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Discussion Starter #1
I had the misfortune of laying down my brand new 09 Bandit 1250SA. It happened at very slow speed as I was parking my bike, but the impact caused a few noticeable scratches to the crankshaft cover, left fairing and plastic of mirror. Fortunately, no parts are broken and the marks are only noticeable from up close. Still, my bike doesn't feel so new now :blackeye:

It happened like this: I was traveling idle speed (~8 mph) on second gear. I clicked down, leaned the bike over a little, and turned the handle bar slightly to the left to turn left. The angle and turn radius was perfect, and I was going to give it a little gas when it reached enough lean to straighten the bike out. Unfortunately, my dumb *** shifted the bike to neutral and it leaned too much that it passed the point of no return. I don't know if I'm explaining my "parking technique" very well, but pretty much I tried to use the engine to get me to my final parking position, except for throttle and tippy toeing it around.

The Bandit has no problem maneuvering well in the twisties above idle speeds, but it feels like I'm juggling knifes when I have to slowly move the bike forward or backwards. I'm 5'10, 195 lbs and my heels barely miss the ground on each side.

Has anyone experienced this type of frustration and feel that the Bandit is top-heavy and requires more attention when going very slow? Maybe this is an inherit feature of the Standard, sports-tourer bikes. I know touring bikes are generally top heavy and requires skill to move at snail pace. I have no problems maneuvering a lighter sportsbikes with the same seat height, but the Bandit seems to be giving me some issues.

Btw, the Bandit is still and awesome bike. Around the twists and tight turns, this bike acts like it's a supersport. So far, I have no complaints about this bike. The top-heavy feeling is a concern that might change how I maneuver the bike in less than idle speed. Other than that, there's nothing about the bike's performance and handling that I can complain about.
 

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Almost any standard, sport, or sport tourer, with a vertical 4-cyl in line engine is top heavy and it gets more so the bigger the engine. All this is exacerbated by big tank to give it range, and frame heigth to give clearance for quick turning. With smaller tank it would not be a tourer, with less clearance, it would not be sport.

Cruisers are not top heavy, and when you seat on feel almost too low to the ground, but they don't have any cleareance for agresive riding, and are made for slow lumbering boulevard riding. Multicylinders big motorcycle would need flat (horizontally opposed cylinders) engines like a Goldwing to bring the center of gravity low. Again, a Goldwing ain't sports bike. It is just a compromise if you want a big spirited sport tourer, and be aware and careful when manuvering slow, even if you put a foot on the ground and look undignified.
 

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It sounds like you weren't assertive enough with your downshift to first. Once the Bandit starts falling, you might as well concentrate getting your leg out versus trying to catch it. Trolling around at 8 mph in second gear is just asking for bad things to happen.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It sounds like you weren't assertive enough with your downshift to first. Once the Bandit starts falling, you might as well concentrate getting your leg out versus trying to catch it. Trolling around at 8 mph in second gear is just asking for bad things to happen.
LOL I was trying to be considerate to my neighbors and keep the engine noise to a minimum as I park, which is why I had it in 2nd. I figure once I get to my spot, then I can downshift to 1st. Again, I unknowingly clicked down to neutral and didn't have what it took to pull the bike back up from the lean.

I'm strong enough to get the bike back on its wheels, but it requires strength and a circus balancing act to prevent it from falling. You're absolutely right. Once it passes that pivot point, all you can do is hope it doesn't come crashing down on your leg.

Today, I was more careful taking the bike out and parking it. I have a newfound respect for top-heavy bikes :) As for driving at idle speed on 2nd gear, saving my bike from another laydown is more important than being considerate to my neighbors.
 

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I give you lots of credit for trying to keep the bike quiet when pulling into the lot. A lot of Harley owners should take note of that! Back to your question, the Bandit did snag me with it's bulk a few months ago. I didn't go down (because a guy caught it), but I swear my hip socket will never be the same. In my case, I parked on a decline and the Bandit rolled off the stand. No doubt, the bike is a beast when you least expect it. ,BK
 

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I appreciated this thread as I've recently acquired a Bandit 1200 and it seemed top-heavy to me also. Stopping and starting require paying attention, for sure. Thanks to Hugo for helping spell it out. I've found it's also an issue at highway speeds when there is a cross-wind, -I get down low for fear of being blown across the highway.
 

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Any bike is most dangerous under 5-7mph, that's about when it becomes able to remain upright on its own. Lowering the rear and getting a low seat for the wife helped a lot, the bandit is a fairly tall bike with a big gas tank. I thought it was too tall stock and I'm 6'. Now if I could force her to only stop when perfectly upright she'd never drop it but thats an inexperience or complacency issue. As long as you respect the bike you should be safe from yourself and it; being safe from other idiots is another story.
 

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You know, I've had a lot of bikes and never believed in loud pipes although I've owned some that were pretty loud, I really am going to say I don't want to disturb the neighbors either. I also am going to increase the note on my bike by getting a louder exhaust because the drivers here don't pay attention, the bars in Vegas never close and the cab and bus drivers are out to kill or maim the most defensive rider. My 1200 Bandit is so quiet I seem to sometimes suprise drivers when pulling up to red lights!! So I'll push it down the street to start it early in the A.M. but I definately want a louder note to let the idiots on the road know that I'm there!! Ride Safe and Enjoy everyone!!
 

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I drop mine the other day turning around on a dirt road when all of a sudden the road gave way. Miner scatches to cover on the left side.
 

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Of all the bikes I've owned, the Bandit 1200 seems the most top heavy. I dropped mine years ago as I was dismounting the bike on a banked road. Once it started to go I was only able to slow it down a little before I layed it down on it's side. Don't feel bad about dropping it as it takes some getting used to. You'll probably never do it again now that you're aware of the top heavy condition.
 

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I test-rode a BMW F800 which was like a feather- my Bandit 1200 is quite a bit top heavier. My cruiser (Suzuki M50- selling soon) isn't as top heavy but it will definitely pull you over- I was practicing some slow speed S turns on a hill and let it stall at the top and was over and down faster than I could blink. It threw me off on the way and I stayed on my feet. Picked it up w/ the usual procedure, cosmetic damage so no big deal. Thankfully it wasn't a 750lb monster... But its also a wallowing beast if traffic is crawling. I haven't had the Bandit long enough to see how annoying it is dragging thru gridlock.

Greg
 
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