What better encouragement to drag myself out of bed before lunchtime on a sunny Sunday than an invite from the Bandit and SV Owners Club to join one of their rideouts?
Luckily the starting point was only five minutes from my house, unlike one unamed latecomer who travelled from further afield having discovered his Bandit 12 had been running badly. Thankfully he realised he'd left the choke on before he started stripping the engine.
The rideout was fairly short and relaxed, taking in around 70 miles of East Anglia between Peterborough and St Neots, but the warm weather and gentle pace meant everyone was able to keep up. And as the rideout included other brands, including Triumphs, Yamahas, and even a CG125, it made sense to relax and enjoy the fact that the Bandit is so easy to ride.
With a positive gear change and no flat spots, I was able to concentrate on enjoying the route and scenery, despite a few people leaving their indicators on in an attempt to confuse me. And we were ably rewarded with ice cream at St Neots and a barbecue in Chatteris.
Whenever we parked, the biking stars of the show were obvious. The Bandit 12s of John and Andy had both had plenty of lvoe and attention put into them (Particularly as John in involved in the Banditmania shop!) and the meaner Black Bandit 600 belonging to Tim added a bit of menace, particularly as it handled bumpy roads better than my '05 bike.
All in all it was a great chance to meet some new people and get some inspiration from similar bikes. There's actuially two owners clubs specifically for the bandit, with the SV and Bandit Owners Club (01522 871600), plus the Bandit Owners Club of Great Britain, so there really is no excuse for not meeting up with you have a suitable Suzuki.
And the more I ride it, the more I find to like about the wee blue beastie. After a couple of weeks, I finally realised that the LCD display reads GSF when you first turn the key. I also realised that the finish was holding up well despite a rather lazy approach to washing. And best of all, carrying a fairly robust colleague as a pillion was fine, even up to three-figure speeds.
Now it's time to add some bits before leading the Colsterworth ride-in to the BMF SHow on Satruday, May 21. I have a Micron Delta+ system (01773-876333) underneath my desk which should add a few more bhp, and some much needed noise and character. I also have an Ermax hugger to minimise my cleaning (01522 697007). And after pestering both John and Sarah at Banditmania (01522 871600), I should have some new styling parts added shortly. If all goes to plan you should be able to witness the fruit of my toils at the BMF. If not, you'll read about it here first.