1999 Suzuki GSF1200 Bandit from Canada


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.

General Comments:

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

1999 Suzuki GSF1200 Bandit from United Kingdom


Stonking power, a great allround package



General Comments:

This bike is all about 1 thing - grunt - and it's got carrier bags full of the stuff. Any gear, any revs, just wind on the throttle and it shifts. That reason alone was enough to temp me to the Bandit 1200.

What about the other areas? Well, it goes round corners reasonably well as you would expect a motorcycle to do, but it is heavy, and the suspension wears quickly with age.

The single best modification I did on this bike was to change the rear shock with a quality TechnoFlex one. Yes it was expensive, but it improved the handling 200%.

As for the brakes, well actually they're very good as standard, but with better pads and braided lines, they're even better. Good bite, feel, and power.

What I loved also was the fact that if you put just a race can on, you can liberate up to 15BHP instantly - without re-jetting or the like, and lighten the bike by about 5kgs in the process as the standard silencer is RESTRICTIVE and HEAVY.

Complete the above and you have a fairly fine specimen of a bike, which will do just about anything you ask of it.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th December, 2005