Friday, November 16, 2012

Holeshot Corbin Seat on GSF1250 Bandit

Dale Walker ( teamed up with Corbin seats to make a seat to his own design.  A friend recently bought one and has loaned it to me to try.

The seat is very well made and covered with leather with a non-slip texture.  It's on a strong fibreglass reinforced synthetic base (Fibretech).  It sits about 1" (2.5 cm) lower than stock and the key thing I notice is I sit well into it and feel "in" the bike rather than "on" it.  It feels a lot harder just sitting there, but half the problem with the stock seat is that it is not supportive enough.

The front of it tapers nicely into the tank, and the sides round off so they don't dig into your legs.

I really like it.  I have a gel and a stock seat already, and this one is very nice indeed.  I'll be trying it out with a long ride tomorrow.

First pic is the Suzuki gel seat:

The rest are the Holeshot Corbin:

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Fitting barbacks to the GSF1250 Bandit

Some time ago I decided to fit DL1000 hand guards to the Bandit (see my previous post at:  On the standard bars they touch the fairing at full lock, and a drop would cause a lot of damage.  I tried home made spacers to raise the bars, but the problem remained, so I decided barbacks were in order.

The ones I managed to obtain are available from Twisted Throttle:

These increase height by 25mm (1") and move the bars back the same amount, providing an overall bar displacement of 35.4mm (1.4") at a 45 degree angle from the OEM setup.

They fit perfectly and match the OEM silver paint, but my bike is the ABS model and the top brake line was too short.  I had a new one made up locally (braided), and had them install the OEM rubber cover from the OEM brake line onto it for a factory look.  The clutch line and wiring and other cables are all long enough.  The result it a natural riding position, a lot more comfortable, and the DL1000 guards clear the fairing with no issues.  I used the OEM chrome buttons to cover the screw heads.  Very happy with the result.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Article on hotting up the GSX1250FA

This is a great article extolling the virtues of Dale Walker's setup for the GSX1250FA (works just as good on the Bandit 1250 and is the same as my setup)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Fitting HID lights to a GSF1250 (faired K8 model)

OK, a word of warning.  Many markets, including NZ and Australia, don't allow aftermarket HIDs.  In NZ, they do not comply with the VIRM and a vehicle thus fitted won't pass a warrant of fitness.  Check your local regs before embarking on this.

The stock headlights on the Bandit are pretty underwhelming.  I have higher intensity Narva bulbs which look "whiter", but they don't help much at night.  I fitted HID lights, as various forums report great success.

I have bought a kit (2 lights) from a Seller called Factory Kiss off Ebay Australia for AUD$39.99 with free shipping.  The units are made in China, but at that price it's worth the risk.  I have bought the following:

Xenon HID Light Kit Slim Ballast H7 6000K 55W 12V 

The kit comes with two bulbs, 2 digital ballasts and some aluminium mounting bits.  Both worked straight out of the box, were well packed and arrived promptly.  I can't believe how cheap they are.

The bulbs have a standard H7 base, but do not fit the Suzuki GSF1250 spacer that sits on the back of the standard H7 bulb.  Rather than make something up, I bought a pair of them, also from EBay Australia.  Search for:

H7 HID Bulb Spacer Adapter: Honda & Suzuki CBR GSXR Etc

These fit on the back of the bulb to allow the standard spring clip to hold the bulb firmly in place.

I  mounted the ballasts under the front fairing onto heavy duty velcro.  I ran the low beam from a fused hot feed from the battery, that is switched by a relay powered from the park light circuit.  The reason for this is that the standard headlight circuit powers down when the bike is started, which creates an "on-off" for the bulbs and ballasts which isn't great for their longevity.  This way the lights will come on with the ignition and not dim on starting.  Some people have gone straight to the standard circuit with no issues, but if you are able to make it unswitched, this is probably better.

Hooking the units to the battery to test them is startling.  You can look at the standard bulb, but not at the HIDs.  They are BRIGHT.

The kit seems to be well made.  Good wiring, weatherproof connectors, aluminium cased ballasts, and at that price cheaper than buying two new H7 bulbs.  There's plenty on EBay, and even many of the well rated American kits seem to be sourced ex China, so it's well worth trying.

I fitted them this morning.  It took a couple of hours, but that was experimenting with different mounting options.  In the end I went with velcro as it's strong, provides a cushion and even if it comes loose, I'd know well before the unit could ever fall out.

Here's the before and after pictures of the light:

Before (yes, the light is on)

After.  (It's so bright it overwhelms the camera)

I started by removing the inner cowl liner, screen and instruments.  I then mounted the main ballast and secondary transformer using heavy duty velcro onto the inside of the front left fairing:

It's right out of the weather and no way it's going to shift from there.

I then removed the stock bulb from the low beam (upper holder).  You can see it beside the HID bulb for comparison.  The H7 bulb has a spacer piece, which is essentially the large black base you can see on the bulb on the left.  If you don't have a collar on the HID bulb, the spring clip won't hold it firmly in place.

I took the new collars I had bought, and had to do a little filing to have them to the same dimensions as the stock spacer.  What is important is the lip so the spring clip provides enough pressure.  This is the new spacer before I filed it down.  I had to take a couple of mm off the little spacer pegs and also from the outside edge of the collar as it was slightly larger in diameter.  It was easy to do.  You could probably make something out of plastic washers too if you wanted.

And here is is filed and ready to go.

Once that was done, it fitted easily.  Make sure you line the locating peg up on the bulb base with the cutout in the headlight mount.

I pulled the input 12v leads out through the rubber grommet provided with the kit.  The holes I filled with a dab of silicone sealant.

With the bulb in place, I pushed the bulb wires and supplied grommet through the GSF's waterproof cap.  By gently pulling on the wires and pushing on the grommet, it snugs up against the Suzuki waterproof cap and provides a good seal.  I then connected all of the leads up from the power units to the bulb, and cable tied them securely.

You can see it in the uppermost of the following photo.  Those red and black leads have corrugated tubing on them now:

To power it, I ran a 12 V fused hot lead from the main wire I use to power a 12V accessory socket.  I ran that into the switched side of a 12V 30A relay with its own internal fuse.  The other side ran to the positive power lead of the bulb.  The negative I ran to the negative for the power socket, which can be any suitable earth point.

To switch the relay, I spliced into the park light beside the headlight.  The 12V there energises the relay coil and is not switched off when the bike is started.  I used heatshrink and soldered the joints.

The relay mounted nicely on a bent steel strip to the uppermost left fairing mount bolt.  The pic below shows it both as a closeup and in situ.  I could have made it more accessible (have to remove the instruments to check the fuse), but more accessible = more weather, so this is a nice, dry, roomy place.

With the relay in place, I made sure I covered all the cabling with corrugated tube, cable tying it where it could move or rub.

So far I have just done the low beam, which as far as I can see has the same beam pattern, but what an amazing difference in light output.  It literally is night and day over the stocker and I don't know why I didn't do this ages ago.  I have soldered the main harness in, but in the event of a bad ballast, I just pull it off the velcro, unplug and swap.

My camera won't do it justice, but this side on photo shows how bright it is.  The colour is a good match for the bright bluish-white LED park lights I have fitted already:

Here's a schematic of the relay wiring:

If you are doing a GSX1250FA, the OEM bulbs are H7 55W (low beam) and high is a HB3 60W.  You would need to order two separate bulb types, so get yourself 55W 6000K bulbs of the appropriate type.

Here's a comparison with the standard setup.  The camera doesn't do it justice:

Monday, April 30, 2012

Fitting LED high level brake light to the Givi V46

I have a Givi V46 topbox with the optional brakelight kit.  I am after greater visibility as I ride all through Wellington's winter in the usual heavy traffic.

I went to the Admore Lighting site - - and bought their LEDV46-TM (mini) kit.  This replaces the incandescent bulbs with LEDs that are permanently on and brighten with the brakes, thus mirroring what the taillight does. (USD$69).  This kit uses the standard Givi connector under the box, so there's no mucking around with wires at all.

A quite straightforward fit with good instructions.  They provide positap connectors but I soldered and heatshrunk everything.  It is definitely much brighter and well worth it to me.  They also do a kit that turns the side reflectors into indicators, but NZ doesn't allow red indicators.

Here's the kit (it's Admore's stock pic and doesn't come with a drill bit or need one):

And here's the kit with brakes off

and brakes on (the difference doesn't show as well as it does in the flesh, so to speak).  I later disconnected the permanent on tail from the top box as it was hard to tell if the brake was on or not. Works well and very conspicuous.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Bar Risers

I made up some simple bar risers by using a stack of thick stainless washers, and replaced the lower clamp bolts with some 75mm/3 inch M10 bolts with a 14mm head (I had to grind some 16mm ones down as no one had any with a small head like that).

Simple to do and a lot cheaper than buying risers.  Ride position is more comfortable and the bars are higher by  around 1.5cm, which makes a lot of difference. There's no additional flex and the washers are not noticeable.  I may see if I can get some alloy collars machined at some stage.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Givi TPH02 Tanklock bag on a GSF1250

I got myself a Givi TPH02 Tanklock tank bag.  I had a Joe Rocket magnetic one but sold it as it scratched the paint.  This one has a mounting ring that bolts to the gas cap ring, and the bag clicks straight onto it in a second.  The bag never touches the tank.  The upper of the bag is a textured plastic, with a window that allows an i-Phone or similar to be displayed.  There's a removable, soft-lined tray for sunglasses and keys.

It's only 4 litres, but it's a useful size for wallets, glasses etc and it looks good on the bike.  Comes with a waterproof cover too, but looks like it would take a shower without too much drama.

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Easter Bandit Ride

A magnificent Easter Weekend.  A friend (who rides a GSF1250SATK8 coloured blue) and I rode over the Rimutakas (a winding road over a mountain range):

to Lake Ferry in the Wairarapa on the South East Coast of the North Island of New Zealand.  Very few cars on the road and just a lovely day.

Into Martinborough for brunch and there were plenty of bikes (or, to be precise, their riders) enjoying a great day out.  About 210 km all up, lots of corners, magnificent scenery.  What a day!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Can you fit a Givi topbox to the GSF1250 OEM side racks?

A really common question is whether or not a Givi Top box can be fitted to the GSF1250 Bandit or the GSX1250FA with the OEM side racks.  The answer?  Yes.

In brief, the OEM side racks come in two versions.  One is side cases only, and they fit the OEM Suzuki cases, which are Kappa equivalents of the Givi V35s.  This setup has two side bars, onto which the sidecase racks bolt with a joining bar across the outside of the rear mudguard.  The OEM part numbers are:
990D0-17H00-065 (side case mount), and 990D0-17H00-060 (side mount bar)

The other setup is for the Suzuki top and side case set:
990D0-17H00-065 (side case mount), and 990D0-38G05-060 (top case mount). The difference is that the side bars continue round in a "U" shape which makes the base for the top box.

I personally don't like the Suzuki top case mount as it sits too close to the passenger, does away with the grab rail, and hasn't the mount for the Givi electrical connector to get brake and tail lights to the top box (in my one, a Givi V46).

I had the Givi PLX539 side racks, which are perfectly good, but they have a funny indicator bracket which relocates the indicators beside the rear number plate light, making them too close together and they wobble around.  I never liked it.

I have the Givi FZ539 top case mount (monokey), and got myself the OEM Suzuki side case racks.  They are 50mm wider than the Givi PLX539 racks and are mounted slightly differently.  They bolt up just fine with the Givi FZ539 top case mount.

This is the full Givi setup (PLX539 and FZ539).  Check the awful indicator mounting.  The right side bolts to the exhaust mount and the left to a bolt that replaces the pin in the passenger footreats

The following pics show the FZ539 Givi top case mount with the OEM Suzuki racks.  The lower mounts go behind the passenger footpeg  mounts.  You get all the bolts, spacers, and even the blanking plates for the rear indicators. (The indicator cables go underneath the tail light).

Much better positioned indicators:

The side racks will unbolt quite quickly from the side bars if needed.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

R&G Exhaust protector for Yoshimura TRS

Having smashed up my last Yoshi as the result of my crash, I thought it was worth protecting this one.  I got this R&G protector off EBay from an outfit called "Demon Tweeks" in the UK.  Arrived promptly, fits well and looks good.  Hopefully I won't have to test it.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Suzuki GSF1250 Seat Cowl

Just scored this through the good folks at Leesons (  Part number is  990D0-17HSC-YHL.

Easy fit and it replaces the rear seat (it's not a cover over the existing one).