Posts by Category: Suzuki

Suzuki February 18, 2017 posted by

Game-Changer: 1977 Suzuki RG500 Grand Prix Race Bike for Sale

Update 2.17.2017: Last posted in August of last year, this bike reached $34,101 reserve not met. Back on eBay and closes on Sunday. Links updated. -dc

1977 Suzuki RG500 Race Bike R Side

Prior to the RG500, two-strokes were found only in the smaller racing classes, and Suzuki was breaking new ground with this bike: no one had ever really built a two-stroke to challenge bikes in the premier class. Launched in 1974, Suzuki’s RG500 racing machine was impressively successful: with a Manufacturer's Title in 1976, the bike dominated Grand Prix racing for the next decade. That success drove the move to two-strokes for any manufacturer who wanted to remain relevant in Grand Prix racing, and two-strokes were the only game in town until rules changes for the 2002 season made four-strokes competitive again.

1977 Suzuki RG500 Race Bike L Side Tank

Power was no problem for the new, liquid-cooled engine, and the same lessons learned racing smaller bikes were scaled up for the square-four. But while four-strokes generally deliver their power in a smooth, progressive manner, two-strokes are notoriously on/off devices: a stumbling mess when “off the pipe” with an abrupt powerband like a jagged, lethal spike, characteristics only exacerbated by the dramatic displacement increase: early bikes ate chains, tires, and other consumables at an alarming rate, although development eventually cured these problems.

1977 Suzuki RG500 Race Bike R Side Engine

Early motors produced 110hp and used front and rear banks of cylinders that were the same height, but the later bikes saw the front bank a bit lower than the rear for the “stepped” motor that gave 124 hp for the 238lb machine. This 1977 machine is probably of the earlier type, although it's hard to tell for sure with the fairings in place. Either way, this is a very light, very fast motorcycle. And that's really always been the appeal of the two-stroke: simplicity, extreme light weight, and massive power for a given displacement.

1977 Suzuki RG500 Race Bike Dash

With the introduction of the new Suter MMX500, two-strokes have been heavily featured in the motorcycle press recently, and it's been interesting to read how many mechanics and riders loved preferred them to four-stroke machines: riders loved them for their light weight and challenging nature, mechanics for their simplicity and tunability.

From the original eBay listing: 1977 Suzuki RG500 Race Bike for Sale

Suzuki RG500 GP MK2 ex-Newbold, model year 1977, VIN 110077

An ICONIC RG500 version 1977 in the best paintwork scheme ever. It is an ex-John Newbold bike with all the correct standard original bits plus some works parts (tank etc). The bike was campaigned by Newbold in the Shell Sport 500 TT races beetween 1979/1981 and North West 200. It was completely restored by John Mossey who bought it in 1995 from a gentleman in Cardiff and sold then in 1997. It was just kept as showbike in collection since.

1977 Suzuki RG500 Race Bike Throttle

Bidding on the last couple of RG500 race bikes got up to between $26,000 and $44,000 although those were later bikes, and an individual bike's race history can make a huge difference in terms of value. Bidding for this one is up north of $22,000 with plenty of interest, but very little time left on the listing. Sitting in a collection means it's in amazing physical condition, although it will probably need extensive work if you plan to use it in anger...

-tad

1977 Suzuki RG500 Race Bike L Side

Game-Changer: 1977 Suzuki RG500 Grand Prix Race Bike for Sale
Suzuki February 8, 2017 posted by

Sharp Sword: 1982 SUZUKI GS1000 KATANA

In ancient Japan, the Katana was known as the samurai sword. Smaller than the long broadswords of the day, the Katana changed the art of Japanese warfare; quick to draw, the lighter blade could strike quickly before the enemy could react. When victory depended upon response times, the Katana became the weapon of choice. Sadly, such artistry was eradicated by the rise of firearms technology. But for a period of time, the Katana sword ruled the battlefield.

1982 Suzuki GS1000 Katana for sale on eBay

Like the samurai sword, the Suzuki Katana could be written off as a bygone relic of past times. With its air-cooled four cylinder lump displacing 1000cc and breathing through CV carbs, this twin-shock, mild-steel backbone chassis beast would soon be decimated by giant leaps in performance and technology: liquid cooling, fuel injection, single shock suspension with rising rate linkages, aluminum perimeter frames. But for a meteoric moment, the Katana ruled a world that had never seen the likes of its power and beauty.

Using a new design language penned by creator Hans Muth, the Katana oozed angular lines and purposeful design. But it was not simply cosmetic; the tiny front fairing and upright windscreen reduced front end lift by a considerable amount (decades before GP machines started using wings). The power plant was more narrow than its predecessors, and churned up an estimated 108 ponies - a magical number in 1982. The riding position was forward canted, expecting a committed rider. The result was a machine that looked like no other, and performed like no other.

From the seller:
MUSUEM BIKE SOLD AT FIXED PRICE,
RARE UNCRASHED LOW MILES TIME CAPSULE SUZUKI KATANA 1000
1882 MODEL, DRY TANK, ZERO RUST AND SHINEY INSIDE,
THE CARBURETORS WERE DRAINED OF ALL FUEL BEFORE STORAGE IN 1984. THIS BIKE WAS KITTED WITH FACTORY YOSHIMURA REAR SETS, YOSHIMURA OIL COOLER KIT, YOSHIMURA EXHAUST SYSTEM, THE REAR SHOCKS ARE S&W 13"LONG. IT HAS THE ORIGINAL DUNLOP 391 RACE COMPOUND ELITE TIRES STILL. THE SEAT IS SWEET WITH NO RIPS OR TEARS. SOME ONE INSTALLED FLUSH STYLE TURN SIGNALS AND THE STOCK REARS TURN SIGNALS ARE INCLUDED IN THE SALE. THE BIKE HAS 19,559 ORIGINAL MILES

Suzuki produced several Katana models in varying capacities and with different interpretations of the same, angular design (including a pop-up headlight version in 750cc). In an ironic twist, the US saw the smaller of the two one-liter models: The original 1000cc version in the US was actually a de-stroked GS1100 motor to comply with the 1025cc limit for SuperBike racing (Wes Cooley, for one, had good success racing the the Katana). Markets outside the US had access to the original 1100cc motor.

More from the seller:
The Fuel tank has two scratches, not dented or dinded, see photos*** this is the only flaw on the whole paint of the bike. Clear Oregon title from a dealer. You will never get the opportunity to find a better specimen of Suzuki race history to own. check out the specification card on this bike in the photos. NOTE I have never started this bike since I received it from the Sale. It's a museum piece not a toy for children or commuters

Katanas have steadily risen in value over the years. Perhaps it is the 35 years that have elapsed since this iconic form stunned international audiences. Perhaps, despite the instant-relic status a year or two later (think 900 Ninja or even Suzuki's own groundbreaking GSX-R), the Katana continues to impress because it made a statement. It changed the nature of warfare - if only for a brief moment - to impress with looks as well as brawn. This example, while emerging as a museum denizen, actually has nearly 20k on the clock. It certainly is not fully stock. The seller is looking for $9k OBO. You can check out all of the details here, and then jump back to the comments section and let us know what you think. Good Luck!

MI

Sharp Sword: 1982 SUZUKI GS1000 KATANA
Nico Bakker February 2, 2017 posted by

Leonard Smalls approves: 2000 Nico Bakker Barracuda 1000 formerly owned by Nicolas Cage

Back on ebay after failing to sell in December of 2015, here is a Nikko Bakker crafted Barracuda 1000 that is said to have been previously owned by Nicholas Cage.

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2000 Suzuki TL1000 powered Nico Bakker on ebay

Collectible sportbikes typically meet at least one of the following criteria; be produced in limited numbers, been in pristine/OEM condition (or have very low mileage); have what was at the time new/revolutionary technology, be hard to find in its listed location and/or have a significant ownership history. In this case, we have a bike that meets  a significant number of these criteria.  The Barracuda is a Nico Bakker framed special powered by the Suzuki TL1000 power.  This particular Barracuda was previously owned by Nicholas Cage of Leaving Las Vegas (good!) and Ghost Rider (bad!) fame and could be the only one imported into the United States.

I have to admit I am a Nico Bakker fan, in large part because he designed the frame for my beloved Zane-era Laverda 750 series.  Apparently Nico Bakker is still building bikes in the small town of Heerhugowaard, Holland (about an hour north of Amsterdam).  You can see more about Nico Bakker from this post from 2012.

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From what I am have been able to find, the Barracuda has a custom frame built around a Suzuki TL1000 engine, suspension is WhitePower/WP or Ohlins, brakes are Brembo, the exhaust is Akrapovic and the 5-spoke wheels are Marvic.  More details about the components can be found here and there is a review from Carole Nash here.

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Like most very small production runs, there isn't a lot of information on what it would take to maintain this bike.  Given that its core is a Suzuki TL1000 and the rest of the bits are high end (but well established), I would expect no significant maintenance issues but I would expect to need fresh fluids and given its age, probably fresh rubber/tires too.

From the seller:

  • Mileage is only 765 miles/1232km
  • Recent serviced included battery replacement
  • Features a steel tubular frame with alloy swingarm.  Powertrain from the Suzuki TL1000. 
  • Ride height, steering angle and even the swing arm height can be altered.

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So what is this Dutch crafted rarity worth?  Based on the previous listings it seems that the seller is looking for prices above $22,000 USD which seems like a lot for a bike that while rare, doesn't seem to inspire "lust".  (previous listing on ebay here.)   Also I am not sure if this one will appreciate in value.

I think this will only appeal to a serious collector, someone who already has a decent collection and and is looking to take a bit of a flyer on this one.    It may also appeal to  Zane-era Laverda fans and maybe that is the best potential new owner- someone who wants to see what's it like to have a Nico Bakker frame combined with a bonkers powerplant.

-Marty/Dallaslavowner

Leonard Smalls approves:  2000 Nico Bakker Barracuda 1000 formerly owned by Nicolas Cage
Suzuki January 24, 2017 posted by

New Arrival: 1983 Suzuki RG250 Gamma

Rarity is a curious question of locality. For US riders, the RG250 Gamma was always forbidden fruit (those residing in California were prohibited from even looking at pictures of these exotic machines). However in the home markets where small bikes rule, RG250s - as well as a host of other "exotic" small-bore rockets - are as plentiful as Honda Civics. Where you live has a great deal to do with the laws of supply and demand. As such, when we see the big RZs, RZVs, TZs, K1s and RGs, American riders tend to drool. After all, these are a delicacy in the otherwise land of plenty.

1983 Suzuki RG250 Gamma for sale on eBay

Although improperly listed as a Ganma (we are willing to overlook minor editing errors - after all RSBFS has been known to make them), it is unclear how much the seller knows about the history and condition of the bike. There are a number of photos and a video of the bike in question, so at least there is a willingness to provide as much info as possible to prospective buyers. The bike runs, and damage has been noted in both text and pictures.

From the seller:
The bike is imported from Japan.
Not registered yet in the U.S.
This bike is sold without title.
Original cowl , some re-painted, small dent & scratches.
Engine repainting, brake dragging, re-covered seat, changed to single seat
Some repair is necessary

This RG was recently imported directly from Japan. As is common with many such imports, corrosion and damage is prevalent. Because Japan is densely populated and real estate is at an absolute premium, most of the smaller bikes sit outside (usually alongside dozens - if not hundreds - of others). Proximity to the ocean accelerates the aging process, as does the occasionally tip-over or bump in the overcrowded parking locations where these bikes live. Nice to see that the spirit of modification is alive and well in the Far East. According to the seller, the saddle has been converted to a solo seat. I'm not sure what it looks like under the tail cover (that cover normally houses a second seat), nor is it clear what other mods a potential buyer may face.

There is also the issue of title. I'm sure this bike will be sold with a bill of sale, but if it has not been officially imported into the US then you will have some significant paperwork to do. If you know your state's vehicle code (and don't live in California), this may not be a tremendous hurdle. Or, you may be looking at a very cool track-day toy to make your fellow riders jealous. Either way, be aware that this is not a buy-and-ride-away sort of situation. Check it out here, and be sure and share your thoughts in the Comments section. Good Luck!

MI

New Arrival: 1983 Suzuki RG250 Gamma
Suzuki January 18, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing: 1986 Suzuki GSX-R750 for Sale

Update 1.18.2017: Sold in 11 days! Congratulations to buyer and seller! If you have an outstanding Rare Sportbike for sale, email us about a $59 Featured Listing for exposure like this this GSX-R 750 received! -dc

Today's Featured Listing is the grandaddy of modern sportbiking, the Suzuki GSX-R750. Sure, you could probably argue that other bikes like Kawasaki's GPz or pretty much every Bimota were also significant, but Suzuki's original "Gixxer" had all of the pieces in place: a fully-faired, bug-eyed endurance-racer aesthetic to match the performance available from the inline four and the lightweight, aluminum-framed monoshock chassis to put that power to the ground. Bimota may have perfected the formula, but Suzuki made it affordable to the masses and, in the process, created an icon. Obviously, boatloads of these were made, but boatloads were also crashed and thrashed and neglected, meaning these have suddenly become very collectible and not easy to find in this kind of condition.

Introduced in 1985, the first-generation bikes like this one are sometimes known as "Slabbies" due to the large, slab-sided fairings. Early bikes eschewed liquid-cooling for their 750cc inline four in favor of a high-capacity oil system known as SACS: Suzuki Advanced Cooling System. The system used a sophisticated oil pump to direct jets of oil at critical components and was used up until 1992, when the GSX-R received more modern liquid-cooling. Why SACS? It was felt that the addition of a radiator and associated plumbing would add unnecessary and undesirable weight and complexity to the new sportbike. Colin Chapman would have been proud, although he probably would also have drilled a bunch of holes into that aluminum frame...

The bike arrived in the US in 1986 and was virtually identical to the 1985 model, excepting some updates to lighting, slightly revised bodywork, and a longer swingarm for improved handling. This particular example looks very clean and appears ready to ride, with fresh plugs and tires!

From the seller: 1986 Suzuki GSX-R750 for Sale

One owner, expertly maintained, synthetic oil used entire life, never been crashed, garaged all its life, all original parts with the following upgrades: Progressive fork springs, Works rear mono shock, advanced ignition rotor, K & N filter and front braided metal brake lines. Old parts are available along with a Suzuki shop manual. Bike has new Metzler Z-rated tires, Iridium spark plugs and a one-year-old AGM battery. 

With almost 60,000 miles on the bike, it is mechanically top notch; the plastic does show some wear with three minor cracks that have been repaired and stop-drilled. Close-up photos are available. The tank and frame are flawless. Most of the plastic is in great condition. Regular oil/filter changes have been made at 5,000 to 6,000 miles or once a year when not ridden often. Brake and clutch fluids were regularly changed, and fork oil was changed every five years. The valves have been recently adjusted. Other than new fork seals--replaced twice--there have been no mechanical failures in the bike's history.

The bike is in excellent mechanical condition with 60,000 miles on it. Cosmetically the bike is in original and very good condition. I am asking $5,800.00 for it. The bike is currently in Ventura County, CA. The bike, while a collectible, is regularly ridden. It runs and handles great!

 

With some pretty outrageously-priced Slabbies out there, the $5,800 this seller is asking seems very reasonable. The miles are pretty high but, as with most collector vehicles, condition is far more important, and this example appears to have been very sympathetically owned. Upgrades are practical and, in my mind very appropriate. Few compromises are needed to own this classic sportbike: no basic maintenance that requires engine-out servicing and no unobtainable parts or esoteric knowledge are required, making these pretty practical collectibles, assuming you find a good one. In fact, probably the biggest limitation will be finding modern rubber for those skinny, 18" hoops.

-tad

Featured Listing: 1986 Suzuki GSX-R750 for Sale
Suzuki January 15, 2017 posted by

Slab vs sling: 1987 Suzuki GSX-R1100, 1988 Suzuki GSX-R750

This post is for two early edition Suzuki GSX-R's, a 1100 and a 750.  Both are in good but not perfect condition, have the desirable blue and white bodywork and similar mileage.


1987 GSX-1100R on ebay

The first bike is a 1987 GSX-R1100...a big beasty of a sportbike responsible for more than one type of skidmark for anyone willing to sling a leg over.  While the smaller displacement 750cc sibling is considered to be the first affordable, modern racer-replica suitable for daily road useage, the bigger GSX-R model actually sold better than its 750cc sibling.  This was in large part due to its being less effort to use on the road/less peaky and also because, well, "more POWAHHHH!!!" is always a big seller.

This particular GSX-R1100 is the first year "slab-side" version prized by collectors.  Condition is not perfect but all parts appear to be OEM with the exception of the windscreen (and the seller indicates he has that available).  Oddly there appears to be some front fairing damage that has been fixed via a set of 'stitches' which is not something I have seen before.  Also I can't really tell from the pics but the frame looks a bit shiny - perhaps some polishing has occurred.

Mileage is a respectable 14,186 in the pics and the seller indicates he has owned the bike for about 7 years.   The seller does indicate some idle issues which are probably due to gummed up carb needles.  Other general service info isn't provided so I would expect fresh fluids and tires to be needed.


The second bike is a GSX-R750 edition from a year earlier with similar mileage.

1988 Suzuki GSX-R750 on ebay

The 750cc GSX-R750 was initially the more desired of the the series, in part because the 750cc configuration was the dominant configuration in racing at the time.   Like the 1100 earlier in this post this one looks to be in good condition but not perfect with some bodywork issues, bits of rust on the exhaust canisters and fork oxidation.  Also the condition of the brake lines/front fairing area make me think that despite what the seller says this bike wasn't always garaged or perhaps was originally owned somewhere damp.

As for maintenance, the seller indicates a bit of rough running but on the plus side, it has fresh tires, battery and brake fluids and all parts appear to be OEM with the exception of some handgrips.

Here are a few more pics of the 750cc edition.

So, what are these worth?  Both have opening prices in the $5,000-$6,000 USD range which seems a bit high but not preposterous, especially given both bikes location in California where prices tend to be higher.   Finding first gen Suzuki's that have not been modified is getting to be tougher and tougher - you are more likely to see something like this which while cheaper, would probably end up costing more if the intent is to put it back into completely OEM condition.

From a collectors standpoint, the market for these seems to be demonstrated by the similar pricing of these two so I would not expect either of these to appreciate in price much.  Personally I think the 1100 would be more fun but both will probably appeal more to the nostalgia-oriented rider or restorer than the investment oriented collector.  Then again, market values can change fast so if a late 1980's GSX-R is on your list for your dream garage, maybe a trip to California to check both out would be in order.

-Marty/Dallaslavower

Slab vs sling:  1987 Suzuki GSX-R1100, 1988 Suzuki GSX-R750