Suzuki GSF1200 Bandit Reviews from United States of America

2001 Suzuki GSF1200 Bandit

Model year2001
Year of manufacture2001
First year of ownership2008
Most recent year of ownership2009
Acceleration marks 9 / 10
Roll-on Performance marks 10 / 10
Handling marks 9 / 10
Braking marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.9 / 10
Distance when acquired17420 miles
Most recent distance23550 miles
Previous motorcycleYamaha XS500

Summary:

A sweet ride; smooth and fast

Faults:

No problems to date.

General Comments:

Nice combination of torque, horsepower, handling and good looks. Also, very reasonably priced.

I'm 64 years old and my motorcycle days mostly ended in 1969 when I sold my '64 Bonneville, '68 Enfield Interceptor and '51 Indian Chief to move out west. Since then only had a Yamaha XS 500 for a very short time and didn't ride it much; it had a little scoot but only if thrashed.

Stopped riding while raising kids because of cost and responsibility, but now decided to enter my second childhood.

While test riding quite a few new 'Street Fighter' bikes last summer I ran across this 2001 Bandit 1200s used. It was considerably faster and lots more comfortable than anything I'd ridden, although the longer frame made it slower in tight turns. I continued testing new bikes, but nothing else did it for me like the Bandit, so I bought it and put on a new set of Avon Storm ST's.

You can ride it docile and it feels docile. Tach it up, and there's a monster inside. Both horsepower and torque keep coming on strong until about 7500rpm, at which point the adrenaline rush really kicks in all the way to 11,000.

As for turns, it's very comfortable out on the highway. There's a lot more performance in both the turns and straights than I'll ever be able to use. Cruising at 70mph in high gear there's so much power on tap that downshifting to pass is really moot unless you want to impress someone. Drop it into second and it goes unicycle, and I'm riding at 8000 plus altitude, so losing 25% or more power.

If you need Gucci or Armani or the like, this isn't your bike. If you want lots of performance and great reliability, I highly recommend looking at this bike. I'm riding with a bunch of bikes costing 3-7 times as much, and this bike outruns all of them.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th June, 2009

2005 Suzuki GSF1200 Bandit

Model year2005
Year of manufacture2004
First year of ownership2008
Most recent year of ownership2008
Acceleration marks 8 / 10
Roll-on Performance marks 8 / 10
Handling marks 8 / 10
Braking marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 10 / 10
Dealer Service marks 4 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.9 / 10
Distance when acquired18335 miles
Most recent distance18788 miles
Previous motorcycleHarley-Davidson FXE 1200 SuperGlide

Summary:

The king of street-fighters, hands down!!!

Faults:

Dead battery.

Laid down, what little fairings on it exploded.

General Comments:

Valve adjustment is tedious and too short of intervals.

Torque monster.

Can be hopped up to be as fast as the superbikes.

Lacks suspension of the super bikes.

Comfy seat.

Nimble and easy to use.

Likes to be on one wheel.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th September, 2008

1997 Suzuki GSF1200 Bandit

Model year1997
Year of manufacture1997
First year of ownership2004
Most recent year of ownership2007
Acceleration marks 10 / 10
Roll-on Performance marks 10 / 10
Handling marks 6 / 10
Braking marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 8 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired27000 miles
Most recent distance45000 miles
Previous motorcycleSuzuki GSF1200 Bandit

Summary:

If you can only have 1 bike, this should be it

Faults:

Some oil leaks have developed, but that's probably my own fault from taking it apart and tweaking it so many times.

The stock carburation was terrible; it was easily fixed with a dynojet kit.

General Comments:

I've had my Bandit for quite a while now, and at this point it only resembles its stock form on the outside.

THE STOCK BIKE was a great do it all mount. The stock carburation was terrible, and I would recommend a new pipe and a dynojet kit (stage 1) to anybody buying one of these. With these mods, the motor should be good for a solid 110 hp at the rear wheel and around 80 ft. lbs of torque. It will eat 600's at a stoplight, but don't let the race go better than 100mph, or that CBR will catch up pretty quick.

If you're not the type to mod things, I would stop here. The bike does everything well, and its cheap suspension will only be seen on a race track or with an extremely aggressive rider. For everyone else, save your money and leave the bike alone.

FOR THOSE WHO LIKE MODS: The bike has been bored out to 1216cc's, dome top pistons, GSXR cams, head has been ported and milled.015", ignition advanced about 6 degrees, stage 3 jet kit with pod filters, and I'm sure there's more.

The stage 3 kit works great, but will require some tinkering to get the carb jetted right. The bike has been to the track a couple of times, and the motor will outrun anything out there... the problem lies in the suspension and cornering clearance. Get yourself some aftermarket rearsets, or you'll be grinding pegs all day.

The bike has done everything for me; gone to the track, got groceries, handled my daily commute...it's reliable and fun. For the layman, it's a great bike in stock form. But for you gearheads, this bike can be cranking out 150 bhp for probably $1000 in engine mods. Where else can you get that performance so cheap?

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th August, 2007

Average review marks: 8.4 / 10, based on 6 reviews