Posts by Category: Suzuki

Suzuki May 30, 2017 posted by

Very Cooley: 1980 Suzuki GS1000S

Wes Cooley was a Los Angeles phenom on the club scene, and was cultivated by Pops Yoshimura to ride in the newly formed AMA Superbike Championship. Yoshimura initially fielded Kawasakis, but moved to Suzuki for the 1978 season. Wes Cooley used that dialed-in GS1000S to win the 1979 Championship, and he backed it up by doing the double in 1980 (amid stiff competition from younger guns such as Freddie Spencer and Eddie Lawson). The GS1000S streetbike was a commemorative nod to the AMA Superbike, and was produced by Suzuki in very limited numbers between 1979 and 1980. As the story goes, the GS1000S was never even supposed to come to America - but when US dealers saw it they pressured Suzuki into importing the model. Reports indicate that dealers in the US were allotted a single bike, with 500 units imported for 1979 and 700 units for 1980.

1980 Suzuki GS1000S Wes Cooley for sale on eBay

While never signatured as the "Wes Cooley" model (nor ever officially marketed as such), the GS1000S is known as the Wes model in most circles. Replicating the style and color scheme of the Yoshimura racebike was a master stroke on the part of the design department, which resulted in a wonderfully proportioned bike that spoke to race enthusiasts. The limited edition "S" model came a year after the rest of the GS1000 lineup (which included the standard GS1000 and the semi-sporty "E" model). It did not have any material differences to the other GS1000 models in terms of engine, but it did share what was widely regarded as the best chassis to emerge from Japan during the era. Ultimately, that was the secret to the success of the bike on the track. For its first entry into the 1000cc market, Suzuki created a winner - both on the race track as well as the showroom.

From the seller:
Rare limited edition 1980 Suzuki GS 1000S Wes Cooley only 700 produced.

The bike was displayed in a humidity controlled private collection for the past 22 years. It has been recently gone though, new tires mounted less than 100 miles ago and is in excellent running condition. The engine is completely stock and unmodified, everything works on the bike including the clock. It comes with a Factory and Clymers service manual. As you can see from the photos the bike is in excellent condition and has been well taken care of.

Well-loved and unmodified Wes Cooley models are rare affairs. They are becoming harder to find, and more expensive to procure. Such is the nature of collectable bikes; the good ones will always be perceived as good, whether the market is up or down. Chances are strong that if a bike evoked some emotion on the day it was new, it will still be able to do so nearly 40 years later - for a price. And this bike really does look to be in excellent shape.

This bike has approximately 5,000 miles on the odometer, and is located in Tennessee. There are only a few days left on the auction, and interest has been moderate. I expect this one to climb a bit more before the final bell, so if you are interested I suggest you jump in quickly. Check it out here, and celebrate all the wonder that is the Wes Cooley Suzuki (that isn't officially a Wes Cooley commemorative model). Good Luck!!

MI

Very Cooley: 1980 Suzuki GS1000S
Suzuki May 25, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing: 1991 Suzuki RGV250 VJ22A for Sale

 

Today's Featured Listing Suzuki RGV250 is part of the rare and weird collection that the seller has been liquidating over the past few weeks. It may not be museum-quality, but it has obviously been well cared-for and would make a great weekend rider, assuming you live somewhere it can be titled. Rare and desirable here in the USA, Suzuki's RGV250Γ was basically the GSX-R of two-stroke sportbikes: it was fast, a bit wild, and ubiquitous in markets where it was sold new.

But here in the USA, these little Gammas are extremely difficult to find. Go looking for a Honda NSR250 at any given time, and you'll likely come up with at least something. But RGVs are pretty few and far between, in any condition. In fact, here in the US, the closest many of us may have come to the RGV is the Aprilia RS250 that is much more common and uses the same engine, with some minor tuning and cosmetic differences. 

The 250cc two-stroke sportbikes of the period seemed cut from the same cloth, although each managed to have its own character: light and stiff aluminum beam frame, liquid-cooled two-stroke parallel or v-twin engine, some form of power valve technology, a six-speed gearbox, sub-300lb dry weight, and lots of proprietary acronyms plastered across the fairings. In this VJ22's case you'll note "SAPC" or "Suzuki Advanced Power Control," an electronic power valve and ignition timing system to boost the 55-ish horsepower 90° twin's meager midrange. Earlier VJ21s had 17" front and 18" wheels, updated here in the VJ22 to a pair of 17" hoops that should give a wider choice of modern rubber. Weight for the VJ22 was up a bit over previous models, largely owing to that beautiful but complex and heavy asymmetrical "banana" swingarm that left space on the right-hand side of the bike for the bulging expansion chambers that fed those sexy shotgun exhausts.

From the seller: 1991 Suzuki RGV250 VJ22A for Sale

Saved the best for last! This will be the last Suzuki RGV250 up for auction. The honey hole is drying up quickly.

Up for auction to the highest bidder with NO RESERVE is a 1991 Suzuki RGV250 VJ22A with only 8,780 kilometers (5,455 miles) on the odometer. This RGV runs like the day it was new. I don't know the service history but it sure pulls like its been de restricted. Speedometer has been changed to a 300KPH clock so actual mileage is unknown. We see lots of these 250's with speedo's changed from the stock 180kph clocks to 300kph. This RGV has scratches throughout the bike. Tank looks like new. Mirrors and front fender show sun fade. The lower center V-fairing behind the front wheel has a broken tab and has a crack that needs to be fixed. Bike has great curb appeal and looks very nice. Bike comes tastefully upgraded with after market pipes and stingers, aftermarket levers and grips and steel braided brake lines. All fairings are 100% OEM Suzuki factory.

Bike comes with Utah state title and is titled as a Bstreet motorcycle for road use.

Scratches and scrapes throughout. Now there's an honest assessment from the seller, and should give potential buyers a good idea of what to expect here: it's clean, but definitely a used motorcycle. Those Brembo front brakes don't look original but should be a worthwhile upgrade. The levers and grips maybe not so much, but those are easily changed to suit your taste. It isn't perfect but, as stated earlier, might make a great weekend rider or a rolling restoration. You'll have to source parts from overseas, but the internet is a wonderful thing and most of what you need should be available to keep an RGV running.

-tad

Featured Listing: 1991 Suzuki RGV250 VJ22A for Sale
Suzuki May 24, 2017 posted by

Contradictions – 1993 Suzuki GSX-R600 with 2200 miles !

Busy with the 750, Suzuki arrived late to the 600cc shootout, and stayed only for a couple of years before taking a break and then returning with a new generation.  The early GSX-R600 had a great deal in common with it's bigger brother and was a great favorite of budget conscious privateers.   Seldom seen in this kind of shape, this 1993 model has just break in miles and great light colors with red option wheels.

1993 Suzuki GSX-R600 for sale on eBay

Air-oil cooling was no longer cutting the mustard as the 1990's brought engines capable of well over 100 hp per liter, and the new water-cooled engine was installed in the GSX-R, the 600's slightly smaller bore and stroke still nicely oversquare.  Suzuki's alloy double cradle had heavy bracing for the steering head, with great access to the 36mm carburettors under the color-keyed side cover.  Evidence of the platform shared with the 750 is the weight in the late 400's.

Evidently spirited away early on, the owner doubled the mileage just this year.  Still basically new, save a past tipover.  From the eBay auction:

Bike purchased with accurate 868 miles on in 2017  (that's 36 miles average ridden per year since 1993)

The break in period was completed as per the Suzuki Factory repair manual (included in sale) specifications, at which point the engine was switched to Amsoil full synthetic.

Bike is 100% stock. Has split in fairing on left side. Probably fell at some point in it's 24 years.

As the FIM evolved the WSBK support racing classes, Suzuki went back to the drawing board and returned in the late 1990's with a SuperSport World Championship winner.  Limited pictures will require an in-person inspection, but no mention is made of running issues, a minor miracle for the four Mikunis.  Build quality of period Suzuki's can be variable, so it's fair to expect some projects as this bike approaches the  quarter century.  Might be a great example of a puzzlingly rare 600 sportbike...

-donn

Contradictions – 1993 Suzuki GSX-R600 with 2200 miles !
Suzuki May 17, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing – 1990 Suzuki GSX-R400

As the big four were skirmishing in the 400cc race-replica department, Suzuki's GSX-R400R was never the most popular.  But its rugged good looks, called dated back then, recall a dynamic era in sportbikes.

Like most of the 400-4 machines of the 80's and 90's, the GSX-R 400 was a junior rider's bike in the Japanese home market and other countries with progressive licensing, but an afterthought elsewhere.  Even with limited racing heritage, they are equipped and styled to thrill, with 59 hp, dual disk brakes, and full endurance fairings.  The resemblance to a GSX-R 750 was no accident, and improvements since the introduction in 1984 included a large-section alloy frame, four-piston front calipers, two piece radiator, and 4-into-1 exhaust.

This particular 400 has been someone's favorite with 12,000 miles and Utah registration, but more recently part of a collection, and carefully preserved.  Just a couple of minor corrections stand between it and the next concours.  From the eBay auction:

From the Suzuki room comes a very rare bike, A gorgeous 1990 Suzuki GSX-R400 with 19,458 kilometers (12,090 miles). Bike is in gorgeous condition with only a few issues. There is a dent in the right side of the fuel tank and the right front blinker mount is cracked and needs replaced. Scratches on both sides of the bike. This bike is a great candidate for restoration. Bike runs perfectly and will be serviced with new fluids and filters and a new battery installed for the lucky buyer. This GSX-R is 100% original. 100% OEM fairings and components. Bikes comes with a Utah state title and is titled as a street motorcycle for road use.

Offered by a Utah powersports dealer and collector, this factory original has recent maintenance, and the presence of street title is significant for a rider.  Road racing success was just over Suzuki's horizon in the late 1980's, and developments started to pay off with Kevin Schwantz aboard in the early 1990's.  Whether the buyer's intention is to ride or show ( maybe a bit of both ) this very rare Suzuki needs just a few things to excel at both.

-donn

Featured Listing – 1990 Suzuki GSX-R400
Suzuki May 16, 2017 posted by

Vape Machine: 1992 Suzuki RGV250 Lucky Strike

NO RESERVE - That is an ironic term considering that it covers both the auction as well as Suzuki's intent when designing the motorcycle. The RGV250 has risen to legendary status among riders and collectors due to its performance and balance (even Aprilia agrees, having purchased VJ22 power units for their own RS250 models). With a two stroke v-twin engine, aluminum chassis, upside down forks, asymmetrical banana / gull swing arm and racer bodywork (and riding position), the Gamma is what two stroke riders pick to ride.

1992 Suzuki RGV250 Lucky Strike for sale on eBay

Today's bike is a VJ22 model incorporating commemorative Kevin Schwantz Team Lucky Strike livery. Lucky Strike bikes are reasonably rare in the world of Gammas, as they were produced in low numbers and only for limited markets; they were also not produced every year. As all Gammas are grey market bikes in the US to start with, the LS model (even though cosmetic only) is an extra bit of topping on what is (now) a street-legal registered motorcycle. Things just keep on getting better and better.

From the seller:
Up for auction to the highest bidder with NO RESERVE is a 1992 Suzuki RGV22A Lucky Strike with only 10,809 kilometers (6717 miles). HIGHEST BIDDER WINS!

Just had a bath and ready for its photo shoot! This RGV250 two stroke runs like a raped ape, just like the day it was new. Its been serviced and ready to go with a new battery and new fluids. This RGV has been well loved and well ridden. Lots of scratches, rubs and notorious boot marks lol, but NO cracks in the plastic, NO broken tabs & NO dents in the tank. This bike would make an excellent candidate for restoration, or just wring it out as a weekend knee scratcher. Bike comes equipped with OEM mufflers and OEM stingers and the dry clutch sounds awesome. Suzuki owners manual, Suzuki drivers guide, first aid kit, Lucky Strike onboard tool kit and two keys. This RGV250 comes with a Utah State title and is titled as a motorcycle for street use.

One thing that jumped out at me is the dry clutch. Regular edition VJ22s do not come with this race-bred bit of trickery. The dry clutch is an Sport Production item (the SP model also included a close-ratio gearbox), which could either mean that the base bike is an SP, or the clutch was a retrofit to a standard LS-branded bike. I'm sure there are Gamma-pedia types reading this now, and I welcome you to chime in on the comments; let us learn from your collective wisdom. Other than that discrepancy, this appears to be a solid, imported smoker; there are requisite scratches from use over the years, but otherwise this is seemingly unmolested (i.e. OEM chambers and stingers, rear fender still attached).

The seller has listed this as a No Reserve auction. That means this bike is definitely going home with someone when all is said and done. The opening ask was a paltry $1,500, but there is good interest in the bike and the price is climbing quickly. While this is a titled and registered motorcycle in Utah, that does not guarantee your state will be as willing or complicit. As always, RSBFS recommends you check with your local constabulary prior to purchasing something not officially imported into the US (i.e. if you live in California, consider this an excellent track day steed). Check it out here, and thank you for smoking.

MI

Vape Machine: 1992 Suzuki RGV250 Lucky Strike
Suzuki May 11, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing: Suzuki TL1000R Racer/Track Day Special for Sale

In the 90s, Ducati captured the imagination of race fans and road riders alike with their exotic, race-winning v-twins, and the Japanese were forced to play catch up on track in in the showrooms, as they'd largely been relying on highly-developed, but less emotional inline fours in World Superbike and endurance racing. The rules of World Superbike certainly favored v-twins at the time, and the Japanese seemed to believe that was all there was to their success, "If a tiny little company like Ducati can do it, we can too!" Unfortunately, both Honda and Suzuki missed their opportunity to cash in, producing "Ducati-killers" that failed to understand exactly why people bought Ducatis in the first place. The Honda SuperHawk was a very good motorcycle cursed with a tiny gas tank and handling that was never really intended to measure up to the track-focused 916, with handsome but fairly bland looks. And Suzuki's TL1000R was a massive failure in terms of its Ducati-slaying ability as well. They'd already built their road-focused TL1000S, so the TL1000R should have been a no-brainer. But while the 916 was narrow, sleek, and very focused on speed, the TL-R was bulbous and heavy, with handling limited by the controversial rotary rear damper carried over from the TL-S. The rotary damper worked fine in theory, but overheated in practice, resulting in sometimes scary at-the-limit handling. Luckily, today's Featured Listing, a track-ready TL1000R goes a long way towards rectifying those shortcomings.

Why use a rotary damper in the first place? Well a bike with a 90° v-twin is generally very narrow [unless you're on a Moto Guzzi], light, smooth and torquey, but presents packaging challenges. Ducati's front cylinder lies nearly horizontal, making for a very long engine and a correspondingly long wheelbase. Suzuki rotated their engine back in the chassis, but that left little room for a traditional rear shock, and they used a compact rotary damper in its place. It was a proven concept, but the execution left a bit to be desired...

Although the TL1000R was considered a sales flop at the time, low prices and that absolute peach of a v-twin have made it a very appealing roadbike. Keep in mind that Suzuki used this engine to power a whole range of their own bikes, and it was used by plenty of other manufacturers as well. It is reliable, reasonably powerful, and sounds great with a set of aftermarket cans. The TL1000R was a fundamentally sound bike, with all of the elements to be the everyman v-twin Suzuki advertised, but the execution was flawed. Power is never going to rival modern Ducatis, unless you throw a ton of money at the engine. But pounds can be shed, and handling improved with a swap to a more traditional rear shock and good suspension set up.

Today's Featured Listing goes back to the TL-R's original stated intent and systematically fixes problems: a complete modern GSX-R1000 front end with a Brembo master cylinder, lightweight bodywork, updated rear shock by Penske, and an Aprilia RS250 solo tail that lightens the bike visually as well, making it the sleek machine it always should have been.

From the seller: TLR1000R Race Bike for Sale

TL1000R for sale, bill of sale, no title, was built frame up piece by piece. Specs follow:

Engine - stock internally, Sharkskinz airbox, M4 full exhaust - rear sections have been modified to pull the exhaust closer to the swingarm for cornering ground clearance, Power Commander III. Yes, I know it's not really a superbike with the stock motor, but the rest of the modifications mean it's not SS legal.

Chassis - LE rear link and Penske shock, 04 GSXR 1000 forke/triples - LE valved and lengthened, Woodcraft clipons, Vortex upper triple clamp, Ohlins steering damper, Sato rearsets

Brakes - Brembo radial m/c, 04 GSXR 1000 calipers with spacers to run 320mm TLR rotors, rear caliper is a Wilwood PS-1 in a captured spacer setup (Pro Fab did the swingarm modification and all the machined parts), Goodridge stainless lines

Body - Sharkskinz body with Honda RS250 tailsection. Rear subframe is all fabricated aluminum.

Misc - Wire harness has been thrifted and ECU has been relocated to the front in fabricated aluminum holder. Clutch m/c is a brembo radial. Throttle is from Yoyodyne, probably more little stuff that I'm forgetting.

$6500, located in Indianapolis

Email is best for me: motorsport.studio at geemale.com

I love the Aprilia RS250 tail section, and the Gulf Racing colors work for me too: I'd love to do a track Ducati 916 up like that! Honestly, $5,600 seems like a heck of a deal for such a fully-developed bike. I've no idea if it'd make a competitive racebike, but if you like twins but don't want to risk your precious 998R in the fast group at a track day, this might be just the ticket. I fully understand why folks would choose something like a GSX-R or R6 as a trackday ride, but it's the funky stuff like this that interests me.

-tad