No glitter or baubles here, but the back-to basics steel-tube cradle chassis does a decent job. Cheap, unadjustable forks are a little on the soft-side but overall the Banfit handles well enough for most and is comfortable and practical, too. For the money, you certainly won’t be complaining…
Derived from the old ‘teapot’ oil-cooled GSX600F. The Suzuki GSF600 Bandit is outdated as a supersports, but fine as an all-rounder. Free-revving, flexible-ish, novice friendly and solid as old boots. The GSF600 Bandit isn't cutting edge, but no messing honest instead.
Forget the budget price for moment, the Suzuki GSF600 Bandit is a solid deal. In a nutshell it’s made by a reputable manufacturer and is using proven, old tech components – so what can go wrong? The answer? Not a lot. That said, GSF600 Bandit's often dropped (by novices), caned, ridden through winter not always maintained properly and generally given a hard time, so inspect closely.
For an idea what the bike's like to live with, check out our Suzuki Bandit owners' reviews.
Suzuki Bandit misfire problem
Q. My 2001 Bandit 600 has an intermittent misfire which is driving me mad. Every four to six months the number one cylinder stops firing when starting from cold.
After a few seconds it’s OK, then over the next few days the misfire gets more persistent until below 3500 revs it won’t fire and the exhaust smells of petrol. Above that it’s fine.
The spark seems comparable with the number four cylinder when tested and after a week or so everything goes back to normal.
I use my bike everyday for commuting and it’s really worrying me.
Alan Stevens, Newport, Wales
A. As it’s only affecting one cylinder it can’t be a systemic fault in either the fuel system or the electrics. If you can smell fuel it’s not being starved of petrol.
However, the repeated heating up and cooling down experienced on bikes used for typically short commuting journeys, means that there can be a cumulative build up of condensation that ends up in the carb float bowls.
Drain each one individually and check the contents. As for the spark, it’s going to be from the coil forwards, perhaps when it’s wet.
I’d try liberal spraying with Holts Damp Start and maybe a new HT cap and lead.
The Suzuki GSF600 Bandit’s sheer value for money. It’s always been the cheapest in class and if the Yamaha FZS600 Fazer knocked it off its perch in pure performance terms, the GSF600 Bandit still rules the roost when it comes to squeezing every last pony out of every pound spent. You can buy cheaper, you can buy better, but nothing has ever had absolute value nailed to it quite like a Suzuki GSF600 Bandit.
Suzuki Bandit buying guide
You absolutely can’t go wrong with a Suzuki Bandit, assuming the thing hasn’t been owned by a meathead!
The nice thing about Bandits (also known as Bindits because so many people did) is that they’ve been around for about a quarter of a century now and there really is a model for every pocket.
The early 600 and 1200 models (forget the 400) were really just parts-bin specials. Suzuki mixed and match a load of cheap components, and the engines were just adaptations of earlier designs – but somehow it all worked and made for a bike that was so much more than a sum of its parts.
Things like suspension and brakes were fairly basic to help keep the cost down. However, later bikes are better built with improved ingredients. Still, this makes the early ones cheap and project 600s go for as little as £400.
Starting prices for a stock-ish oil-cooled 600 from the late 1990s are around £600-£700, but if you want something sound, you should budget for £800. If you want more ooomph the early 1200s start at about £1000, but add £300-£400 to that for a decent one.
If you’re looking at the upper end of the market and the water-cooled bikes, then budget £3000 for a 1200 or £3750 for a 1250. There’s no other bike that offers such value for money!
And, for once, I’d say you don’t have to go for stockers. Everyone improves them in some way and just putting a Yoshi can on an early 1200 liberates another 15bhp!
Just beware of streetfighters, which have invariably been crashed before the conversion was made and quite possibly afterwards as well. Avoid anything described as a ‘stunt bike’ too, because you’ll be buying into a whole world of pain.
Insurance group: 12 of 17 – compare motorcycle insurance quotes now.
Pardon? What did you say? With price the over-riding criteria the Suzuki GSF600 Bandit was never going to offer much in the way luxury. That said, the twin clocks are stylish enough and the switchgear and mirrors are OK, too. That’s your lot on the Suzuki GSF600 Bandit, though…