2002 Suzuki Bandit 1200s Consumer Reviews 2005 Suzuki Bandit 1200/S…

10 Mar 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on 2002 Suzuki Bandit 1200s Consumer Reviews 2005 Suzuki Bandit 1200/S…

Suzuki GSF 1200 Limited
Suzuki GSF 1200 Limited

User Rating: Excellent



Handling And Control:

Quality and Craftsmanship:

Pros: Inexpensive with excellent useable power for the experienced rider

Cons: Old school engineering, will need replacement parts early

The Bottom Line: I can’t justify replacing my Bandit with anything else, and I’ve looked! I definitely recommend it for the seasoned rider.

The 2005 iteration of Suzuki’s 1200/S was the last year in the US for this model. Like all it’s predecessors, it was blessed with what has to be one of the best motors ever put into a day to day street bike. The air/oil cooled engine was lifted from the 80’s era GSXR race bikes, made larger for more torque and detuned for more reliability.

Put simply, it just flat-out works. Pushing about 100 HP and 78 pounds of torque, riding the big bandit is almost like riding an automatic. The power is everywhere whenever you want it.

In 3rd gear when you should be in 2nd? It doesn’t matter, twist your wrist and the landscape becomes a blur.

In the real world of riding, which is from 30 to 80 mph, I haven’t found anything that does the job better. There are some that can match it in this area and a very, very few that might beat it, however, those bikes will cost you two to three times as much. The Bandit is not for the novice, uninitiated or Iwannagofast squid.

You should have a lot of experience under your belt before venturing into the realms of what this thing can do, and you need to understand that the power of this bike can get you into trouble VERY quickly.

Stock, the one problem area that is almost immediately apparent is the seat. It works for about 100 to 120 miles, and then your done. An off bike break won’t help much, as soon as you get back on you’ll feel the pressure points that made you get off in the first place. This is a malady with most modern day bikes and is the reason there is such a large aftermarket for seats of all makes.

In my case I replaced the stock seat with the Corbin Gunfighter and Lady saddle, and the transformation was truly remarkable. 300 mile rides are commonplace for me and this saddle is good for much longer distances. Plus, when I stop for gas (at about 175 miles, the tank holds 5 gallons) and get back on, there are no pressure point problems and I’m good to go as I was when I started out.

Suzuki GSF 1200 Limited
Suzuki GSF 1200 Limited

For my height, 6’0, the windscreen on the 1/2 fairing does a nice job of keeping the direct blast off of chest and the windflow hits about neck high. This does increase road and wind noise so earplugs are a necessity, as they are on almost every bike out there so that’s not really a negative. In Florida, during the love-bug seasons, I bless the little fairing ever time I venture out.

Also, I’ve found that the standard handle bars are just fine and the length to the pegs also fit me well. I prefer the Bandit’s approach of putting the pegs under me instead of further back, it allows me to sit up straighter and to stand over rough patches of road or railroad crossings. Having handlebars instead of clip ons also makes changing bars quick and cheap if I ever decide to do so.

The aftermarket for the Bandit is enormous and personalizing your machine is limited only by the thickness of your wallet.

Speaking of cheap, the suspension is where the Bandit will let you down. I bought my bike new and after two years and 17,000 miles, the fork springs and shock are pretty much used up. In high speed sweepers the suspension will wallow and hog out now, something it did not do in the first 5,000 miles. I’m in the process of refitting the shock and fork springs with aftermarket heavy duty items from Progressive.

A report will follow.

To sum up, the Bandit 1200 has to be one of the best do everything, all purpose street bikes I’ve ever owned or ridden. Want to take someone on a nice, long ride to a special place? No sweat. Want to try your hand at an Iron Butt Qualifier? Change the saddle and it’s almost too easy.

Want to show the kid in the souped up street car that he’s not even close to your league in blistering out of the hole acceleration? Go ahead (provided you KNOW what you’re doing!) The Bandit is a new model for 2007, but a used 1200, if you can find one, just might be exactly what you’re looking for if you want an inexpensive, easy to maintain, reliable do everything bike that can still scare the snot out of you every time you crank the throttle.

Recommend this product? Yes

Amount Paid (US$): 7,000

Suzuki GSF 1200 Limited
Suzuki GSF 1200 Limited

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