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1000km Bandit 1250S Review

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by 2wheelsagain, Dec 15, 2007.

  1. After knocking off 1000k in quick time I'm happy to give my thoughts on my K8 1250S Bandit (GSF1250S)

    If you're thinking of a Bandit as your next bike, go get one. No need to read further.
    If a Bandit is on the list along with other bikes read on as this may sway you one way or the other.

    For those who can cast their minds back 2 or 3 months you may remember I was trying to get hold of a Bandit for a test ride without success. I was pretty sure it was what I wanted in a bike so I put a deposit down without a test. ( I had sat on one in Florida in August)

    I'm a big bastard XXXXL shirts 185cm and size 12 boots so I wanted a bike that could cart my frame around and the Bandit does this easily.
    The new wet Bandits have a new engine and gearbox specifically built for the Bandits. The engine is narrower and fuel injected. The new gearbox is 6 speed and more compact allowing a longer swing arm at the same wheel base. Frame and suspension are upgraded and with perfectly placed footpegs and one-piece handlebars this is an easy bike to ride and live with. All this adds up to locomotive type torque in the bottom and mid range in a bike that is a very capable sports tourer leaning slightly towards the tourer end of the scale. EFI gives instant throttle response at any speed. Cold starts are fuss free. Limping around in traffic presents no fuelling issues. If you want an outright hoon machine get an earlier Bandit or another brand of bike. These Bandits may have grown up but they are in no way boring. They will do almost whatever you ask them to do if you're good enough.

    How fast?
    I need my license for work but believe me its plenty quick enough. Others say 245km/h stock and that seems achievable to me. This bike is not about outright speed anyway. If you want bigger numbers than that buy a supersports and kiss your license goodbye. 100km/h arrives at 3300rpm and it seems happy to sit there all day. Passing can be done in any gear above 2nd at this speed.
    You get the feeling there is enormous untapped grunt in these engines but accessing that would be outside the design brief of this bike.
    Brakes are as good as you need for a 240kg (wet) bike in this class too.
    The standard screen does a good job, but anyone taller in the body may feel inclined to look for a touring screen. There is a small slot at the bottom that lowers air pressure behind the screen. Great idea but it must have been tested in a bug free environment. I get more bug guts inside the screen than outside and cleaning it is a pain. I have a fix that I'll be trying soon.
    Mirrors allow more than looking at your elbows and are very steady at speed. Easily the best I've seen and cars soon become dots in them.
    Instruments are easy to read, comprising of analogue tacho and digital speedo with odo, 2 trip functions, clock and fuel gauge. Lights consist of neutral, over heat, oil pressure and hi beam. Nicely laid out.
    The standard tyres are Dunlop 218's. I've never had them before. They seem ok if not a little noisy. Not sure how they are in the wet or how they wear. Pilot Roads may go on next as I had these on the RF900R.
    The seat is adjustable and is fine for me in the standard position and with good padding.
    Fuel economy is about 5.5l/100k (95 & 91 RON) 98 seems to be worse with no power gain.
    Thanks to Euro 3 emissions the stock muffler is almost to quiet. There is more tyre noise then engine noise at 100km/h
    There are plenty of "bling" and aftermarket bits available and customising should be compulsory.

    As you can see I like this bike.

    What Suzuki could do better:
    Fix the Euro 3 emission EFI snatch under light load 2500-3500 (temp fix is to run a gear higher and load the engine) My bike doesn't seem as bad as others and some others have no issues at all.
    Fix the lateral throttle slop. (easy to fix at home but should be done at the factory and makes the above snatch worse due to less control)
    Supply an accessory electrical tap somewhere, anywhere.
    Speedo has +7% error. (some bikes are worse than this but its not good enough with modern electronics)
    Incorporate a temp gauge into the instruments. (a wet engine with no way of telling how hot its running until a light comes on)
    Pay closer attention to frame welds (appearance)
    Use a narrower but deeper radiator (less prone to bugs and stones guards for less than $200)

    Final comments:
    If you can find a better value bike in the Australian market get it.
    Demand for Bandits outstrips current supplies. Most are sold before they land.
    An after market muffler may not gain much in hp but it will save weight and sound better.
    The gearbox is as sweet as any Suzuki box has been.
    Everyone wants to stop and talk about this black bike with the silver engine.
    If you want more power get an FZ1.
    If you want to get naked get a Hornet.
    If a Bandit ticks most of your boxes don't look at anything else, just be prepared to wait for delivery.
    Would I buy another? Absolutely and there are people around the world who have traded their Bandit 1200's for the 1250 and are grinning, like me from ear to ear.

    PM for any specifics.

  2. Would I buy another Bandit?

    Probably... bang for the buck is hard to beat, and the new one has ABS available (like my original 96 model bandit had, and unlike my current K6) which is a huge bonus.

    ABS has been unavailable in Oz for the last few models although they have been sold with ABS over seas.
  3. Good write-up!

    I don't feel as though i'd ever need to buy one now to experience what they're like. I feel like I know it that well already after reading that! :wink:
  4. It just sounds like it is getting better all the time 2wheels...i have put off buying my h9 until prob. the first half of jan. mab. by that time they will have more bandits in stock and i can go for a ride. do you have any idea when they will become more readily available??.

    I love the h9 but i would like to compare it to the bandit sometimes i would like somthing bigger but other times not...anyway i will wait to have a ride to see just how good it is...

    Safe riding twowheels.... :p
  5. Mate, I thought the h9 was a done deal for you. It must be killing you not knowing which way to go. Good luck with that.

    I agree my bike is getting better. It really developed at around 600k and I think again with fresh oil on Friday. The mechanic told me he put mineral oil back in as I had said it was coming on still. I'm happy to not run full synth yet. We'll have another look at 5000k.

    You're just going to have pester your local dealer for Bandit stock and it may be a case that they have to nominate one just to have a demo. My smaller regional dealer has refunded deposits because he cant get one. I dont know why Suzuki Aust dont import more. They are loosing sales. Part of the problem was there was no run out K7 stock. All sold prior to K8 being available in Oct.

    ZRX1200R ABS is only in boring Grey in AU but for $400 is good value.

    Mario Mendoza Thanks but you're missing out!
  6. Color is a very personal thing when it comes to bikes...
    I actually like the grey :p
  7. yeah twowheels it was pretty much a done deal but then i started to have second thoughts about the fact i have not really test ridden any other bikes so i thought i would before i go and buy the hornet 900 just to have something to compare it too........yeah i think you are right i will have to pester the local dealer and hopefully they come though with the stock afta new years :grin:
  8. 2008 Bandit

    I must agree with your review on the 2008 Bandit 1250S.
    I just traded my old BMW K100RS after doing in a clutch.
    I have had new BMWs that cost me twice as much but that does not equate to twice the quality.
    I love the Bandit after only 600 klms home from Canberra to Wagga. (Via Cooma and Tumut)
    Going back for first service next week and will repost on the customer service at Canberra MotorCycle Centre. (so far cannot fault there friendliness and helpfulness)
  9. Talking of servicing, albeit several months ago, what's the service schedule for the newish bandit??
  10. Pretty standard Jap servicing requirements these days.
    1000km oil & filter, 6000km oil & filter, 12000km plugs air & Oil filter, valve clearances at 24,000km.

    Plugs should do a lot more than 12000 but I guess if they're out they may as well be replaced.
  11. This is a vital piece of information for all 1250 Bandit owners! Change your airfilter at the recommended intervals. I let mine go 1000klm over the 16,000 interval, thinking it was 18,000, and had all sorts of fueling problems at low speed which were absolutely cured by a new air filter. I actually used a K&N filter as I always do.

    I have 28,000 klm on it now. Great bike!
  12. Mine has 20,000 on the original filter and wont be changed until 24,000.
    It has been inspected and deemed ok by agreement to reuse but I will be switching to a K & N at 24,000.
    I guess it depends on where you ride.