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Paul Barnard
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« on: December 31, 2006, 06:54:07 AM »

I have my eye on a brand new 2005 Bandit 1200s.  It's in the team Zook colors and is priced at 6300.  I'm thinking of adding hard cases and ST-ing the bike.  I'm fishing for info.  What kind of life expectancy (mileage wise) should I expect from the oil cooled plant?  How well does the oil cooler work in the heat of the summer?  What kind of fuel economy are you getting?  How well does the factory wind screen protect you?  How are the vibes at cruising speed?  How many RPM's are you turning at an indicated 80MPH?  I will want to run a GPS, heated grips and a heated jacket, can the electrical system handle it?  

Any other info or insights would be greatly appreciated.

Paul
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« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2006, 09:05:33 AM »

I have an 01 1200.  23500 on the clock.  Not a problem one. Just changed the plugs and they looked fantastic.  On the highway push 45 mpg. Cooling-where I live when it hits 105 in the summer, that spells relief.  Never an issue with the heat.  Wind screen, works good, not great.  I put on a Laminar Lip, it works very good.  I went up one on the front sprocket.  The motor melts away at 85 mph at 3100 rpm.  Run the bike at 4500 rpm in 5th and the motor all but disappears.  Super smooth. But lots of power.  However, I came off a HD FXRS that was pumped by HD standards. I run a Gerbing Jacket, gloves, and now socks- no electrical problems.  

Just for reference, I am one of those who is always toying withthe idea of jumping on another bike.  But everytime I get on the bike, it fits me perfectly and is totally reliable.  The main weak point is suspension.  Easy enough to fix.  But even in stock form I would take the tires all the way to the edge.  I have had more than one person on a much more technically advanced bike comment that they were surprised how well it goes. Another words, they liked following it.

Cant comment on your price though.  I think you could propably pick one up with some add ons at a better price.  Just be carefull with 01's.  Ring issue that Suzuki warrantied.  I have an 01 and like I said, very reliable.  Great machine.  You are just not going to get a bunch of "ooohs and awes" if that is what your are after.

Hope this helps
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« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2006, 12:33:44 PM »

I have 2004 B12 with 40,000 km, never gave me one bit of trouble, just regular maintenance, I use synthetic oil and have never had any problems heat related. Shastarider...was that a misprint...I'm at 4,700 rpm at 130 kph...about 80 mph, 1 tooth makes that much difference? I have a heated vest and GPS, not electrical probs. The stock windshield is ok for me, I've added a K&N filter, and a Hindle slip on with a little jetting to fine tune, that's about it. I love it! It's the perfect all rounder! Bigok
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« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2006, 07:46:43 PM »

The Bandit mill is derived from the 86 gixxer motor, it is bulletproof, 300k miles have been achieved by California couriers.

I have 28K+ on my 03 and never a problem, I run a full synthetic oil and change it less often than I should.

I have gotten 52mpg just putting along, but average 47mpg.  They are great bikes, but thats pretty pricey for a left over o5, I wouldn't pay much more than $5500USD.

You also know the new bandit is coming out right? More CC's, liquid cooling, better headlights, etc.

I also always lust for something new, but every time I get on my B12 I fall in love all over again.  
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« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2006, 08:13:41 PM »

I have an '02 which is just shy of 50K miles.  Shows no signs of quitting, knock wood.  I have been going through chains like a mofo, and rear tires as well  

Regarding fuel economy, I've never gotten more than, oh 42 MPG and that's putting along.  Usually in the mid-high 30's.  I can only approach a 200-mile range if I really just cruise, and that's not what I'm after.  I don't know if it's my riding style, but I've never seen the economy others talk about.  No worries, though.  I like to stop every 150 miles or so anyway.

As far as ST-ing it goes, a pair of Givi E-45 side cases and a Zero Gravity ST windscreen were the major touring mods.  I also added an XM mount and placed the XM antenna under the plastic in the tail cone.  Works out well outside of tall buildings.

The electrical system can handle all that you're asking of it, plus a little more.

At indicated 80MPH, I'm turning 5KRPM in top gear.  More like 72MPH real world.

The oil cooler is fine on hot days as long as you're moving.  I've even tolerated being stuck in traffic on 90+ days, and the bike handled it a lot better than my old GS850 did.
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« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2006, 09:33:37 PM »

IMO, you can't go wrong with a Bandit 1200.  Plenty of engine and torque and very comfortable.  My '00 wasn't much to look at, but it was a blast to ride, cheap to purchase and maintain, and had as much usable power as I needed.  As for gas mileage, I felt good when I was getting 35 mpg but the 1st generations may not have been as fuel efficient as the 2nd gens.  I added a Corbin seat and taller windscreen on mine which made a huge difference on longer rides.  I also added a Holeshot pipe and jet kit to smooth it out a little and take away some of the hesitation it had when hitting the throttle.  In sum, if you're on a budget and looking for a bike capable of being made into a good (if not great) sport-touring bike, the Bandit is the way to go.  

Let us know what you decide.  
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« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2006, 09:43:10 PM »

I had an '01 for almost a year and put 9,600 miles on it. I suppose if you didn't know better, one would say that the Bandit was an impulse buy, but in actuality I had done quite a bit of snooping around on the specs of the B12. So when I low-sided my VFR on the way to a WCRM, I added the B12 to the stable while I was at the meet.

As for the bike: it is solid! Loads of fun with the throttle (too much fun; one of the reasons I no longer have it) and a strong, steady motor. Mine was an oil burner, but that was covered under warranty with no problem whatsoever. It was a comfortable bike for long rides and hoot to ride around town. If it had better off-road capibilities I might never had traded it for my GS1150  Bigsmile
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« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2007, 12:03:02 AM »

The Bandits engine is absolutely bullet proof if you follow the service schedule. The only weak point on the B-12 engine wise is the automatic chain tensioner, which tends to go around 40,000 miles (reported by some owners, but not all) It is easily replaced by a manual tensioner available for very cheap. (Under 50 bucks). I would bet money that the B-12 powerplant will out last most of the modern sport bike engines out there today, just because of its bulk. (No paper thin pistons here)  I bought a GS 1100E (back in 82 I think) and put 71,000 trouble free km on that bike before I sold it. My friend who purchased the same bike at the same time, still has his with 288,000 km on it. Lets just say he rides most of the time at full throttle, and invented the term "ride it like you've stolen it".

I would strongly recommend the Bandit for anyone looking for a budget do everything bike. I may be parting ways with my 2002 Bandit this year for an FJR 1300, which by the way will cost me twice as much as I paid for my Bandit new.

Givi has a new style of bag that should be ready for your bandit this year, called the V-Series. Here is a picture of them mounted on a 2007 Bandit. I am sure givi will make the brackets for the 2001-2006 B-12s.




The oil cooled Bandit runs much cooler than any water cooled bike I have owned. I live in a pretty cool climate but have toured it through the Okanogan area at +42 degrees Celsius (Over 100 degrees Fahrenheit) and the bike ran fine.

The bandit's stator puts out 550 watts I believe, which will run pretty much anything you want. I have 65 watt bulbs in mine (see Bandit Headlight Mods) along with heated grips, heated vest. Never have run down the battery. I would bet you could run two vests & heated gloves with no problem.

The Bandit requires a few mods to keep the buzzing down at highway speeds. Bar ends & a bar snake, or lead shot in the bars fixes this just fine (and inexpensive to do) The only time buzzing has been a complaint was when the carbs needed to be synchronised. (regular maintenance)

I have got as high as 52 mpg (Imperial gallons) when stock on mine. (You need to get off the bike before you will need fuel) When stock, the Bandit used to get me 325 km till reserve. A jet kit will kill this by the way. I now only can manage 38 mpg.

The stock screen & fairing are a great match, lots of wind protection here. I have tried the Suzuki touring screen and hated the added buffeting it added.

Here is an RPM chart for a B-12 with stock gearing.


INPUTS      2001 GSF1200K1 Bandit Gearing Calculator         
Front Sprocket (Teeth)   15            
Rear Sprocket (Teeth)   45            
Final Ratio   3.00            
Primary Ratio   1.565            
Rear Tire Diameter (inches)   25.43            
Tire Circumference (Inches)   79.89            
GEAR   1   2   3   4   5
Internal Gear Ratio   2.384   1.631   1.250   1.045   0.913
Overall Gear Ratio   11.193   7.658   5.869   4.906   4.287
 RPM    MPH   MPH   MPH   MPH   MPH
 1,500    10   15   19   23   26
 2,000    14   20   26   31   35
 2,500    17   25   32   39   44
 3,000    20   30   39   46   53
 3,500    24   35   45   54   62
 4,000    27   40   52   62   71
 4,500    30   44   58   69   79
 5,000    34   49   64   77   88
 5,500    37   54   71   85   97
 6,000    41   59   77   93   106
 6,500    44   64   84   100   115
 7,000    47   69   90   108   124
 7,500    51   74   97   116   132
 8,000    54   79   103   123   141
 8,500    57   84   110   131   150
 9,000    61   89   116   139   159
 9,500    64   94   122   146   168
 10,000    68   99   129   154   176
 10,500    71   104   135   162   185
 11,000    74   109   142   170   194




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Paul Barnard
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« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2007, 07:48:29 AM »

This is great info.  Just what I was looking for.  I have a soft spot for the team Suzuki colors that the sparkling new Bandit in the showroom has.  I am lusting for it.  I have been exploring a big mileage eating ST for some time now.  My WEE feels like I'm ringing its neck when I run an actual 75 or 80 on the interstate.  I have considered a Vstrom 1000, an SV1000 and SV1000s.  The big Strom will do what I want it to, but I figure if I'm going for a liter bike I'll get one a little more performance oriented.  I don't think the 03 naked SV offers enough protection and the faired SV's might be a little ergonomically aggressive for distance riding.

Any of the naked bikes (I am fond of the UJM ergos) would require too much effort to get the kind of wind protection I would want, so rule out the naked Bandit, 919, ZRX and Z1000.  The ZZR-1200 might suit me well, but I have never had a chance to put my hands on one to feel it out.  Kawasaki's Z750S is tempting, but doesn't satisfy my liter bike lust.  I like the FJR and the ST1300, but they are just too heavy for my liking.  The new Bandit 1250 is very appealing, but is it worth 2 grand more than the brand new 2005?  Is the brand new 2005 worth 1500-2000 bucks more than a lightly used one.  Used Bandit 1200S's pop up from time to time for a good price.  The FZ1 is hard to beat as an all around liter bike.  I'd love to have a low mileage bumble bee colored FZ1 show up on the used market.  When I get the closing costs on my new house sorted out, I'm going to add a liter bike to my stable.  Just fishing for ideas.

Thanks again for all the good info.
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« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2007, 02:16:11 PM »

Paul. I read your review of the DL 650 when looking to buy one but didn't do it. I had an 04 B12 for one year. Put lead shot in the bars but still had too much high frequency vibration. Others have told me it probably needed a carb synch if it was that bad and they could be right. I added the 2 inch taller windscreen and with a full face and earplugs it was very quiet wind-noise wise with no buffeting. Very strong motor and the suspension isn't bad unless you're a very good rider scraping pegs on every curve. I'm real interested in the 07. That extra gear and new counterbalancer could make a big improvement. It also looks like the headlights will be better. We will just have to wait and see what the moto journalists have to say when they get to ride one. I've narrowed my choices down to the new Bandit, FZ1, or the 1000 strom for a spring purchase.
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« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2007, 12:26:32 PM »

I own the '05, have put 13,000 miles on it without a hiccup. I added a Corbin gunfighter and Lady seat with a back rest for Mrs., it's the best investment you'll make if you want to do some distance riding. The stocker will bag out your butt in about 100 miles and getting off for a rest doesn't help much. With the Corbin, 500 mile days are a breeze, I've done plenty with no problems. You might get the bar buzz and the carb synch IS the answer. Everyone complains about the stock suspension, but unless you're planning on playing Rossi on every turn, it's really not that bad and is fully adjustable. For touring it works just fine for me (6' 225 lbs). The stock tires are not as good as you'd think, but you probably won't notice the difference until you wear them out and put on a set of Pilot Roads. The transformation is remarkable.

When I tour, I use soft luggage (Cortech saddle and tail bags) because they can hold more stuff than hard bags, are much lighter, go on and off in a second and are just plain easier to deal with. The fairing and windshield are pretty much for looks and though they do keep some wind, bugs and road crud off you, they're definately not specifically long distance touring designed.

Over the past year my gaze has landed on a lot of other mounts, but when push came to shove, I always stayed with the Bandit. The motor is just the best there is for real world riding, 30 to 80 mph, power is just plain everywhere. 80 mph cruising puts the motor at about 4800 rpm, but the sweet spot starts at 5200. From 5200 to about 6000 the engine is rock solid smoothe. So smoothe that mirrors actually have crystal clear vision. Lower than that they get a bit fuzzy, but are still useable. Day in day out riding returns between 42 and 46 mpg, legal speeds on the highway can get you over 50, if you don't fall asleep. Summer heat is no problem for the engine (living in Florida I'd know that) but you will have to go up to higher octane fuel when the temps are in the 90's. Mine started to knock after 4 straight 95 degree days and a switch to high test cured that nonsense right up.

Is the 1200 Bandit the best bike out there? Heck, no, but for what it does and what it can do, there are VERY few contenders. Comfortable, powerful, reliable, good ergos, 2 up no problem at all, It's a great bike if you'd rather ride than wrench, polish and pose.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2007, 12:29:11 PM by Uncle Leo » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2007, 12:07:11 PM »

I've got an '01 with just over 40K trouble-free miles. I didn't even have the oil consumption issue that some '01 & early '02 owners complained about. I second the comments on the seat and I also went with the Corbin Gunfighter & Lady for long distance comfort for me & the Mrs. I get 37-40 mpg (US), with most tanks getting 39. Mine has K&N pod filters, Holeshot Stage II jet kit, 5* timing advancer and 17" Street slip-on. A long time ago, when it was still stock, it would manage as high as 43 mpg, with 41 being the norm. When I tour, I use the Ventura 45L Bike-Pack mounted to their rack.

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« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2010, 08:06:21 AM »

I know this is an old post   but there's a lot of good info on the 1200 Bandit here.
Fast forward... it's 2010 and I just bought a clean low mileage (9,350) 2004 Bandit GSF1200/S for just $3,350  Banana



I'm replacing my ol' reliable 1992 Honda CB750 NightHawk commuter bike with the Bandit.



To date I've done a Dyno Ket stage 1 jet kit, carb sync, valve adj, spark plugs and air filter.
Found a used Corbin seat for $200.
Only ridden the bike for a week now, but I like it a lot so far.
Ya, some buzz, but much better than the Honda 919. I originally wanted to buy a 919 but after riding a couple of them I could not find the love, and the CONSTANT buzz that the 919 produced was unsatisfactory.
I've discovered Holeshot Performance http://www.holeshot.com/bandit/ and have ordered their Nerf Bars and Rear Foot Peg Removal Bracket.
I'm going to put a 16t sprocket on this weekend to help with the MPGs.
Want to do some cosmetic changes like strip and polish wheel rims for that 1985 Honda 700S NightHawk look (I owned a 700S, put 98K miles on that bike Bigsmile).
Ride often, ride safe.
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« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2010, 11:33:20 PM »


I know this is an old post   but there's a lot of good info on the 1200 Bandit here.
Fast forward... it's 2010 and I just bought a clean low mileage (9,350) 2004 Bandit GSF1200/S for just $3,350  Banana



rock on.  welcome to the family!
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« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2010, 11:56:07 PM »

I had a 96 B12 before I bought my 07 1250. Put 140,000+ km (87000 miles) on the 1200 with no problems. I do a lot of wheelies,not shy about running to redline, but I do change oil every 3000km's. You can't go wrong with the 1200 motor.
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« Reply #15 on: February 24, 2010, 01:49:30 PM »

Finished doing most of the upgrades I wanted on the Bandit; Dyno Jet kit, Holeshot Nerf Bars and Muffler Hanger, valve adjust, 16t sprocket, Corbin seat. Still waiting for the Race Tech fork springs I have on order.

Took some pictures and posted them here > http://www.photosbytink.com/Bandit/

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« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2010, 02:06:59 PM »

Nice.  That thing's just begging to be loaded down with some luggage.   Razz



« Last Edit: February 24, 2010, 02:09:06 PM by vulcanbill » Logged

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