There are certain people for whom the customization process seems to be as normal and everyday as eating lunch—Simon Ross of Nottinghamshire, UK, falls into this category. By trade, Simon paints trains and planes, but off the clock he has always played on two-wheels. The hooligan nature of Suzuki’s GSF Bandit 1200 made it an obvious choice for a revival type of project build.
At purchase, the Bandit came with a few modifications, all of the usual bolt-on variety but it lacked any sort of uniqueness. Simon needed his GSF to stand out from the rest, so he decided to do some cutting, trimming and turbo tuning, albeit with a little help from his friends.
Naturally, he wanted extra oomph and, luckily, the Bandit 1200 is one of the easiest bikes of all time to extract a few more ponies from. Out of the box, the standard GSF1200 motor grinds out a little under 100 HP, but with the tuning expertise of Jim King of JK Racing, and a Garrett turbo, Simon’s bike produces upwards of 250 HP.
MTC forged pistons control the compressed charge while a total of six, yes six, base gaskets rest beneath the stock cylinder block aiding in a lower compression ratio for bigger turbo spools. JK Racing also fabricated the one-off exhaust headers, in addition to a neat plenum chamber that melds well with the usual turbo-related hardware like wastegates and dump valves. Furthermore, a turbo scavenge pump fitted under the seat prevents over-oiling of the turbo and the possibility of smoky start-ups.
A cutting disc and flap wheel reshaped the rear subframe and a 2003 R1 seat unit was grafted into place for enhanced style and ergonomics. Braced beneath the Yamaha seat is a Metmachex swingarm playing host to the standard Suzuki wheel and brake setup, while a WP shock absorber takes the edge off the lumps and bumps. A GSX-R1000 wheel, radial mount calipers, and fork legs held by billet Metmachex triples fill out the front end.
The OE Suzuki discs were however replaced with stainless steel Armstrong wave rotors and Brembo brake and clutch cylinders presented with black anodized aluminum reservoirs which made all that turbo power more manageable.
While he paints for a living and shot the Bandit’s basic black paintwork, Simon was more than happy to have the finish flame-grilled by a pro. But that’s all set to change soon, as a covering of all-over stealthy blackness is planned for the Bandit’s next stage. In the meantime it’ll be ridden around like a pyromaniac’s wet dream toting an inferno of flames and horsepower.
1997 Suzuki Bandit 1200
** **Front End: Metmachex triples, GSX-R1000 forks, fender, wheel and radial mount brake calipers, Armstrong rotors, Michelin Power Race tire, Brembo master cylinder, Earl’s brake lines, Renthal handlebars, Sprint Engineering damper, custom headlight bracket
Rear End: Metmachex swingarm, WP shock, Bandit 1200 wheel and brake system, Dunlop Sportmax tire, Earl’s brake line, Armstrong rotors
Motor: MTC 1188cc forged pistons, Mocal electric oil pump, Setrab 19 row oil cooler, Goodridge oil lines and breather pipe, Garrett T3 turbo, custom headers, GFB dump valve, Motorsports wastegate, Sytec fuel pump, MRE lock-up clutch, Dyna 2000 ignition and coils, Taylor HT boost pressure switch, GSX-R1100 outer clutch basket
Paint/Bodywork: Simon Ross and Lee at Millennium
Accessories: Custom bar-ends, 2003 R1 seat unit, Gilles rearsets, digital speedo, aluminum reservoirs
Owner: Simon Ross
Builder: JK Racing and Simon Ross
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