Say hello to BigBandido, my new (to me) 1997 Suzuki Bandit 1200S.
The engine is basically a bored out GSXR1100 motor, tuned for better low end power delivery and more torque. The saddle is a Corbin Lady and Gunfighter though this is strictly a Me motorcycle. I kept Black Beauty specifically for double touring.
I looked at a lot of bikes, including more than a few BMWs and I was tempted. Then that dang practical streak started whispering in my ear. That guy can really be a pain in the posterior some times. This bike has a small fairing, a comfortable saddle and an upright riding position. Plus round tube handlebars. I started riding in the time when all handlebars were tubular steel and I find I just prefer them that way.
I kept on looking, seeking the maximum bang for my riding buck. I wanted something I could take on a two or three day trip through the Rockies but that I could still tool around town on without carrying everything but the kitchen sink along with me. I'm not a cruiser or touring bike kinda guy. No offense, they're great motorcycles, it's just not me. I rode a variety of sport bikes from my Honda CBR600 F3 to my Honda 996 Superhawk. Throw in a couple of Yamaha standards (750 and 650 Specials) and my preferences are pretty clear. I did spend a few years in the saddle of a BMW R1150 RT(P) but I was priced out of that model fairly early into the search. I wanted a big bike I could take anywhere but that wouldn't tie up a significant chunk of my assets and irritate me every time I thought about it sitting in the garage,
A lot of the stuff that was for sale at a price I was comfortable with was pretty crapped out. What is it with some of you guys? Modified and junk shouldn't be compatible terms. Everything was hacked on, cut up, rattle can painted and just generally beat beyond my desire to resurrect. I found a few that I figured I could bring back to useful life but the end result was going to be a high mileage motorcycle that I was going to have to do a lot of work to before I could depend on it. Have I ever mentioned how lazy I am?
Then I found this jewel. Yes, it has been re-painted but it was done by a professional. The paint is deep, shiny and near perfect. It already has good tires, brakes, sprockets and chain. The odometer shows just a tick over 16,000 miles. Best of all, she's almost completely stock with the original fenders, exhaust and turn signals (seriously, the very sight of those tiny white blinkers on bikes just makes me grit my teeth).
Good enough. I plunked down the cash and rode her home.She's big, fast, comfortable and all mine.
Of course the fly in the ointment was a helmet. See, I have this irritating tendency to get rid of all my riding gear when I sell a bike, only to have to buy same once again when I inevitably buy another. So I had to run down to the local cyclery establishment to procure a new lid before taking to the streets once more. Hey, my life has been saved on at least one occasion by a helmet. I never ride without one.
I have a tank bag that was somehow overlooked during the last purge so I only need a tail bag and I may forgo that in favor of a small duffel and a bungee. Then I'll be all set. I called Car Guy and I'll talk to my uncle later this week. Ride The Rockies is on!