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Motorbike Mondays: the Suzuki Bandit 1200

November 3, 2014

Motorbike Mondays

Depending on which camp your boot-clad foot rests in, Suzuki are one of the most respected and well-known manufacturers in the motorcycle industry.

The Suzuki Bandit 1200 was introduced into the model range all the way back in 1995 (and that age is showing now). The 1200cc engine was extremely popular, especially in the ‘streetfighter’ fraternity – and a pair of Renthal handlebars, twin spot lights, bikini fairing and, of course, the ubiquitous ‘fruity’ exhaust pipe turned the Bandit in to something that little bit cooler.

It’s Monday, which means we’re going mad about motorbikes – so let’s take a look at how the Suzuki Bandit 1200 has aged since its release nearly 20 years ago.

Motorbike Reviews: the Suzuki Bandit 1200

Original image by Karatstein

Design

Big ‘N’ for Naked.

No, we aren’t talking about specialist magazines here – the Suzuki Bandit 1200 made quite a refreshing change at the time; rather than encasing everything in expensive plastic, Suzuki took a relatively bold step of revealing all.

It worked. Although it looked a little different to what we had been used to, it still looked quite good – a little like Penelope Cruz in a clown costume; looks different but still yummy.

Features

There are very few outstanding features with the Bandit, but you get the impression that it was built to a tightly controlled budget. That isn’t necessarily a terrible thing – but aside from the engine, you are getting mid-range performance.

The suspension and brakes do their job, certainly good enough to stand the bike on its nose if need be (and we really don’t NEED to). The ride is solid and, on the whole, it does everything as it should – but don’t expect more.

Performance

Whilst Suzuki finance people had their hand in looking after the pennies, Suzuki played a masterstroke with the engine. They had a stormer of an engine in the GSXR 1100 – and they did no more than enlarge the capacity and drop that straight in to the Bandit’s chassis. The now legendary status of ‘hooligan’ had been born.

In modern money, power output (either BHP or Ft/Lb Torque) wouldn’t set the world alight, but 98 BHP and a sniff over 70 Ft/Lb of torque is certainly enough to get exciting, even more so when there’s no fairing to protect you from the elements.

On the whole, the Bandit 1200 is a well thought out, fun handling bike. Easily fast enough to scare you but docile enough to be ridden every day without fear of high siding or such.

If you’re looking for a classic, naked muscle bike, the Suzuki Bandit 1200 is certainly worth adding to your list of ‘must haves’. Suzuki’s engineering and reliability mean that the engine is bulletproof, and this bike will deliver years of dependable service and fun. Better still, the list of aftermarket goodies that are available for them will be longer than the large black lines you’ll be leaving at the traffic lights.

Need one?

At the Car Loan Warehouse, we’re experts in new and used motorbike finance. We work with all the major dealers and lenders to find you the best finance deal, regardless of your credit score.

Try our quick and easy motorbike finance calculator for an instant quote.

About The Author

Jon Le Roux is co-founder and company director of The Car Loan Warehouse. Being a mad engineering and motorsport enthusiast, I spend more hours than is healthy, watching, reading or talking about cars, boats, motorbikes…..basically anything with an engine.