TURBO BAN­DIT 1200

Colin Stan­nard’s light­weight chas­sis turbo Ban­dit 1200 spe­cial has taken 16 years to per­fect, and has been through more than its fair share of hedges...

Performance Bikes (UK) - - Contents -

PB reader builds a 200bhp Ban­dit, but not be­fore it’s been through sev­eral hedges...

LOOK­ING AT IT, I reckon the only parts that are the same as when I bought the bike are the carb bod­ies and the starter mo­tor...” Colin Stan­nard’s as­sess­ment of his Suzuki Ban­dit 1200 turbo spe­cial is a re­flec­tion of the count­less hours that have gone into cre­at­ing the ma­chine you now see be­fore you. And yes, while it does have the oblig­a­tory (and not to ev­ery­one’s tastes, it has to be said) bit of air­brush­ing on its tank, this is far from some cob­bled-to­gether street­fighter. Over the 16 years it has taken Colin to cre­ate this bike, he has learned the hard way, through a lot of trial and er­ror in his garage, how to fit and prop­erly make a turbo work on a mo­tor­cy­cle. Not to men­tion the lim­i­ta­tions of Suzuki’s Ban­dit 1200 chas­sis...

“I bought the bike back in 2002. It was a stock 1996 Mk1 Ban­dit 1200 and even had the orig­i­nal ex­haust can, which weighed a ton,” Colin re­mem­bers. “As soon as I got it home, I took a hacksaw to the rear mud­guard, so I guess it was al­ways des­tined to be mod­i­fied. I’m not a fan of stan­dard bikes.”

While there is a world of dif­fer­ence be­tween hack­ing a bit of plas­tic off and cre­at­ing a turbo sys­tem, the seed of an idea for a spe­cial was cer­tainly start­ing to grow in Colin’s head. Some­thing that grew in size when he started to dis­cover the lim­i­ta­tions of a Ban­dit’s frame when you ride it with en­thu­si­asm.

“Ban­dit 1200 were the thing to have in the early 2000s – loads of power, and mean looks, but they don’t handle that well,” Colin says. “I have a lovely run into work through some ace bends and it was deck­ing ev­ery­thing out. I ended up re­mov­ing the cen­tre­stand, swap­ping the stan­dard si­lencer, short­en­ing the side­stand lug with an an­gle grinder, and fit­ting rearsets. To be hon­est, the signs were all there, and sure enough, a few months later, I put it through a hedge...”

Once re­trieved from a field, and now miss­ing a few com­po­nents, the Ban­dit be­came more of a street­fighter, with a set of spot­lights and new clocks. A few more com­mut­ing runs later and the bike sud­denly de­cided not to start, a prob­lem which Colin di­ag­nosed as one of the ig­ni­tion plate bolts hav­ing worked loose and jammed be­tween the crank and cam­chain – snap­ping the chain. Mo­tor out and re­built by Colin in his shed, the Ban­dit

‘ IT WAS DES­TINED TO BE MOD­I­FIED. AS SOON AS I GOT IT HOME, I TOOK A HACKSAW TO THE REAR MUD­GUARD’

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