fighting the urge to change things

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fighting the urge to change things

Post  Ironman on Fri 13 Nov 2015, 6:44 pm

Ive had over the years 8 bandits from 650's to the FA and everything in-between. I just like them. They are big bikes, usually easy to fix, rideable, affordable and with plenty of second hand parts around.
But something happened to me recently and I realised that riding twisties, going fast and spending money that I don't have on the bike trying to make it something it isn't is just silly IMHO.
Note to self...my Bandit is not a GSXR - never will be. It's a tourer with a sportish type persona about it.  I used to want to make it go quick and boy you can spend some dosh on big bore kits, carbs, pipes, headers, EFI trick boxes, quick shifters, trick USD suspension, custom swing arms, brake rotors with special pads, Ohlins shocks... the list is near endless and so too your credit card needs to be. Who am I kidding. The style of riding I do now, with the number of infringement detection devices deployed around the place, where honestly can I make use of the top end of any motorcycle engine and handling capabilities of a piece of Ohlins engineering? Don't waste money making a silk purse out of a sow's ear.  Just go and buy one of these new GSX1000F's. Package is done with a warranty and more HP and handling out of the box than what a stage 2 Holeshot kit and a truck load of suspension $ will give you. I'm not saying these things are no longer cool and desirable. If I had the dollars I would have bought all the previously mentioned things and mods.

I had a look at one of these new GSX1000F's and thought wow. It's what I believe the Bandit should have evolved into but it would desperately need a larger, wider tail section. Seriously, the pillion seat is small.

But I'm getting older and no longer ride solo on weekends. I've been going on rides over recent months with my Partner, joining little 6-8 bike groups for runs around the hills and hinterland around here. We are the only 2 up riders in these groups. They have been okay to go on, but no longer suit my style of riding.

I was lucky enough to be invited to ride with a large established group of 2 up riders. Going fast is not something they do, and no, it's not a scooter club.
It was on these rides I've realised that my Bandit, with her simplistic outdated suspension and lazy engine is a great value bike for touring, that I can fix and service myself. I still look after it the same, feed it the good oil.
It gets me to work and back, I know it inside and out. It carries both of us in reasonable comfort for day trip rides.

I suppose what I'm saying is I feel the Bandit is still a relevant bike in today's market and I love mine. I will continue to ride it week days rain or shine and sunny weekends..... until I get a Goldwing!
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Re: fighting the urge to change things

Post  paul on Fri 13 Nov 2015, 7:14 pm

I get where you're coming from , & as I use mine for commuting with the odd w/end blast & trip , mine is basically stock with a few mods to make my ride more comfortable & practical .There is of course the satisfaction factor of modifying a bike to make it your own which I also understand .No bike is perfect to our needs ,& the practicality of a sport bike with an older body can be just silly .I guess it just boils down to what your happy with & can afford ...................I think secretly we would all like a fleet of all types of bikes in the shed to suit the mood we happen to be in at the time .

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Re: fighting the urge to change things

Post  mtbeerwah on Fri 13 Nov 2015, 7:33 pm

@paul wrote:I think secretly we would all like a fleet of all types of bikes in the shed to suit the mood we happen to be in at the time .

In a way we can, its called test riding.
I`m a big advocate of it.

Obviously this means only short rides, but enough to get an idea of what`s on the market,
and too first hand, have an opinion. Rather than reading it from a magazine.

One thing that annoys me with most manufacturers( not all but most) these days, is the tank size with new bikes.
They`re getting smaller and smaller.

I`d like an MT-09, but what the hell is a 14L tank doing on a bike???
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Re: fighting the urge to change things

Post  Ironman on Fri 13 Nov 2015, 7:38 pm

Would be nice wouldn't it?
I was all go for headers, Holeshot stage 2, gold valves, gsxr rear shock... but for commuting and touring?
I hardly EVER see the other side of 7,000rpm!

I've done the can, which I think almost everyone does and a K&N but instead of the things above, I have scoured ebay and Gumtree and come up with second hand handle bar risers (1"), mirror extensions (3/4"), sheepskin seat covers, lowered pillion foot pegs and uprated fork springs.
It's great to ride now I have reframed it all mentally and it was in all in my head that I just had to have more power!
I would like a taller or adjustable windscreen just to take the buffeting off my chest.

A side note, my Dad had a FLXR HD early 90's vintage. He went of group rides with other HD riders with loud pipes etc etc. Dad had his pipes but they were quiet in comparison. He made his own foam air filter and had his carburettor jetted. Result was a bike that had outstanding fuel economy and ran like a sewing machine but you could still hear the distinct HD rumble without being painful to listen to.
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Re: fighting the urge to change things

Post  mtbeerwah on Fri 13 Nov 2015, 8:06 pm

If your not these days giving it a hard time, and I don`t know what sort of speeds you do,
I wouldn`t waist my money on a screen. That's only my opinion.

I`ve got two Bandits, one with screen, one I turned into a naked.
At 100km/h on the naked, it feels better than the half faired version. At about 115km/h, you start to feel the wind, but up to 100, I don`t notice it.   

I get turbulence on the faired model, and the screen is only of benefit if I`m laying on the tank, and I`m not about to put a 6x4 shield there to stop the wind. 

To each their own though.

I`m still very pro on the idea of changing the shock.  Overall rideability is so much better, and safer, especially when you`ve got the damping sorted to suit you.
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Re: fighting the urge to change things

Post  Ironman on Fri 13 Nov 2015, 8:19 pm

so the variable screens are not worth it?
That's good. I'd be pretty pissed that after forking out $140 it didn't do anything.
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Re: fighting the urge to change things

Post  mtbeerwah on Fri 13 Nov 2015, 8:39 pm

@Ironman wrote:so the variable screens are not worth it?
That's good. I'd be pretty pissed that after forking out $140 it didn't do anything.
 
I`m not saying that about that product, as I`ve never tried one, so I`m not at liberty to give an opinion.

I guess what I`m saying is, that wind doesn`t bother me unless I`m doing high speeds,
and the standard screen at 100 forms turbulence, which is annoying. About 5yrs ago, I tried a slightly taller screen,
that had a lip on it, to supposedly, direct the wind over my head, but it seemed like snake oil to me,
so I put the OEM back on, and it seemed better.
No doubt there is something made that will do what you want, but how big is it going to be.

After all, we are riding bikes, and we are amongst the elements. Wind is part of the equation.
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Re: fighting the urge to change things

Post  2wheelsagain on Fri 13 Nov 2015, 9:29 pm

The Bandit/GSX is still capable and all the bike a lot of people need I agree.
Luckily there's a bike for everyone.

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Re: fighting the urge to change things

Post  Ewok1958 on Fri 13 Nov 2015, 11:36 pm

Definitely each to their own. It might seem odd that I've recently added new headers after 75,000kms, and put an Ohlins rear shock on some 000s of k's ago. But none of this was in pursuit of performance, it just made me want to appreciate more of what I already had and I was satisfied with it. I like the old Bandit for what it is and don't mind shouting it a botox or two in its lifetime to keep it and me happy without spending the much bigger $$$ to buy a better machine.  I know I can't ride a better machine any faster than I ride now anyhow, so there would be no point.  Although I probably could be talked into a makeover of the seat - I think 75,000kms is a pretty good run and now my bum hurts just a bit more than I'd like on 500+kms days.  Some new padding is not too much to ask!  But I don't need a new steed for that, although I never stop looking for a bargain on Bike Sales.

But, I'm still keen to try out a Vstrom on a dirt road to see if that is what I'd like to do more of - I'm not committing to that as a Bandit replacement as I won't know until I try one. Might be time to hire one this summer and take it for a spin down the Barry Way.  But the Bandit will be at the Island for WSBK in Feb, that's for sure.

PS: if the rain would stop, I'd actually go for a ride! Sad
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Re: fighting the urge to change things

Post  Ironman on Sat 14 Nov 2015, 5:18 am

so with regards to the rear end, fitting a gsxr1000 k7/k8 shock... what will I notice?
I weigh 100kg and with passenger another 70kg on weekends.

new spring?
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Re: fighting the urge to change things

Post  BanditDave on Sat 14 Nov 2015, 7:33 am

@mtbeerwah wrote:
In a way we can, its called test riding.
I`m a big advocate of it.

I've had a number of test rides of new bikes at the dealers.



One thing that concerns me just a little is insurance.



Typically, you will already have a comprehensive policy with an excess of $300-$400.



When you take a test bike from the dealer "for a spin" you sign an agreement that you will pay an excess of $2000-$3000 in case of a mishap.



You are on a new and unfamiliar bike and I wonder if you are at greater risk than normal.
 


My question is "why can't you use your own comprehensive insurance policy for the test ride with its far lower excess?"

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Re: fighting the urge to change things

Post  Chook on Sat 14 Nov 2015, 8:06 am

@BanditDave wrote:
@mtbeerwah wrote:
In a way we can, its called test riding.
I`m a big advocate of it.

My question is "why can't you use your own comprehensive insurance policy for the test ride with its far lower excess?"
The insurance policy is specific to a particular motorcycle (yours only)

I had a loan bike from a dealer when I had my major service done, IIRC the excess was only $500 which was a lot more reasonable than I'd expected
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Re: fighting the urge to change things

Post  gus on Sat 14 Nov 2015, 8:31 am

If I cut off the left (or right ) cylinder, on a bandit with an angle grinder  ,silicon it up to keep the oil in , how much will it now weight ? About right I think .
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Re: fighting the urge to change things

Post  mtbeerwah on Sat 14 Nov 2015, 8:39 am

@Ironman wrote:so with regards to the rear end, fitting a gsxr1000 k7/k8 shock... what will I notice?
I weigh 100kg and with passenger another 70kg on weekends.

new spring?


If your going two up, a spring will be needed. You could get away with it if just solo.

The gix shock has a lot more adjustability. Its the damping control that makes them superior over the Bandit shock.

With- 22 click "Low speed Compression Damping", and 5 turns "Hi speed Compression Damping"
Then- 22 click Rebound Damping
Proper lock rings, so you can fine tune your "Preload"

I can`t remember what the Bandit is, I think its 7 clunks of turn for the preload, 4 clicks rebound, and that's it.

When you get the damping and preload set to your riding style, its a lot more plush, and essentially helps level out the bumps.
It will never be as good as a Wilbers or Ohlins, but a very good upgrade for the price, they can be picked up for. Be patient when looking, cause you can get them cheap.


Last edited by mtbeerwah on Sat 14 Nov 2015, 8:51 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: fighting the urge to change things

Post  mtbeerwah on Sat 14 Nov 2015, 8:47 am

@BanditDave wrote:One thing that concerns me just a little is insurance.

Typically, you will already have a comprehensive policy with an excess of $300-$400.

When you take a test bike from the dealer "for a spin" you sign an agreement that you will pay an excess of $2000-$3000 in case of a mishap.

You are on a new and unfamiliar bike and I wonder if you are at greater risk than normal.

You are right Dave, but ride it accordingly, as you would, when your unfamiliar with any bike.
Anything out side those elements..well..that`s bad luck.
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Re: fighting the urge to change things

Post  Hammy on Sat 14 Nov 2015, 9:38 am

Gidday Ironman.  I did the GSXR shock change on my 1200.  Made the bike feel a lot firmer in the rear. But I did the front as well. Which you must do to get a true improvement. I had a Wilbers on my 1250.

As for the MRA Vario. I put one on my Bird. It does give better protection than the std screen. After a while I went off it. Just because I thought it did not suit the Birds beautiful lines so I went for the MRA Double Bubble. Looks the goods and still does a good job wind wise.

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Re: fighting the urge to change things

Post  Ironman on Sun 15 Nov 2015, 3:42 pm

Hi Hammy,
would you know if the 07/08 GSXR1000 rear shock is rebuildable?
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Re: fighting the urge to change things

Post  Dekenai on Sun 15 Nov 2015, 4:47 pm

From the parts they have for them at Ractech, you'd have to think so;

http://racetech.com/ProductSearch/2/Suzuki/GSX-R1000/2007-08
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Re: fighting the urge to change things

Post  mtbeerwah on Sun 15 Nov 2015, 5:25 pm

I`ve got one on my Gen 1 at the moment.

It used to be on my Gen2, and when I bought it, I wacked too much money into it!!!

I put Race Tech spring, along with gold valved the whole thing. All that cost a lot of money.

The initial price delivered was under $100, but the other things I did to it, soon put it into 100`s of $$$

The "main price" was in the "Gold valving", not the spring. The spring price was reasonable.  I don`t regret spending the money into it, I do like to corner, so wanted the best I could get out of the shock. I ended up getting a Wilbers, and putting on my Gen2, and when I bought the Gen1, the GIX was naturally going to go on that, as it was just sitting in the cupboard.

You don`t have to go to the extent of Gold valving, as the standard set up is so much better than the Bandit, but for two up, the spring will have to be changed to suit you.

I still play with the settings now, and all up, I`ve had it for about 4yrs.
I try to set it for plush, not firm, as you want the wheel to track the road, not bounce or skip. I personally like to crank up the rebound, so the wheel releases slowly, so you don`t get bucked off the bike if you hit big bumps or woops, and soften the compression, so the suspension uses its full travel, to absorb the bumps. But you will, over time, work out what suits you.

You will have to change the dog bones. Standard bone is 179-180mm.  I`ve tried 174, 173, and 172, and for the Gen2, I ended up with the 172, as this also increased the standard height, as that's what I wanted. 174 was close to standard height.

Moral of the story, the Bandit shock won`t do any of that.
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Re: fighting the urge to change things

Post  reddog on Sun 15 Nov 2015, 6:11 pm

I'm spewing i didn't buy an ohlins when the aus dollar was good. The gsxr shock doesn't work with the abs model. My old mate bought it off me to put on his gen 1
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