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The 1200 Bandit has one of the best engines ever made but in the Bandit it is in a chassis obviously built to a budget making for a harsh and sometimes uncomfortable ride. Don't get me wrong for the price the bike is fantastic and is one of the best looking bikes available however after a short time the the reason for its cheapness becomes obvious. The paintwork and general finish of the bike is second rate with paintwork easily chipped and worn, the seat covering doesn't last as it should and the chromework and alloy parts discolour quickly. Summing up, for the money the Bandit is a good buy but if you have more to spend then a far superior bike in nearly every way (apart from the ability to do amazing wheelies with ease) is the Yamah XJR 1200/1300 (I have owned two 1200 Bandits an XJR1200 and an XJR1300SP)
Finally, the bike I always wanted, but never knew it. After 20 years of biking, from various elderly Japs, a Harley Sportster and a BMW R100RT, I finally bit the bullet and bought my first ever brand new bike, a faired 1200 Bandit, "Y" model. First impressions were it was a bit too sane, and the bars were awful. 1000 miles later, with an aftermarket can (you won't believe the difference!) and bars, and turning all the suspension settings up one notch, I still find it hard to believe how good it is. Wheelies in first and second, crisp performance, handling and brakes par excellence, the only question I still have is, why didn't I buy one 3 years ago when they first came out?! You definately will NOT regret buying one of these! Especially if you do as I did, and get an import at £1000-1500 less than UK price.
I have owned my Banditt for nearly a year now, and I am still exillearated every time I ride it. The 1200cc engine is perfectly suited to this machine, giving it ausome power to combine with its sexy styling and comfortable possitioning. It is not only a speed bike like the R1 and Fireblade, although top speeds of 170mph can be achieved, it is in now way needed. Other sports bikes are uncomftable and unstable at lower speeds but the perfect weighting of the Banditt combined with the comfortable sitting position makes it as comportable as a Goldwing! My Advice is to go and buy one!