Hi guys, glad I found you!
I’m a new biker passed DAS 3 weeks ago and bought a dodgy old Suzuki Bandit 600S from ebay to commute on. I’m really enjoying it! It makes work so much more fun, if a tad more dangerous.
I am a health and safety inspector (dont laff, I’m not draconian and i try to help people not hinder them) and have to visit up to 4 construction jobs each day in central london. I am self employed and paid by the site visit so I was loosing money hand over fist trying to do this in a car or on the tube/train.
Now I can get from one side of london to the other in an hour on a bad day, when it used to take me over an hour to get round hanger lane!
A few things I have learnt.
Dodgy Old Bandits off ebay should be avoided. I have had oil leaks, engine cut outs in the wet, blowing exhaust, the throttle assembly kept moving about (fixed), knocks and bangs coming from the engine, whining from the front, whoosh whoosh sounds coming from i dont know where, the speedo is rubbish and reads at least 10% down on actual, I think its been clocked, excessive fuel consumption, choke stuck open (fixed, maybe fixed the last point too), loose chain, bulbs blown, droopy mirrors and no centre stand.
Haynes manuals rock.
I need tools to work on the bike, and a jack/stand thingy.
SRS Motorcycles in Hammersmith (I happen to have a client nearby and dropped in for help) are brilliant and deserve a medal for their understanding, patience and excellent service.
I cant afford leathers - yet - maybe next month. I have armoured textiles.
I cant afford boots, at least untill next week, but I do have my safety boots for now.
I need a better bike eventually and I think I want a pointy SV650. Maybe…
Everyone in a cage should be treated as potential idiots and I must assume everyone hasnt seen me.
Cornering is harder than it looks.
Anyway enought of my waffle, nice to be here and use SRS if you can
good morning and welcome to LB
morningmate, you certainly have learnt a lot over the past 3 weeks! Biking straight after DAS is a very steep learning curve, especially if you are riding around london every day! But rest assured this is a good way to learn how to look out for yourself.
Think you must have a got a bit of a lemon for the bandit, which is a shame cos usually they are pretty solid bikes, lots of people on here have had/currently own them and are very happy with em, perfect commuter bikes.
Stick with it for the moment, cos, and dont take this the wrong way, but that many miles in london means that you are probably fairly likely to drop it in the next 6 months, so rather drop this than a pointy SV…
but come along to the bike meets (think there is a newbie one on monday!) and have a chat!
welcome along, chucked yourself in at the deep end, but might be the best way to learn and you will do fast.
Don’t a Bandit make ya smile though
Well yes actually it does! Big grin all day hehe
Ive overcome most of the n00b problems I think, and have been having some fun on the bike. I actually look forward to work now! Result.
Ive had to up my idle revs cause after a while in traffic she keeps stalling and is hard to restart. The idle was a bit low (900-1000) so ive upped to 1300 under advice from Mr Haynes.
Over the last few days ive come across:
a. Cage drivers that dont look
b. Cagers that seem to deliberatly move across so that you cannot filter
c. Cagers that move to the left to let you pass (always wave)
d. Stroppy geezer in a brand new merc near trafalgar SQ that tooted when i stopped at lights cause he was too close and nearly went up the back of me. Perhaps I shouldnt have stopped but Its not like I slammed the brakes on. He then proceeded to move alongside and bog at me. I blew him a kiss and he didnt like that lol!
e. Stupidly heavy rain in bursts that feel like my helmet is being pelted with marbles
f. Really badly maintained roads, in particular near croydon
g. Other riders that nod and wave! Coool!
Onwards and upwards, I havent dropped the bandit yet, and ive only had one ohmygodimgoingtodie moment, when a grey van nearly rammed me into a kerb on the isle of dogs. Dont think he saw me filtering. I wear hi-vis all the time now.
Cheers and nice to be here, and theres a pic of my bike attached - dont laff at the yellow wheels!!
edit: ooh ive managed to upload it as my avatar. Sweet.
welcome fellow bandit rider
Red is a great colour for a bike, welcome !
I’ve only been riding for a week and have found the same problems as you, especially cars, being a car driver who’s never (knowingly) done these things it’s surprising how many drivers do make life difficult for us, either on purpose or through negligence.
I had a good ride yesterday, week day afternoon, hardly any traffic, open roads and a chance to practice, seems a good time to ride.
Ive had a nightmare this week. More mechanical troubles with the dodgy old bandit. Stalling, breakdowns, gear troubles, exhaust blowing, nail in me rear tyre etc etc. I fear its becoming a money pit. Had another mechanic look at her and he made a face like i had just shoved a hot hard boiled egg up his ar5e. This is the result:
- Coils (both) need replacing (160 sheets)
- Clutch is on its last legs
- Cam chain is borked
- Exhaust is a definate MOT failure
- Needs new chain and sprocket
- He recons the speedo and mileometer have been replaced and dont represent the milage on it. This is also why the speedo is about 14% out
- Severe ‘death rattle’ as he put it
He recommended scrapping it. arghhh.
So needs must and all, cause i need the bike for work I thought, hey why not stick a new one on capital allowances and let the accountant sort it out?
So Ive just chipped the bandit in and bought a spanking new one of these in “Lava” red: