Posts by Category: Suzuki

Suzuki March 21, 2017 posted by

Slingshot My Heart: 1988 Suzuki GSX-R750 for Sale

Suzuki's original GSX-R750 is arguably one of the most influential sportbikes of all time. Other bikes may have incorporated some of its design and performance elements, but none were able to combine them all into such an affordable package, or were able to capture the public's imagination in the same way. Every iteration of the Gixxer was made by the bucketload, but the bike's reliability and ubiquity meant that they were used and abused, and then discarded, making pristine examples like this one both desirable and very hard to come by. The early "Slabbie" has already reached collector status,  but the second-generation "Slingshot" GSX-R750 models are steadily increasing in value as well and offer more modern performance and handling, compared to the slightly vintage original.

Looking at the slab-sided design, it's pretty easy to see where the Slabbie GSX-R got its nickname, but the Slingshot is named for the 38mm semi-flatslide Mikuni "Slingshot" carburetors that fed the 748cc inline four cylinder engine. Suzuki's original GSX-R was designed with simplicity and light weight in mind and, as a result, the bike was oil instead of water-cooled. But the significant cooling demands of a high-performance sportbike meant the Gixxer needed a sophisticated, high-capacity oil pump and associated cooling and filtration system known as Suzuki Advanced Cooling System or "SACS" to keep temperatures under control. SACS was used on the GSX-R750 and 1100 up until 1992 when Suzuki bowed to convention and switched to water cooling for subsequent generations of the bike.

This particular example appears to be in excellent condition and has obviously been enthusiast-owned and lovingly maintained. It isn't just some well-maintained survivor though: it includes some very tasty modifications like that Metmachex swingarm, a very desirable bit and the suspension has been more than just "overhauled," as the original bike didn't have upside-down forks until 1991. The LED signals are probably not to everyone's taste, but they're reliable, improve visibility, and are, as the seller mentions, easily changed.

 

From the original eBay listing: 1988 Suzuki GSX-R750 for Sale

You are bidding on a 1988 Suzuki GSXR-750 first year, 2nd Gen. model GSXR-J aka Slingshot in Suzuki's traditional blue & white paint scheme that is very sought after. This is one of the lightest and fastest oil cooled GSXR of its time. This particular bike is mostly original condition with the exception of a few upgrades which I'll list later on in the description. Some of the OEM parts  I still have (I'll notate) and can be sold with the bike, if you are interested in going back to stock.

The exhaust is a Yoshimura pipe ceramic coated and aluminium canister. The Mikuni 36mm flat slide carburetors has a Stage 3 jet kit, these both were ideal performance mods for this motor. The blinkers have been replaced with modern LEDs but you can easily go back to stock since all the wiring and connectors are intact. Also, the windscreen was switched out to a tinted by the previous owner. The suspension has had a major upgraded since the stock GSX-R were notoriously known to have a low ground clearance with only a slim margin of error. Both the front and rear have been completely rebuilt by Lindemann Engineering. The rear swingarm is ultra-rare Metmachex (equal to JMC) braced and with eccentric adjusters. This is the style of the endurance racers used back in the late 80's since the stock was shown to have flex. I do have the original OEM swing arm available upon request. The original speedo and tach have been replaced due to the needles falling off. I replaced them with an 1100 model of that year since it's was close to the miles but I do have the original for the new owner and I am basing the miles on the original speedo/tach cluster.  
 
All of the body panels are original and in good condition, no cracks or brittle spots. There are some scratches from general wear and tear which I'll try and capture in the photos. The wheels are in great shape, paint is excellent and no sizable chips. Cosmetically, I would claim this motorcycle is an 8 out of 10.  Mechanically it is flawless, runs perfect, shifts smooth, pulls hard and easy to ride. All of the electrics work as they should; blinkers, horn, lights, speedo, tach, are properly functioning. The bike just had a full detailed service and tune up, all fluids were flushed, and mechanically everything was inspected and replaced if necessary. The Battery and tires are less than a year old.  

This GSX-R750 was well-taken care of and adult own, and I am the 3rd owner. It was never abused or down to my knowledge.  Please feel free to ask any questions, do not hesitate to contact me. If you need any additional pictures or have any additional questions,  feel free to message me or call me here 424-225-2028. Also, I'm including with the sale, are the OEM passenger seat, and tank bra. Service manual and receipts for all maintenance and upgrades.

There is plenty of time left on this auction, but bidding is already pretty active. This particular version of the GSX-R was only produced for a couple of years and doesn't seem to have been particularly well-regarded when it was new but, with all due respect to the original "Slabbie" I think it's far and away the best-looking GSX-R ever made and if I had space in my garage, I'd really want to find a nice one.

-tad

Slingshot My Heart: 1988 Suzuki GSX-R750 for Sale
Suzuki February 18, 2017 posted by

Unloved Kat: 1997 Suzuki Katana 750 with 1,300 miles

If we were to ask RSBFS readers what 750cc sportbike of the 1990's they would most like to own now, I would bet most would choose a Suzuki GSX-750R Limited Edition or maybe a Yamaha OW01 or perhaps a Kawasaki ZX7R/ ZX7RR.  A few intrepid souls might throw a Honda VFR750 or Ducati 748 into the mix but would anyone have the Suzuki Katana 750 on their list?

1997 Suzuki Katana 750 with 1300 miles

The 2nd generation Katana 750 (also known as the GSX-S) was produced at a time when Suzuki couldn't seem to figure out where to focus its efforts.  Suzuki's lineup included race oriented machines such as the 4 cylinder powered GSX-750R and a new V-Twin powered TL1000 series.  These were offered along with several more two other street-oriented models; the Katana 750 and the "dramatically styled!" RF900.  And to make matters more complex, new models such as the GSX-600R, TL1000R, RF600R and Katana 600 were already in the pipeline and would be introduced within the next year.  This wide variety of offerings was great for potential buyers who could find a bike exactly suited for their particular needs and price range but it also meant intense competition for development and marketing monies.  The result was the Katana lineup (and to a large extent, the RF lineup too) didn't received the attention/development monies to keep up with the competition and regularly came in last in model comparisons.

Even though it never got much development support from the Hamamatsu home office, the 2nd generation Katana wasn't a bad bike.  Based on the same long-stroke 750 engine as the GSX-R750 but tuned to focus more on lower and mid-range torque delivery than top speed, the Katana was perfectly adept as a street oriented sportbike with light touring aspirations.  While the competition were all moving towards pressed aluminum featherweight frames and fuel injection, the Katana frame was still steel and 36mm carbs were used to preserve low and mid-range torque while not sacrificing too much top end, and suspension/forks were standard for the time 41mm.  Styling was contemporary for the period and build quality was good (although not a match of Honda of the period).

Its important to note the Katana did have one "ace" over the competition; price.  The wide lineup meant all the major components were already available to Suzuki.  The result was that while many other 750 sport bikes were bumping the $8,000 USD price barrier, the Katana 750 was offered for barely over $7000.

Overall the 750cc Katana sold well but not spectacularly.  A revision in 1998 (the year after this bike)  with updated bodywork and improved mechanicals did help make the Katana a bit more popular but it seems like the entire model line was never a priority for Suzuki.   The 2nd gen Katana/GSX-S seems to fall into the same category as the Kawasaki ZX6/ZZR600 or maybe the Yamaha FZR's of the same period; a sportbike not really intended for track use, bikes with a focus more on price/value than pure performance.

This particular Katana 750cc has obviously been parked for quite a while and the seller freely admits it will need servicing.  Pictures are limited but everyone looks to be OEM and intact.  Mileage is only 1300 miles since new so its really not even been broken in.

Here is what the seller has to say

  • Only 1,300 miles.
  • Has been stored since 2004.
  • Has a small dent in the gas tank where I dropped my helmet on it and a broken mirror.
  • There are a couple minor scratches. Otherwise in excellent condition.
  • Will need a new battery.

Overall it seems like it was a bike that was bought, ridden for maybe a season or two and then tucked away with "I'll get back into riding next year".  Obviously any new owner would need to plan for fresh fluids and rubber as well as a possible shock rebuild and maybe front fork fluids being done.  Also the seller indicates some pending registration fees in California so this one might be best suited to someone intending to take it out of state?

Okay so now the question - why should you consider this 750cc Katana? Given its lack of breakthrough technology and historical reputation against the competition of the time it seems highly unlikely that it will appreciate much in value.  I only found one other post on RSBFS for a 2nd generation Katana and that was back in 2011 for a 1990 edition so the market value of this one can't really be known.

Essentially this is a 20 years old bike that was never broken in.   Yes it needs a full refresh  so it will take some monies to enjoy it but the stupid low price of $1200 USD and ultra low mileage makes me think you really can't go wrong on this one - its probably worth that price in parts alone given Suzuki's interchangeable component philosophy of the times.  This really seems like a good opportunity for someone to pick up a 750cc sportbike that can easily be brought back into daily use, especially if they are looking for a daily driver with some light touring capabilities.

-Marty/Dallaslavowner

Unloved Kat:  1997 Suzuki Katana 750 with 1,300 miles
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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20-P1020032

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.

09-P1020018

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