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Old 11-04-2012, 08:19 AM   #1
brockmub OP
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Location: Sioux Falls
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Bandit 1200s rebuild help

Ok advriders, I'm sure there is no shortage of advice on the forums, so I need your help. I've been a rider for a while now, with my favorite bike being my Bandit, I regretted selling it the second it left the garage. So when a 2002 Bandit 1200 showed up on the local CL, I had to pick it up. It is in rough shape and the seller accepted my $900 offer. Here's where I need the advrider advice, there isn't a single part of the bike that is perfect and a lot will be replaced/cleaned/updated.



How would you set it up to make this bike better than it ever was? Or should fix it good enough to ride and sell it in Spring for something better.

Here's my riding information - 6' 2" 190 lbs., only 30% 2up riding, 90% highway riding w 10% gravel roads of South Dakota, most trips are 100 miles round trip with 2 or 3 over night trips during the summer. I have come so far under the budget on the purchase of the bike that I can afford some great upgrades. Nearly every part of this bike needs to be touched. The bike is ugly, an obvious repaint, a few dings in the tank, front fairing cracked, the windscreen is yellowed and the tires don’t hold air.

Replacements

1. Oil Plugs Filter - will run a throw away oil through it first since I probably won't ride much from now till April. Is it worth putting a reusable air filter in?

2. Tires - there isn't much canyon carving in eastern South Dakota, I will ride it out to the family farm occasionally, with a few miles of gravel roads.

3. Handlebars Grips - currently the bike has a weird set of adjustable bars on it, they are pointed in the wrong direction, felt like my hands were pointed to the ditch driving straight down the road. Grips are ok, but no bar ends. It seems that Bandits are a bit buzzy through the bars, maybe there is an upgrade for them.

4. Clutch and Brake Levers - both have the ends broken off, should I find a used eBay replacement or any old Chinese knock off?

5. Chain & Sprockets - when I first showed up to drive the bike, I didn't check the chain. On the drive I could feel it skipping on the sprocket and slapping around. Tightening it up helped but I think the chain and sprockets need to be replaced. Is there a tooth combo I should look for? What chain do you guys like?

6. Suspension - are there some replacements I should look at doing right away or just find out after riding it what I need.

7. Windscreen - I like the Zero Gravity Sport Touring looks, it might be a good one to give me some more protection.

8. Seat - the seat is the only thing in perfect condition and usually the first thing people throw out. I'm no iron butt so I should be able to manage with the stock seat.

I need your recommendations and advice, don't hesitate to point out something obvious on the rebuild, I won't be offended.
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Old 11-04-2012, 08:31 AM   #2
brockmub OP
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Pics

Here are some more pics since the camera always makes bikes look better than they are.

Rear turn signal - always thought the Bandit turn signals stuck out too far, would like to do flush lights in the front and integrate lights in the back with the taillight.



The bike has no shine in a lot of spots because of bad spray job and it kind of looks cool with matte blue. It's just not uniform through the whole bike.



The right side is really mashed but already found a used one on eBay for $100. Wish I could just take it off and convert it to a naked Bandit.



I've never seen bars like these, they adjust in so many different spots and none of it is right. I'd like a more upright riding position, especially if I had a higher windscreen.

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Old 11-04-2012, 02:06 PM   #3
JStory
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I don't have any specific advice for you, but you should join
Maximum Suzuki. Best Bandit forum around. A bunch of
highly knowledgeable Bandit owners over there.
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Old 11-04-2012, 04:36 PM   #4
Jimmy the Heater
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Well you do have a long winter ahead of you so here is what I would do.

1. Right on the throw away oil and filter. Change it right now for it's hibernation and then only ride it for a bit in the spring before changing it out again. I wouldn't bother with a reusable air filter. I've got over 70k on my main bikes paper one and it hasn't needed changing yet. (K1200) Check for any metal in the oil as well, you don't know what's it's been treated like.

2.Tires, Highly subjective but yes, get those swapped out. Not worth taking a chance on them. I like Pilot Road 2 and 3 but the choice is up to you there.

3.Bars, again, highly subjective but if you liked stock on your last B12 why not go back to that.

4.Levers, Knock off ones work just fine for a street bike for me. On a dirt bike when you are crashing more often, get the good stuff, but if you go down on the street, levers breaking are probably going to be the least of your worries.

5. Chain and Sprockets, Check the condition of what's on there first. Any stiff links? Sprockets hooking? If everything looks good, just give it an adjustment and go. However if you plan on keeping this, I would go for a new set. I personally like JT steel sprockets and DID X ring chains. They have lasted forever on my chain drive bikes with minimal care.

6.Suspension, Stick with stock (as long as the fork seals are good and the shock isn't blown out) and ride it for a few K to see if it has any shortcomings.

7.Fairing and Windshield, I would try to repair what you have or find a replacement. Call me a wimp but I don't like riding much below 45 degrees without a windshield. And in your area of the country there is a lot of year where temps are around that mark.

8.I think the B12 seat is one of the best ones out there. Leave it alone if it suits ya.

I would take all the bodywork, tank, seat etc off and give it a really good cleaning first of all. That will let your eyes hit every inch of that bike and see if anything looks off.

Good luck and enjoy your B12!
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Old 11-04-2012, 04:57 PM   #5
brockmub OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JStory View Post
I don't have any specific advice for you, but you should join
Maximum Suzuki. Best Bandit forum around. A bunch of
highly knowledgeable Bandit owners over there.
I will post the same thing there as well and see how the members respond. Thanks for the tip!
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Old 11-04-2012, 05:07 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Jimmy the Heater View Post
Well you do have a long winter ahead of you so here is what I would do.
...

Good luck and enjoy your B12!
Thanks Jimmy, that's what I'm looking for. I had my eye on some cheap dual sport tires or a nice set of Pilots. Really, a few good tire should be able to handle a few miles of gravel without much trouble.

I dropped in a new set of Sylvania 9005 (high beam) and 9006 (low beam) Silverstar Ultras. The low was burned out, so I replaced them both. Whenever a bulb goes out in one of my cars, I usually just replace them both, throw the bad one away and keep the good one in the glove box.

It will be a long winter and that should give me enough time to take all of the body work off to have a good look at it all.
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Old 11-05-2012, 07:02 AM   #7
MGN54
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GREAT winter project for $900, I say! Should be fun. Good luck with it and post lots of pics as she evolves. BTW, the bars are helibars. If I remember correctly, those are pretty expensive. Go to their site and check em out.
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Old 11-05-2012, 09:28 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by MGN54 View Post
GREAT winter project for $900, I say! Should be fun. Good luck with it and post lots of pics as she evolves. BTW, the bars are helibars. If I remember correctly, those are pretty expensive. Go to their site and check em out.
I think you are correct, I couldnt find the exact picture on their website but did see some pics in web search.



I'm going to order tires this week and am looking at the Dunlop D616 because I'd like an American DS tire and that pretty much limits my choices.
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Old 11-05-2012, 09:38 AM   #9
Grainbelt
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Originally Posted by brockmub View Post
I'm going to order tires this week and am looking at the Dunlop D616 because I'd like an American DS tire and that pretty much limits my choices.
My experience with DS tires on a street bike was underwhelming, mostly due to awful tread life at higher speeds, and your bandit has a lot of power.

Dual compound sport-touring tires, like the BT-023, Pilot Road 2CT, etc will likely last much longer and in a flat area, keep their round profile much longer.

For gravel riding, lower your air pressure accordingly. I keep a small Slime pump in my side cases to air them back up once I hit the pavement.

Lived in SF for a long time, but before I was a rider. Can you PM me a BLT from Bagel Boy?
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Old 11-05-2012, 10:01 AM   #10
TexanInSeattle
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If you want a cheap and easy rear suspension fix, go on ebay and get yourself a k6/k7 gsxr1000 shock and bolt it in with a couple of washers on either side of the dogbones. Worlds better performance for about 50 bucks and 30 mins of time...also Join us over at maximim-suzuki.com
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Old 11-05-2012, 10:24 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Grainbelt View Post
My experience with DS tires on a street bike was underwhelming, mostly due to awful tread life at higher speeds, and your bandit has a lot of power.

Dual compound sport-touring tires, like the BT-023, Pilot Road 2CT, etc will likely last much longer and in a flat area, keep their round profile much longer.

For gravel riding, lower your air pressure accordingly. I keep a small Slime pump in my side cases to air them back up once I hit the pavement.

Lived in SF for a long time, but before I was a rider. Can you PM me a BLT from Bagel Boy?

Grainbelt (just drank one this week actually)

I think the Pilot Road 2 is the tire I'm going to go with. It's just more realistic of the type of driving I'll be doing.

Wouldn't it be great if I could PM you a BLT? Bagel Boy is the best.
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Old 11-05-2012, 10:29 AM   #12
brockmub OP
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Originally Posted by TexanInSeattle View Post
If you want a cheap and easy rear suspension fix, go on ebay and get yourself a k6/k7 gsxr1000 shock and bolt it in with a couple of washers on either side of the dogbones. Worlds better performance for about 50 bucks and 30 mins of time...also Join us over at maximim-suzuki.com
I will look into the GSXR shock swap, what advantages does it provide? Performance such as cornering, ride quality, or load managment?

I just joined up on the MaxSuzuki forum and posed the same questions there. So far there have been some helpful replies already. My username is the same if you want to find it.
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Old 11-05-2012, 11:00 AM   #13
brockmub OP
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Motosport.com has Pilot Road 2 and 3s... Front - 120/70ZR17 and Rear 180/55ZR17 combos with Free Shipping

Pilot Road 2 - $314.99

Pilot Road 3 - $354.99

What do you guys think?
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Old 11-05-2012, 11:54 AM   #14
brockmub OP
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Originally Posted by brockmub View Post
Motosport.com has Pilot Road 2 and 3s... Front - 120/70ZR17 and Rear 180/55ZR17 combos with Free Shipping

Pilot Road 2 - $314.99

Pilot Road 3 - $354.99

What do you guys think?
Someone pointed out that the Motorcycle-superstore.com has the PR2 set @ $285 and the PR3 set @ $317 shipped.
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Old 11-05-2012, 11:57 AM   #15
Grainbelt
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PR3 is supposed to be better in the rain, otherwise I think the PR2 is as good.

I've been running BT023 since they are cheaper, and I still get 10k out of a rear and 15k out of a front, never had a 'moment', wet or dry. That set would be $230 at DennisKirk.com in those sizes.
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