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  • Scott Redmond

Make or Break? Suzuki Bandit 1200.



“I used to have one of those.”

The Suzuki Bandit, it’s a model that many of us have come into contact with over the years. A bike that’s greater than the sum of its assortedparts, which were plucked from the Suzuki parts bins. The early bikes, or like the snowflakes call them ‘Gen 1’, have even started to appreciate in value now. It’s easy to see why, they are decent everyday bikes and tidy low mileage examples are getting trickier to find. This 2005 Bandit 1200 is one of the ‘Gen 2’ variants.


“So you mean it’s one of the ugly ones?”

The K series Bandit models never received the same round of applause from the marketplace that the mid 90s original did. By the time the K models appeared everyone had jumped on the budget biking bandwagon, so Suzuki needed to up their game to compete at the budget biking watering hole. The brief was the same, to create a bike that dealers could stack high and sell cheap.


The oil cooled engine of the 1200 could trace its family back to the GSX-R1100 without any help from Davina McCall and Nicky Campbell. A new steel frame dominated the looks, and a pair of trendy Tokico six pot brake calipers replaced the superior Nissin 4 pots from the earlier bikes.


“What’s the sketch with this one? it looks tidy.”

This bike appears to have been looked after, the usual scabbiness associated with old Bandit’s isn’t apparent. Bandits can quickly reach a point of no return if they aren’t looked after. Both wheels have been powder coated and now boast a better finish than when they were new. The paintwork is shiny and even the downpipes haven’t rotted out! The bad taste extras are thankfully minimal and amount to some crap brake and clutch levers, crude alloy footrests and a noisy exhaust silencer. All of which will be easy and cheap to replace.

I have decided to hang on to this bike for my daily ride. I will be adding some updates to the site and plan to make a few sensible mods in time.

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