Suzuki Bandit 1200S - Road Test

Suzuki Reupholsters The World's Fastest, Best-Handling Sofa And Keeps It Cheap. Hey, Where's The Remote?

Photography by Kevin Wing

Test Notes
Speedo error:
60 mph, actual 56

El Bandito Grande has near-perfect power delivery, serving up 70-ish foot-pounds of highly usable torque over a 4000-rpm band smack in the middle of the rev range. Very nice.

Performance with test-session weather conditions corrected to sea-level standard conditions (59 degrees F, 29.92 in. of mercury)

Wet weight plus 170 lb. rider divided by measured horsepower

Cheers & Jeers
Suzuki Bandit 1200S
Engine 9 Charismatic whistly four with major grunt
Drivetrain 8 Gearbox is just the slightest bit reluctant
Handling 7 Better than the kids suspect
Braking 7 New and improved
Ride 9 All day and then some
Ergonomics 10 A page from the old GS playbook
Features 8 Clock, centerstand, no cup holders
Refinement 8 Highly refined unrefined thing
Value 10 Can't think of anything better for the price
Fun Factor 8 Highly stimulating to do more with less

Verdict: This one reminds us why the Universal Japanese Motorcycle became so popular in the first place. It does nothing exceptionally well, except do everything well.

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