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Old 03-12-2013, 07:24 PM   #106
de Vaca
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It is interesting how much perceptions can vary; I have a 2007 919 and a 2011 gsx 1250 fa, the newer variant of the bandit. I understand that some upgrades from the bandit to the gsx were made, such as suspension tweaks, etc along with the full fairing, but the bike is still a bandit for the most part. As much as I like the 919, if I could only keep one, it would be the gsx. I have put a little over 15,000 miles on it in the last year. I find it to be as comfortable as the 919, and so far equal in quality and reliability (flawless so far.) Extremely stable and smooth, if not as agile feeling as the lighter 919, but entirely pleasant to ride. The big block V8 low and mid range like torque is a hoot too. They both are great bikes.
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Old 03-13-2013, 12:34 AM   #107
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Originally Posted by watrboy View Post
+1 on the rather. Don't you have the NC in there somewhere?
That's just.. "available".
Not mine.
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Old 03-13-2013, 12:38 AM   #108
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Originally Posted by Scrivens View Post
The only way you'll tell is to ride a Bandit for about 50 miles, suburbs and highway. I don't know if they sold the 1250S (half-fairing) or only the FA (full fairing) in the US, but try the naked as well.



The half fairing was worse than useless - the first time I rode it in the rain the water coming off the screen was like being hit with a firehose. I've owned or ridden all sorts of faired bikes over the years and I have never experienced anything like the standard screen on the Bandit. Even the Givi touring screen was bad; both had ferocious wind noise as the fairing is quite narrow. The seat is like a plank, the footrests are too high - though easily turned upside down to get another inch or so - and with the 270kg fuelled up rolling mass, as soon as the front brake is used all the weight goes straight onto your wrists. I put a lot of miles on mine in a relatively short time and I still rate it as one of the most uncomfortable bikes I've ever owned. The pic shows its final form - Givi screen, lowered pegs, Rox barbacks, wider touring bars - and it was still awful. And none of my pillions would get on it more than once; even my 5'3" daughter found it cramped. The 919 on the other hand is as close to perfect for riding position for me.

(Oh, and the lights on the Bandit were abysmal and needed the twin spots (on the radiator shroud) for safe night riding. I should add that it did handle bad gravel roads surprisingly well though.)
I'd be looking at the naked bandit, I'm DONE with fairings, and even the
650 naked is an option, but the 919 is usually cheaper then both of
these (and on average 2-3 years older too).

I've ridden the 599 (Hornet 600) and liked everything about it, so I guess
the 919 should be about the same, with the obvious engine difference.

I got rid of my 650R because of vibrations, and it was a choir around
town, and from what I'm reading here, the bandit should be even worse
(re: weight).

I remember when Honda announced the CB1000R, I was like WTF

Wish they made the 919 a bit longer, and with ABS.

I guess I wouldn't miss the torque of the 1250 either on the 919 since
it's lighter and not that gutless down low anyway.
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Old 03-13-2013, 12:41 AM   #109
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gashog View Post
It is interesting how much perceptions can vary; I have a 2007 919 and a 2011 gsx 1250 fa, the newer variant of the bandit. I understand that some upgrades from the bandit to the gsx were made, such as suspension tweaks, etc along with the full fairing, but the bike is still a bandit for the most part. As much as I like the 919, if I could only keep one, it would be the gsx. I have put a little over 15,000 miles on it in the last year. I find it to be as comfortable as the 919, and so far equal in quality and reliability (flawless so far.) Extremely stable and smooth, if not as agile feeling as the lighter 919, but entirely pleasant to ride. The big block V8 low and mid range like torque is a hoot too. They both are great bikes.
There's a couple of people on the TWT Bandit forum, some had 919s, most
would pick the Bandit.. mostly because of the torque.

From what I've read, the 919 should have better brakes and suspension,
no? I doubt it I'd miss any torque since I never tried the 1250, and most
torque I've been "subjected" to was from 650 and 750cc twins.

I got a potential buyer for my current scoot - if that happens in 10-14 days, I'll
be all over the 2-3 good looking 919s I've found in the local ads.

One thing, what's the oldest I should go? I know there was a "facelift" with some changes
somewhere in the production of the thing..
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Old 03-13-2013, 12:58 AM   #110
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gashog View Post
It is interesting how much perceptions can vary;
Yep, there'll never be universal agreement about bikes, luckily. A lot of it comes from what you are used to, your daily mileage, type of trips you make, and age. I put a lot of touring miles on airhead and K-series BMWs over about 30 years and usually had one or two large 'standard' naked bikes in the garage as well, so I'm used to a lot of cockpit space. I've also got long arms and legs - and at 60 things don't stretch or squeeze up like they used to - and don't weigh much so I tend to get hammered by poorly damped suspension. I'm also used to bikes with very good wind/weather protection and the Bandit (like many modern "short/narrow" screens) provided little protection and a tiring level of wind noise. That fairing was not meant to be a long-haul touring job of course, so I shouldn't complain.

I always have one bagged-up touring bike and keep it for two years. The 1250's predecessor was an 09 ABS Weestrom which I bought new without ever having heard of them when my last BMW died and I needed a replacement fast. (No oilheads for me, thank you.) It was a fine bike and I rode the legs off it and had a lot of fun, but I have rarely thought about it since it went to its new owner. I still have extremely fond memories of the 1250 engine; it had a lovely lazy powerband, got incredible fuel mileage, had few noticeable vibrations and it looked and sounded good too. The chassis just didn't work for me though.

I think if I'd bought the naked 1250 I might still have it as I could fabricate my way around the pillion problems and without a fairing there is more latitude to change screens, bars, lights and other odds and ends, and that in turn affects the 'feel' of the bike. (I have no qualms about attacking bikes with a hacksaw and welder if required.) The thing that really did surprise me was the comfort difference between the 1200 and the 1250. According to that bike ergos site the 1200 is more cramped, has greater forward lean and so on, but to me the 1200 was more natural and roomier and actually felt a lot like the 919. I've heard that the GSX650 Bandit seat is more like the 1200's and a straight drop in.
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Old 03-13-2013, 01:17 AM   #111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cortez View Post
From what I've read, the 919 should have better brakes and suspension,
no? I doubt it I'd miss any torque since I never tried the 1250, and most
torque I've been "subjected" to was from 650 and 750cc twins.
I actually prefer naked bikes for normal riding, but a good, well designed touring fairing is a godsend on the long haul. A decent touring screen on a naked is a useful compromise as it can be removed when its warmer. We have fiercely policed speed limits in Australia - 110km/h max on the highways and very risky to sit on more than 120 - and at those speeds a naked bike is quite comfortable and far quieter than a bad screen.

As to the 919/1250 torque, the 1250 has power off idle and will run up a cliff at 3000rpm in top with a pillion and luggage. When I get a new bike, for the first 200-300km I take it over a series of test roads that I know very well from running bikes over them for years. I can pick out very quickly any differences in power, handling, braking, suspension flex and so on from that first ride and know what I have to deal with. There is one section which is a long straight with two roller coaster hills - so steep in fact that as you are going down the incline until you are about half way down you can't see the road at the bottom. I start at the bottom of the dip rolling in top gear at 80km/h and open the throttle; the Bandit was doing 140 plus and accelerating hard at the top, the 919 was pulling 120 and accelerating moderately. (As a comparison, my Sportster will crest at about 90km/h with the throttle wide open and the Kawasaki W800 will be doing about 100 with very slow acceleration. Both of course will go much harder in 4th, but it is a top gear test.)

From the 1000km or so I've put on the 919, it doesn't have the sheer grunt of the 1250 but it does have considerable low down torque and a very free-revving engine so on the road there's not all that much difference. The 919 is considerably lighter and that makes things like brakes and suspension work more effectively.
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Old 03-13-2013, 02:03 AM   #112
Cortez
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrivens View Post
I actually prefer naked bikes for normal riding, but a good, well designed touring fairing is a godsend on the long haul. A decent touring screen on a naked is a useful compromise as it can be removed when its warmer. We have fiercely policed speed limits in Australia - 110km/h max on the highways and very risky to sit on more than 120 - and at those speeds a naked bike is quite comfortable and far quieter than a bad screen.
That's exactly the speed I usually do, 110-120km/h.
We got a highway/freeway limit of 130, but I avoid it if I can and
that's all doable with a naked.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrivens View Post
As to the 919/1250 torque, the 1250 has power off idle and will run up a cliff at 3000rpm in top with a pillion and luggage. When I get a new bike, for the first 200-300km I take it over a series of test roads that I know very well from running bikes over them for years. I can pick out very quickly any differences in power, handling, braking, suspension flex and so on from that first ride and know what I have to deal with. There is one section which is a long straight with two roller coaster hills - so steep in fact that as you are going down the incline until you are about half way down you can't see the road at the bottom. I start at the bottom of the dip rolling in top gear at 80km/h and open the throttle; the Bandit was doing 140 plus and accelerating hard at the top, the 919 was pulling 120 and accelerating moderately. (As a comparison, my Sportster will crest at about 90km/h with the throttle wide open and the Kawasaki W800 will be doing about 100 with very slow acceleration. Both of course will go much harder in 4th, but it is a top gear test.)
That's cool!
The 919 has less weight and more power, but it doesn't come into the
power band that low so I'm not surprised by this. It would probably be
just as fast if you dropped it a gear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scrivens View Post
From the 1000km or so I've put on the 919, it doesn't have the sheer grunt of the 1250 but it does have considerable low down torque and a very free-revving engine so on the road there's not all that much difference. The 919 is considerably lighter and that makes things like brakes and suspension work more effectively.
Yeah, that makes sense.
Thanks.

Considering I've been very happy with the torque of my 650R
(66Nm@7000 revs), and the 919 has 92Nm @ 6,500 revs, there's no
chance I'd feel like it's under-powered or anything.
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Old 03-13-2013, 03:53 AM   #113
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cortez View Post
Considering I've been very happy with the torque of my 650R
(66Nm@7000 revs), and the 919 has 92Nm @ 6,500 revs, there's no
chance I'd feel like it's under-powered or anything.
I've ridden the ER-6N & F as they are here; nice bikes and a zippy engine with a very nice pulsing feel to it. The F - your 650R - is a very comfortable bike and the fairing is quite a decent one. You are right though, the 919 will feel far more powerful and you'll have no worries on that score, especially is you use the revs and gearbox. Putting things into perspective, out on the road the only time you need real 'instant' power is for fast overtaking in tight conditions with a loaded bike. Even the 50hp W800 will power around cars when overtaking, but with 100+hp you can zip past and be back in your lane in a millisecond. That has its downsides too - I found on the Bandit that I was overtaking in places where I really shouldn't have been simply because the bike was so fast that it was possible. Possible yes, safe, no - and I'm a very experienced rider and if it scares me then it must be stupid behaviour.

The W800 is a more than capable 110kmh tourer, and the 883 Sportster will sit at 120 all day with uncanny smoothness that is even better than my old 650 VStrom at the same speed. With both however, running relatively quickly to 130 is about it for passing, and dropping a gear just makes more noise and little power/speed, whereas any large I4 engine will run to 140 in an instant.

BTW, as far as I know the only difference in the entire Australian model run was the change to adjustable front suspension in 2005. Could be different in other countries though.
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Old 03-13-2013, 03:58 AM   #114
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Old 03-13-2013, 06:11 AM   #115
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Cortez, if you get the 919 you will love it. I had a versys before the 919, with the same basic engine as your 650r, and liked it. The 919, however, is significantly more powerful. The midrange grunt is a little less than the 1250, but the 919 has more of a top rpm rush than the 1250 does and still has plenty in the lower rpm.
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Old 03-13-2013, 06:13 AM   #116
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Originally Posted by gashog View Post
Cortez, if you get the 919 you will love it. I had a versys before the 919, with the same basic engine as your 650r, and liked it. The 919, however, is significantly more powerful. The midrange grunt is a little less than the 1250, but the 919 has more of a top rpm rush than the 1250 does and still has plenty in the lower rpm.
I just know I don't want that parallel twin again.
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:22 AM   #117
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Originally Posted by Cortez View Post
One thing, what's the oldest I should go? I know there was a "facelift" with some changes
somewhere in the production of the thing..

In the US, 2004 was the year they changed a few things(added a clock & better/adjustable suspension).
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:41 AM   #118
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Originally Posted by PAULIBIKER View Post
In the US, 2004 was the year they changed a few things(added a clock & better/adjustable suspension).
That's it.
Same here.

Thanks.
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Old 03-24-2013, 05:42 AM   #119
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Finally got all the bits on - H&B racks and cases, H&B centrestand, LED spots, Oxford grips, modified Givi screen, Tuono mirrors and the Eastern Beaver fusebox. Very nice.

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Old 03-30-2013, 05:03 PM   #120
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Happy Easter

Short ride around town.
Finally got some decent weather for the long weekend.
Happy Easter!



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