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Niall's Spin: Suzuki Bandit 1200S

Brilliant? Affordable? No better choice than the Bandit 1200.

Click to read: Suzuki Bandit 1200S owners reviews, Suzuki Bandit 1200S specs and to see the Suzuki Bandit 1200S image gallery.

LOOK UP 'MOTORBIKE' in the dictionary and I reckon you should find a picture of the Bandit 1200. Its big engine, splashes of chrome and traditional looks make it the epitome of motorcycles.

It reminds me of some of the 70s classics like the CB750 and Z900, when big was best and I had no chance of pulling any lasses on my Honda C90. The Bandit has been around so long it's become retro without having to disappear for a few decades. And it hasn't gone away because it's still a brilliant, affordable bike.

It won't handle as sharply as, say, a CB1300 but it will talk to you so you can still ride hard without getting into trouble. The 1157cc motor makes just under 100bhp but will propel you to 130mph in no time. It's smooth too, unlike the ultra modern Yamaha Fazer. In many ways the Bandit is like a comfy old armchair: it gives a warm welcome, does its job well and has stood the test of time.

If you do a few miles it's worth spending £300 extra to get the 1200S with ABS and a half fairing. Proper big biking on a small budget.