1999 Suzuki GSF1200 Bandit
A great value in a sporty commuter or tourer, with the potential to be a real hotrod
I have had occasional tiny oil leaks over the 12 years of ownership; mostly at the valve cover, and easily set right.
My seat cover began to tear after 10 years or so.
Light bulbs need replacing sporadically after years of service. This is one very reliable bike.
The bike is comfy and practical, does well as city transport and two-up. Stock, it is quiet, civilized, unobtrusive, and a bit of a "Blandit", until you hold the gas on for a few seconds, then it gets exciting pretty quick.
The stock suspension is poor at first, and degraded to terrifying over the years. Motor of doom, legs of cheese...
Running costs are pretty high. I live in an area with displacement surcharges on insurance, and the beast was always a bit hard on consumables. Chains, tires, brakes, and sprockets wear out pretty quick if you use the power at all. Fuel mileage is mediocre, and valve inspections are frequent by modern standards.
After 10 years, I started with the mods. Full suspension overhaul with Gixxer shock and aftermarket fork rebuild with valving, HEL lines, full system with jetting, custom seat, Renthals, tinted screen, headlight improvements, all the essentials. It is a different bike. Very exciting and kinda bad ass. Lighter, harder, 20% more power. I am glad I did it, but it is a bit much really.
I think I will ride it for the foreseeable future, as it does everything pretty well, and after 12 years and all the effort, there's no point stopping.
Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 24th May, 2012