my favorite drink is synthetic oil

CHRISTOPHER MCKITTERICK

GALLERY OF MOTORCYCLES

Bandito predecessor

HERE'S MY 1984 Suzuki GS1150ES, the bike I replaced with the Bandit. I got this one after a long series of two-stroke bikes (now that I think of it, this was my first four-stroke), which are all power and no torque, so when I test-rode it, its massive torque (more power than the Bandit) was really unexpected. I called Kij afterward and said I had test-ridden a bike that had scared the hell out of me. So, naturally, we went back the next day and bought it!

I rode this for about three years, commuting to work together, riding all over the place. It was loud, brash, and much fun; the guy who bought it called me afterward to tell me that he couldn't stop smiling. Yay indeed!

This was the world's fastest "superbike" when it was made, and it has more features than the Bandit: Fully adjustable suspension front and back, air shocks, gear indicator, gas gauge, and so on. The previous owner had installed a hi-performance clutch, which was a big pain in the wrists, but boy would it grab at any amount of throttle. Stock horsepower was 115.

The primary downside of this bike for me was the handlebar vibration. I installed rubber everywhere, but it still numbed my hands. Still, it's way cool and pretty rare. I got all kinds of comments from other riders, and that's always fun.

I bought this one with money from a Kuwaiti college student (his dad, actually) who had crushed my previous Kawasaki H2 750 with his SUV. I still think it's one of the coolest-looking bikes ever, very much a product of its period and very Akira-looking.

Loud, fast, and too much fun

 

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