The Suzuki Bandit was produced between 2005 and 2016 by major Japanese motorcycle giant Suzuki.
It was enjoyed by many as an affordable, reliable starter bike for its lower horsepower rating of 84hp, low seat height (easy to control), and lighter weight.
Second-hand models continue to be well sought-after by motorcycle enthusiasts.
This article explains “the 6 most-common Problems with Suzuki Bandit 650″…
Table of Contents
What Are The Most-Common Problems With Bandit 650?
Because the Suzuki Bandit 650 is, for all intents and purposes, a very reliable bike, the most common problems are actually not caused by Suzuki or from any major reliability issues.
As a budget machine with no-frills and simple construction, there aren’t so many things that can go wrong.
One thing on the early models that could still be a problem was the carburetor getting gummed up.
This is similar to what happened on the Bandit 1200.
Another common issue was the bikes being dropped or neglected in their general maintenance which left them in bad condition for new buyers.
This made buying online a risky thing for the 650 because the condition of used Bandits is such a mixed bag.
The ride quality could prove a problem for some owners.
The simplicity of the 650 means it’s without many of the gadgets that can make riding easier on the body.
This makes riding the 650 a very intensely physical experience that some find hard to deal with.
Some have pointed to the headlight being too dim, especially if riding in the country or suburban areas with less street lighting.
Some have expressed that they would feel nervous about riding at speed on dark roads.
Most Possible Solutions
For the issue of the early carburetors, the only solution to that if you own a bike from 2005 or 2006 is to regularly clean out the carburetor to keep its parts in good working order.
This isn’t a problem after 2007, however, after which time just keeping the fuel system in good condition is all you need.
As for issues with previous owners, the solution is for buyers to be more vigilant and to get bikes with their full-service history available so they may inspect them and be confident that the bike has been well cared for.
That’s mostly on prospective buyers to do that.
To solve issues of ride quality, a Bandit 650 owner could spend a little money on the bike to invest in some new components to make the ride a little more comfortable.
Some of the upgrades needed would be very advanced and possibly expensive, though, so it may not be worth it.
The fact is that a harder ride could be good for beginner bikers in particular because it’s good training.
If you can learn to ride the tough, physical Bandit 650, then riding other bikes, more modern bikes, in the future will seem easier and riders can go with more confidence.
The headlight being too dim is a genuine concern, but that’s easily solved with some aftermarket upgrades.
Suzuki bikes are quite open for aftermarket parts, and switching to a new, brighter light wouldn’t be a big problem.
Before playing with the bike’s electrics, however, owners should first look into getting professional assistance with making those kinds of electrical system changes, lest they hurt themselves or do more damage to the bike’s electrics.
Minor Common Problems Reported From Owners
Owners of the early-model Bandits (pre-2007) complained about the apparent lack of stiffness in the early frame and suspension.
This was rectified in 2007 when the last great facelift was made and new larger-diameter frame tubes were added.
Taller riders complain about the low riding height from the seat.
It sits at just 30.3 inches, which made things a little tricky for some riders, and a little uncomfortable for others.
Most, however, found the bike comfortable.
Finally, some pointed to the optional ABS that came with the Bandit 650 and said it wasn’t really as modern or as capable as some other brands.
Is The Bandit 650 Reliable?
When you read what Bandit 650 owners say about the bike, you struggle quite a lot to find genuinely negative feedback.
It’s not to say there aren’t any problems, of course, but the bike is hard to fault.
In particular, it has a very solid engine which in true Suzuki style is built relatively simply and without too much complexity or intricacy to go wrong.
It revs quickly and very cleanly.
One thing you could say about reliability is that it depends a lot more upon the previous owners than it does on the actual build quality of the bike itself.
The main components of the bike you can rely on.
If you get a faulty Bandit 650, it’s most likely because it had an abusive or negligent owner.
What Are The Pros And Cons Of Bandit 650?
First, most of the Bandit models ditched carburetors and used a very pleasing fuel-injection system, which added more pleasing torque and power ratings.
That also eliminates problems that some other Bandit models had which included an easily gummed-up carburetor creating all sorts of problems.
The second pro of the Bandit 650 is how solid and reliable the engine and general construction is.
Every part of the 650 feels well made, and it doesn’t share some of the same problems with corrosion that the Bandit 1200 suffered, for instance.
Thirdly, the price point is extremely good. These bikes are plentiful and affordable.
Even if it gets hard to choose one that you know is in ideal condition, there are always plenty of available models to look at.
Its final big advantage is its potential as a beginner’s bike. The Suzuki Bandit 650 offers not just accessibility in its powertrain, but also the room to grow.
You’d start off as a beginner but quickly bloom and flourish into a competent rider.
The first downside to the Suzuki Bandit 650 is really the simplicity of it, in some ways.
It’s a budget model, marketed often as a great beginner’s bike, and that means it doesn’t come loaded with any fancy frills.
Anyone looking for a fancy machine packed with advanced gadgetry and wizardry will be disappointed by this model.
One issue is the fact that so much about the bike depends on its owners.
It makes shopping for one, especially online, much harder because you really have to perform a close-up inspection to see what the owner has done or hasn’t done to get their Bandit 650 into its current condition.
That means it can be a little hit and miss when it comes to purchasing a Bandit 650.
It might look good in photos but be concealing some horrible fault like a broken-down carburetor (pre-2007).
For some riders, the lower riding position could pose a problem, especially if they’re taller. It can feel like a junior touring bike for some riders, which is a nuisance.
Is The Bandit 650 Fast?
For a bike of just 84hp and 45lb-ft of torque, the Bandit 650 was a surprisingly fast bike.
Its top speed was 130mph and it could cover a quarter-mile of acceleration in just 12.2 seconds.
One tank of gasoline gave you a range of about 145 miles, giving you about 38mpg (US).
In all, it was fast, efficient, and performed well on the road.
What Is The Resale Price?
The Suzuki Bandit 650 is a relatively affordable motorbike on the used bike market.
You can pick up great models of varying mileage for between $3700 and $5500 online.
The exact price will depend a lot upon the condition of the bike.
Since the bike is commonly sought after as a starter bike, you can generally expect to pay at the lower end of that spectrum.
When Did Suzuki Stop Making The Bandit?
The Bandit 650 ceased production in 2012, but it isn’t the last Bandit to be still in production.
The smaller-cc Bandit 150 is a popular bike that was released in 2018 and is manufactured in Indonesia.
The Bandit 150 was made especially for that market, where local people are in need of affordable, reliable commuter bikes.
The Bandit 150 fills that market gap nicely.
Like all the other Bandit models, however, the Bandit 650 was eventually discontinued in 2012.
There have been many variants over the years, and the 650 is still a sought-after bike on the used motorcycle market.
Where Was It Made?
The Bandit 650 was first made across three different Suzuki factory sites in Japan that have more recently been consolidated into one larger site in Hamamatsu.
When the bike was being made, however, this larger site didn’t exist.
The bike was developed at one site in Ryuyo, with its engines designed and made in Takatsuka.
The motorcycles themselves were assembled at the Toyokawa plant when it was operational.
Descendants of the Bandit 650 are manufactured in the Hamamatsu plant, except for the new Bandit 150, the last-surviving bike with the bandit name, which is made in Indonesia.
Is Bandit 650 A Good Beginner Bike?
In short, yes it is.
The Bandit 650 boasts good control, a lower comfortable seat height, and about 84hp in power.
This is an ideal range of features for beginners both to get started, but also grow into the bike and develop into competent riders.
It’s better than smaller-cc bikes, for this reason, even the Suzuki models.
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