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Suzuki GSF1200S Bandit reviews

4.3
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Reliability
4.3
Overall quality
4.3
Performance
4.1
Comfort
4.0

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7 ratings and reviews

Voted most helpful review

Howard Bonser

Palmer Lake, Colorado

Reviewed on 2006-10-10

Motorcycle reviewed1997 Suzuki GSF1200S Bandit

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5.0
I bought my 97 B12 a short month ago. It had 28,500 miles on the odometer and I was a bit hesitant because of that. Once I checked it over and started it up after it had been sitting on a dealer floor for a week without being run, I couldn't find anything wrong with it. In my first 500 miles, I know I made a good choice. I am taller than most, so finding any bike to fit me was difficult. It isn't perfect in that regard, but better than a new V-Strom for sure which is what I thought I'd end up with. It came with a Kerker universal exhaust can on it, and makes a healthy sound. I am impressed with how well it pulls from down low, and can't wait to see how it responds this winter with a holeshot stage 1 kit, K&N and 5 deg. timing advance. It is cold blooded, but a couple miles down the road it is ready to go. A solid 44 mpg at the 75 mph I run the interstate on to get to and from work. The gearing is shorter than stock, so a couple teeth off the rear or add one to the front will lower my highway rpm (currently 4700 in 5th @75 mph) and probably boost mpg a bit. Only downside is the rear end is too soft, it wants to wallow over dips in the pavement when adjusted to max on pre-load and I slide forward onto the tank. Lots of fun, and not a lot of money to get back into riding!
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
4.0
Comfort
3.0
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Voted most helpful review

Scoot

San Antonio, Texas

Reviewed on 2001-07-31

Motorcycle reviewed1998 Suzuki GSF1200S Bandit

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5.0
Wrote a year ago that my '98 1200S was a fine bike. Now a year later, it is still a great machine and I love it. No maintenance problems of any kind. (14,000 miles) I use Mobil 1, 15w-50 in my bikes ('95 Gold Wing) with no problem. I think it shifts easier with Mobil 1. After rejetting, I get 35-37 MPG where I got 40-42 before. I think this is due to heavier right hand as well as the jets...ha ha It is a screamer. I don't know just how fast it would be. Too much for me, I know. I am at 230 pounds. If a lighter person were to ride it...WOW, hang on. STILL THE MOST BANG FOR THE BUCK!! Ride careful.
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
5.0
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Voted most helpful review

sergio

Texas

Reviewed on 2001-04-04

Motorcycle reviewed1998 Suzuki GSF1200S Bandit

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4.0
I have a 98 bandit 1200s in dark red. so far, its got 3600 miles..it's sweet no problems yet. The power is plentiful and can lift the front wheels easily. Gas mileage has dropped somewhat due to exhaust mods. Otherwise, it handles great, is no looker, but watch out..drop a gear and you'll see me disapear. I recommend the Bandit for anyone looking for a reliable, powerful and comfortable ride.
Reliability
4.0
Quality
4.0
Performance
4.0
Comfort
4.0
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Voted most helpful review

Jim Hackett

South Park, Pennsylvania

Reviewed on 2000-11-14

Motorcycle reviewed1998 Suzuki GSF1200S Bandit

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5.0
I have 24000 miles on my 1997 Bandit1200 and have been very happy with it. I put a Corbin seat w/backrest for my wife -- I'm afraid I might loose her on it. I also put engine case guards and a Bandit tank cover I got at my Suzuki dealer on it. I have been thinking about getting a newer one but I don't care for the style of the 2001 as much as the 97-2000 models. I have a blue one and don't like the other colors as much. If I keep it I am going to install a jet kit from Hole Shot, because it is not very responsive when cold.
Reliability
5.0
Quality
5.0
Performance
5.0
Comfort
5.0
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Voted most helpful review

Jack Morrison

Los Angeles, California

Reviewed on 2000-09-20

Motorcycle reviewed1998 Suzuki GSF1200S Bandit

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3.0
I bought my '98 Bandit new in January '99.It had a bit of a lean stumble at 3500rpm and ran bad below 3000rpm. A stage three jet kit and a Two Brothers full exhaust system increased power about twenty percent. The motor makes good power from 3000 to 6000rpm then it really takes off. Still runs crummy below 3000rpm, valve overlap. Stiffer springs and a damper rod re-valve plus a new rear shock help handling a whole bunch, but the frame is still kinda flexy. The stock tires are OK if you spend all of your time on the freeway, but Metzeler mez4's work a lot better in the twisty stuff. A good bike for the tall and fat, like me.
Reliability
3.0
Quality
3.0
Performance
3.0
Comfort
3.0
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Voted most helpful review

Scorpio SoberRider

Arizona

Reviewed on 2000-06-22

Motorcycle reviewed1997 Suzuki GSF1200S Bandit

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4.0
In 2012, motorcyclists will cherish the GSF1200s even more than they do now. Falling squarely in no one marketing niche, it essentially created it's own category. For someone who can only justify owning one street bike, it has scant competition. I'd just come off an FJ1200, so the smaller bikes just wouldn't do it, and I refuse to pay the 50% insurance surcharge on most sport bikes (including the ZRX). Most new sport-tourers have the ergos of a repli-racer, the weight of a big cruiser, and/or cost over five figures. I LOVE MY BANDIT! I found a '97 w/ 1400mi in '99, paid 50% off list (due to sun-ruined paint/tires and improper storage), and proceeded to put the money I saved into: the complete Holeshot Stage One Kit (slip-on, filter, jets, advancer), 117 litres of removable Givi bags, the Suzuki gelsaddle (which is quite plush, yet still slopes too far forward for my taste; I'm negotiating with Sargent for some alterations), new Michelin radials, case-guards w/ pegs, a taller Cheetah SST windscreen, bar-end mirrors, etc, etc. I highly recommend the Holeshot treatment -- it makes the bike perform as it should; at least 30% better than stock. She pulls hard from under 3 K rpm, lofts the front at anything over 1/3 throttle in low gear, and tops out 20mph faster than stock (maybe even faster if I'd take the bags off), all while staying close to the stock 34 mpg. This is some motor - it's no accident that so many Pro-stock dragsters start w/ GSX1100R power plants. Even stock, the Bandit could almost take my 14-yr.-old FJ (which was somewhere around Stage 2.5 in the hop-up spectrum). Now it's much happier not being strangled by the factory settings (in case you're curious, it still passes emissions by a healthy margin), and it'd have my old FJ for lunch! Complaints are few: it's true that the Bandit has some apparent cost-saving measures, particularly in the cockpit -- I'd like to see an integrated dash like the new models. On the other hand, the separate gauges make it easier on the owners who like to remove the fairing and sub-frame, then stuff the wires into an aftermarket headlight (Holeshot makes a good kit for the naked look). The suspension has received some criticism, but for a 120 lb. rider w/ preload maxed at each end, it's pretty compliant. The frame is also not as rigid as a sport bike's, and combined w/ the short wheel base and tallish center-of-gravity, handling can be "exciting" on the most technical roads, but that just ensures that I realize when I'm riding near my limits ;~} It used to be that a standard would do everything well, albeit doing little superlatively well. The Bandit does nothing poorly, and is superlative in so many categories, especially in bang-for-the-buck and grin-factor! They're gaining a well-deserved following, some even as vocal as me.
Reliability
4.0
Quality
4.0
Performance
4.0
Comfort
4.0
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Voted most helpful review

Stuart McKenzie

Melbourne, Florida

Reviewed on 2000-06-15

Motorcycle reviewed1998 Suzuki GSF1200S Bandit

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4.0
I have 5500 miles on my 1998 Bandit and the only maintenance done to the bike have been periodic oil changes. So far it has been stone reliable. It is a fun to ride bike and a great commuter to go to and from work. Performance and power are exemplary. It has fantastic torque, which makes for great low-end power. You can virtually stay in top gear at any speed over 25 mph and ride like it has an automatic transmission. The bike is light, handles well in most situations and is pretty sharp looking to boot. The ONLY thing I don't like about the bike is its carburetion characteristics. It runs very lean at partial throttle settings and surges and bucks when trolling in traffic at slow speeds. It feels like some driveline lash when shutting off the throttle and coming to a stop. But when you open up on the throttle that leanness all goes away. The low and midrange acceleration is very impressive. Roll side by side next to a Yamaha V-Max and the Bandit pulls away in any gear (unless the Yamaha is in its V-Boost zone). Also, the bike is a bit busy (rpms) a highway speeds. It feels like it needs a 6th gear to calm it down a bit. I'm constantly shifting up for a higher gear that isn't there. Also, there is some vibration at about 4000rpm but starts to smooth out a bit as the miles increase. I would definitely buy another Bandit 1200S because the bike is some much fun to ride and it does so effortlessly. I understand the 2001 model will be much different looking than previous editions and hopefully the carb leanness will be addressed by Suzuki.
Reliability
4.0
Quality
4.0
Performance
4.0
Comfort
4.0
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