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Still crazy after all these years
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The closest I've come is my GSX 1400 (like a big brother to the Bandit) and a test ride on a Tiger 1050 (I owned a Sprint ST 1050 for a few months).

The main difference is, IMHO, the performance curve. The 3-cylinder 1050 Triumph engine "lives" - it's not rough, but it's not totally smooth. It makes you feel like you're riding a motorcycle. It's got emotion.

My Suzuki is technically excellent. Reliable. Smooth. Engineering perfection. But, through so much precision, it's almost like a robot. Effective, yet cold and emotion-less.

If you are looking for reliability, both bikes are recommended. If you are looking for "emotion", I would recommend the Triumph. That 3-cylinder engine sounds and feels like a motorcycle should.

Don't get me wrong - Suzuki makes fantastic bikes, and I can highly recommend the Bandit 1250. But if I had to chose between the Bandit and the Tiger, I would buy the Triumph. (Although I'm still deciding if I want a Tiger 1050 or another Sprint ST 1050 ... next year will be the decisive year).
 

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The closest I've come is my GSX 1400 (like a big brother to the Bandit)
Now you know I can't let that go. :mrgreen: The 1400 makes 3 more horsepower and about 18 lbs-ft more torque than the B12, yet isn't any faster in the quarter, possibly due to a weight penalty. I'd say slightly stouter cousin rather than a big brother.
 

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Still crazy after all these years
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Not true! I even brought some Arm&Hammer deodorant back from my last trip to the USA!

And, in case you're wondering, no, my fiancée does not have hairy armpits. So there! I've now blown away all of your prejudices about us!
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
I was married to a terrific German woman for ten years. I believe the no-deodorant/hairy-armpit thing applies mainly to the French.

Getting back to Tigers and Bandits: I have a Sprint ST, so I know how nice Triumph's 1050 engine is, with the scream when you rev it and the burble when you back off. At 135 mph, you can still feel the acceleration building. But perhaps the "no-emotion" theory about the Bandit 1250 reflects a pretty common prejudice that Triumph and Ducati riders have about the Big Four - basically, that Suzukis, Kawis, Hondas and Yamahas are too common to be fun and too reliable to generate suspense. The true test is in the saddle. So the question remains, apart from the sound (which, I'd be the first to admit, matters) does the B1250 give you a goofy grin when you whack open the throttle? If you're already going 80 mph when you twist the throttle, do you get that happy/terrified sense of sitting on a missile? At 120, does the bike feel like it'll keep accelerating, or can you feel the power flattening out?

On that note: a few weeks ago, riding up from LA to San Francisco on my old Bandit (on US 101), I briefly opened up the throttle and the bike just rocketed up to 130 with a deep bass moan. Absolutely hair-raising under the helmet, and thanks mainly to Mr. Dale Walker at Holeshot.
 

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...does the B1250 give you a goofy grin when you whack open the throttle? If you're already going 80 mph when you twist the throttle, do you get that happy/terrified sense of sitting on a missile? At 120, does the bike feel like it'll keep accelerating, or can you feel the power flattening out?
... not with the stock can (which says something about twins and triples, which often sound great even stock). Acceleration is still strong above 80. 120 is no problem. It rolls up to above 130 before it starts to tail off toward 145. I've outgrown that speed range, though. I'd be surprised if I ever do it on public roads again.
 

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Still crazy after all these years
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The emotional aspect is a bit like doing dope. The first time you sit on a bike, you get a monster grin and feel like you just had sex with every Playboy centerfold from the last 12 months. After a few thousand miles, you've adjusted to the feeling, and you need "something more" to get that euphoria feeling again.

Again, I compared a stock Suzuki GSX 1400 to a stock Triumph Tiger 1050. If I invested some serious $$$ to put a new exhaust on my GSX, that would be a totally different story. The sound would be much deeper, and the performance would be taken to a totally new level. In the stock configurations, Triumph, Ducati and Buell have a much more "macho" sound than a similar Japanese model. That's just the way it is - the European and US manufacturers know how to make good looking and good sounding bikes. The Japanese, on the other hand, focus on solid engineering, manufacturing and mass production.


The Bandit engine and the Triumph engine react differently - that's the nature of how they are built. Suzuki engines tend to have a bit steeper torque curve - they reach maximum torque then slowly drop again, so that near the redline, you have maximum horsepower, but less torque than in the midrange.

Triumph's engine has a more linear torque curve. Basically, once you get up to about 3000 rpm, you're close to maximum torque, and in the range between 3000 and 9000, the bike is putting maximum torque on the street. This means that the Triumph will give you a bit more passing power. I don't have the numbers here, but I would imagine that the Triumph would beat the Suzuki in the 60 to 100 mph "elasticity" test.
 

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The emotional aspect is a bit like doing dope. The first time you sit on a bike, you get a monster grin and feel like you just had sex with every Playboy centerfold from the last 12 months.
:shock: I'm buying a new motorcycle

And for what it's worth, buy the triumph. IMO It's a pure machine, less "pedestrian" then the bandit...i think you could equate it to trading in your Porche 911 on a Mustang...sure the mustang's a good car, but when comes right down to it, it's a blunt instrument

Flame on! ;)
 

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Oh, please! :)

I may sound biased toward the Bandit, but I'm not. I don't hold any kind of irrational brand loyalty or cognitive dissonance. I've ridden a 1050 Speed Triple, and it was fantastic. It was a bit more capable than the Bandit, but the price reflects that. The Triumph would only be a slam dunk if they were priced comparatively.
 

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Still crazy after all these years
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Clint, I agree with you. As I mentioned above, the Bandit is a solid bike. Engineered and mass produced. And the Japanese manufacturers know how to keep their prices down.

The Triumphs are built in England, and are produced in lower numbers. You certainly pay for that - the bikes are less common, and you pay for that "exclusivity".

When I was riding the Sprint ST around California, several times I had people come up and ask me what kind of bike it was - some thought it was a BMW racing bike or something. When I said that it was a Triumph, many were surprised, since they thought that Triumph only builds "cafe racers" like the Bonneville.

My recommendation for the Triumph was ignoring the price difference - just a comparison of the "butt and heart" feelings when riding.
 

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The 911/Mustang comparison is unfair to the Bandit. ;) More like a 911 compared to a 911RS. The RS being the more stripped down, rawer, more visceral ride. Like the Speed Triple.
 

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