Posts by Category: Suzuki

Suzuki July 8, 2017 posted by

Suzuki Saturday – 1988 Suzuki GSX-R750

1988 brought the first comprehensive update to the 750 Gixxer, with a revised frame and shorter stroke engine, "slingshot" carburetors and 17-inch wheels.  A little heavier than the introductory GSX-R, the 1988 was still lighter than the competition and had the more rigid chassis and additional power to improve overall performance.   Looking very original and excellent for its 22K miles, this GSX-R750 has had some nice mechanical care as well.

1988 Suzuki GSX-R750 for sale on eBay

 

In the engine re-design, Suzuki took 4mm from the stroke and added 3 to the bore, more oversquare and with lower reciprocating losses than before.  Peak power and torque are at 11,000 rpm, while the redline is at 13,000.  The high-volume SACS oil cooling system was also heavily revised, with larger, less restrictive tubing, and a 4-into-2 exhaust was required to limit muffler size.  Brakes and forks are built for the era, and dual headlight fairing has fresh air intakes running back to the airbox.

 

The Illinois owner of this GSX-R has preserved the cosmetics, and actively maintained the running gear.  Suspension has been updated in the rear, rebuilt in the front, brakes improved, and engine maintenance is up to date.  From the eBay auction:

This gorgeous GSX-R is completely stock except for tasteful/safety modifications, including:
-New Pirelli Rosso II tires
-Galfer steel brake lines, front and rear pads
-Penske rear shock
-New EBC clutch and springs
-Forks are serviced, new oil, new seals
-Swing arm and link have new bearings and seals
-New oil and filter
-New wheel bearings
-Valves adjusted
-All electrical components work as they should

 

The GSX-R750 reviewed as a quick-handling powerhouse, with serious racebike ergonomics, and very nearly beat the company's own 1100 to the 1/4-mile traps.  A nicely resolved update to a ground breaking design.  This particular GSX-R is a win-win, great factory cosmetics and all maintenance issues addressed...

-donn

Suzuki Saturday – 1988 Suzuki GSX-R750
Kawasaki June 26, 2017 posted by

Quandary: ZXR400R OR GSX-R400SP?

Our collector friend from Utah is at it again. If you're not sure about whom I'm talking, check out this uber-rare Kawasaki KR-1R that he is selling from his collection. That is the caliber of model and condition that Gary brings to the table, and the two 400s pitted up against each other at auction today are no different. In one corner, you have a 1993 Kawasaki ZXR400R in original OEM condition. In the other corner, a rare 1989 Suzuki GSX-R400SP with exhaust. The problem is you can only pick one. I wouldn't care which one I scored; both are simply gorgeous. Let's meet the players:

1993 Kawasaki ZXR400R

When Kawasaki introduced the first ZXR400R model in 1989, it was the fastest of its peer group. With seemingly more grunt (although still adhering to Japanese home market power output limitations) and the highest top speed, it was the bad boy to have in the home market and in Europe. Interesting fact is that peak HP changed very little over the years of the model run; Kawasaki opting to bolster the torque curve in subsequent iterations rather than shooting for peak numbers. Again, this likely had more to do with home market regulations, but the result was a great all around mount: reasonably comfortable for commuting (or getting to the twisty bits), great handling due to small-ish size and weight (about 350 lbs dry), top-shelf components (upside down fork, Uni-trak, aluminum chassis, slipper clutch) and the ability to hit nearly 140 MPH on the straights. Here in the US, where the only real 400 we saw was the FZR, the Kawasaki reeked of performance in the sort of unobtainable way that made hardcore riders want them all the more. While this is not the rarest of the rare, finding a good clean example in the US is definitely not an everyday occurrence. That is the reason the last ZXR400 Gary listed was snapped up; good examples of rare bikes never last long at auction.

From the seller:
The first bike is a 1993 Kawasaki ZXR400R M model with only 3,318 kilometers (2,061miles). It is in mint condition and is completely stock. All fairings and components are 100% genuine OEM Kawasaki. Original tires, chain and sprockets along with factory warning labels. You NEVER see JDM bikes like this one.


1989 Suzuki GSX-R400SP

Suzuki was way ahead of the 400 game with the GSX-R; first released as a 1984 model, it had all the wonderful slab-sided uniqueness of its bigger brothers. And like the original GSX-R ideology, the 400 was light - undercutting the competition by several pounds (read: 20+ lbs); on a smaller bike, that is significant. As the model evolved, some of that weight came back. In 1988, the GXR-R400 gained a brand new (stiffer) chassis - known as the GK73A - accounting for some of that weight gain. In the end, the 400 Gixxer is on par with the Kawasaki in the weight department (approx 350 dry). This 1989 SP model was intended as a homologation unit for racing. Don't get your hopes up on more power, however; home market bikes were all capped on HP, and in the end all reported about the same (or very similar) numbers: 59 HP. What the SP model got you was the solo accommodations, upgraded suspension (including a remote reservoir rear shock) and a close-ratio transmission. The 1989 model also introduced the braced swingarm, adding pounds but aiding handling - and looking super cool at the same time. Like the Kawasaki, this was a model never officially brought into the US. That makes it rare Stateside, but the SP model is also pretty rare in the rest of the world as well. Arguably, the GSX-R is the least common of the 400cc class and as SPs were intended for racing, finding a clean survivor is not easy.

From the seller:
The second choice is a very rare 1989 Suzuki GSX-R400 SP (Sports Production) with 8,690 kilometers (5400 miles). It is in mint condition also with only a few small scratches on the left side on the rear fairing from rubbing against another bike during shipping. All fairings and components are 100% genuine OEM Suzuki except for the Yoshimura Cyclone full exhaust. The original OEM factory Suzuki exhaust is included with the sale of this bike. This baby RK comes with brand new Bridgestone Battlax tires. The bike color looks black indoors. It is actually metallic dark blue when outside in the sunlight. The metallic blue sparkle really pops in the sun. Its gorgeous!


From the seller:
This is a "Your Choice" auction. The winning bidder will get their choice of bikes. You don't get both, just one, for your high bid. These bikes are premium examples with extremely low miles, collector quality. Both bikes run like the day they were new. Both come with Utah titles and they are titled as street motorcycles for road use. These are rare premium bikes in premium condition for a premium price. Rare low mileage bikes like these don't come around often. If you would like more pictures please contact me and I will send you all the photos you want. $500 deposit thru PayPal due immediately after auctions end. Bike to be paid in full within 5 business days. Again, Winning bidder gets their choice of bikes. You don't get both, just one bike of your choice for your winning bid.

Well there you have it. Let the battle commence. Performance wise, the latter stages of bike development during this time was up against the Japanese power regulations; there is not too much to choose on that front. How each of these bikes delivers on that performance is a very unique experience, however. Drool over the pictures, and this pick your sides. Are you into Team Green and do you go for the ZXR based on brand loyalty? Do you lust after the GSX-R SP? Maybe it's time to raid the 401k and the kid's college fund and make Gary a serious offer on both (just don't forget that KR-1R while your at it). Check both bikes out here, and Good Luck!!

MI

Suzuki June 21, 2017 posted by

Clean, Low Mileage, All-Original Gamma: 1986 Suzuki RG500Γ for Sale

For a very brief period in the mid-1980s the Grand Prix racing fans were able to sample two machines of singular purpose: Yamaha's V4 RD500LC/RZ500 and Suzuki's wild, square-four powered RG500Γ "Gamma." Each was intended to showcase the style, performance, and feel of a two-stroke GP motorcycle in a road-legal package, although they went about it in different ways. Of the pair, Suzuki's was closest to the true spirit of a "race bike for the road" and is generally considered more valuable than the Yamaha, although the RD/RZ has its fans as well, and prices for both are steadily climbing.

Part of the reason the Gamma is so desirable is that Suzuki never made that many of them in the first place, the other is that it might be one of the most authentic race replicas ever made, with a twin-crank, two-stroke, square-four engine that wasn't shared with any other motorcycle in their lineup. Although, like the similarly exotic Desmosedici that shared no parts with its MotoGP inspiration, Suzuki's powerplant merely aped the configuration of their 500cc Grand Prix machine, but was more much more road-oriented. So it may not have exactly been a detuned race bike, but it's as close as you're likely to get.

With around 100hp pushing almost 400lbs wet, the RG500 isn't the quickest thing around at this point, and it wasn't even the fastest thing going in 1986. But it was lightweight for the time, and the whole package was so exotic: two-stroke sports twins were the order of the day, so a twin-crankshaft, square four cylinder with the same eye-opening power delivery, only even more so, must have made the RG feel like it rolled right off a race track, with an experience of speed and agility that far outstripped the measurable performance.

If you're searching for a Gamma, today's example is about as good as it gets, unless you're looking for one that's been modified with more modern suspension, brakes, and wheels.

From the original eBay listing: 1986 Suzuki RG500Γ for Sale

Up for auction is my 1986 Gamma. This bike is completely stock with only 3,711 original km or roughly 2,300 miles. This bike has never been rebuilt, is all original and is by far the nicest Gamma I have ever seen. The bike has lived inside my house for the last five years. Originally a Canadian bike stored in a climate controlled environment I imported the bike legally and it now has a Maryland state title.  I just trailered it to the shop for a new battery and fresh plugs and it starts right up on the first or second kick.

 In the time I have owned the bike I can't make myself ride it. Its just too nice. It really belongs in a museum or in someone's private collection or take it to shows which I have done. First place winner every time. Unless you find one still in a crate somewhere you'll not find a nicer Gamma anywhere.
I'm willing to work with the buyer as far as shipping but cost will be their responsibility. I can also take as many pictures as you need and am willing to talk with any serious buyers. I also have another RG 00 with 8000km and a California title in amazing condition as well that is going to be auctioned next.
Gammas are perennially popular, and only going up in price these days: the starting bid for this one is $30,000 although there are no takers yet. Many are in nice condition as a result of those increasing values, but these are thirty-year-old motorcycles and a large percentage have been restored or modified at this point. As they say, "it's only original once" and this one is claimed to be that. Certainly, most have far more than 2,300 miles on them. Gammas are very cool bikes, but this example is sadly very likely to end up in a collection, instead of being properly thrashed on a track or canyon road.
-tad
Clean, Low Mileage, All-Original Gamma: 1986 Suzuki RG500Γ for Sale
Suzuki June 18, 2017 posted by

Full Power: 1996 Suzuki RGV250SP VJ23A Export Model for Sale

The history of the quarter-liter sportbike seems to be one of convergent evolution: twins obviously make sense given the size and capacity, or even triples, if we go back to the 1970s and consider a Kawasaki S1 a "sportbike." But early bikes could be powered by parallel or vee configurations, and by the time the early 1990s rolled around, Honda, Yamaha, and Suzuki were all using  90° v-twins backed by six-speed gearboxes. But when the 70° v-twin powered RGV250 VJ23 came along in 1996, it was packing a 70° unit with a dry clutch [and an electric start!], presumably because it's more compact and doesn't increase vibration significantly, compared to a 90° unit with theoretically better balance.

The VJ23 was pretty much the final word in two-stroke performance: the Suzuki-powered Aprilia RS250 continued in production alongside, but used their earlier 90° v-twin engine. Honda's NSR250 was still in production as well, but their MC28 was introduced in 1994 so the VJ23 really does represent the very last generation of two-stroke performance

I'm not a huge fan of the swoopy curves of the VJ23 model, although plenty of two-stroke fans love the very 90s styling. Maybe the graphics aren't helping: the VJ23 definitely looks much cooler in Lucky Strike colors. But you certainly can't argue with the performance available: today's example is claimed to be the full power "export" model, meaning it's not limited per Japanese market rules that restricted power to 45hp on models intended for sale domestically, and 60 claimed horsepower should make this little bantamweight a real rocket, with handling to match.

Experts may want to chime in here: these were supposedly extremely rare in any form, and I'm not clear if this has simply been de-restricted or if it came from the factory with all the horsepower present and accounted for.

From the original eBay listing: 1996 Suzuki RGV250SP VJ23A for Sale

Rare 2 stroke bike from Japan!! Suzuki RGV250SP

VIN: VJ23A-1020**
Year: 1996
Mileage: 24,325 km
Condition: Running very well.
It is 60ps of export model!! It was overhauled an engine, brakes, front forks when 20,000km of mileage. It has some scratches, tiny cracks at body work, tiny dent at left under side of gas tank. But still GOOD condition. Belly pan is aftermarket product. Other cowlings are original.

Shipping : We'll put it into the wooden crate and ship by surface. We'll enclose Japanese original title, and also Sales Certificate and Bill of Sales issued by us in English. Shipping cost: The bid price includes shipping cost to overseas, and it's charged from our office in Japan to the nearest port to your address. We expect you'd pick it up at the port and arrange the land transport to your address by yourself. The other cost, such as the handling cost, duty fee, tax, etc. which will be charged in your country, they're not included there.

The Buy It Now price is listed at $9,400 which would seem very reasonable if the bike was here in the USA, considering what nice NSRs are going for these days. Obviously, the fact that this bike is currently in Japan means the buyer will have to deal with all the importation and titling hassles. If you're in a permissive state, that might not be too much of a headache, but for many of us, it remains out of reach, considering the year of manufacture means it's still a few years short of the 25-year mark. Depending on your local DMV, there might be some shenanigans you can pull to get it on the street, but I'd expect this makes the most sense as a collectible or occasional track day ride.

-tad

Full Power: 1996 Suzuki RGV250SP VJ23A Export Model for Sale
Suzuki June 15, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing: 1996 Suzuki RGV250V Lucky Strike!

Update 7.30.2017: Seller has notified us that this bike is now sold. Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

In the glorious 1990s, big tobacco made motorsports run. Cigarette sponsorship was everywhere, and every major series and team was titled by a cancer stick hawker; The Winston Cup, The Camel GT series (as well as the Camel AMA Supercross and Camel Trophy events), Marlboro McLaren, Marlboro Ferrari, Marlboro Penske, Mild Seven Benetton, Rothmans Williams, Benson & Hedges Jordan, John Player Lotus, 555 Subaru Rally, Silk Cut Jaguar Group C just to name a few. On the bike front, you cannot ignore the Rothmans Hondas, Skoal Suzukis, Smokin' Joes Hondas, Gauloises Factory Yamahas, and many, many others. Of course in the world of RSBFS, the one that really matters is the partnership of Lucky Strike and Suzuki. Which brings us to our bike: An original 1996 Suzuki RGV250V VJ23 Lucky Strike.

The RGV series was a popular and successful one for Suzuki. Using a liquid cooled v-twin to replace the earlier, parallel twin RG models, the RGV provided more power in a slimmer package. The results were impressive on the racetrack (so much so that Aprilia licensed the VJ22 powerplant for use in their own bikes), and translated tolerably well to the street. Suzuki RGV models are some of the most popular of the import two-strokes we see on these pages. So while RGVs may not be uncommon, this specific variant - the factory Lucky Strike livery - is very rare indeed. Just over 100 of the VJ23 "V" series were released for export as Lucky Strike models. There were an additional ~240 LS "T" models created for the domestic home market. To find a clean example that is not a fake Lucky Strike (cheap body panels are available) is a tough chore. Buyers need to be very careful, scrutinizing chassis numbers, SAPC versions, and other details such as exhaust chamber part numbers to ensure that they have 1) a VJ23 to begin with, and 2) the holy grail of the RGV lineup, the Lucky Strike Edition.

From the seller:
1996 (97 model) Rgv250v
Factory Lucky Strike
One of 119 in this scheme, these were the last of the vj23 line.
This was originally exported to China and is one of three that I own.
The full power bikes were quoted at 55ps in the sales brochure not 70.
This is unrestored except for the fact I've renewed all chassis/wheel brgs and consumables like carb rubbers.
Brakes and forks have been overhauled.
Engine is fine and has perfect compressions
Only non or parts are the carbon cans/nitron shock/brake lines
All oe parts are included,;seat/rear pegs/original shock/hoses/OE cans
Recent chain/sprockets
This bike needs nothing.

Price: £16,000 (plus shipping)

Like most Japanese bikes, there are a couple different variants of each model depending upon the intended market. Japanese home market bikes will always be restricted to a lower output due to licensing regulations. Bikes destined for Western Europe (specifically Germany and Italy) had a mid-grade output specification. Bikes headed to Canada and Australia usually were full-power examples, and where the higher HP numbers were quoted.

This seller is extremely knowledgeable in this model. While doing some research in the past, I came across some of his wisdom on a RGVs site, and I refer to it now and again. This is a good thing when it comes to very rare machinery; with Lucky Strike fakes pretty common, nobody wants to plunk top dollar down for any less than genuine. Fortunately, this looks to be a verifiable article from the factory. It is the last gen of the RGVs and probably the most desirable of the models. As such, it can command market price. The seller is looking for 16,000 GBP, which equates to approximately $20,400 USD at the current exchange. Drool over the pictures a little bit; your computer won't mind.

Featured Listing: 1996 Suzuki RGV250V Lucky Strike!
Suzuki June 14, 2017 posted by

Fresh Off the Boat: 1988 Suzuki RGV250 VJ21A for Sale

The quarter-liter sportbikes of the 1980s and 1990s might look virtually identical on paper and offer very similar performance, but they all managed to have their own individual character, although that may have been down more to marketing and brand loyalty than any distinct differences. In any event, the Suzuki RGV250Γ had a reputation as a bit of a wild man and may been less refined than the Honda NSR250, but these little machines were all about snarling and snapping and adrenaline anyway. The VJ21 version of the bike seen here didn't have any of the usual acronyms on the fairing, but it does offer "REAL SPRINTER SLINGSHOT" performance. "Slingshot" typically refers to the GSX-R that used Mikuni semi-flat slide carbs that look like a slingshot in cross-section, although I've yet to find a good pic that really shows anything that looks like a child's toy hiding in there... I'm assuming the RGV used similar carburetors to earn that text printed on the tailsection.

Otherwise, the RGV stuck close to the class formula, with an aluminum beam frame, a liquid cooled, 90° two stroke v-twin with power valves and backed by a six-speed gearbox. The later VJ22 had the very desirable banana swingarm, although that also increased weight over the VJ21 seen here. Front wheel is 17" and the rear 18" as was common for the class at the time.  With a sub 300lb dry weight, the 50-ish horses are plenty to move the RGV along at a good clip, assuming you beat the little bike mercilessly.

And that's really the point of the RGV: it was an angry little machine that required and rewarded abuse to make good progress. Tiring for sure, but plenty of fun of fun and, if you love to attack the back roads, bikes like the RGV are your willing accomplice. This example has been freshly imported and is in original, slightly worn condition. The seller includes a video walkaround of the bike here.

From the original eBay listing: 1988 Suzuki RGV250Γ VJ21A for Sale

The bike is imported from Japan. Not registered yet in the U.S. This bike is sold without title. NO TITLE. We don't know how to get a title: please ask DMV

Start engine. Original Cowl. Switches and lights working. Oil leak on front fork. No battery. Some scratches and rust  So look carefully all pictures and video. Some touch-up painting. This motorcycle is 29 years old. Sold as is with NO warranty NO refunds NO return. 20,456 km (12,710 miles)

Buyer responsible for vehicle pick-up or shipping to your location. You can check Your Shipping Cost. (Item in Carson, CA now. Our Zip code 90745)

If anyone wants to come see the motorcycle. Please contact me.

I can pretty much tell you what the DMV will say, at least here in California: "Sorry bub. No title for you. Have you seen the great number of very nice race tracks we have where you can ride your for-off-road-use-only motor vehicle?" Obviously, this is not a pristine, collector-quality motorcycle in its current state, but it is straight, with relatively low miles. It'll obviously need some attention if you plan to actually ride it on the road, but that shouldn't surprise anyone shopping for a 1980s motorcycle. We've see plenty of Honda NSR250s up for sale over the past couple years, but the RGV is still pretty rare around here. Is this slightly worn example worth the $3,500 starting bid? There's not much time left on the auction, so it might be a good time to jump in if you've been looking for an RGV and have bags of cash lying around to bribe that guy you know down at the DMV...

-tad

Fresh Off the Boat: 1988 Suzuki RGV250 VJ21A for Sale