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For a first street bike, the Ninja 650R. The Bandit is quite heavy.
 

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Both are good bikes, but I'd agree with Ray's preference for the Ninja. You may wish to consider the SV650 as well. However, if you get the "S" version (available with the full fairings), the positioning of the clip-ons is less than desireable for a first bike.

Whatever your choice, welcome to the addiction. :)
 

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I owned a bandit 1200 S. Wasn't my first bike but I bought it relatively new and sold it with well over 30,000 miles. I gave that bike hell but of course maintained it properly. It's not a looker to most, but I sold it with the stock chain, stock sprockets, stock clutch; even the 6 year old stock battery. Considering the riding I did [all inner city year round in Houston heat etc.] and immense torque that bike produces it is a true testament to the durability that bike has.

The best thing about bandits is their fairly low desireability, I bought mine for a little over 3k and sold it for 3k flat. You should be able to find a 600cc version for cheaper but I don't know if those engines have the reputation the 1200's does. All I'm saying is check them both out, in the motorcycle world the saying 'you get what you pay for' is often the opposite in many ways [pay for looks, ego, and brand].

Regarding the valuable comments above, the 1200 was/is heavy. Not sure how much lighter the 600 is. Worse, it has a high center of gravity so with a full tank you feel it in tight corners. At the same time, the handlebars are much higher and easier to use. Overall, the 450++ wet bandit was significantly easier to manipulate at low speeds than my current and light as sportbikes get 954. There is more to it than just weight but that's an excellent point.

I wouldn't worry about fairings. I owned several full fairing bikes before it and couldn't careless now. Unless you get something with significant wind protection like a busa/goldwing, the difference in wind deflection is 95% in the wind shield not fairings. I can't wait to get my hands on a zrx1200r. I've seen mint very low miles ones go for 4k flat, even a little less. Best kept secret in motorcycling is the big bore nakeds. Hopefully no one will read this and spoil it.
 

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I bought an '02 bandit 600 as my first bike...and yes, it is kinda heavy. That may have played a role in me wrecking it last week (or more precisely, it wrecked me)...bike is fine though. (yes, yes i know: I'm taking the MSC as soon as i recover) seems to have been down at least twice before I got it and it has fared EXTREMELY well. Maybe that has something to do with the lack of a ferring/overall design?

Anyway, I haven't been on a 650 bandit, but definitely try to hop on one before you buy to see if you can handle the weight. I LOVE my bandit, but if i ever do sell it, it will be ONLY because of its weight. (and maybe pathetic headlights)

But I kinda like the no-ferring look: makes the bike look tougher. But you ask a good question that I've been trying to figure out: (I've seen pics of bikes with them, but never a place that sells them)


Does anyone sell a full ferring for the Bandits?? Where are people getting theirs from?

Thanks to whoever can answer that. :)
Good luck with your choice!
 

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locke_don said:
Does anyone sell a full ferring for the Bandits?? Where are people getting theirs from?

Thanks to whoever can answer that. :)
Good luck with your choice!
Yes, there is a full fairing kit for the bandit 600... it's called the Katana 600. People are getting them from Suzuki dealers. :neener
 

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BIRDMAN
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Go with the ninja. I had a 1200 and I think the ninja would be more fun. My sv650 was compared to the 1200 bandit.
Sv650 over all of em.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the replies guys..
Well,if the Bandit is top heavy I just might have to go for the Ninja...I've owned 3 Suzuki products,so when I begain to think about buying a motorcycle I automatically started looking at Suzuki's,but didn't find something that fit into what I was looking for...The Ninja 650r really grabed my attention,but I havent had any experience with Kawasaki nor do I know of anyone that owns one..

BTW,I wasnt thinking about how much wind protection I would get with the full fairing....it was more attitude...I like look better then the naked look..
 

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I own a 650R and I love it. It is my first street bike. It's heavier than some of the SS bikes but it doesn't bother me at all. The fairing provides descent wind protection, I get the wind blast around my chin I think with the stock wind screen. The seating position is upright due to having handlebars instead of clip ons. You can replace the handle bars with clip ons if you want something more agressive though. I bought it in 06 and have about 6000 miles on it I think. It's a great bike, and I couldn't be happier. Good Luck!
 
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