Endurance test: Suzuki Bandit 1250 S
Balance after 50,000 kilometers
The bandit is up to his neck ?? since it’s no longer air-cooled. But is the Japanese kettle just as good as its finely ribbed predecessor? After 50,000 kilometers the answer is clear.
It is a real success model, a hit, a long-runner: after Suzuki presented the big 1200 bandit in 1995, it quickly established itself at the top of the annual approval charts. The reasons are obvious, namely a lot of displacement for little money, paired with a classic, timeless look. Arguments so powerful that the manufacturer was well advised not to make any significant changes to the technology or the outfit for many years.
But then in 2007 came the cut, the shock: The bandit received a modern water cooling system. Not an easy task to have to reveal to the Bandit fans that the time for the fine cooling fins of the 1200 model has expired. Because of Euro 3, because of noise development and generally because it is better that way. Protest, desertion, refusal to consume, all of this could have happened, one would think. But it didn’t come. Instead, the bandit fans continued to grab them with unbridled enthusiasm. 5600 machines were sold in Germany in the two years. Seventh place in the approval charts in 2007, even third place last year. The big bandit is still a ratings hit, whether as a bare basic version or a half-boarded S version.
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Endurance test: Suzuki Bandit 1250 S
Balance after 50,000 kilometers
Tires, accessories, inspection
The 1250 is only sensitive to the tires. Especially since the original equipment, Dunlop D 218, is not a successful success. High counter-steering forces, righting moment when braking ?? down with it. The tire recommendation in the endurance test interim balance (MOTORRAD 10/2008) helped with orientation for replacement. Highly recommended: Dunlop Roadsmart, Metzeler Roadtec Z6, Pirelli Diablo Strada. Recommended: Bridgestone BT 021, Continental Road Attack. Only conditionally recommendable: the Michelin Pilot Road 2 2CT, which is actually too sporty for the all-rounder Bandit and wobbly in normal operation. Nevertheless, the Bandit remains sensitive even with more suitable tires and reacts to increasing tire wear with unwilling to give in.
The few other points of criticism can be eliminated with accessories. The long-term uncomfortable bench makes you forget a tighter and wider upholstery from Jungbluth (www.motorrad-sitzbaenke.de) for 200 euros including assembly. MRA’s aerodynamic all-purpose device, the Variotouringscreen (www.mra.de) for 120 euros, improves the moderate wind protection. If you don’t just want to look at your own upper arms, but also the traffic behind you, you can’t avoid rearview mirror extensions, for example from Bernis (www.polo-motorrad.de) for 50 euros. Snappy brake pads, a strut with a larger adjustment range and a replacement for the whispering original exhaust remain a matter of taste.
And ?? Hand on heart ?? During the 15 months in which the bandit unwound the 50,000 kilometers, nobody doubted the all-rounder’s stamina. Even the two unscheduled visits to the workshop did not raise any concerns. For the accident at kilometer 5400, which turned the tank, exhaust system, indicators, brake levers and handlebars into junk, the good could not do anything. At mileage 20,775, a corroded plug connection darkened the display, 3500 kilometers later the idle sensor on the transmission succumbed to the influence of the damp element. Both were repaired by the dealer as a goodwill gesture. That’s it. All further trips to the workshop were limited to the inspections ?? even if in the no longer up-to-date 6000-kilometer rhythm. The prices for the inspections including oil changes were within an acceptable range of 153 to 217 euros. The more extensive 12000 series inspections cost between 262 euros and 511 euros. Compared to the competition, these costs are okay.
Remodeling, wear and tear, conclusion
Long runner in the long-term test: Suzuki’s successful model was put through its paces.
Because MOTORRAD workshop boss Gerry Wagner tingled his fingers with the bandit at the positive eventlessness, she was allowed to roll through the country with a toothed belt conversion from VH (www.vh-motorradtechnik.de) from mileage 18600. The conversion kit costs 1095 euros, although it requires some manual skill. If you don’t think so, you have to add 250 euros assembly costs to the price. After all: retensioning is not necessary with a toothed belt. Occasional squeaking silenced the care with a deer tallow pen.
At 44,000 kilometers the pulley on the rear wheel showed clear signs of wear and had to be turned. At the end of the test, 15,000 kilometers would have been possible. Then with the recommended running time of the belt of 40,000 kilometers, the pulley (285 euros) and belt (300 euros) would have to be replaced anyway. The front pulley, on the other hand, showed hardly any signs of wear. Sharp computers run for around 180 euros cheaper with a chain kit that lasts around 20,000 kilometers. What remains on the plus side of the toothed belt drive is the minimal maintenance effort, a rear wheel not soiled by the chain spray and ?? through the taut toothed belt ?? noticeably reduced load change reactions.
The wheels show the only significant marks left by the ravages of time and kilometers on the Bandit. Chipped pieces of paint can be found over the entire circumference of the rim. Since the joint between the higher-lying inner ring and the flat piece of the rim is particularly affected, the cause seems to be insufficient paint quality or preparation of the substrate. In contrast to the painting on the frame and body parts, which is flawless despite the road salt and gravel. The hard work did not leave its mark on the rear brake disc, it is ready for scrap after 50,000 kilometers.
On the other hand, there is sunshine on the engine side. Not a single part would have had to be replaced after dismantling. The dimensions of the piston, connecting rod bearings, camshafts and even the thickness of the clutch disks were within the installation tolerance. All other engine innards are well within the operating tolerance. Even the minor leaks in two exhaust valves are not reflected in performance. A sign that the engine was designed with large reserves and, thanks to its brawny torque, it was seldom really used. In terms of compression, the image even evolved over the test distance. While the two outer cylinders were above the values of the two inner cylinders in the initial measurement, the final measurement showed a uniform picture for all cylinders. The differences in the driving performance at the beginning and at the end of the endurance test (page 46) were more in the area of the measurement tolerance.
On top of that, because the consumption was within an acceptable range with an average of six liters and the loss in value was also kept within limits, the Bandit managed to climb very high in the overall rating of all endurance test machines. Tied on points with the Honda CBF 1000, the 1250 Bandit is in a respectable second place, topped only by the Harley-Davidson Road King. Which proves once again that reason is usually just as good a partner as enthusiasm? and in some ways even better.
Balance after 50,000 kilometers
Two outlet valves are slightly leaking. Valves, valve guides and valve seats are otherwise fine, apart from a few traces of fire. The camshafts and bearings are also in very good condition.
Cylinder / piston:
The pistons show only minor signs of wear, a good contact pattern and only a few deposits, the cylinders are also in very good condition apart from slight traces of wear, the same applies to the piston rings.
All bearing clearances are still within the installation tolerance. A connecting rod bearing shows a strong scoring caused by a foreign body.
The lavishly dimensioned clutch shows hardly any signs of wear, and the gears and gearshift mechanism are in very good condition.
Frame / chassis:
The paintwork on the front and rear wheel rims has flaked off in places. Otherwise the chassis and attachments are in good condition. The rear brake disc is worn out.
Costs and maintenance
Operating costs over 50,000 kilometers
31.5 liters of oil at 7.96 euros, 250.74 euros
9 oil filters at 11.48 euros each 103.32 euros
4 air filters at 22.84 euros each 91.36 euros
16 spark plugs at EUR 8.88 each, EUR 142.08
2 sets of rear brake pads at 67.28 euros each 134.56 euros
2 sets of front brake pads at 61.88 euros each 123.76 euros
1 chain set 244.96 euros
Small parts, lubricants 113.55 euros
Seals 44.10 euros
Inspections and repairs 1572.73 euros
Tires (including assembly, balancing and disposal) 2456.58 euros
Fuel 4244.72 euros
Total costs 9522.47 euros
Acquisition cost 8735.00 euros
Loss of value 3985.00 euros
Estimated price (dealer selling price) 4750.00 euros
Costs per kilometer (without depreciation) 19.0 cents
Costs per kilometer (with depreciation) 27.0 cents
Maintenance + repairs
Front and rear tires renewed, Metzeler Sportec M1 at 3869 km
Front and rear tires renewed, Michelin Pilot Road 2 2CT at km 8856
Front and rear tires renewed, Pirelli Diablo Strada at 18,600 km
Conversion to toothed belt (or new chain set) 1 at km 18600
Front brake pads renewed at km 18605
Failure of the speedometer due to moisture in the connector at km 20,775
Rear brake pads, corroded plug connection, speedometer and gear sensor renewed (guarantee) at km 24235
Front and rear tires renewed, Bridgestone BT 021 at km 26429
Front tires renewed, Bridgestone BT 021 at 31,830 km
Front and rear tires renewed, Michelin Pilot Road 2 2CT at 34,986 km
Rear brake pads renewed at km 39171
Front and rear tires renewed, Metzeler Roadtec Z6 at km 44179
Suzuki comments …
… to the chipped paint on the rims.
We are aware of a few cases of this type in which there was minor paint damage on the front or rear wheel rim. Since we rule out improper tire fitting as a possible cause, the reason can only be a faulty paint job. We have therefore decided to replace the rims on the guarantee route even after this high mileage.
… to the grooves in one of the connecting rod bearings.
The damage can probably be explained by a foreign body that got into the oil circuit. Apparently he did no further damage. Nevertheless, the wear limit has not yet been reached in the bearing concerned.
… to the speedometer display failed due to moisture in the plug connection.
The reason for the damage was clearly recognized. The fact that the endurance test motorcycle was also used in winter and in correspondingly salty road conditions certainly also contributes to the damage. To this day, we are not aware of any such damage from our customers.
… to the failed idle display.
We know this problem occasionally. However, this damage did not recur after the sensor was replaced. That also applies to the endurance test machine.
… to the uncomfortable over longer distances. Bench.
We are not aware of this problem. We assume that the driving distances covered in one room as part of an endurance test are greater than that of the ?? let’s say ?? normal motorcyclist.
… for loosened interior painting on the nozzle. Water cooler.
We are not aware of this problem. Obviously, the peeling paint did not have a negative impact on the cooling circuit. We are still sending this part to our headquarters in Japan for testing.
… to the worn rear brake disc.
We are absolutely not aware of any problems of this kind. The extensive use of the motorcycle by full-time test drivers could also play a role here.
Erwin Betzinger (Munich)
I’ve been driving the 1250 Bandit since March 2008 and I’m glad I chose the S version, even though I first preferred the naked version for aesthetic reasons. I can really only criticize two small things: Firstly, the series tires gave me difficulties from the start, and I’m already looking forward to the day when they have to be changed. Second, I will probably have the upholstery of the bench changed, because with my 1.92 meters and 84 kilos, I don’t seem to have enough of my own upholstery. My conclusion: I don’t have enough time to enjoy the bandit. The price-performance ratio is simply brilliant.
Matthias simmes (Hamburg)
I took over my bandit on May 1st (that’s what I call service). During the thousands inspection, the inoperable, if not to say damned … Dunlop original tires fell down and were replaced by the Z6 from Metzeler. They made a good 9,000 kilometers and are a dream. The light from the headlight is only good if you replace the light source and then turn the headlight up a bit. The engine is what I expect from a four-cylinder: boring, but endless pressure. The consumption is between 4.4 (motorway, 130 km / h) and 7.8 liters (Dolomites), on average around 6.2 liters. The bench isn’t a problem either. I have never regretted the purchase and will certainly drive the Bandit for several years to come.
Jürgen Wingerter (Speyer)
On April 14th, 2007 I picked up my bandit. An MRA disk and a CLS chain oiler were installed for the 1000 kilometer inspection. At km 10700 I have the ?? stainless steel water boiler ?? replaced by a Bos carbon silencer. Over the winter, I exchanged the standard bench for one from Yves Moillo. It is much more convenient. I am very satisfied with the CLS chain lubrication system. The oil consumption is low and the dirt on the rim is easy to remove. The bandit was a good buy.
Bernhard Zimmer (Mosquito)
For me, my bandit days began in the summer of 2007. However, I soon noticed that the first tires (Dunlop) had to be removed. So now I have the Michelin Pilot Road 2 2CT on it, and my bandit now behaves like one too. No comparison to before, plenty of grip, when turning into slower corners you only have to press lightly on the handlebars. I would like to see a gear indicator in the cockpit, and the draft shield of the S version could be better. A few more luggage hooks would be nice as well as better quality on-board tools. During the winter shutdown, I noticed many unprotected electrical plug-in contacts that I covered with shrink tubing to prevent water ingress. Me and my bandit are already looking forward to the 2009 season.
Jürgen Birmes (Krefeld)
I bought the Bandit 1250 SA in March 2007. First of all, I have to say that I have not regretted switching from BMW to Suzuki to this day. Immediately after the first ride, I fitted the original Suzuki touring windshield. The mounted chain oiler from McCoi is suitable for travel. A nice side effect is that the chain has not yet had to be changed. When it comes to inspection intervals, however, it occurs to me that every 6,000 kilometers is no longer up to date. The original tires were an absolute failure. In the rain they were actually not drivable at all. I then let the Michelin Pilot Road wind up and I am completely satisfied. The real icing on the cake of this motorcycle is the engine. The power delivery is very impressive. However, I notice a jerking of the valve when driving constantly at speeds between 2500 and 3000 revolutions. Another issue with the Bandit is the sometimes poor build quality. The paint is extremely thin and, for example, is already matt at the contact points of the knees / thighs on the tank. Open cable plug connections lead to fear that moisture collapse will eventually occur. The paint peeled off on the valve cover for the first time around 5000 kilometers ago. This will now be exchanged for warranty during the upcoming 24000 inspection. My conclusion: I would choose a bandit again.
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