Suzuki GSF1200S Bandit
1996-2006 100bhp 67ftlb 214kg 145mph Why you want one What to look for
The big Bandit is the definitive bargain all-rounder. In original 1152cc form, as both the unfaired N and half-faired S (which, for touring, is the one we’re most interested in here) its detuned, oil-cooled, four-cylinder, GSX-R11derived engine is grunty, flexible and bulletproof, its upright chassis is roomy, comfortable and better handling than it has any right to be given its fairly hefty bulk and, with a few accessories such as hard luggage and a tall screen (which many owners fit anyway), the big Suzuki makes a great tourer – for tiddler money.
There are plenty available at around the two grand mark – and you’ve a solid blank canvas of a bike that will pretty much do anything. No wonder it proved so popular.
The face-lifted, 2000-on version is better still, with a plusher ride and improved finish, as is the water-cooled 1250 post-2007 model, but they’re both out of reach of this budget. Overall, despite being a little plain, basic and built down to a price, the big Bandit more than does the job, is better than many people realize and remains fantastic value for money. “There’s thousands out there and they’re very good at what they do. They handle well, the engine is nice and smooth and it’s one of the most reliable bikes out there. The engine’s solid, the brakes should be fine unless they’ve an awful lot of grime in them, and the finish is no worse than anything else. Overall I’d strongly recommend them. They tick a lot of boxes.” Shaun Lock, Service Foreman at Bridge Motorcycles in Exeter
X-reg (2000) Suzuki GSF1200S Bandit, £1995 Luggage rack, centre stand and screen, 12 months MOT, service history and decent tyres. BUY ONE NOW