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Suzuki GSF 600 Bandit endurance test

Uli, pull up the car

The bandit no longer runs.

Anyone still claim that motorcycles have no soul: Our long-term test bandit was sensitive to the weather. If the 600 Suzuki was floating around in world history in the rain, Uli Baumann, owner of two MOTORRAD transporters, always expected his emergency telephone to ring: “Uli, um, the bandit – she did it again, is in. .. "When it was wet, the bright red Nackedei just didn’t really feel like walking and gradually stopped the ignition on all four cylinders.


Despite extensive efforts on the part of the Suzuki dealer we trusted, from whom we had also bought the GSF, the problem could not be resolved by the end of the test. A little silicone at the seams between the ignition coils and the ignition cable should help (see box “Suzuki takes a stand”). May be true – somehow. The main cause of this ailment, however, is more likely to be the lack of splash protection, as in fact dirt and water get into the area of ​​the candle sockets almost unhindered, which draw moisture over time. As Uli, who drained plugs, candles and their surroundings after many a collection campaign, can confirm.
Now our little bandit was not only sensitive to moisture: with increasing age, the cold also became difficult for him. At temperatures around freezing point, the four-cylinder only started with tricky starting ceremonies, or not at all.
In its early days, however, the Spielmobil was only a pleasure for the editorial staff. The entries in the logbook, beginning in April 1995, pay homage to the outstanding handiness of the chassis, the ease of turning and pulling through the engine, the sporty and tourist talents of the overall Bandit 600 package and, last but not least, the successful appearance of this modern nude. Critical remarks are initially only made on the topic of fuel consumption, which can sometimes approach ten liters at high continuous speed and seldom less than five liters of normal gasoline even when driving in a Christian sneaky manner.
As is the life of an endurance test machine, the reproaching words increase as the mileage increases. For example, the spring elements come under attack more and more frequently. At the beginning there was talk of a comfortable set-up and sensitive response behavior, but from a odometer reading of 6000 there are statements like: "Who put that full sock in the back?" And: "Since when can pitchforks be used as front wheel guides?" Very ugly and far exaggerated pictures, of course. In fact, the fork and shock absorber noticeably deteriorated from day to day.
Operative interventions to eliminate these disruptions were only necessary after 28,000 kilometers. And again it hit Uli, who had to break off his well-deserved vacation after eleven minutes for security reasons: The bandit in full regalia – Uli, girlfriend and luggage, the bend with the bump, and it was over. “That thing went criminally on the block. Seamless. It took us at least a meter and a half, "reported the visibly shaken MOTORCYCLIST. So it is high time to install the White Power components that are already in stock. Progressively wound fork springs (169 Marks) and a spring strut adjustable in rebound and spring preload (799 Marks) helped the frail bandit on the jumps. Although the spare parts also lost their elasticity during their 22,000 kilometers of service life, they were far less dramatic than the originals.
When choosing the Bandit standard tires, brand Bridgestone, type Exedra G 601/602, Suzuki was not very lucky either (see tire advice MOTORRAD 4/1996). Uncomfortable, neither particularly precise nor particularly handy, these tires are characterized solely by their relatively high mileage. Such an Exedra would probably manage its 8,000 kilometers in the back, a good 13,000 in the front, but MOTORRAD never waited for the wear limit, since the Bridgestones are no longer in a good mood after 2000 kilometers: the tread depth has barely decreased by a touch, run after every lane. In the meantime there are so many tire approvals for the GSF 600 that one is no longer dependent on the Exedra. Our recommendation: Pirelli MTR 03/04. A good compromise between stability, comfort, handiness and durability.
Unfortunately, MOTORRAD does not have a recommendation for the wobbly steering / ignition lock. No smearing helps here, no graphite and nothing at all, the crap thing can only be conquered with patience. Against the fogging of the tachometer glass there is no real herb either. “You’d have to lower the wattage of the lights,” said a Suzuki technician. Well then: do it.
Although the bandit, apart from the aforementioned sensitivity to the weather, had no internal complaints during her marathon run, she sounded quite sick towards the end of the 50,000-kilometer distance. Excerpts from the logbook: “That thing nails like an old diesel. Ringing noises, especially when pushing. Soon we will have the presents: It will soon spit its 16 valves out of its body. ”Even the gearbox, which worked perfectly at first, made terrifying noises at the end. Especially when engaging the first two gears.
The mood at the big GSF slaughter festival at the end of December 1996 was accordingly tense. What is going to come out? The screwdrivers expected the worst, also because the compression on all four cylinders had decreased significantly. But what came to light when the four-cylinder was opened was anything but worrying. At first glance, the bandit’s heart looked quite healthy. No visible damage worth mentioning. However, almost all of the valves actually leaked, which explains the loss of compression.
D.Detailed information about the good health of the Suzuki GSF 600 can be found in the condition report on page 49. In general, it can be said that it put up with the rigors of the endurance test. The tank and plastic parts shone in a fire-red shine until the last day, and even the rust, a loyal companion of many Suzuki, hardly had a chance with the Bandit.

State of wear

Valve train: No signs of wear on the inlet and outlet cams, slight grooves in the central camshaft bearing blocks, one-sided pitting marks on the inlet fork rocker arm of the third cylinder, very small deposits in the cylinder head, no deposits on the valves, inlet valves of cylinders one, three and four leaking, all Exhaust valves leaking, inlet valve seats partially worn, all exhaust valve seats worn, both chain guides as new. Piston and crank drive: Very minor deposits on the piston, piston of the second cylinder grooved in one place, light deposits on the piston pin outside the bearing area, upper connecting rod bearings faultless, slight traces of wear on lower connecting rod and crankshaft bearings. Primary drive and clutch: gears of the primary drive in working order, no burn marks on the clutch steel disks, linings swollen beyond the installation dimension, deep chatter marks on the clutch basket and hub, clutch springs compressed under wear and secondary drive: imprint of the gearbox output bearing in the housing, shift forks in order, slight grooves in the bottom of the groove of a shift claw, beginning pitting on the first-gear wheel of the gearbox output shaft, chain and ring gear still ok, drive pinion worn, chain guide slightly worn. Chassis: brake disc thickness ok, rear brake disc heavily grooved, pads two-thirds worn, slight marks in the bearing shells in the steering head, bearing points of the lever deflection, as well as swing arm and wheel bearings in order. Corrosion: No traces of rust on frame and swing arm, swing arm axle slightly corroded, cables and connections in Order, horn cover corroded, tank paintwork worn off at the transition to the seat bench, exhaust at the connection between the collector and the tailpipe heavily corroded.

Suzuki comments

… Regarding the leaking valves: In order to be able to make an exact statement, the materials would have to be examined in the laboratory. In the long-distance test engine, the valves have to be re-ground and are then fully functional again … to the grooves on the piston of the second cylinder: Thesis grooves usually only occur when the engine requires excessive power or speeds when it is not at operating temperature as this can lead to very different thermal expansions of the materials. The piston can be re-used without hesitation …. to the swollen clutch linings: Since the function and effectiveness of the clutch is not impaired, the friction linings can be reassembled …. to the cat marks on the clutch basket and hub: These are signs of use 50,000 kilometers of test operation. Both the clutch basket and the clutch hub can be used again … to start pitting on a gear of the first gear: Since the surface of the gear of the first gear is machined differently than the other gear wheels, the surface of the tooth flank has, slightly changed where the force is applied. However, the bike is undamaged and can be reused …. to the corroded exhaust between the collector and tailpipe: The exhaust system is made of stainless steel, and the area between the collector and tailpipe is the narrowest point. The highest temperature is reached in this area, which means that the surface changes accordingly … to ignition failures when wet: It helps if the ignition cables coming out of the ignition coil are sealed with silicone so that no more sparks can jump over.

Reading experiences

Six bandit drivers, one opinion: despite various defects, a motorcycle that is worth the money.

My bandit, baptized Mariah, has been by my side for over 30,000 kilometers. It’s just fun to drive. The handiness is excellent, the two-person operation is good, the touring qualities are impressive. On motorway stretches at full throttle, the fuel consumption is 7.7 liters, on country roads 5.8. At first I drove the 34 hp version and was happy with the performance back then. Mariah has an engine guard and case / rack system from Hepco & Becker – both are relatively precise and easy to assemble. I find it annoying that after every trip in the rain the indicators are under water and the instruments fog up from the inside. Furthermore, the steering / ignition lock is stuck (despite lubrication), and some screw connections are already corroding severely. In addition, the fork hits the stop too quickly when braking hard. But the good thing about Mariah clearly outweighs it.Stefan Henrici, GilchingSince March 8th, 1996 I’ve been driving a GSF 600. I’m very satisfied with the chassis, except for the tires and seat. That’s why I exchanged the seat for a Vario hump from Gimbel, which also reduced the seat height. When the tires were changed from Bridgestone to Metzeler, the Bandit became quieter from 140 km / h. Jürgen Schwarz, Eimersdorf I bought my Bandit in March 1995. After 2000 kilometers I noticed the slack fork. So: the fork screwed on and longer spacer sleeves inserted. Between 5000 and 10000 kilometers I noticed that the paint was peeling off in the front area of ​​the frame. Ignition problems then occurred more and more frequently in winter. The engine only ran on three cylinders until nothing worked. But was fixed on guarantee. Otherwise the box ran pretty well until Easter 1996 when a car took my right of way. Now I’m driving Triumph. Alex Kemmann, Olfen The Bandit combines handiness with almost foolproof driving behavior, offers astonishingly good performance even with 34 hp, and the seating position even allows me (1.96 meters) to last several hours in the saddle. The extremely annoying cold start behavior was noticed as a disadvantage. I cannot confirm reports of a weak shock absorber, but the fork tends to bottom out quickly. For me, the Bandit has proven itself both as a sporty machine and on tours. Hilgenfeld, Graefelfing I drive an "S" bandit, with a half-shell, which has given me a lot of pleasure so far. It’s an easy-to-drive motorcycle that is always good-natured. Disadvantages from my point of view: The cladding generates violent wind noises that could not be eliminated by adding a MRA screen. Then there are the engine vibrations at 5000 revs, which unfortunately also occur in the frequently driven range at 100 km / h in last gear. The doughy pressure point of the front brake was eliminated by using steel braided brake lines. What bothers me is the sticking of the clutch linings after a long period of inactivity, which could not be remedied either by adjustment work or by synthetic oil. The elasticity of the engine is astonishing. I would describe the processing as average. All in all, the advantages of the Bandit outweigh the rest. Hans Meier, Stuttgart My Bandit is not yet 5000 kilometers under its belt, but I still have a few tips. Important for bandits who turn the throttle a little more heartily: The Bridgestone rubbers down and the Metzeler ME Z1 on. Front 110 – as usual, rear 160 instead of 150. These tires give you a lot more feeling for the road. Adhesion, accuracy and stability are better by a class. Steel braided brake lines are also a must. Boys and girls with a total weight of up to 57 kilos shouldn’t have any problems with driving stability if they set the standard shock absorb to position four or five. Solo you can still dash quickly through tight bends on bumpy roads without being thrown off. Little people should turn the handlebars a little towards the tank so that it is closer to the body – more comfortable for shoulders and wrists, especially on longer tours. It is also advisable to pad the bench, it is still comfortable enough afterwards. My impression after a 450 kilometer test drive with the GSF 1200: The 600 is the better bandit, especially on narrow streets. Thilo Schatz, Pfullingen

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