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Discussion Starter #1
As I mentioned elsewhere on this forum, I've been after an interstate blaster for a while and have been looking at FJRs recently. Found a bargain though, and picked up a red K7 1250S Bandit today from the local BMW dealer. $8500 OTD, 8500km, serviced every 6 months regardless of mileage, full Givi panniers and top box set, new tyres and a few farkles. Mint condition - still has those warning stickers all over it. Can't put up any pics as it is pouring down here, but I'll put in one from the Bikesales ad.

Rode the thing home in heavy rain and 5 o'clock traffic so no proper ride report on it as yet. Feels small after the Wee, very quiet, civilised power and very smooth. The suspension sailed over the goat tracks that nearly knock my teeth out on the Wee, so that's one good thing. Bad bits are the steering feels a bit twitchy at low speed and it likes to drop in on turns, pillion rests must be for dwarfs, setting the pre-load on the rear is almost impossible as it uses a C-spanner and there's no clearance anywhere to get purchase on it, brake and clutch levers don't have a great deal of variation in their adjustability and the gear lever rod is not adjustable - you have to move the arm on the shaft. I gather changing plugs on one of these is an experience as well. Hopefully the rain will ease a bit tonight and I can get it out for a decent run tomorrow and see what it's like for wind noise on the highway.

Still have the Wee and intend trading it in on the new model in the New Year. (I put my current one in the Flea Market a week or so back for anyone wanting a pre trade-in deal on a nicely farkled bike.)
 

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Those Bandits like yours are nice bikes. I had been eyeing one when my son approached me about selling his Vstrom. I ended up buying his Vstrom and am happy with this bike although I still have a hankering for the Bandit. I have a friend who has a Bandit like that one. It is smooth and great for freeway/interstate blasting.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I've always liked them too, though I think the riding position on the 1200 was better. They are very compact for a large bike. Spent last night tweaking the riding position and removing a few bits - top box for one, as I'll never use it on that bike. Whacked it on the Wee as it is a bit bigger than the Givi I have on it - better build quality too oddly enough. Looks like the sun is out, so I'll check the head bearings to see if they are loose and causing the twitch, give it another go over and take it for a run. There is very little working room on the bike, but at least the tank comes off in about 30 secs. There were a surprising number of loose bolts on it, and it appears they were like that from new.

I'll be interested to see what the fuel consumption is like; the Wee certainly ruins you for life on that score. With a 19L tank the range will probably be about half that of the Wee unfortunately.
 

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I've had 2 1200's and I could get 300km out of a tank reasonably easily. The 1250's are supposed to be more economical but I still think shrinking a bike's tank is a bad way to go.

I once put 19.8L in my 20L tank...luckily I didn't have to push to the gas station - she got there under her own steam...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Finally got a decent run on it today, but with strong winds and my hands freezing (forgot what riding without handguards and heated grips is like, even with winter gloves) I didn't manage to run it through a full tank.

Despite weighing around 250kg fuelled up it is very light to move around the garage compared to the Wee and is physically quite a bit smaller. Engine is lovely, you can sense there are vibes away somewhere, but it is smooth at any speed, pulls from idle and really starts to move hard from 4K. Acceleration is fast enough and the motor feels like a stump-puller; easy to roll on from 100-140kmh in 6th in a second or two without yanking the throttle. Very manageable though and it is quite happy to sit on legal speeds unlike some big bore bikes I've had. Can do the 600lb unicycle thing easily enough, but not inadvertently like a 'Busa. Very easy to ride in city traffic as well.

Handling is pretty neutral but it does want to be driven through corners and it is not really flickable like the Wee. Suspension is OK but the damping is pretty crude. Brakes are good with a moderate amount of force needed to lock them up, which is good on a non-ABS bike.

At 120kmh on the expressway the wind blast is heavy and hits me right in the chin/neck area. Quite surprised by that and it feels stronger than a naked bike at the same speed. Clean air though and no buffeting or other nasties, but a different screen is on the horizon. On the other hand, from mid chest to feet feels pretty protected and despite the low temps and incipient rain I didn't feel cold at all. Over 80kmh you can barely hear the engine over the wind rush, which I like. There are various rattles and clicks from the motor but it is pretty quiet mechanically. Riding position is OK but the standard bars have an odd pull-back on them - bit like the standard Wee bars - so I might look at putting on some superbike bars and a 1" riser.

At expressway speeds it is not as comfortable as the Wee due to the wind pressure and the less relaxed riding position, but it is nice to have that torque in reserve. It doesn't get blown around by semis or wind gusts to the extent the Wee does so it feels more stable at speed in bad weather.

I took the bike over a mix of roads I am very familiar with, and while I am obviously still getting used to it, I couldn't help thinking on particular sections "the Wee does this better". Pillion testing tomorrow and when the local gravel roads dry out a bit I'll take it for a spin on some of my favourites and see how it handles them.

So a quick sum up: based on 43 years riding, 60+ bikes, and a big touring mileage - the Bandit is a very good bike, especially for the money and I'm going to have a lot of fun with it. Bottom line: I'm not a Strom fanatic, but for the type of riding I do if I could only have one bike I'd take the Wee.
 

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Nice report scrivens,you certainly won't get a gig writing for a magazine with such unbiased views--when one gets flown to Milan for a new launch,wined and dined,telling them what they want to hear would be prudent :biggrinjester:
 

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Nice pickup Scrivens, I actully sold my Bandit 1200 to get my 03 Vee as I found then and still so that the Strom is far better in the general day to day use and that feeling of the bike wanting to tip into the corners always made me uneasy especially in wet conditions whereas the Strom takes all weathers and road conditions in it's stride and makes for me at least a much enjoyable ride, only thing I miss is that massive turbine like power delivery from the Bandit but I solved that buy buying a B-King as well for those times when the only thing you want is plenty of grunt to play with.
That said a mate has an '07 Bandit and he does those Iron Butt rides on a regular basis and loves the bikes ability to eat the miles in total comfort. Enjoy the new toy.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
500km up now but I still haven't had a proper run through the twisties as the roads haven't dried. You get a lot wetter on a Bandit; on the Wee I can ride in pouring rain and get a bit of water on the outside of my jacket arms, but on the Bandit my whole front is soaked. The fairing is pretty effective over 100kmh though. 55mpg Imperial on the first tank, still sorting the suspension out and getting bounced off the seat on bumpy roads. Feels like it is oversprung and underdamped, but I'm only about 80kg geared up so the suspension isn't getting compressed much even on the lower preload settings. Front sag measured no difference regardless of the preload setting - have it on 2 now - and the rear is set at 5 of 7 at the correct sag, but needs to be taken down to 4 or 3 I think.

I know what you mean about wet roads; the Bandit needs to be driven through corners and that's a bit tricky with all that low down torque on roads that have moss on them. Reminds me of driving my old V8 - very easy to spin out on greasy roads. Without having dry roads to push it on to find the handling quirks it's a bit hard to sort out how to attack some particular roads in the wet and my transit times are now less than on the Wee.

I'm used to the riding position now and it is surprisingly comfortable, but not at all like the Wee which now feels like an armchair. Feels quite strange hustling the Wee along at the speeds I was doing pre-Bandit. It would be nice to jam that 1250 engine in a Vee chassis.

I liked the 1200 Bandit and would have bought one of them in preference if I could have found a good one at a reasonable price, but the really good ones recently were only a bit less than this fully kitted 1250. The 1250 does the mile-eating stuff alright, but with the light flywheels it actually takes some conscious effort to keep the throttle up; after a while the speed will gradually drop off 10-20km/h and need a bit of a twist up again. Probably just a 'getting used to it' thing. Still haven't had a go with a pillion but have had it on some of the dirt roads I often go over and it handled them without any problems without airing down. Another week of rain according to the forecast, but sooner or later I'll get it out on dry curves and see how it goes.
 

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