Bandit handling...

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Bandit handling...

Post  stu on Thu 26 Dec 2013, 10:50 am

First topic message reminder :

now I know I'm neither the best nor the most experienced motorcyclist... my bandit is only my third bike, like I said when I introduced myself. I've done about 30,000km of riding since I started -April last year, about 10,000km on each bike (including quite a few off road).

and I know that the bandit is not a sportsbike, and is a big heavy slug, compared to "modern" bikes.

BUT there must be some way I can confidently turn the thing faster on slightly tight corners.

I know about looking through the corner, counter steering etc etc. My rear chicken strip is getting slowly narrower, while the front still looks like a highway on each edge....

I'll say it first (and if you read the forum closely you know this already): I did drop / crash the bandit a while back failing to turn a corner quick enough at the speed I was going.... I was lucky not to hurt myself or hit a car.... (lesson learned!)

I'm tall-ish, but skinny....  Very Happy  

Is there a technique I can focus on to "improve"?

Also, is there something I can do to the bike to improve that?

A little while back I did get the suspension adjusted to my weight, and that improved turn-in a bit, but I want more!

Any thoughtful assistance appreciated....

Oh, 06 1200 running Pilot Road 3s, if that makes any difference...

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Re: Bandit handling...

Post  car_ham on Fri 03 Jan 2014, 1:20 pm

Do you own an action camera? If so I have found filming myself from all sorts of angles has helped, what are my feet doing. i.e. how much trail braking, what is my body position, head tilt etc. Most interesting was that it made me realise I had the brake and gear foot pedals setup wrong for my seating position.
This also showed that when smooth on all controls, my angle of bank was greater, with less movement in the bike, (Camera really low looking forward and back down the bike). 
If nothing else it's a good excuse to buy a camera, safety first and all that Very Happy .

The other thing I do, and you being from Canberra you have the perfect practice grounds, was repeatedly going around a large roundabout, slowly pushing the bike a little more each time.

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Re: Bandit handling...

Post  glenby on Sun 05 Jan 2014, 5:55 pm

I found a few things most of which have been covered by others in this post.
You had better be casey stoner to keep up with a gixxer or the likes in all scenarios. the chassis just wont perform to the level of the race bikes nor should it.
It is a great bike for everything but not the best at anything. it is easier to ride than my old sv-650 and I find it doesnt tire me out after a full tank ride.

ride to your own comfort, experience, confidence level and bike setup (technique is a big part of it).
If you are stretching your wings, ride on your own or in front. that way you are riding to your level, not trying to keep up with someone else.

setup the bike to suit you (but listen to the guys that know as what suits you may not be good for handling)
stock - the tyres that come with it are death traps - get rid of them and move on to something more grippy, they will let go when you need it.
tyres - I had pr3's. they are great but I ran out of chicken strips (and when they start to let go you get lumps in your pants)....
           I went to pilot powers. a more angular shape. it tips in a lot quicker. tuck the toes in and when I get boot scrape, I am at my personal limit.
          pressures. pr3's etc have carbon fibre instead of steel. you have to keep them up high (I rarely get below 40psi cold).

suspension - I did 10,000 on stock setup but it was either stiff or spongey. dips through tight corners or bounces around them.
           I had the fronts done with springs and re-valving, replaced the rear with a nitron track shock. big difference to me in handling/
           The combo of the two raised the bike a little higher meaning I can get more lean on it. it also holds much better when throwing it around
           and feels connected pretty well all the time.

brakes - I prefer the braided lines for feel (esp in qld where it gets hot and normal lines go a bit spongey), when you squeeze, you want to know what is happening.

Remember the bike has the torque - so you can power out, some of the guys also take a slightly wider line in so they come in on a late apex and power in a straighter line.
whatever you are comfortable with.
I found that if you have a stock setup, keeping the rev's up (5k or so) will give you more feel and pull as well.

enjoy it and have fun.

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Re: Bandit handling...

Post  stu on Sun 05 Jan 2014, 6:56 pm

@glenby wrote:I found a few things most of which have been covered by others in this post.
You had better be casey stoner to keep up with a gixxer or the likes in all scenarios. the chassis just wont perform to the level of the race bikes nor should it.
It is a great bike for everything but not the best at anything. it is easier to ride than my old sv-650 and I find it doesnt tire me out after a full tank ride.

ride to your own comfort, experience, confidence level and bike setup (technique is a big part of it).
If you are stretching your wings, ride on your own or in front. that way you are riding to your level, not trying to keep up with someone else.

setup the bike to suit you (but listen to the guys that know as what suits you may not be good for handling)
stock - the tyres that come with it are death traps - get rid of them and move on to something more grippy, they will let go when you need it.
tyres - I had pr3's. they are great but I ran out of chicken strips (and when they start to let go you get lumps in your pants)....
           I went to pilot powers. a more angular shape. it tips in a lot quicker. tuck the toes in and when I get boot scrape, I am at my personal limit.
          pressures. pr3's etc have carbon fibre instead of steel. you have to keep them up high (I rarely get below 40psi cold).

suspension - I did 10,000 on stock setup but it was either stiff or spongey. dips through tight corners or bounces around them.
           I had the fronts done with springs and re-valving, replaced the rear with a nitron track shock. big difference to me in handling/
           The combo of the two raised the bike a little higher meaning I can get more lean on it. it also holds much better when throwing it around
           and feels connected pretty well all the time.

brakes - I prefer the braided lines for feel (esp in qld where it gets hot and normal lines go a bit spongey), when you squeeze, you want to know what is happening.

Remember the bike has the torque - so you can power out, some of the guys also take a slightly wider line in so they come in on a late apex and power in a straighter line.
whatever you are comfortable with.
I found that if you have a stock setup, keeping the rev's up (5k or so) will give you more feel and pull as well.

enjoy it and have fun.

thanks for this.... a well-timed post....

I just took my bandit out for a 40km spin (just to make sure it still works) after a few days, 1100km and varying terrain on my KLR... and all I could think was that this bandit is a pig.... and yes my next question was gonna be what suspension improvements give best value....

I can ride my KLR faster around many corners than the bandit.... it is higher and has more leanability, is lighter (and way less power..., but even with that I was having more fun....  Sad   ) Of course once i get onto the big long open road / sweepers rather than twisties the bandit is great, and I love so much the sheer grunt of the thing, but I need to either improve its ride or get rid of it... I've got absolutely no need to make it any faster now, but yep better suspension is def next to look at. Oh, AND I'm running a knobby on the front of the KLR as opposed to the PR3s on bandit.....

I'm on stock suspension and as you say yes is spongey and I can feel so many little bumps in the road.... bike has 90,000km on it and I wonder how much wear it has on the front end in particular.

and yes I should check the pressure.


Last edited by stu on Sun 05 Jan 2014, 7:12 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Bandit handling...

Post  glenby on Sun 05 Jan 2014, 7:10 pm

if you have 90, 000k's on it, get the suspension checked.
most manufacturers recommend re-doing after 40,000 and at worst 60,000.
your springs may also have gone a bit soft as well as valving, fluid etc.

If you have someone nearby who specialises in suspension, take it to them for a checkup and evaluation.

Mine handles well (or so I think and a few mates do too), so it being a pig seems a bit weird to me.
if pressures are low, mine doesnt want to lean or corner at all, apart from that - lean on the bar and that's where it goes,
the rest is how psycho you want to be.

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Re: Bandit handling...

Post  Truck bandit on Mon 06 Jan 2014, 7:50 am

Thats interesting about suspension reconditioning. I had 115 000kms on my '05 Bandit and only had the oil changed at the major services. My mechanic said it felt fine and the handling didn't change its feel since the day i bought it. I didn't have any issues with it needing reconditioning.

My style doesn't include doing wheelies and stoppies, i try to avoid bumps, pot holes, speed humps as much as i can, I'm about 80kg and when i tour, i only have some throw over panniers and bag on the back seat. I think in the 8 years i had her, i had a pillion about 3 times! So i suppose i didn't stress the suspension too much.

I often think about the position of my body and feet when i go on familiar corners and roads. i never lean off the bike like Casey Stoner and am on the ball of the foot when i lean harder. All other times i have the pegs in the arch of my foot so i am closer to the controls. I have never scraped my boots though.

How close to the edge of the tyre is your wear mark? I get to around 15mm on the front and rear (roughly) and feel that it's my limit. I do some pretty twisty roads and feel as though i am leaning as far as the tyre will let me. Maybe if i was on a track and could get heat in the tyres i would lean it a bit further.

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Re: Bandit handling...

Post  stu on Mon 06 Jan 2014, 12:42 pm

@Truck bandit wrote:Thats interesting about suspension reconditioning. I had 115 000kms on my '05 Bandit and only had the oil changed at the major services. My mechanic said it felt fine and the handling didn't change its feel since the day i bought it. I didn't have any issues with it needing reconditioning.

My style doesn't include doing wheelies and stoppies, i try to avoid bumps, pot holes, speed humps as much as i can, I'm about 80kg and when i tour, i only have some throw over panniers and bag on the back seat. I think in the 8 years i had her, i had a pillion about 3 times! So i suppose i didn't stress the suspension too much.

I often think about the position of my body and feet when i go on familiar corners and roads. i never lean off the bike like Casey Stoner and am on the ball of the foot when i lean harder. All other times i have the pegs in the arch of my foot so i am closer to the controls. I have never scraped my boots though.

How close to the edge of the tyre is your wear mark? I get to around 15mm on the front and rear (roughly) and feel that it's my limit. I do some pretty twisty roads and feel as though i am leaning as far as the tyre will let me. Maybe if i was on a track and could get heat in the tyres i would lean it a bit further.

I ride like an old lady.... much like what you just described....  Laughing 
I don't scrape, I do think about body position...

My strips are about 7mm (yes I just measured them  Embarassed  ), although I really don't feel that I lean that hard.... my feet and pegs are never anywhere near the ground... that said I'm not looking down....

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Re: Bandit handling...

Post  glenby on Mon 06 Jan 2014, 6:53 pm

on the bmw I did 80,000ks before a seal split in one of the forks.
When I took it in, they did a recondition. oil isnt too bad but springs had definitely softened up a bit.
the guy said to get em checked every 50,000k to be sure, so I did at 150,000ks and they werent too bad.
at 170,000ks they had gone softer again and replacement springs were really noticed, so I get em checked (although I am not riding as much anymore) every now and then.
again, I reckon it is really down to personal preference.

as for chicken strips, my normal riding was about 5-7mm on the pr3s and almost none when having a hoon, that is why I went the powers (after sliding a bit leaning it a bit far...).
I find I get the toes touching fairly regularly around fav corners, so tucking the toes in and having a bit more of a late turn adds to the fun of the ride home.
dont even have to speed.
I dont knee drag and tend to sit upright letting the bike do the leaning. probably bad technique but I find it easier on the back.

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Re: Bandit handling...

Post  stu on Thu 09 Jan 2014, 12:11 pm

Front tyre down by 6psi...
Pr3...
Pumped up this morning, made a big difference.
Surprised how quick they lose air...


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Re: Bandit handling...

Post  glenby on Thu 09 Jan 2014, 5:01 pm

good to [color=#000000][font=Times New Roman]hear.[/font][/color]
[color=#000000][font=Times New Roman]tyres lose or gain depending on fitting too. pr3's were pretty good for me.[/font][/color]

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