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Posts by Category: Suzuki

Suzuki February 12, 2018 posted by

Carte Grise – 1986 Suzuki GSX-R750R Limited Edition in France

Spanning the globe, as Wide World of Sports used to say, in this case to bring you the thrill of a Limited Edition lightweight GSX-R750R.  In oddball JDM red and brown, the LE is a standout with only a few hundred made to homologate it for AMA Superbike racing.  This French-registered GSX-R looks great and has correct Yoshimura exhaust.

1986 Suzuki GSX-R750 Limited Edition ( France )

1986 was the second year in GSX-R750 history, with just a few tweaks from the introductory model.  Though the alloy Full Floater swingarm was extended, the aluminum frame and air/oil-cooled 100 hp engine were hallmarks of the design.  The Limited Edition had a couple of nice updates from the base model, New Electrically Activated Suspension ( NEAS ) anti-dive forks and big brakes from the GSX-R1100, along with lightweight dry clutch and close-ratio transmission.  The solo seat and fairing were quite a bit lighter than the biposto.  The entire package was around 400 lbs. dry, weighing less than most 600 cc machines of the day.

Housed in a Paris suburb, this LE appears complete and undamaged save a scratched area on the left fairing.  The owner states it has matching numbers and is registered on a grey card - indicating standard registration, which may ease import and re-documenting.  Not too many pictures and almost no history, so bid accordingly and make this your excuse to visit Paris for a pre-purchase inspection.

Surprisingly light and expensive, the Limited Edition wowed reviewers and race machines were immediately successful in endurance events, but had to wait until 1989 for Jamie James to grab the AMA crown from Honda.  A bit of a grail at this point, the LE's rarity is worth pursuing and some travel might be part of the fun.  Though "Pops" Yoshimura passed away in 1995, the company is still run by his sons with a location in Chino, California, and manages Suzuki's AMA Superbike and Supercross racing efforts.

-donn

 

Carte Grise – 1986 Suzuki GSX-R750R Limited Edition in France
Suzuki February 10, 2018 posted by

Rare Screamer: 1987 Suzuki GSX-R400 GK71 for Sale

Most times, even if their models share no significant components, motorcycle manufacturers go to great lengths to make sure their bikes all share a strong familial resemblance. In fact, the most recent GSX-R600 and 750 are virtually identical and appear to share their frames and body panels, with only their engine displacements, graphic treatments, and tachometer faces to differentiate them. That makes particular sense at the moment, since the GSX-R750 has pretty much been in a class of one since the the ascendance of the 1000cc machines and developing a bike that shared most of its important components with another mass-produced model was virtually a requirement. Ironically, with the seeming demise of the 600 supersport class, I wonder if it won't be the 750 that has the last laugh... In any event, the designers of the GK71 version of the Suzuki GSX-R400 clearly didn't get that memo.

Taking a look at the bigger 750 and 1100 versions of the GSX-R, this 400 looks markedly different. The tail is sleeker, with a pronounced taper when viewed from the rear, the fairing has several rows of gills, like a small, primitive shark, a single headlight in place of its bigger siblings' round units, and an actual dash, instead of a foam instrument surround. All-in-all, it's very obviously a Suzuki, but looks very little like the larger GSX-R models.

The seller refers to this as a 1987 and a shot of the title confirms this but, supposedly, the 1987 had twin headlamps and gold brake calipers, so this may in fact be a 1986 model year bike, since that appears to have been the only year with the rectangular headlamp. The exhaust pipe would also have more of a perforated style shroud like the 750 and 1100, but the aftermarket Micron fitted here makes it hard to say for sure. Regardless, you're looking at a 398cc inline four making 60hp and backed by a six-speed gearbox, hung in an aluminum twin-spar frame with a weight of 337lbs dry.

From the original eBay listing: 1987 Suzuki GSX-R400 GK71 for Sale

Here we have a rare, well maintained, and super quick Suzuki GK71 GSX-R400. This is a clean machine sporting corrosion free aluminum frame/swingarm, stock fairings, and only minor imperfections. It sounds great, and pulls linearly all the way up to redline. I had great fun running this bike over the mountain during last year's TT races on the Isle of Man. It ran faultlessly, and was the impetus of many a conversation with other race fans.

The GSX-R400 was rarely seen outside Japan, and there's been little interest in the bike for the most part, as it wasn't nearly as exotic as the Honda NC30, as refined as the CBR400, or as agile and affordable as the FZR400. It was a bit crude in comparison, but was still a very competent, relatively sophisticated machine, and a slight lack of performance compared to rivals shouldn't discourage anyone at this point. 30,000 miles is on the high end for a collectible sportbike, but assuming it's been properly maintained and cared for, that wouldn't put me off too much assuming the price was right. And considering the bidding is up a bit over $1,500 I think you'd have a hard time finding something else that offers this combination of rarity and unintimidating performance.

-tad

Rare Screamer: 1987 Suzuki GSX-R400 GK71 for Sale
Suzuki February 2, 2018 posted by

Big Style, Modest Power: 1991 Suzuki GSX-R400 GK76 for Sale

I ran into a nice young rider the other weekend while I was eyeing his flat grey EBR 1190RX. We talked about the bike and all its neato Buell-y features, and he asked me what I was riding, so I introduced him to my Daytona, which also happens to be grey... "Aren't you a little big for that?" He asked.  Obvious "that's what she said" jokes aside, it highlighted a common misconception, at least here in the USA: smaller sportbikes are "learner" machines, and serious riders should move up to a "real" bike as soon as possible. Of course, bikes like today's Suzuki GSX-R400 are an argument that maybe smaller is just fine, and that there's plenty of fun to be had on a motorcycle that offers serious handling, but only modest straight-line performance.

Strict licensing and taxes on displacement mean that bigger bikes can be flat out impossible in many overseas markets, no matter your experience or skill. In those places it was often the 400cc class that was hotly contested throughout the late 80s and early 90s: witness the fact that the FZR600 was the lowest-spec bike of Yamaha's sportbike range with a glaring, low-tech difference: it used a relatively heavy steel frame instead of a lighter aluminum unit as seen on the 400cc and 1000cc models. In fact, the very first GSX-R was actually a 400cc model, and Suzuki applied the lessons learned to their smash-hit GSX-R750, although many aren't aware that the earlier bike even existed.

The third iteration of the evergreen Gixxer is also currently the least desirable, and this GSX-R400 is styled to match its bigger siblings. Not only does this generation still exist in that nether region between classic and modern, the bikes were generally heavier than the bikes they followed, with less performance. The Gixxer was peakier and a bit cruder than competitors like the CBR400, and as a result it was a bit of an also-ran, although it should still offer plenty of bang for your buck. Weight for this version of the GSX-R400 was 367lbs dry and the little 398cc inline four made 59hp at 12,500rpm.

From the original eBay listing: 1991 Suzuki GSX-R400 for Sale

Up for No Reserve auction we have a 1991 Suzuki GK76 GSX-R400. This bike sports slick OEM graphics, and is quite a good looking machine. It has recently been tagged and registered in Tennessee and is ready for the road. On the performance front I feel the carbs would benefit from a good cleaning. With that said, the bike starts up easily enough, idles, and runs right on up to redline. These are rather difficult to come by, and this one will make a nice addition to someone's collection.

Considering how popular Suzuki's sportbikes have been worldwide, it's surprising we haven't seen more of these up for sale here in the US, now that they can be legally imported. They certainly weren't the the best 400s but, being a Suzuki, plenty were sold. The seller includes a nice little video of the bike being zapped up and down a backroad, and it's nice to see that the bike is a solid runner, because it's not in showroom-perfect condition: aside from some scratches and plastic bits that have naturally discolored with age, the end can looks to be in pretty sorry shape and the non-standard turn signals are small and unobtrusive, but their fake-y "carbon" finish isn't very tasteful and originals might be difficult to source, depending on whether or not they're exclusive to this model... But all of that can be overlooked if the price is right, and with just two days left on the auction, that price is a mere $2,225 which could make it a screaming deal of a little screamer, if the bidding stays low.

-tad

Big Style, Modest Power: 1991 Suzuki GSX-R400 GK76 for Sale
Suzuki January 29, 2018 posted by

Bonkers – 1990 Suzuki GSX-R750

Hardly altering its good looks, Suzuki made several changes to the GSX-R750 for 1990 - beefier frame, 4-into-1 exhaust, and a lot of internal changes to the air/oil-cooled I-four.  This Texas example is nice overall, but the evil lurking on the garage shelves bit the tank pretty hard.

1990 Suzuki GSX-R750 for sale on eBay

 

Suzuki had tried their shorter-stroke race engine design in 1988-89 road machines, but returned to a torquier 70 x 48.7 mm bore and stroke for 1990.  Great efforts were made to help the engine rev more easily, with lighter pistons, threading connecting rods bolts right into the rods, with 38mm Mikuni carburettors and changes in the head to address cracks between the spark plug and valve seats.  The result was 115 hp at 11,000 rpm and 57.5 ft.-lbs. torque.  While ROW machines got new upside-down forks, they wouldn't arrive here until 1991.

 

Having seen some use with 28,000+ miles, this GSX-R is quite stock, showing just the Carbon-Tech exhaust.  Hard to know the reason for the fading of the middle fairing section, perhaps it is a decal which hasn't aged as well as the paint.  The parts and bikes dealer says this in the eBay auction:

All Original aside from the pipe
One Owner Bike
Only fault is a ding in the tank and a small rub on the lower left fairing as shown in the pictures
Recent refresh
Runs and Rides Great
You will be hard pressed to find another like this one
28k Miles
Clean Title and Ready to Ride

 

Suzuki hung on to the racey feel of the GSX-R, with a serious riding position and requiring a resolute hand at turn-in time.  The quality suspension and lighter weight make the bike, as Colin Chapman said, faster everywhere.  Complete and stock GSX-R750's don't pop up every day, and while the new owner will have to take care not to let any refurbishment blow up the re-sale value, this sure looks like a good candidate.

-donn

 

 

Bonkers – 1990 Suzuki GSX-R750
Suzuki January 17, 2018 posted by

Literally Found in a Barn: 1989 Suzuki GSX-R1100 for Sale

The term "barn find" pretty much says it all: the collectible car or motorcycle in question was found sitting in an actual barn, where the previous owner stored it when it stopped running. Possibly hidden under a layer of dust, old blankets, back issues of Playboy, and mold. The implication is that it is in complete, original condition, but has been somewhat neglected cosmetically and mechanically. The term gets thrown around regularly as a sort of shorthand for "original, low-miles, and in need of restoration," but seems to be exactly the case for this Suzuki GSX-R1100K "Slingshot."

The second generation GSX-R1100's nickname came from the quartet of 38mm semi-flatslide Mikuni "Slingshot" carburetors that fed the dual overhead cam, four-valve, inline four engine. It actually displaced 1127cc, up a bit from the original's 1052cc, but still featured Suzuki's Advanced Cooling System or "SACS" to keep things within optimal temperatures. SACS used a multi-chamber oil pump to effectively cool and circulate the oil, with circuits in the cylinder head and jets directed at the pistons. Later GSX-R1100s adopted a more conventional set up with a radiator and coolant, but here Suzuki stuck with the concept that simpler was better and lighter, although the Big K isn't exactly a flyweight. Mass continued to creep up throughout the 1100's successive generations and the new frame used here was both stiffer and heavier than the one found on the Slabbie. With a dry weight of 462lbs, the "K" version was never going to be particularly agile, so it was more of a GT than an actual sportbike, something that Suzuki tried to rectify the following year when they made changes to the suspension.

Unfortunately, the GSX-R1100K never really matched up with expectations: I have an old issue of SuperBike magazine that describes it as "... quite pretty. To look at, sure, but never to ride." But it's really the beefy engine that defines the GSX-R1100 experience anyway. It was a powerhouse, the Small Block Chevy of the time: endlessly tunable with a wealth of performance parts available. People set them up for drag racing, and even created road-race hybrids by squeezing the 1100 engine into the GSX-R750, which is pretty much the same idea Bimota had when they built their lightweight and extremely quick SB6, although it was a very tight fit in both cases...

Of course, a GSX-R1100 by its very nature isn't necessarily all that uncommon, but ones in this kind of condition are very rare these days: the powerful engine, reasonable ergonomics, and good wind protection meant they got used as intended, racking up huge miles, battle scars, and less-than-tasteful aesthetic "upgrades" popular at the time. People looking to make them into the corner-carvers the looks advertised tried all manner of fixes that worked or didn't in varying degrees, but the end result was very few remain as delivered by Suzuki, and even fewer have covered so few miles. With just 722 miles on the odometer, I doubt you'll find a less used example anywhere outside a museum.

From the original eBay listing: 1989 Suzuki GSX-R1100 for Sale

1989 Suzuki GSXR 1100 perfect condition with 722 miles,  was a barn find been stored since 1991 but not climate control storage literally in a barn. The bike was redone but didn't need much as the miles are so low. The body was completely done to perfect factory spec's no cracks or any problems, the wheels are original but do have a bit of chips,  bike runs great and needs nothing. Full tune tires everything done including carbs. This one for collection beautiful bike and super rare. Also comes with passenger seat parts. Bike will sell no matter what

The seller's opening bit is set at $7,000 which seems pretty fair considering the condition and low miles, but there are no takers yet with very little time left on the auction. It's a shame the pictures aren't better lit, since I think this is the very best-looking version of the long-running GSX-R series, especially in classic Suzuki blue-and-white. If you're looking to actually ride it, I'd expect there are plenty of shops out there who can recommend suspension changes to make a Slingshot handle, probably using off-the-shelf Suzuki components, along with brake upgrades and weight saving measures. At the very least, you can probably swap the original 2-into-2 exhaust for a 4-into-1 and save 20 pounds. But honestly, the original bike offered plenty of stability, even if it lacked agility, and this one should probably be enjoyed for what it is: a freeway blaster par excellence or a great two-up weekend rider. Given the low mileage though, I'd bet it might end up stored away in a collection somewhere.

-tad

Suzuki January 6, 2018 posted by

Pristine stroker: 1996 Suzuki RGV250SP VJ23A

This 1996 Suzuki RGV250SP appears to be in the hands of our friend Gary in Utah, and like the lion's share of his bikes, it's nigh on perfect. The original fairings and tank show very few flaws, and from a glance the biggest blemish seems to be on the aluminum boot guard.

1996 Suzuki RGV250SP for sale on eBay

Based on frame number, this appears to be a T model VJ23A, which in stock form for the Japanese market was limited to just 40 horsepower. That should still be a laugh riot in a bike this small and light, but the 70-degree v-twin is well known for being capable of around 60 horses if you massage it right.

The VJ23s represent the latest and greatest in Japanese two-stroke technology. While they share v-twin architecture with the VJ21 and VJ22s machines that came before, the motor in the later machines shares almost nothing with its elders, from revised powervalves to a narrower vee angle.

From the eBay listing:

Up for sale is a 1996 Suzuki RGV250SP VJ23A with only 32,741 kilometers (20,344 miles). Bike is in mint condition with only a few scratches on the left side upper, a few light handling marks and some rub marks on the heel guards. No dents in the tank, no cracks in the fairings, and has a very clear windscreen. Bike is completely stock and all fairings and components are 100% genuine Suzuki factory OEM. This bike is gorgeous! The previous owner took extremely good care of it. Lol, this bike was loved as a child. Comes with new battery, new fluids and new fork seals. Runs like the day it was new. This is a premium bike and very rare to find in this condition. Bike comes with a Utah state title and is titled as a streetbike for road use. Text 801-358-6537 for more pictures and questions. Auction could end anytime as bike is for sale locally. $200 deposit due immeadiatly after auctions end thru PayPal. Balance due within 5 business days by check, bank wire or cash in person.

The bike has certainly been ridden, which makes its condition that much more impressive, and it comes with a clean Utah street title, so it should be good for another few years of high-strung fun.

Pristine stroker: 1996 Suzuki RGV250SP VJ23A