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Grey Import (250 Bandit)

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by bonkerrs, Feb 28, 2008.

  1. Hi all,

    I know it is frowned upon to ask newbie questions before performing a search, I've performed a search for 'grey import' but it comes up with heaps of results of which I still don't know have a clear idea.

    Just wanted to know what a grey import is and why is it good or bad to buy one? I'm looking at one in particular, it is a 250 Bandit from bikesales.

  2. It's a bike that wasn't brought in by an official importer, but rather a third party.

    Usually they are models that were not found here, such as the 250 bandit, but older bikes that were officially imported can be bought in readily.
  3. Nothing wrong with grey imports, depending on the bike's model and history there is no reason to think you are buying anything inferior.
    Lemons can be bought anywhere .
  4. Later models of the 250 Bandit were sold here though and are virtually identical mechanically - so the Bandit at least doesn't suffer from a lack of availability of parts like some grey imports do. As with any used bike though make sure you check it thoroughly (get someone to help if need be) before handing over cash. The Bandit doesn't have any specific problems but any bike of that age (imports will be at least 10 years old) could have issues with electrics or perishing of rubber components. Don't be fooled by shiny paintwork.
  5. So long as you are aware of the risks. Firstly, new parts are not always available or if they are you have to wait a long time. Secondly second hand parts will mean you are a the mercy of the grey importer. Thirdly the bikes themselve may have a suspect heritage. Many are re-birthed and repainted from bits of bikes from Japan. Once it's adr approved it will be difficult to prove it's lineage. lastly is the age of these things. Most are early ninties bikes that have been ridden as a temporary bike until somone gets a real bike. That means that have be trashed and not maintain. But this last point is true of all learner bikes.

    Also a 250/4 making it's power at 16,000 rpm is going to wear out a lot quicker then a 250/2 making it's power at 10,000 rpm.
  6. i have a grey import, Bandit 250. 45hp 1990mdl, complianced 2005.

    it has had less issues than my friends ZZR's and CBR's.

    all i do is change the oil, clean the air filter, lube the chain, and keep the tyres inflated. basic mantinence and the bike has not had a single drama, and i ride it hard.... every day (i commute on it).

    considering it cost me $3500, i am definately not complaining.
  7. Really? didn't know that. I thought the cbr and the spada were the only ones of this ilk that made it here.
  8. This bike on bikesale (it is a 1995 model) defo has the shiny paintwork, looks very clean in that respect. I'll want to get it looked at by a pro if/when I am serious about a bike, I know nothing other then looking for leaks, scratches, dents, worn tyres just the visual stuff. It is out near Penrith, anyone know of a pre-purchase inspection service that way?
  9. It was sold here as the GSF250V. The engine had variable exhaust lift added and peak power was reduced but the rest of the engine and bike is basically the same as the earlier models. Obviously some internal engine bits are different but if it gets to that stage you're probably better off just doing an engine swap anyway.
  10. oh I forgot the across. what was it's designation? gsx250f?
  11. Most imports are given a respray when they're brought into the country for the simple reason that conditions in Japan and on the ship over are extremely hard on paint (acid rain, salt air etc.) and most are faded and/or rusting. Some are resprayed well and shouldn't be a problem - dodgy ones only become apparent once the rust starts coming through again. Check the seams along the bottom of the tank for any roughness or flaking paint as that's usually where the rust is worse and will start coming back first.
    The other thing that doesn't age well is things made from rubber. Be sure to thoroughly check the condition of all hoses so see if they're hard/brittle or starting to crack - same goes for things like the connectors between the carbs and engine/airbox. Also important to check the suspension - this is often neglected on most 250s (and not just imports). Try pushing down hard on the front forks - they should spring back and stop. If it acts more like a pogo-stick then the fork seals are stuffed and/or it needs new fluid. Same test can be used to check the rear shock.

    And yes the Across is a GSX250F. The Yamaha Zeal, another naked 4 cylinder, was also sold here officially - though there aren't many around.