View Full Version : '03 sv1000n vs Bandit1200?

05-03-2009, 01:26 AM
I've done a bunch of searches but have not really come up with much. If I get get some unbiased oppinions/experience, that would be great. First I have many miles under my belt, although I have not ridden street in about ten years. In that break, I rode dessert/dirt until my bike was stolen two years ago. The bikes I have owned are, '86 kz650, '87 kz750, '88 fz600, '90something cb900, and a few dirtbikes.I have ridden my buddy's '02 Tuono 1000 (very fun). I am 6'2" 300lbs, 40yrs old. I have a bad hand/wrist (for now), so vibes are an issue. I will be buying a bike for my main transportation while I put myself through college. I am getting close to having the $ for a bike. My choices were FZ1 '02-'05, Z1000 '03-'05, 919, ZRX 1200 '03-'05, Bandit 1200 '03-'05 (do not want to take a chance on a '01-'02 oil burner), and a SV1000 '03 naked. I've narrowed it down to the '03 SV1000 naked, or the Bandit 1200 '03-'05. The reasons are for the low end torque/grunt for real life riding. The Bandit seems huge when I look at it and sit on it. The seating position on the Bandit is definately more comfortsble, the sv feels alittle tight, but sv owners have said I can fix that with lower rearsts/handlebar changes. I like the wind protection, but I can always add a windscreen to the SV. The touring aspect of the B1200 is appealing, but I wonder how much touring I will be realistically doing. I can not get a chance to ride both. The SV1000n seems really light when I sit on it. I have heard problems with light front end problems in freeway speed turns? What about paddling and low speed manuevering? Also Insurance, which is cheaper? Maintainence, cost of evrything. Any known problems in any of these bikes? What about suspension for my wieght, (braking as well)? Oh and what about 5gears vs 6, carb vs FI?Basically I will be commuting ALOT in Los Angeles traffic, freeway and city, and also taking advantage of the awesome riding/twisties we have here. Oh, what about heat (summers in LA are brutal. I am over driving like a speed demon, (three crashes...two friends killed over the years) But I do appreciate instant power when I need it. Oh, I will ony have 3k-5.5k to spend. Sorry for the long post...just want to get the best info I can.
Thanks guys, I truly love this site and look forward to riding with the Los Angeles/So Cal riders on this forum. :sun: :rider:

sorry for all the edits

05-03-2009, 08:57 AM
This oughta be good. Been thinking about the 1k myself.

05-04-2009, 01:14 PM
Maybe I should have posted this in the Bandit section :yawn:

05-04-2009, 01:33 PM
The real trick is to find input some someone who's had both bikes... otherwise it's just one person's word vs. another. I'd give the edge to the Bandit but then I again I've never even sat on an SV-1000.

Ease of maintenance, low insurance costs, do everything well (touring, drag racing, carving corners, hauling stuff, commuting) bike, bullet-proof motor if you keep oil in it, and many other items makes this a great choice.

Oil-burning issues you've already addressed... the stock suspension is marginal for most everyone but will get you through - cheap up-grades in suspension are available. You may find the Bandit to be somewhat buzzier than other bikes in certain RPM ranges but you get used to it. Also, the stock headlight on the "S" models (faired) is pretty poor on the 2nd generations. If you do a lot of night riding there are several mods that can address that as well.

I know several Bandit owners who've had their machines for a long time and still like the job they do. Given the opportunity to ride your choices, I honestly believe you'd choose the Bandit. YMMV

05-04-2009, 01:36 PM
Well, I'll take a stab at it, take it with a grain of salt though... I've never ridden either of those two bikes. I did have an SV650N and now have a Bandit 1250 though...

Both will have similar power characteristics. Lots of grunt everywhere. Both are pretty comfortable and can be tailored to you with simple handlebar swaps/risers. I don't know which has more leg room, but I'm sure there's mods for both. My SV vs. Bandit seems about the same for leg room.

Both will be reliable like a tank. The 1200 carries quite the repuation for reliability and the 1000 as well. I've heard the 1000 (particularly in the Strom) needs the valves adjusted at the specified interval (14,500mi, IIRC), which is a pain since it involves pulling the cams to swap the shims. The Bandit will need more routine maintenance (7,000mi valve check intervals??), but it's a lock-nut type adjuster, so it's a breeze compared to the shim setup in the SV.

Wind protection, the Bandit is going to be much better. My old SV wasn't bad, but it's a naked bike... the wind is there. It's easy enough to add a windscreen to the SV though...

Heat -- eh. Both are big motors, both are going to produce some heat. Bandit is bigger and air cooled, so I'd imagine it'll put out a little more heat, but I don't know for sure.

I think the SV probably has the Bandit beat for suspension. They're both budget, but the SV has a fairly adjustable front fork setup whereas the Bandit will be preload only.

Insurance I think would be a wash, you'd just have to check.

5 vs. 6 gears might be a consideration, I hear the 1200 is kinda buzzy at high speeds, but I imagine the big twin isn't exactly a Caddy either... diferent kinds of vibs though.

So, they're both standards that you can turn into whatever you want. Main difference will be your preference for a twin vs. a four, and for me the biggie would be, FI vs. carbs. Maybe that's not such a kicker in SoCal, but it's nice here on 30 degree mornings to just thumb the starter and have the bike start right up without screwing around with the choke.

Maybe that's helpful.... kind of. Your best bet is see if you can ride both (I know you said you can't...), I don't think there's a 'wrong' decision here. Hopefully someone that's actually ridden them will chime in...


05-04-2009, 01:44 PM
I've heard the 1000 (particularly in the Strom) needs the valves adjusted at the specified interval (14,500mi, IIRC), which is a pain since it involves pulling the cams to swap the shims. The Bandit will need more routine maintenance (7,000mi valve check intervals??), but it's a lock-nut type adjuster, so it's a breeze compared to the shim setup in the SV.

Hmmmm, that's pretty cool with the Bandit. I've always been a fan of the locknut valve adjustments ever since my old VW days.

I don't know about the SV, but the DL1000 valve adjust is pretty simple. Yes, you will have to pull cams to adjust the valves, but you don't have to mess with any cam chains or their related headaches. You just unbolt the cams and pull them straight off.

As for which one is better, I'd just say whichever one fits you better. They are both awesome bikes, with tons of power everywhere, and pretty darn reliable from everything I've heard on them.

05-04-2009, 01:46 PM
Also, I forgot about this thread on ADV:


It's SV650 vs. B1200, but, might be helpful...

Which reminds me -- price? I would expect the Bandit to be much cheaper, you can get them for a song, a fantastic value.

The SV1000, especially the N, is somewhat of a rare treasure, they seem to command a pretty high price.


honda pc
06-03-2009, 11:54 PM
I am in socal and have 08 bandit 1250 abs, got it last year used for about $6500 with lots of accessories on it. I was going to get the sv650 but bandit abs is the most bang for the buck. Yeah, bandit is often term as torque monster. I used it regualarly for commuting in socal, splitting lanes 80% of my commute to work and it works great, comfortable position with good wind protection and relaxed upright position riding versus SV which is more crouched over. I did take it to the mountains and canyons but is limited in turn compared to other lighter bikes which are so flickable.

for around $5k you can get 07 bandit 1250 with low miles, just check out craiglist. I bought mine off the craiglist, some guy in north cal drove brought it down here for me in his pickup. Bandit 1250 is way better then 1200,,,fuel injected, smoother motor, almost no vibration and basically better equipped with current tech stuff.

But if your rides are canyons and mostly sporting races,,, then get SV as it is more geared towards that and its also good commuter bike but you can't ride it more then 1hr in that crouched position. And its almost 60-100lbs lighter, I think.

If you wan the bandit there is a guy who is selling his 07 bandit for cheap like $5.5k with factory saddlebags...I don't know if he sold already...

06-04-2009, 12:09 AM
I know of a 2 owner Bandit 1200, very nice, with 120 +/- horsepower from carb / intake / GSXR cam / pipe all from holeshot. Corbin seat. Bra. Soft bags. Bar snake. Busa shock swap. Oversize windshield. Think he's looking for $3000.

It's a very fast and capable bike, pulls power wheelies in 1st. 6th gear is overdrive and good for 85 MPH++++ cruising. I've ridden this bike 500 miles in a weekend it was great.

Downside is it's heavy, slow steering in town, and always feels dimensionally large. With a passenger it's a dream to ride fast and be stable. Alone, I feel like I'm on top of, not one with, the bike. But it's a nice sofa to sit on.

06-04-2009, 09:17 AM
I know of a 2 owner Bandit 1200, ........6th gear is overdrive and good for 85 MPH......

Might want to check the model or the gear shifter.... 1st & 2nd gen 1200's only have a 5-speed gearbox.:shrug:

06-04-2009, 11:16 AM
Ooops, yes, thanks for the correction. It is only a 5 speed, 2nd generation. Like I said, top gear is great for high speed cruising, especially 2 up.

And while I have not ridden an SV1000, I own a SV650 and previously a VTR996 Superhawk. I'm guessing the SV1000 and VTR996 are pretty similar bikes. Having ridden my VTR cross country I can tell you the Bandit has 3 times the creature comforts of a compact v-twin sport bike like a SV or VTR.

The Bandit I mentioned before was dead even in performance with my VTR996...roll on, drag strip, gear for gear. After the mods it walked away in 3rd gear roll ons like my VTR had lead weights strapped to the wheel. not that outright performance matters 95% of the time, but it's always fun to have a nice cruising bike with some get up and go.

06-04-2009, 02:14 PM
For what it's worth, I've test-ridden an SV1000 and wasn't exactly carried away. The bike makes pretty good low end torque that pulls linearly, but the engine runs out of oomph in the back half of the rev range. The narrow, scrunchy ergos really didn't suit me, either.

The SV1000 makes about 100-odd bhp to the rear wheel and has a surprisingly low stock torque rating of 65 foot-pounds. Compare those numbers to the 1200 Bandit and it's easy to see that the SV has the inferior powerplant. That's not to say there's anything wrong with it, but I much prefer the smooth power delivery and hi revs of an inline four over the blattiness of a V-twin. But that's just personal preference.

06-05-2009, 11:50 AM
It's not an SV but I used to have an RC51 which has a 90 degree vtwin which is like the SV except the RC51 puts out about 20 more hp to the rear wheel...

I currently have a Bandit 1250 and I can say that I like the motor in the Bandit 1250 much better than the RC..To me there is just no comparison to which motor is better....I've heard that that 1200 and 1250 motors have similar power deliveries with the 1250 being a bit beefier throughout the range and being smoother...

Another option you may consider is a ZRX1200...That's a eally good bike as well...

06-05-2009, 03:23 PM
Another option you may consider is a ZRX1200...That's a eally good bike as well...

I agree. :trust:

06-01-2011, 06:05 AM
I would highly recommend a generation 1 yamaha FZ1(2001-2005) These bikes are the best value and have a wealth of info on the net(FZ1OA.com). The motors are great for atleast 200k and the bike can do everything . Track days, ,touring, sport touring, two-up. I take mine on 3 day rides everymonth with a pillion and then I can take my bags off a and drag pegs with any "R: bike. 10 second quartermile and 120mph wheelies...all for under $4k. If you ride a Bandit, a Sv and Fz1, I think youll see what im talking about. The SV is a lot of fun though but doesnt have the protection from the elements that the other two do.

06-01-2011, 10:21 AM
Thanks Yamahauler...bought a 07 FZ1...VERY HAPPY with my choice.
It's been to the track, tons of So Cal twisties, some touring and a crapload of commuting...simply awesome...!