Posts by Category: Suzuki

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
Suzuki January 13, 2017 posted by

One Year Only: 1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo

The Eighties were a wild time in terms of motorcycle development. Manufacturers experimented with all types of engines, suspensions, chassis, materials and design. Like Darwin's theory of Natural Selection, those bikes best suited to their environment survived; other, less fortunate machines fell to the onslaught of progress. This 1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo is one such casualty. Offered only in 1983 (in the US at least - the model actually survived 3 total years of worldwide production), this rare bird is the rarest of the factory turbo bikes, and offers a terrific glimpse at how hard Suzuki was working at evolution.

1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo for sale on eBay

Powered by an air-cooled inline four-cylinder displacing a mere 650cc, the addition of fuel injection and an IHI turbocharger maxing out at approximately 12 PSI of boost upped the ante considerably. Still, the XN85 is not the most powerful of the turbo set; while the "85" in the name is supposedly the horsepower figure, that was optimistically taken at the crank. Real world numbers are closer to 70 ponies at the rear wheel. Notably, the XN motor incorporates oil injection on the backside of the pistons - a feature that was enhanced to become the SACS system on the air/oil cooled first generation GSX-R750 models.

From the seller:
1983 Suzuki XN85 turbo. 14800 Original miles. The motorcycle has just come out of long term storage. All fluids changed and fully serviced. Runs beautifully. A few marks and dings on the tank, because the previous owner stupidly piled items haphazardly around and on the bike.

Outside of the novelty of the Turbo setup, the XN85 was also the first US street bike to incorporate a 16" front wheel. This GP technology was based on the fact that the smaller diameter wheel developed a smaller gyroscopic force, enabling quicker handling. While this fad was later reversed due to better suspension, tires and frame geometry, the XN85 was considered one of the best handling sportbikes of the day. Wrap it all up in futuristic-yet-minimalistic bodywork and you have a rare piece of ride-worthy sculpture.

This bike is located in Florida and is looking for a new home. XN85 machines are not like other Suzuki products; parts are hard to come by, with many no longer in stock/available. If the foundation is good, the cosmetics can be repaired. Tire selection is quite limited these days due to the 16" combination, but they can still be found. The Suzuki XN85 Turbo is an interesting machine in concept, a great looking bike in person, and a terrific machine to ride. Prices really have not risen much over the years, so this may be a future collectable as well. Check it out and let us know what you think!

MI

One Year Only: 1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo
Suzuki January 4, 2017 posted by

The Beast Below: 2001 Suzuki TL1000R

2001 Suzuki TL1000R on ebay

Back in the late 1990's the motorcycling world was gobsmacked by the Ducati 916 - not only was it shockingly beautiful, it restored the v-twin as THE desired powerplant for the motorcycling cognescenti.  Given the impact of the Ducati 916 it wasn't a surprise that the competition tried to build their own v-twins with the results including the Aprilia FalcoHonda Firestorm and Suzuki TL series (S/Street and R/Race model). While these bikes were each interesting in their own way (especially the Falco) none dethroned the Ducati.  The reasons for this were varied; the Aprilia was poorly marketed and simply bland looking in comparison while the Honda suffered from a very small fuel tank and poor (for Honda anyway) build quality.  As for the TL series, the issue was handling.

When the Suzuki TL series was introduced with the TL-S/Street version the 90 degree v-twin won raves for producing 125hp.  However the v-twin design meant that there was less room for the rear suspension so Suzuki fit a car-like rotary suspension system which involved a separate spring and rotary damper.  While this suspension is fine under most situations for the street, when the suspension came under heavy load it got hot and the suspension could struggle to respond quickly enough. The result was front wheel lift which could then result in tank slap.   The press jumped on the issue, declaring the bike as a "widow maker".

Even as Suzuki worked to resolve the TL-S/Street versions handling issues the company launched the TL- R/Race version.  Like its year younger sibling, the TL-R had a great engine (tweaked to produce 135hp) that was now mounted in a GSX-R series derived beam frame and clad with full bodywork.   The TL-R came with a factory installed steering damper but despite the changes, still maintained its reputation for dangerous handling.  Sales were below target and after 6 years Suzuki decided to pull the plug on its V-Twin series efforts and refocus its attention on the GSX/inline four series.

This particular TL1000R is in the traditional late 1990's blue and white Suzuki colors.  Personally I think it was a mistake for Suzuki to clad the TL-R in something that was so similar to the GSX-R series but the bodywork on this one does look to be pretty good.   The taillights, turnsignals, windscreen and frame sliders/crash bungs are aftermarket but could be restored pretty cheaply.  The seller does indicate some scuffs and a broken bit of fairing but also indicates that the sale includes some extra bits

Here is what the seller has to say

  • Mileage 11,338
  • Has a full Yoshimura exhaust system, Power commander + tune  
  • Included in the sale is a spare belly pan, tail fairing, and upper fairing and clear windscreen 
  • Chain and sprockets are in good condition, oil is fresh.  
  • Bike is lowered slightly but OEM shock with OEM ride height links that will go with the bike

So what is this V-Twin beastie worth?  Obviously its not a pristine bike and will require some attention if the intent is to acquire it for a collection.  However the price right now is stupid low at $2600 USD (which is barely above KBB trade in value) and these still have a reputation for being very good both as a daily commuter and on  the track.   Personally I think this one is a screaming deal right now.

Note: If you are interested in learning more about the TL1000R, check out some of our previous posts regarding the Suzuki TL1000R.

-Marty/Dallaslavowner

The Beast Below:  2001 Suzuki TL1000R