Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Replacement levers (yes again)

After breaking the brake lever in my crash, I bought some new ones off Ebay.  They look like Pazzos, but at $38 they are cost effective and very good quality.  My last set lasted a year with no wear, despite all weathers and have only been replaced due to the crash

Fitting an LED taillight

I got sick of a red taillight and clear indicators, so I fitted an integrated unit (e-marked).  It plugged straight into the standard socket, and a blue and yellow wire connected to the live feeds for the respective indicators.  I have kept the standard indicators for added visibility and it looks great

I also stuck silverised tape inside the indicator housing to increase the light output

and now with LED indicators:

Friday, November 4, 2011

Wiring heated grips

I often get asked about wiring heated grips.  The diagram below shows how.  You need a live feed that is switched with the ignition, and the wire to the number plate light is perfect.  Connect a 2 core cable to that and then to 85 and 86 of a SPDT (single pole double throw) 30A relay.  If you are cunning, get the sort with the built in fuse, otherwise you may need a 5 - 15A fuse depending on how much current your grips draw (they usually have a fuse as well).  (The instructions with them will tell you).

Use the plastic tray space behind the computer to velcro the relay down if you don't want to drill holes to mount it.

Run a 20 - 25A cable from your battery via the fuse to terminal 30, and run another from 87 to the positive of your grips.  The grips negative can be earthed anywhere on the frame.  Use corrugated cable tube to protect the cable from rubbing and heat.  Use good quality terminals and it pays to use heat shrink over them and any joins if you can.

Don't hook the grips to your battery or directly to any other feed on the bike.  You WILL end up with a flat battery, and you may burn your wiring if you don't use a relay.

On the bandit I ran the "brain" of the grips behind the fuse box and indicator relay under the left side cover.  It cable ties onto the metal frame that holds them both and bolts to the bike.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Holeshot headers

I installed a set of Holeshot headers made by Dale Walker ( on a friend's K9 Bandit.  Also installed a TFI, K and N, removed the airbox back, removed the secondaries to make it a stage III setup.  The headers are a lot lighter than standard and a lovely piece of kit. Great welds and a perfect fit.  He has the factory lower fairing and a bit of surgery may be needed there as the headers come out further than stock.  He's also got a Racefit Growler fitted.  The bike makes a deep growl now!   He's a very happy camper. (And he had it dynoed and it gave 130.8 hp and was very happy) 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Steering head and other linkages

Just checked the steering head bearings and they feel quite loose.  People are reporting a distinct lack of grease in the linkages and bearings on the steering head and rear shock/swingarm, so the lot's coming off to be checked and greased.

Have spent a happy hour or so this afternoon taking off the front fairing, and quite like the look.  I dropped the front wheel and lowered the steering head and got some grease into it.  Fairly straight forward, albeit timeconsuming.  The bearings were fine with adequate grease, but the steering head was quite loose.  I used the opportunity to clean it to within an inch of its life and check and lube everything and wax all the coated surfaces.

Looks like new!

Iridium plugs and BMC filter

I have heard good things about Iridium plugs, but they are about NZ$27 dollars each and too expensive.  Well, Ebay sorted that with a set for NZ$53 delivered, and I fitted them today.  I doubt I will feel any difference, but they won't need replacing for a long time.

The NGK part is CR7EIX

I also have a BMC filter fitted, so gave that a clean and a re-oil using the BMC cleaning kit.  Very much like a K and N.  Despite daily riding and an opened airbox, very clean.

PAIR removal

I had the PAIR line blocked at the union between the PAIR and airbox to eliminate decel popping from the Yoshi TRS exhaust.  I decided to go the whole hog, so bought a PAIR blockoff kit from Metrick Metal (  This comes with a pair of nicely polished blanking plates, fasteners and a resistor to replace the solenoid.  This pic is of the Metrick Metal kit, which is nicely made.

The biggest challenge was undoing the allen head bolts on the PAIR covers.  Hard to get to and I ended up cutting down an allen key to get access.

The best bit is it tidies up the top of the engine and makes plug changes and removing the cam cover far easier.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Tuning the Suzuki Bandit 1250

This is a topic that comes up in bits and pieces all over the Net, so it's worth recording my experiences in one place.  This is what worked for me.  If you aren't confident, competent or know what you are up to, don't do this.  Do it at your own risk.


Firstly, it's worth getting some baseline figures on the Bandit's injection system.  Purchasing a dealer mode switch part number  enables you to check the fault codes and the throttle position sensor (TPS) setting.  It should be -C00 with the cursor in the middle position as shown below.  If the cursor is elsewhere (i.e. up top or down low), the TPS is slightly out of adjustment.

Any other codes, check the manual.

To adjust it, you will need the bike in dealer mode.  The connector is under the right hand side cover with a white dust cover on it.

Connect the switch (you can short the plug with a paper clip to achieve the same effect), turn on the bike and turn the switch "on".  If all is well you will get -C00.  If the cursor is anywhere else, find the TPS, which is on the left hand throttle body, and slightly loosen the two security Torx bits, which are type T20H with the hole in the middle.  Do not remove them, and do not remove the TPS from the throttle body.

You will see the cursor move with even undoing it, so take time and a little patience to get the cursor in the right place.  DO NOT overtighten it, because you may crack the housing.  In theory you should adjust it with the throttle stop screw between the throttle bodies, but it's buried deep and I don't know anyone who has managed to get to it.  Is it critical?  Suzuki say good is C00 and don't mention the cursor.


Do this after you have replaced the plugs and cleaned/replaced the air filter.  I don't plan to list those steps here, as if you don't know how to do that. you shouldn't be messing with this.  Balancing the throttle bodies will give smoother idle, smoother low speed running and reduced surging.

To do this, you will need a 4 carb balancer.  I use the Morgan Carbtune Pro:

There are various schools of thought on balancing, but I used the Suzuki method listed in the service manual as "Use of Mode Select Switch".

You put the bike on the main stand, and remove the tank and prop it up so you can access the throttle bodies with the fuel hose and fuel pump still connected.  I use a Metrick metal ( tank prop:

  Connect the dealer mode switch, and run the bike until it is warm.  Wait until the fan kicks in (don't adjust anything if the fan is running though).  The dealer mode switch automatically sets the bike in synchronisation mode.  (Some people don't use the switch and apply vacuum to the IAP valve, but I don't think it's necessary).

Stop the engine and attach the Carbtune lines to the vacuum ports on the manifolds.  The number 1 line is shown marked below - pull it off an replace it with the Carbtune line and repeat for the other three.

Make sure the mode switch is"on" and run it.  Check the 4 readings are the same and use number 2 cylinder as the base reference.  Getting the 4 columns even is the aim.  The speedo will show "C13" which means the IAP isn't getting vacuum because it's disconnected from the manifolds.  Ignore that

The levels are adjusted with the air screws on the throttle bodies.  The air screw by the number one injector is shown below.  Turning it clockwise makes the column rise.  Don't unscrew them too much - small turns are all that are needed.

Give the throttle a "blip" when you think it's right, as you may have to fiddle a bit.

If you get it right, smooth running results.  If your bike idles poorly afterwards, a common fault is due to leaving the vacuum lines disconnected from the IAP sensor.  Any vacuum leak means she won't run.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Pilot Road 3

I fitted a Pilot Road 2 to the rear last July, and 8,000 km later it is still looking pretty good.  I ride in all weather and it sticks.  I had a Pilot Road (just the ordinary one) on the front, which has just been replaced after about 12,000 km.  It still had about 2.5 mm on it, but was wearing on one side, and the rain is here in a big way.  I was going to fit a PR2 to match the rear, but the shop only had PR3s in stock and said the 2s were getting hard to source and I'd have to wait a few weeks.

So, I now have a new Pilot Road 3 on the front, which I scrubbed in today (it's not raining for once).  The advice I had from the shop is to expect similar life to the 2, but a better wet weather tyre.  The tread pattern is quite different and acts like a squeegee.  The horizontal bands evidently force water out each side as they flex together under load.

I am normally fairly oblivious to tyre type, but the new tyre allows me to turn in faster, and is very responsive.  Almost felt like whole new suspension!  I am actually hoping for the rear to wear out so I can get one on the back (how sad is that.....)

Anyway, here is is with the odd tread pattern.  I like it.

V Strom Hand Guards

I have just fitted V Strom hand guards.   They look good, although at maximum lock touch the fairing.  You can lock the steering and still have a gap, and I don't mind as you rarely have to move the bars lock to lock.  They keep all the wind and rain off the top of the fingers, and complement hot grips keeping the underside of your hands warm.  Good for cold NZ winter riding.

I purchased the DL650 full kit off Ebay, which comes with the bar end spacers, longer screws, guards and fitting hardware.  I also bought a left hand DL1000 guard by itself (there's not a DL1000 kit as the thou comes with the hand guards from new, whilst the 650 does not).  The DL1000 left hand guard is made for a hydraulic clutch, which is pretty much identical to the Bandit's.  The DL650's is made for a cable clutch and is quite a different shape.  You can see them below (the 650 one is being held in the top of the shot).

You can probably make the 650's fit, but it wouldn't be a good fit.

The right hand guard has a modified pivot pin on which it sits.  Imagine the standard pivot with a longer thread at the bottom to take another nut and washer to "sandwich" the underside of the guard, and with a nut welded to the top, on which the guard sits with a screw going through to hold it on.

The left hand guard (for the 650) comes with a different pivot bolt as the guard is different.  This is the part that caused me a problem, as to fit the DL1000 guard, you need that pivot.  I have bodged together a couple of nuts to hold it for now, and have ordered the pivot bolt.

It is far cheaper to order the 650 kit and the DL1000 guard and pivot than to try and buy each piece separately.   If you want to do it, order the:

OEM DL650 hand guard set part number 57300-27824-291 (USD$50) - Ebay, and the rest from Alpha Sports:

OEM DL1000 hand guard part number 57541-06G10-291 (USD$19)
Screws (2) to mount the top part of the guard 09125-06118 (USD$1.53 ea)
Washers to mount under the screws (2) 09160-06130 (USD$1.13 ea)
Pivot bolt for left hand side (note that this is the part number for the DL1000 right hand pivot, which is the correct size.  The left hand one won't fit. (1) 57431-06G00 (USD$21.90)

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Rectifier relocation

The rectifier was replaced recently under the world wide recall.  It runs quite hot, and doesn't get a lot of airflow where it is behind the engine.  I bought a rectifier relocation bracket from and about 30 minutes later, all was done.  Looks good and gets better airflow.

Playing with the toys

A friend bought himself a Yoshimura TRS from EBay and I fitted to for him today.  His bike is the factory tourer setup, so I added an extension to the hanger so it would sit lower and clear the bags (clears by a good 2").

Naturally we had to test it out, so the Wainuiomata Coast Road did nicely..

He's got a Dale Walker kit and a K and N coming, so we will be taking his bike to Stage II specs as soon as I fit it all for him.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Indicators and Givi V35s

I was asked about how to locate the indicator wires when mounting Givi V35 bags on side racks.  The Givi mounting bracket behind the taillight relocates the indicators further back, and if you try and use the existing holes on the fender, the wires aren't long enough.

I blocked those holes with plates designed to use to mount aftermarket indicators (search Suzuki Indicator adapters).  I used a black bolt and washer through the hole so they look stock.

I run the wires underneath the taillight lens, which is where Suzuki run the wires on factory side bag setups.  There's plenty of reach.

Other people's bike shots

A pic from a bike show somewhere.  Note the red hugger and rim tapes.  A bit tooooo red!

Now this is a bit simpler

And someone's been liberal with the bling

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Removed the secondaries

Today I removed the secondary butterflies from the throttle bodies, opened up the airbox completely and re-set the TFI to Dale Walker's Stage II settings.  What a difference - completely smooth, spools up and down faster, better throttle response and feels like it should.

Stage 2 is the TFI, secondaries removed, PAIR plugged, BMC filter, Yoshi TRS, airbox opened right up and O2 sensor bypass.  Wow.

I haven't dynoed it, but Dale's extensive work shows the chart below.  The bike should be producing around 122 hp and 92.4 ft-lbs of torque.  Big fat gains right through the range and it feels it.  Max torque kicks in at 6,000 rpm.  At 5,000 rpm, that's 90 ft-lb, which is better than a B King at those revs.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Wellington Harbour shots

Taken this morning near Wellington Harbour

No real reason

It was. a nice day.  The bike got well cleaned.  Every nook and cranny, silicone spray, toothbrush etc.  One bloke looked at it the other day and thought it was new (fellow Bandit 1250 owner too).

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Tank Support

I bought a tank stand/support from Metrick metal (  It's aluminium and holds the tank up so you can adjust the throttle bodies or any other tasks that need access whilst the engine is running.  It's a useful piece of kit and I used it today to set up my throttle bodies.