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I saw your light on .

Post  jwm on Sun 18 Jan 2015, 3:21 pm

Hi guys, I saw your light on and just thought I would drop in and say hi. The name is John Murray and I live on the South Coast of NSW. I am retired and will be 65 this year (shiot!!! Am I really that old) and have been riding bikes for a long time. I sold a Honda St1300 just over 2 weeks ago with the intention of retiring from riding but I'm already getting itchy feet and am currently exploring my options for another bike.

I had only owned the ST1300 for about 16 months but the bike and I didn't really fit. I spent the first 6 months adjusting my riding style to the Honda but the bike and I were never really on the same wave length. Prior to the ST1300, I had owned 3 Yamaha FJR1300's from 2001 until August 2013. Unfortunately the last 2 FJR's (both 2008 models) were written off in 'not at fault' accidents and that is when I decided to try change my luck by changing the make of bike I rode, enter the Honda ST1300.

So what brings me to this forum?

Well, as part of a process of deciding what bike I should purchase, I have looked at numerous makes and models but at this stage I have probably narrowed it down to either another FJR or a Bandit or GSX1250FA. While I love the FJR's, I have taken into account that I am getting older and that I am not the biggest (as in heaviest) person in the world (80kg), so I thought it might be wise to move to a slightly lighter bike. I have read the reviews on both the Bandit and the GSX and they are both impressive but I have no experience with either and procuring a test ride on one, in or near my home, is proving difficult. So I thought I would give you guys the opportunity to tell me in plain simple english why I should buy either of the Suzuki's.

While I have an IBA Ride under my belt and had completed 4 or 5 FarRides, these days my rides seem to be a more leisurely 300 - 400km days.

Thanks guys, any input is greatly appreciated.

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Re: I saw your light on .

Post  Chook on Sun 18 Jan 2015, 3:47 pm

Welcome jwm

While the Bandit (and GSX) are good bikes, they are a lot cheaper than a FJR for a reason, the quality of finish on the FJR is far superior, I cant comment on brakes and suspension as I haven't ridden a FJR. 
My GSF1250SA fitted with Givi hard top box and panniers was $11,000 cheaper new than a FJR, best bang for your buck you'll ever get but don't expect it to have the same finesse as the Yamaha or Honda
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Re: I saw your light on .

Post  Ewok1958 on Sun 18 Jan 2015, 5:00 pm

Welcome jwm.  I'm also on the south Coast (Far South Coast actually, Bega Valley).  You've posed a tricky question.  I can't talk about the FJR because I've never owned or ridden one. But I've run up 66,000kms on my 2010 Bandit 1250S, which I've owned since new.  Comments are:
- the Bandit relies on its massive torque for its riding experience.  You don't need to rev it - it pulls like a train, even from 80kmph or less) in top gear.  Overtaking is effortless and easy.  So don't be put off by its modest max power figure, which may seem a bit anemic for a 1250cc motor.  
- Servicing is straightforward and relatively simple to do yourself.  Even if you use a dealer, you won't get $1,000 servicing bills like you do if you go for, say, a BMW1300.
- it is far cheaper than a FJR but that brings a few shortcomings.  The Bandit suspension is only 7/10, with the front being undersprung in standard form and the rear shock being harsh.  I've changed both on my machine.  But just changing the front springs and valves makes a big difference and that change will cost about $500 (add it to your purchase price because you'll do it).
- the 1250S headlight is a joke and useless if you want to do any night riding. 
- many find the seat too hard and change it, modify it, or fit a lambswool cover.
- you need to fit a radiator cover (which should have been standard IMHO)
- handling is not as sharp as some other big bikes but I find it, with the suspension changes, quite OK (let's say 8.5/10 not 10/10).
- the paint is on the thin side - my 1980 XS850 paint puts the Bandit paint to shame.
- I suspect the instrumentation on the Bandit might fall short of the FJR, eg no temp gauge, no gear position indicator (GPI)
- there are a couple of things that are irritations rather than faults, eg 7% speedo error, lack of GPI
- range from the 19l tank is up around 300km (add another 50km if you are conservative, take 50 off if you are the other way inclined)
- Mechanical issues that have arisen and discussed on the forum: fuel pump failure (easy to fix with a cheap aftermarket unit), and a couple of starter motor failures.  Not much else I can think of.

It is worth noting that the GSX1250FA has better front suspension and a better headlight, that the Bandit.  It really is just a Bandit with a fairing and a couple of changes, eg dual radiator fans.

Other contenders for sports-tourers: Honda VFR1200 (I'm sure 2WA will comment!), Ninja 1000, BMW1200/1300/1600 (but all expensive), GTR1400, ZX14, FJR (all heavier).  If I was replacing mine, I'd look seriously at the Ninja because it is the lightest of the bikes I've mentioned (but I haven't ridden one).

Hope to catch up sometime.

Cheers. cheers cheers
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Re: I saw your light on .

Post  Kiwisteve on Sun 18 Jan 2015, 7:47 pm

G'day jwm, welcome along.
I don't know about the make believe Bandits, I have the last of the real Bandits, an 06 1200s. To be honest, this is the first full size bike I have ever owned. But I love the out & out pure grunt this thing has. My bro took it for a ride after riding his speed triple. He was amazed at the grunt the Bandit has, until I told him that it only has 100hp stock from the factory. He said it felt like it had more power than his stock 110hp Triumph! Go figure, must be the torque.
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Re: I saw your light on .

Post  2wheelsagain on Sun 18 Jan 2015, 8:09 pm

Welcome aboard. 
Any of the bikes you mentioned are totally adequate to keep you riding. Find the right one at the right price and don't worry so much about km on the clock. 
They come up occasionally for sale on her and I think there is a former members bike listed at the moment. 

I won't encourage you to a none Bandit. People buy Bandits because of the price.  Some then add 6k making them what they want.

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Re: I saw your light on .

Post  madmax on Sun 18 Jan 2015, 8:26 pm

welcome to the forum John.

Now I've had my GSX for a little over 3 years and I'm not complaining.
I'm not complaining about the paint work, it seem perfectly ok to me.
I'm not complaining about the handling, the bike is heavy and it handles as such. Maybe it could be better but at this stage I find it fine.
The seat I changed to a Sargeant seat, so I'm not complaining there either.
The headlight I changed to HIDs so that's all good too.
I changed the screen to a double bubble to suit me better, so no complaints there either.
The 3 tonne factory stainless cannon came off and a staintune went on, so happy with that too.

Overall its all smiles here. I'll be keeping this bike for as long as it keeps me smiling. Smile  Smile  Smile


Yes I'm sure you can find better, but you'll pay a lot more

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Re: I saw your light on .

Post  paul on Sun 18 Jan 2015, 9:51 pm

Welcome  jwm ............the comments so far have pretty much covered it ,& the Suzuki is certainly great value for money and most riders will find something with any bike they aren't so wrapped in . To be honest , even if it meant going out of your local area , I would still go looking for a test ride no matter what make or bike you are contemplating ( as you found out with the ST1300 ) I, by the way am also happy with my purchase . Very Happy

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Re: I saw your light on .

Post  #Tag on Mon 19 Jan 2015, 10:59 am

Where on the South Coast do you live John?
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Re: I saw your light on .

Post  jwm on Mon 19 Jan 2015, 4:27 pm

Thanks for all the comments and information guys. I was actually up at Wollongong today and went to 4 bike shops up there, alas, still no Bandit or GSX. I did look at a Kawasaki Ninja 1000 today, nice enough bike, very sports bike looking, nice and light but definitely no a 2 up machine in my opinion.  There's a GSX over at Bowral, I might try and get over there in the next few days. However, I must say that I am starting to swing back toward a 2nd hand FJR, time will tell.

Tag, I'm at Callala Bay on Jervis Bay.

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Re: I saw your light on .

Post  2wheelsagain on Mon 19 Jan 2015, 4:55 pm

The Ninja 1000 is a nice bike and was on my list but they just aren't finished well enough for the money. Rough edges on fairings etc Plus an engine that needs to be revved.  That's the style and I get that, but it's not really suited to Australian touring and our speed limits.


Last edited by 2wheelsagain on Mon 19 Jan 2015, 8:25 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: I saw your light on .

Post  Dekenai on Mon 19 Jan 2015, 6:47 pm

Was at Dahlitz's in Queanbeyan Friday and they had at least 3 1250's, 2 x Ss and 1 x FA.  If you want a FJR cheap and you are not fussy then keep an eye out for the ex-Police bikes.


I would also consider a B-King, (looks aside), VFR1200 (since Honda killed the resale by dropping the new price so massively), Kwaka 1400 Ninja that seems to have a tendency to scare the bejeezus out of their owners (so low mileage).

Here's a ZX14, 32K asking $9K http://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/weston/motorcycles/kawaski-zx-1400-ninja-need-it-gone/1068053160


BTW, welcome.


Last edited by Dekenai on Tue 20 Jan 2015, 7:31 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: I saw your light on .

Post  palexxxx on Mon 19 Jan 2015, 7:43 pm

@Dekenai wrote:Was at Dahlitz's in Queanbeyan Friday and they had at least 3 1250's, 2 x Ss and 1 x FA.  If you want a FJR cheap and you are not fussy then keep an eye out for the ex-Police bikes.

BTW, welcome.


I remember seeing 7 or 8 ex-Police FJR's at Pickles Auctions in Canberra when I was there a while ago.

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Re: I saw your light on .

Post  Bosco15 on Tue 20 Jan 2015, 11:08 am

Hey JWM. Welcome to the forum.  
I have the 1250fa up for sale at the mo. It's my wife's ride and a bulging disc has precluded Chris from riding her anymore.  
Located in Newcastle only a three hours train ride north of you and a ride it home trip. 

http://nswbandits.forumotion.net/t5306-2010-1250fa-baz-s-old-bike-for-sale

Not pushing it or anything, but bang for buck I don't think you will do better.  

Cheers.  Mark.

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Re: I saw your light on .

Post  Ulsterkiwi on Tue 20 Jan 2015, 2:28 pm

hi there, there is a lot more experience on here than I have and I am in NZ with a very different roading network so take that into account.
I am relatively new to riding. Two years or thereabouts. I had two BMW dual purpose bikes while I worked up to my full bike licence. All I knew was I wanted something to suit my frame with an upright position and smooth (after running a big single for a while) I now have a 2014 GSX1250FA.

I have clocked up 11000kms since September 2014 and pretty much loved every one of them. For comparison, in one dealership I was choosing between a 2005 FJR, a 2001 Triumph a 2007 BMW R1200RT and a 2011 GSF1250 all for around the same money.  I believe I made the right choice.

I have spent money upgrading/modding but it seems to me I would have spent money regardless of what bike I ended up buying. 

The GSX is slightly more refined (slightly!) but it does exactly what it says on the tin, cant ask for better!

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Re: I saw your light on .

Post  palexxxx on Tue 20 Jan 2015, 3:22 pm

@Ulsterkiwi wrote:I have clocked up 11000kms since September 2014 and pretty much loved every one of them. For comparison, in one dealership I was choosing between a 2005 FJR, a 2001 Triumph a 2007 BMW R1200RT and a 2011 GSF1250 all for around the same money.  I believe I made the right choice.

Wow,  11,000 kms in only four or five months,  you must really like the GSX. 

I am presently in Thailand,  clocking up lots of kms on the beautiful mountain roads up in the north,  but I am looking at either moving back to Aust.  or perhaps to NZ in the near future.

What are the NZ roads like to ride on?  Are there any places in NZ that have hot weather?  Or any that have no cold weather at all?  I am looking at Napier on the Hawkes Bay or Tauranga.

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Re: I saw your light on .

Post  Ulsterkiwi on Tue 20 Jan 2015, 7:02 pm

@palexxxx wrote:
@Ulsterkiwi wrote:I have clocked up 11000kms since September 2014 and pretty much loved every one of them. For comparison, in one dealership I was choosing between a 2005 FJR, a 2001 Triumph a 2007 BMW R1200RT and a 2011 GSF1250 all for around the same money.  I believe I made the right choice.

Wow,  11,000 kms in only four or five months,  you must really like the GSX. 

I am presently in Thailand,  clocking up lots of kms on the beautiful mountain roads up in the north,  but I am looking at either moving back to Aust.  or perhaps to NZ in the near future.

What are the NZ roads like to ride on?  Are there any places in NZ that have hot weather?  Or any that have no cold weather at all?  I am looking at Napier on the Hawkes Bay or Tauranga.
NZ roads are varied, between the two islands you can have long sweeping open highways, gravel roads, mountain passes, twisty gorge roads, through the bush and high altitude desert, to name a few. It really depends on what you want. Hot? again depends, where I live a hot day is mid 20s celcius but plenty of places where 30-35 degrees is not uncommon. Nowhere will you get Australia hot.  That said I did 1100 kms at the weekend and one 100km stretch was a bit treacherous as the tar was melting. That is more to do with the way the roads are built than anything else. Rough guide, the further north you go the more consistently hot it gets. Northland is called "winterless" but thats bullshit, they have the biggest storms up there.

Hawkes Bay is wine country which should clue you in Laughing  Tauranga is where rich people from Auckland like to retire to. Nice city. Both will have lots of good riding. Look for a book called Twisting Throttle by Mike Hyde, that will give you a real flavour for NZ riding.

Yep I love my GSX, me and Black Magic have a long future ahead of us Laughing

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Re: I saw your light on .

Post  SuzySuzuki on Thu 22 Jan 2015, 3:18 pm

Howdy!
I was driving home from Melbourne, just yesterday, and saw this bike sitting outside of a motorcycle shop in Bendigo. Yes, its a bit far for you to come for a test ride, but it was very eye-catching...red bandit.. whoo hoo


Good luck getting a bike that you like. I ride an 08 gsf1250ABS model.. love it.


Also found this on ebay... its in Belmore nsw.. 2008 bandit

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Re: I saw your light on .

Post  Chook on Thu 22 Jan 2015, 5:24 pm

That seems like a very good buy, next to no km and I can vouch for the panniers, I've got the same. loads of space and my daughter loves how secure she feels with them and the top box on for hours on end
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Re: I saw your light on .

Post  jwm on Thu 22 Jan 2015, 9:44 pm

Thanks guys for all your advice and thoughts on the subject. I still haven't ridden a Bandit GSX and I'm sure it is a great bike. But thinking about it, the GSX is only about 30kg lighter than the FJR (wet weioght) and that is without luggage/panniers on the GSX. So, at the end of the day I figured there was going to be bugger all weight difference between the 2 of them by the time I put luggage on the GSX.

So, after much sole searching I have decided to stick with an FJR and have sourced an 07 model in Victoria with only 33000kms on it, plus Cruise Control, Power Commander, Staintunes, Back rest and lambswool seat cover. All being good, I am picking it up in Albury next Wednesday.

Once again, thank you for your help, advice, guidance and honesty.

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Re: I saw your light on .

Post  2wheelsagain on Fri 23 Jan 2015, 9:53 am

@jwm wrote:Thanks guys for all your advice and thoughts on the subject. I still haven't ridden a Bandit GSX and I'm sure it is a great bike. But thinking about it, the GSX is only about 30kg lighter than the FJR (wet weioght) and that is without luggage/panniers on the GSX. So, at the end of the day I figured there was going to be bugger all weight difference between the 2 of them by the time I put luggage on the GSX.

So, after much sole searching I have decided to stick with an FJR and have sourced an 07 model in Victoria with only 33000kms on it, plus Cruise Control, Power Commander, Staintunes, Back rest and lambswool seat cover. All being good, I am picking it up in Albury next Wednesday.

Once again, thank you for your help, advice, guidance and honesty.

Good luck with it all. Feel free to stick around though. You dont have to ride a Bandit/GSX to have opinions on them or offer general words of advice Smile

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