I've been watching this forum for a while, and I thought now would be a good time to start posting.
A bit of background: I am half French, half British, born in Austria but grew up in many places, including Cambodia, where I now work.
My first motorized two-wheeled vehicle was a Honda Wave 100cc, which I used to commute to school every morning when I was 16.
I then got myself a Honda XLR 250 Baja, which was a fun little dual-sport bike that I used to travel around a bit. It was very old and shabby though, so I quickly outgrew it. Cambodia's roads are getting better nowadays, dirt-bikes are not really necessary anymore.
So I decided to get a sports-touring bike. The bike market here is very small, so I had not much choice and got myself a 1998 Yamaha TDM 850. I really loved this bike. It was my first "real" bike, and a joy to ride. But I crashed it. Long story short, I went straight into a truck (not my fault though) and was lucky to survive, but the TDM850 was completely destroyed. Sold it for scrap and started scouting the market again. Fell in love with a Suzuki Bandit 1250S and its insane torque, and I have been enjoying it for 4 months now. I picked up the bike with 16,000 KM, imported straight from the USA, now at 19,000 KM. No accidents, yet, knock on wood.
Owning a big bike like this in Cambodia is not an easy thing. First, spare parts are unavailable, which means my mechanic has to order them every time. Mail service is far from stellar here, and things get lost.
99% of mechanics here have never worked on something bigger than a carb 125cc, imagine their face when I show up with a FI 1250.
Thankfully there are two British blokes who opened a shop here, so I exclusively use them. They are a tad more expensive than locals but I trust them.
Anyway, I thought I post here to see if anyone else is in a similar situation in Asia. I know there are only two Bandits in Cambodia (including mine), but you never know.
Also, I have a few questions:
- There's this strangely soothing, pulsating noise when the Bandit idles. The engine is quite noisy, but the exhaust is very quiet. Anyone else experience this? Also, there's a noticeable difference in engine noise when the clutch is pulled - is this normal? I ordered new plates & springs just to be sure.
- I don't like the exhaust noise. Almost sounds electric. Plus, in this country full of road-raging maniacs, it's good to be noisy. Can anyone recommend a good slip-on that will not require FI-tinkering? Or perhaps I can just modify the stock exhaust.
- The seat is quite uncomfortable. I know Corbin makes some good ones, but they are very expensive. Do you know any alternatives (from stores that ship internationally)?
- I find the headlights quite dim. Do you know if there are any mods to make them brighter? Couldn't find any HID kits for that bike.
- Any farkles you recommend? I don't need heated stuff because the average temperature here is 35C.
- The paint got damaged before I was the owner. I will probably get a new paint job soon. Any special things I should be aware of? Do you guys know where to get decals? Especially those 3D "S" that are on the tank...
- I ordered parts for a big service: new brake disks, new pads, new seals, new bearings, plus a few broken things like the clutch lever, and front-left turn signal (yes, I was stupid enough to use the side stand in sand, the bike fell while parked). Any other things I should consider?
Thanks in advance. While I am at it, here's a picture of my baby getting a bath. For 1$, they'll scrub and rub it and clean even its most intimate parts!