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  #1  
Old 14 Jan 2009
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Long distance on Suzuki Bandit GSF600

Hi guys,
I'm planning a trip to Oz from europe going through eastern europe, middle east, south eats asia and finally to Oz. Just wondering if anyone has experience going long distance on Suzuki Bandit models post '99?? It's a good reliable cheap bike to get me around where I currently live and for longer trips over few days.

Anyone have experience riding halfway across the world in one??

cheers
Will
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  #2  
Old 14 Jan 2009
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Hello.

In 2006 I rode a 1200cc 2001 Bandit across North America about 14,000 kms. I purchased it originally used with 4000 kms.

About 6,000 kms into the trip, my bike began to eat oil. I didn't understand why. Later, after the trip I found out why. Being young and stupid, the only thing I didn't check were recalls. On 2001, and previous Bandits, the pistons were engineered slightly larger than the cylinder. This would result in the piston rings wearing out, and oil eventually being eaten. By the time I arrived into Santa Monica, I started trickling oil into the engine... Starting at about 250mL a day. (after about 700 kms day rides) By the time I hit Whistler in Canada, then Toronto, I had to slowly ramp up the amount.

Other than this issue, I cannot rave about how fantastic this bike is. I've owned everything from GSX-R's to Ducatis, and there is no better bike than a Bandit.

My advice to you would be to grab the VIN number on the bike, and run it through Suzukis website to see if the recall has been done, if it hasn't stay clear, and buy a post 2001 bike, where they have been all fixed.

cheers,
alex.
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  #3  
Old 14 Jan 2009
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Not sure if you are interested in the pre '99 bandit also but I'll chuck my tuppence worth in regardless and you can ignore if irrelevant.

I've owned both the 600 and 1200 bandits (the 12 was a beast!). I took the 600 approx 1500 miles from Northern Ireland to France and back one year plus a bit of touring when I was out there. The bike performed faultlessly although the puncture seal can I had with me leaked just as I pulled back into the driveway! After the trip I rode it to work the next day as usual. Suspension was a bit soft for my liking so I swapped the rear shock for a 1200 bandit one and put spacers in the front forks.

I used Bridgestone BT020's on both of them and they lasted well. I did 10k miles on the 1200 on one rear tyre although it was pretty ragged by the end (maybe i didn't drive it hard enough??).

The only thing I'd add is that a fairing was essential on the B6 and I am glad I fitted it before I went to France. Bike was sitting at 100 (km/h obviously ) for a constant 2 hours with no problems. I got into a nice rythim of stopping every 50 miles for a rest and a fillup at every other stop.

My father has a pre-99 bandit that he has ridden to work every day for the past 6 or 7 years and has 80k miles on it now. He looks after it very well though. The finish does not suffer well otherwise.

The bandit 12 was big fun in a whole other way. Only 5 gears compared to 6 on the b6 though probably only needed about 3 of them! Lots of torque to embarass the odd Aston Martin with etc. Cheap fun!

Neil
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  #4  
Old 19 Jan 2009
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Nice one cheers lads.

I'm hoping to pick up a post '01 bandit in the next few weeks. Hopefully a faired model but it's not 100% vital. I'll take a look at tires and shocks aswell just incase I hit some dodgy roads with the bike overloaded with gear.

Thanks for the info!
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  #5  
Old 19 Jan 2009
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My Brother has tried his best to kill a 600 bandit (new shape) with neglect over the last five years. I think he's put 60,000 miles on it. I have to admit it now looks like sh*t because he rides in all weathers but still runs really sweet. Doesn't use any oil between services but has needed a repair to the collector box (common fault) and a pattern rear shock (the original rotted away)

I wouldn't worry too much about the fairing, just a little fly screen is good for 80mph cruise.
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  #6  
Old 20 Jan 2009
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The Bandits are pretty reliable. In 1999 I did 13,000kms in 15 days on my '96 1200.

I had two weeks between resigning from my old job and starting a new one. I looked at the map and said

"hmm, I haven't ridden Melbourne to Darwin to Perth and back across the Nullarbor before, I wonder how far it is and how long it would take?"

The only work required on the bike was a new tyre (9,000kms and the wires were showing) and oil change in Perth. Oil consumption was negligible and the oil was like brand new when I changed it in Perth (i.e. it was clear and not black).

Major changes required to make the distance were a sheepskin (for my derriere), highway pegs (so I could shift my weight) and a throttle locker.

Garry from Oz.
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Old 20 Jan 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farqhuar View Post
The Bandits are pretty reliable. In 1999 I did 13,000kms in 15 days on my '96 1200.

I had two weeks between resigning from my old job and starting a new one. I looked at the map and said

"hmm, I haven't ridden Melbourne to Darwin to Perth and back across the Nullarbor before, I wonder how far it is and how long it would take?"

The only work required on the bike was a new tyre (9,000kms and the wires were showing) and oil change in Perth. Oil consumption was negligible and the oil was like brand new when I changed it in Perth (i.e. it was clear and not black).

Major changes required to make the distance were a sheepskin (for my derriere), highway pegs (so I could shift my weight) and a throttle locker.

Garry from Oz.
You didn't have much trouble with MPG? I think the 600 has 17 or 19 litre tank which should suffice? If I ever reach Oz I'm hoping to start in Darwin and ride around counterclockwise to Sydney. I doubt I'll go much outback since I doubt the bandit would handle the terrain. Maybe I could pick up a different bike in Sydney for that.

Thanks for the suggestions about seat, pegs and throttle locker, good ideas!

thanks,
will
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  #8  
Old 20 Jan 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Yellow Tractor View Post
My Brother has tried his best to kill a 600 bandit (new shape) with neglect over the last five years. I think he's put 60,000 miles on it. I have to admit it now looks like sh*t because he rides in all weathers but still runs really sweet. Doesn't use any oil between services but has needed a repair to the collector box (common fault) and a pattern rear shock (the original rotted away)

I wouldn't worry too much about the fairing, just a little fly screen is good for 80mph cruise.
I'm glad to hear it's almost indestructible

I assume it's been cheap to run over the years? And even sourcing parts wouldn't be too hard.

cheers,
will
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  #9  
Old 20 Jan 2009
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The bandit is considered a "parts" bike. It's built with all sorts of very common Suzuki parts from other models. It's easy here in North America to find parts because of this reason... that's one of the reasons we took Bandits.

I would agree, they're indestructible.

I would have liked a throttle rocker too -- but that's because here we have thousands of kms that can be accessed with straight roads.
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  #10  
Old 21 Jan 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by will View Post
You didn't have much trouble with MPG? I think the 600 has 17 or 19 litre tank which should suffice? If I ever reach Oz I'm hoping to start in Darwin and ride around counterclockwise to Sydney. I doubt I'll go much outback since I doubt the bandit would handle the terrain. Maybe I could pick up a different bike in Sydney for that.

Thanks for the suggestions about seat, pegs and throttle locker, good ideas!

thanks,
will
Yeah, fuel consumption was a bit of a problem - namely because jetted mine up to suit the two bros pipe I had on it.

With the 19 litre tank I was getting around 15kms per litre for a range of 285km. The farthest distance between pumps was Fitzroy Crossing to Halls Creek - 300km. On leaving fitzroy Crossing I rummaged around in the rubbish bin at the petrol station and retrieved two empty 1.5 litre water bottles. Filled them with fuel, strapped them to the tank and 50km down the road I stopped and emptied them into the tank. Fuel range problem solved without resorting to expensive after market tanks.

One thing to be aware of on the bandits is the speedo inaccuracy. My speedo was 14% optimistic whilst the odo read only 1% high.

Garry from oz.
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Old 21 Jan 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farqhuar View Post

One thing to be aware of on the bandits is the speedo inaccuracy. My speedo was 14% optimistic whilst the odo read only 1% high.

Garry from oz.
Is that a general fault on them or just a certain batch???

cheers,
will
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  #12  
Old 22 Jan 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by will View Post
Is that a general fault on them or just a certain batch???

cheers,
will
It's a general problem with all bikes - they all read 10-11% high, but my Bandit was a couple of percentage points higher again.

Garry from Oz.
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