Posts by Category: Suzuki

Suzuki September 2, 2017 posted by

Rare Rattler: 1986 Suzuki GSXR-750 Limited Edition

Most of the time, limited edition means "this one has a stripe," or more likely, "this one says 'limited edition' on it." That was not the case with the 1986 Suzuki GSXR-750 Limited Edition.

1986 Suzuki GSXR-750 Limited Edition for sale on eBay

The LE model was the bike built to homologate the GSXR-750 for superbike classes around the world, and came with a series of trick pieces that made it an edge more precise than the regular Gixxer, and leagues ahead of the competition.

At the top of the list of tricks was a dry clutch, which was a $2,000 piece when new. There was a close-ratio cog box to match the clutch, the brakes were bigger, the forks were the 41 mm electric anti-dive units from the GSXR-1100, and the hand-laid fiberglass tail section carried a solo seat in blue upholstery.

Then, of course, there were special graphics and blue wheels.

The engine was left alone, Suzuki reasoning that weight savings would hurt the wallet enough, and that racers would work their own voodoo regardless of factory trickery. The resulting bike was six pounds lighter than the layman's GSXR, and on the order of 60 pounds svelter than the competition's porkers.

It was also the most expensive Japanese sport bike available at the time, coming in at $6,500 -- $14,500 in today's money -- more than $2,000 over the regular model.

This GSXR-750 Limited, from a Miami seller with a collection of rare and tasty beasts, has been a street bike its whole life, and has been pampered by all appearances. That makes it a rare thing, indeed, among a production run of limiteds that were either tracked and crashed or stolen to be pilfered for their clutches and transmissions.

Aside from some obvious pitting on the forks, a scuffed fairing and a mark on the tank, this bike is showroom.

From the eBay listing:

Race homologation special. This 1986 LTD has never been a trackbike. It has 4545 miles of easy street riding. The motorcycle is in completely stock condition, with no mods to the carbs, bodywork, exhaust, etc. For a 31 year old motorcycle, it is in amazing condition. A solid 9 out of 10. There is a small scuff on the corner of the upper fairing; some light corrosion on the front fork legs; and a small mark on the tank. The motorcycle was recommissioned after years of dry storage in a collection. The carbs were serviced; new tires added; and all fluids changed. The motorcycle runs beautifully with no issues. The motorcycle comes with a clear title, as well as miscellaneous literature connected with the bike.

*Please bid only if you plan on purchasing. A non-refundable deposit is required within 24 hours of auction ending. We will not be responsible for buyer’s remorse or problems found to said vehicle once they have left our property. ALL SALES ARE FINAL WITH MOTORCYCLE BEING SOLD

with a few days left in the auction, which is on the high side of the market, but fair for a very rare and special early Gixxer. As ever, weigh in in the comment section below.

Rare Rattler: 1986 Suzuki GSXR-750 Limited Edition
Suzuki August 28, 2017 posted by

Classic Racer in a Box: Ex-Doug Polen Suzuki GSX-R750 for Sale

Looking for a fun weekend project to keep you busy for a while? Well look no further than this ex-Doug Polen Suzuki GSX-R750 racebike. It's not exactly finished, but all of the really important parts appear to be there to get you started... Strangely enough, it seems like the AMA racebikes used many of the stock Suzuki components, even switching from the more exotic dry clutch to the standard wet unit, according to the seller. So that should help, right?

The introduction of the Suzuki GSX-R750 in 1985 was a seminal event in the history of motorcycling. It may not have been the first or only bike to use fully-enclosed, endurance-racer styling wrapped around a bulletproof, large-displacement inline four and monoshock aluminum frame, but it made that formula affordable and available to the masses, and led directly to the sportbikes we know and love. Later sportbikes would add liquid-cooling to the equation to help generate maximum power, but the Gixxer eschewed such frippery as too heavy for their pure speed machine: in spite of the visible cooling fins, it's oil that does most of the work. The oil-cooled powerplant utilized their SACS or "Suzuki Advanced Cooling System" that used a double-chambered pump and oil jets directed at the underside of the pistons to keep temperatures under control. Other than oil cooling, it followed modern designs and used dual overhead cams and four valves per cylinder.

Obviously, as a race-spec machine for the street, the GSX-R750 spent plenty of time competing in various classes both abroad and here in the US. This particular bike was used in AMA racing and was ridden by Doug Polen. Polen was a world-class rider who got his start in AMA racing but left to compete in the World Superbike Championship, where he won the title on the trot in 1991 and 1992. He continued to compete in both international and American roadracing with success, netted a win at the Suzuka 8 Hour endurance race, and even dabbled in MotoGP.

There's additional information about the bike, its history, and the included photos over on eBay, so head over and take a look.

From the original eBay listing: Ex-Doug Polen Suzuki GSX-R750 AMA Superbike for Sale

I have researched the photo archives of Cycle World and Cycle magazines and obtained a number of unpublished photos from their records.  I've also bought photographs from freelance photographers that covered AMA racing in that year.  Special thanks to Larry Lawrence, of The Rider Files website.  I will provide these photos to the buyer with the proviso that they remain unpublished.

Each rider had two chassis.  The chassis and motors evolved constantly through the season and Doug probably got the good parts first, as he did better than Otter in the results, starting with the first race.  Their A bikes had all of the good parts at each race and the B bikes had more stock components.  You can clearly see in the photographs the progression of modifications during the season for all of the bikes and the lower spec of the B bikes.

The chassis is un-braced, with modified stock forks, Kosman Triple clamps, Kosman brake discs, AP calipers, a Fox shock and Marvic magnesium wheels.  The swingarm has been slotted, to allow for more variation in wheelbase.  Jim Lindemann worked with them on the shock valving, although he passed away a few years ago.  I have spoken to an ex-Fox engineer and he'd be happy to restore the shock but the records they had of those years were destroyed a few years ago.  Sandy Kosman now lives in Portland Oregon and the last time I talked to him, he was willing to get the discs reground on a Blanchard grinder, if desired.   One of the previous owners began the restoration years ago and the chassis, as pictured, is where he was when he sold the bike to the next owner.

The bodywork used was stock Suzuki plastic.  Early in the season it was raced in 1986 blue/white Suzuki colors; later in the season some of it was sporting the 1987 blue/white Suzuki stock colors.  A perforated metal filler panel was incorporated into the lower fairing V and the lower fairing panels had holes cut in them to allow for more ground clearance.

The motors were modified during the season and varied quite a bit.  They had Yoshimura (either kit Suzuki or Cosworth) pistons, different crank bearings, heads ported by Ron Scrima, Megacycle cams with Yosh retainers, a Tsubaki cam chain tensioner, and various carbs and exhausts.  At one point they obtained dry clutches and close ratio transmission gears but went back to running wet clutches and stock transmission ratios.  They may have run an ECU with a higher rev limit.  Ron Scrima passed away in 2011 but his company (Racing Engine Service) is still in business in Texas and the current owner was with Ron for about 25 years, so they might be my first choice for an engine refresh.  Another option would be Kelly Roberts, also in Texas.  I have never disassembled the motor, so I do not know what internal components are present.

I am interested in selling this project to someone that has the necessary resources and desire to restore it to an as-raced condition and to preserve it for the future.  It is a significant bike, as it was one of the highest placed privateer AMA superbike efforts of that era and was ridden by the rider that probably had more success in the USA racing the first generation Suzuki GSX-R than any other rider.  I would be willing to discuss this bike in more detail, via telephone, with any serious prospective buyers.  I am also willing to provide additional photos, a more complete listing of what components will come with the bike, and an approximate idea of what additional components will be needed to complete the restoration.

I have listed the mileage as 99999, as eBay requires that the mileage be listed for any vehicle sale.  The true mileage is unknown, as it was never recorded, which is not unusual for a race bike.

It also looks like the bike went through several iterations, giving you a bit of flexibility in terms of the color scheme you choose. If it were complete and in as-raced condition, this would probably be a very valuable motorcycle. As it stands, it's a valuable... basket case. How valuable? Well the But It Now price for this bit of American roadracing history is $4,950. This is going to need a lot of love, time, and money to finish, but I think this GSX-R deserves to be restored to its former functional glory.

-tad

Suzuki August 26, 2017 posted by

OMGamma – 1997 Suzuki RGV250

Suzuki gave the RGV250 a masterful re-design before the second-to-last year of production, with a new 70-degree two-stroke twin, and a lot of Grand Prix thoughts.  Never imported to our shores, the RGV250 was a domestic and progressive-license machine, and in its Sports Production variant, a race replica.  This owner has legalized and re-furbished his Gamma with modern forks and Lucky Strike graphics.

1996 Suzuki RGV250 for sale on eBay

The final development in the ten year series, the '96-97 RGV250 looked like it could've taken a much larger engine, with its massive box aluminum frame, banana swingarm, and 300mm brakes.  The ram-air scoop on the left fairing ducts right through the frame and into the airbox.  Unlike many juniors, it came from the factory with upside-down forks, and Suzuki's Full Floater rear monoshock.  Wheel sizes are 17 front and 18 rear, in an effort to provide the lightweight a bit more stability.  Limited to 40hp in the home market, most have been de-restricted to 60-70 hp.

Having enlisted an experienced race-prep shop to do the heavy lifting, the New England owner spec'ed a full rebuild, most everything refinished plus the fork update and the Jolly Moto exhaust with the most welds ever.  Wish the owner had shared the dyno sheet !  Comments from the eBay auction:

Suzuki RGV250 VJ23 very rare and de-restricted.  Totally stripped down and redone nothing over looked.  Frame and swingarm powder coat along with wheels all bearings replaced.  K-Tech rear shock, 2015 GSXR 1000 forks with Matt Madlin triple clamps K-Tech steering stabilizer Jolly Moto exhaust custom paint and decals.  All fluids changed along with air filter, tires, chain, and misc.  Bike was jetted and dyno tuned - nothing overlooked.  All work was performed by Speedwerks in Delware.  Bike is currently registered.

Not sure whether this is an SP, though some sources indicate all 1997's were.  The presence of a dry clutch would confirm.  The peaky 249cc took some skill to ride quickly, with rated power available only from 8,000 - 11,000 rpm.  Although it reviewed well, the model never retrieved a Moto GP Championship for Suzuki, but somehow Aprilia had great success with the engine and their modifications.  Production was winding down and total 1997 SP production is reputed to be only in the low hundreds.  The model was retired with a whimper but roars on as a vintage or show machine, with the "blender full of lug nuts" sound as the revs go up and down...

-donn

 

Sport Bikes For Sale August 21, 2017 posted by

Granddaddy’s Repli-Racer: Clean 1986 Suzuki GSX-R 750

The values the first Suzuki GSX-Rs have begun their inevitable climb into the stratosphere, but it is still possible to pick one up for less-than-stupid money. They are rare and sought-after in any condition, so you cannot expect to pay Craigslist-bargain prices for them, but they're attainable.

1986 Suzuki GSX-R 750 for sale on eBay

And you want one. The boxy. tri-colored fairing could only have come from a specific era in an especially loony decade. Before the smoothed-over soapbar fairings of the Honda CBR Hurricane pushed slippery shapes into fashion, Suzuki cut and creased its way to the unique, slab-sided form-over-function fairings we see here.

The bodywork is odd and gawky, but purposeful, so it works. And if the looks don't get you, what's underneath the plastic is ready and willing to try. The bike is built around an alloy perimeter frame that straddles an air- and oil-cooled 750cc inline four.

For its time, the bike was a featherweight technological marvel, sporting anti-dive forks on a bike that barely pushed 400 pounds without fluids.

This is example shows very well, though it sports a few blemishes, and has a smattering of non-original paint. The seller notes a raft of recent maintenance, including a carb cleaning, a valve adjustment and new fork seals.

From the listing:

Original super clean 1986 GSXR750. 49 state bike with clear California title. 13,200 original miles. Cosmetically the bike is extremely clean All original fairings that have been professionally repaired (standard cracks around mirror mounts) and repainted (only the cowl, side panels and lower. The rest are original paint & condition) in factory colors. All original hardware. No dents in tank. A little bubbling of air under tank decal strips on side (see pic) No tears in seat. The engine cosmetically is extremely clean. All original and complete. Good tires. Carbs just rebuilt. Complete service and valve adjustment just done. New fork seals. Has manual adjustable cam chain tensioner. Comes with original one. Runs and rides great.

* Bike is for sale locally so I reserve the right to end auction early

The bike is at $3,500 with a single bid and five days left in the auction. Grab it before the prices soar!

 

Granddaddy’s Repli-Racer: Clean 1986 Suzuki GSX-R 750
Suzuki August 21, 2017 posted by

Tu Meke TL: 1998 Suzuki TL 1000R in New Zealand

While the majority of RSBFS posts are tied to North American ebay listings we really do like to showcase bikes from all over the world.   You could even say we seek to span the globe to bring you a constant variety of RareSportbikes...the thrill of the Britten V1000...the agony of  the Bimota VDue (NOTE: Bonus points to you if you read that bit of text and heard the voice of the dearly departed Jim McKay).

Today's post is a very nice 1998 Suzuki TL1000R located far from the RSBFS offices in Wellington New Zealand.  This one looks to almost completely OEM and has the lovely and cleanly-styled phlolina-yellow bodywork which seems to be the most desired by collectors.

1998 Suzuki TL1000R in New Zealand

For anyone unfamiliar with the TL series, lets begin by saying there aren't many motorcycles that have been through such a roller coaster of desirability.  It all began in the late 1990's when Ducati V-twin powered machines were killing it on the track and the sales floor.  In response Suzuki announced they would deliver their own V-Twin powered sportbike, including both a WorldSuperBike/WSB capable machine to compete against the Ducati on the track and a street version for everday use.  The result was the TL-S/R series.

Anticipation for the new Suzuki V-Twin was very high and the TL-S/street version was launched in 1996 with the R version scheduled for the next year.   The quick verdict was that the new 90 degree v-twin engine was equal to or better the Ducati .  However, while the engine was good,  a significant handling issue quickly reared its head; front wheel lift (no pun intended).   The problem was quickly traced to the rear suspension, which was an offset rear shock with a separate rotary damper, a setup that had been chosen due to the reduced space caused by the new V-Twin configuration.  While this configuration worked in day to day riding,it could become overwhelmed by heat and heavy loads, which obviously happen on a sportbike quite a lot.  The result would be front end lift and when a rider rolled off/dropped the wheel, major tank slap and high side crashes could happen.   The problem was so significant that Suzuki offered steering stabilizers as standard on both the TL-R launched the next year and TL-S's but the entire TL lineup never really shook its reputation as a "widowmaker".

Note:  For anyone interested, a really good explanation of the rotary suspension function on the TL can be found here.

The handling wasn't the only challenge the TL1000R had to deal with.  Another major issue was that the R version never really delivered on its promise to rival the Ducati as a WorldSuperBike/WSB machine.

"The real killer though was that the R never came close to being the Ducati-beating WSB-contender Suzuki intended it to be.  Despite its stumpy wheelbase, the R was confoundingly both heavier and larger than the S and too bulky all around.  Equally problematic was the motor: although producing a claimed 135 bhp in stock TL-R trim. it proved difficult to tune...After only 2 seasons Suzuki decided it'd be too expensive to develop/race successfully and re-focused its race development efforts on its proven inline 4 GSX-R750 series instead."  Practical Sportbikes 2017

Perhaps the final issue that set the TL1000R up for sales failure was that Suzuki never developed a unique identity for the bike.  The TL1000R was even offered in the Suzuki traditional blue/white color scheme which made it hard to distinguish from the its GSX-R sister bike.  Since a large part of the appeal of the TL was supposed to be that it was NOT an inline 4, making it look just like one seems to be quite an odd decision.  The result of all this is that the TL1000R developed a reputation as a big failure for Suzuki and some models were left on the sales floor for quite a while.

Now despite all the issues noted above and the bikes general reputation as a failure, the TL1000R was still a very good bike for 98% of riders.  While it didn't live up to the hype at the time it was launched, it still had a bonkers engine that was significantly easier to live with than its Italian competitor (no belts!).  It was also surprisingly comfortable and was quite attractive.  Later models came with the aforementioned steering damper which solved much of the handling problems and many of the concepts introduced on the TL1000R can be seen in the later Hayabusa.

Unlike many late 1990's Sporybikes the TL1000R has managed to maintain an active community of owners on the web and the fandom for the bike never really went away.  More importantly from a collectors standpoint, the TL was recently named as one of the top 10 collectible bikes to acquire "before prices get stupid".

OK, now lets turn our attention to this particular 1998 Suzuki TL1000R.   First, location means this one is probably only going to appeal to one of our Australian or New Zealand readers, or perhaps someone who is willing to incur some shipping costs.   The seller indicates that was previously a Japanese bike but unlike a lot of bikes we see from Japan, this one it looks to have been well cared for/not treated as a disposable item and kept in stock trim.  The only non-OEM pieces I am seeing are some rear turn signals/indicators and some stickers on the rear fairing hump.  NOTE:  The rear seat cover/"hump" is a fairly rare item so bonus points for it being in place and looking to be in good condition.

Mileage is stated as just about 14,000 miles/22,000 kilometers.  A new battery and rectifier have also been fitted and rubber looks to be in good condition but no mention is made of age and fluids would probably be due for a refresh.

So what's this V-Twin bit of Suzuki history going to cost you?   Prices for a pristine TL1000R have definitely started to climb but aren't reaching stupid money yet.  The asking price for this one is $6,900 USD which is towards the high side of recent TL1000R's listed on ebay but given the condition of this one and the fact that its in the best looking color scheme, the asking price doesn't seem to be out of wack.    Also the seller does appear to be a dealer so some negotiation wouldn't seem unreasonable.

Let me just conclude by saying this -  I have always liked this bike a lot; I think it looks like a meaner and more manageable Hayabusa.  Also I think most potential buyers will admit that a large part of the TL1000R appeal is that its different and its reputation for not suffering fools gladly.   While a TL1000R probably won't experience a dramatic appreciation in value, if it was located closer to my current location I would definitely be considering trying to acquire it for my personal collection.

-Marty/Dallaslavowner

 

Tu Meke TL:  1998 Suzuki TL 1000R in New Zealand
Suzuki August 18, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing: Untapped Potential – Zero-Mile 1985 Suzuki RG500Γ for Sale

Update 8.24.2017: Dean has notified us that this bike is sold. Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

Update 8.18.2017: Price dropped $10k to $35,000 or BEST OFFER. -dc

Update 7.31.2017: Dean has contacted us to upgrade this post to a Featured Listing. Dean mentioned that he's working to help a deceased friend's family, and that he doesn't have much history on the bike other than a 1988-89 conversation where he mentioned the bike came through Canada, maybe from the UK? The family is open to offers near the asking price. -dc

I'm obviously a big fan of the phrase "squirreled away" but it's never really been more appropriate than here to describe a zero-mile 1985 Suzuki RG500Γ. A perennial favorite here at RSBFS, the Gamma pretty much embodies everything we love about bikes: it's rare, features exotic specifications, and has very real motorsports links. Sure, the RG500's exotic, two-stroke square four shares no actual parts with Suzukis Grand Prix machines, but neither was it used in any other bike in their lineup. Much like the Desmosedici, it was designed from scratch to resemble the racebike motor, but doesn't need rebuilds after every weekend ride...

So two crankshafts, four cylinders, a slick-shifting six-speed cassette gearbox, and sophisticated suspension that featured Suzuki’s Full Floater rear suspension, a system of linkages that applies equal pressure to both the top and bottom of the rear shock. A racing-style tachometer that doesn't have any numbers lower than 3,000 to help you keep tabs on a powerband that's dead below 6,000rpm and signs off past 8,500rpm in spiky, two-stoke style. All wrapped up in racy bodywork that is much smaller in person than you'd expect.

But as authentic as the style and specification may be, the hundred-ish horses and 350lb dry weight won't have you leaving many modern sportbikes in your wake. And once you introduce a set of serious corners, those skinny little wheels and tires won't leave you all that much grip to play with. However, fans of two-stroke performance won't likely argue any of that. It's the sound, the feel, and the general lightweight character of bikes like this that won them their admirers.

From the original eBay listing: 1985 Suzuki RG500 for Sale

Purchased new in Canada, shipped to USA and put in storage. 0 Miles. Engine kicks over and 99% of bike looks beautifully new. Never had fuel in the gas tank. Never had the seat off before today. Tool kit is still folded and strapped in from the factory. Stored in dark, dry garage since 1985. Never seen sun before this year!

Inside of tank looks even more beautiful than the outside.

Note nibs still on tires. Note black rubber shipping band still on the headlight from Suzuki!

One mirror and mount are dinged from a storage incident.

Sold on bill of sale and transport is responsibility of buyer. I have shipped bikes previously and can be here for truck but nothing more.

Payment in cash or cashiers check my bank will accept and clear.

Bike is for sale locally. Also selling Honda NR750 : $145,000.

I have been on eBay since 1998. I have owned, ridden and raced motorcycles for 44 years. I have also worked in a motorcycle shop. I believe I am honestly describing the condition of this RG500. I currently own something like 20 bikes.

Considering its condition and $45,000 $35,000 asking price, you're not likely to head out to the garage on a Sunday morning, kick this RG500 over, listen to its crackling idle, then take it out for a spin. But I hope the new owner will at least give it pride of place in their living room or office, instead of storing it in a "dark, dry garage since 1985"! That just seems a sad fate for such a fêted machine. Considering what a comparably-sized sculpture might cost, this RG might actually make sense as decoration...

-tad

Featured Listing:  Untapped Potential – Zero-Mile 1985 Suzuki RG500Γ for Sale