Modding The Bandit

Well, I’m back, with an update on the Bandit.

A fair bit has happened. About 10,000 miles, in fact. The threatened fork upgrade went ahead – needed a couple of adjustments (and I still think that I need a teensy bit more preload, but meh) but it did wonders for the handling. So much, in fact, that it really showed up how crude the rear is – the front glides over bumps and stays glued to the road under hard cornering while the rear skips around like a bouncy ball. But hey – with 25,000 total miles in its short 3-year life it’s probably due for replacement anyway.

Further research has proved fruitless – it’s HyperPro or nothing, I’m afraid. I interrogated the guys over at during Motorcycle Live, who confirmed that while they could hook me up, the fancy 3-way race shock I want will cost me the better part of £700. On the plus side there is a cheaper option – HyperPro offer a simpler emulsion shock with combined rebound/compression damping which, despite offering no more adjustment than the stock Suzuki, will probably do a much better job than the standard (and worn out) unit for around £350.

So the question is – can I justify the super-fancy unit? Will I honestly, genuinely, notice the difference?


Other than the shock, I’m still facing brake/clutch lines (Quoted ~£200 from HEL, but I’ll need a dealer to fit the 8-line ABS-fitment kit…), wanting some shiny ASV levers (~£160 for the set – purely toys) and have been researching into Power Commanders.

Now it’s not like I need more power (wanting is different…and often silly), but I’ve always wondered how the standard ECU is dealing with me messing with both the exhaust (Beowful) and intake (K&N). I’m also enamoured by the idea of switchable engine maps, and have been investigating having one map for power, and one for efficient cruising. Beyond that it’s well known that modern manufacturers butcher the standard map to fit emmissions and noise regulations, which those who know me are aware do not rank highly on my priorities. Compromise my ride for petty regulations? Forget it.

But! As usual, the SuperExclusiveLimitedSpecialEdition™ nature of the Bandit strikes again. Contradictory answers from tuning shops and the DynoJet website led me to the manufacturer’s own booth at Motorcycle Live, who had to go into a huddle before asking me if I’d care to pop by their HQ in Preston so that they could find out for themselves! It seems that no-one has ever tried to fit one to a 650 Bandit before, and while they’re pretty sure one of their other Suzuki units would do the job, they have no maps read to go. They’ve even promised a same-day service and a discount for donating my bike as a test mule – apparently this is how they build their catalogue of maps in the first place. I’ll be only too happy to oblige – that is, as soon as the weather improves and I can get the days off for a road trip to the opposite side of the country.

Who knows – while I’m up there maybe my uncle will let me have a play on his BMW RT…

Last thing – a brief and (semi) exciting electrical fault during a two-hour ride through freezing rain has led me to investigate GammTronix’ (eBay) voltage and temperature monitoring offerings. They come highly recommended by Ride Magazine, and I do love wiring things into my bike, so for ~£10 I reckon I’ll drill some more holes in it and report back…