & Brakes
4 out of 5
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Engine
4 out of 5
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Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
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Value & Running Costs
5 out of 5
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Equipment
4 out of 5
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4 out of 5

My Review

27 June 2001 by levnajic

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. ;-)

Ride Quality & Brakes
3 out of 5
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Engine
3 out of 5
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Build Quality & Reliability
5 out of 5
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Value & Running Costs
3 out of 5
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Equipment
4 out of 5
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4 out of 5

My Review

26 April 2001 by mrpants

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.

Ride Quality & Brakes
5 out of 5
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Engine
5 out of 5
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Build Quality & Reliability
4 out of 5
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Value & Running Costs
4 out of 5
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Equipment
4 out of 5
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Facts & Figures

Model info
Year introduced 1996
Year discontinued 2006
Original price -
Used price £2,300 to £3,000
Warranty term (when new) Two year unlimited mileage
Running costs
Insurance group 13 of 17
Annual road tax £85
Annual service cost £200
Performance
Max power 100 bhp
Max torque 67 ft-lb
Top speed 145 mph
1/4-mile acceleration 11.3 secs
Average fuel consumption 35 mpg
Tank range 130 miles
Specification
Engine size 1152cc
Engine type 16v, in line four, 6 gears
Frame type Steel tubular cradle
Fuel capacity 19 litres
Seat height 835mm
Bike weight 214kg
Front suspension Preload
Rear suspension Preload, compression
Front brake Twin 310mm disc
Rear brake 240mm disc
Front tyre size 120/70 x 17 in
Rear tyre size 180/55 x 17 in

History & Versions

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.

Photo Gallery

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