The builds that turn an unsung, uninteresting bike into a real head-turner are the best builds.
The builders at Icon 1000 rarely let me down, and paired with BikeEXIF's photography, well. Folks, meet Colonel Butterscotch. A ridiculous name for a really gorgeous motorcycle.
Everyone who has ever had a Suzuki Bandit will tell you, they are lovely, straightforward, no-frills, eager and very obedient motorcycles. I don’t know how Suzuki did it, but every Bandit I’ve ever ridden (when it was in good fettle) was just so obedient. They do what you want them to do, and they do not do what you do not want them to do.
To a non-rider that sounds obvious to the point of parody, but every rider in the audience has had an experience with a motorcycle that did something they did not want the bike to do. Yeah, you’ve been there. You may have asked, but you didn’t mean it. The bike did it anyway. The Bandit always makes sure you mean it.
Perhaps because the Bandits lack flash, they were never super popular bikes. The 1200 is a seriously underrated sport tourer and can be had these days for very short money. If you want an appreciative crowd to form around your motorcycle wherever you park it, the Bandit is not for you.
Unless it’s this one.
BikeEXIF brings us some more tasty photos of this Bandit 1200 tarted up like it deserves. Harkening back to the first-generation GSXRs and FZRs, the double-bugeye headlights may be the first thing that melts your heart with this build but that’s by no means where it ends. It received a thorough once-over from its custom-jetted Mikuki carburetors to its K&N pod air filters to its 2-into-2 exhaust, one end of which hangs off the side all traditional, and the other end spits out where the taillight ought to be. I love it, I hate it, I love it.
The front end? Entirely replaced. Triples donated by a CBR900, forks thieved off a Daytona, swingarm from a ZRX 1200, wheels off a VF1000R. Well, people always did accuse the Bandits of being parts-bin bikes.
Unfortunately the worst fear of the shakedown ride came to pass: the rider crashed the bike its first time out.
As the builders at Icon put it, “she smeared her lacquered bronze foundation across forty feet of Northwest asphalt. Like a drunken party girl flitting topless across golden Panama City beaches, it seemed like a good idea at the time.” Whoops.
The good news is, they just rebuilt the bike. Fresh (unbent) forks, new plastics, (ahem) a slightly more customized tank shape. And painted it… butterscotch.
What a beauty.