Posts by Category: Suzuki

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
Suzuki August 15, 2017 posted by

Fierce Little Pup: 1986 Suzuki RG250 Walter Wolf for Sale

Looking very much like someone washed an RG500 in hot water, Suzuki's RG250Γ "Gamma" featured two fewer cylinders and half the displacement, but was still packed full of race-bred technology and performance. Built between 1983 and 1987, the quarter-liter Gamma was never officially imported to the USA, but some have found their way here over the years from Canada, and their age means that more are now finding their way here in shipping containers to feed starving hordes of US two-stroke enthusiasts.

Performance available belies the mere 247cc displaced by the liquid-cooled parallel twin, as the government-mandated 45hp had its midrange boosted by Suzuki's Automatic Exhaust Control power valve system, with even more available in markets outside Japan. Skilled pilots could exploit that limited power by working the six-speed gearbox to keep the engine in the meat of the narrow two-stroke powerband, and stopping power from the triple-disc DecaPiston four-piston brake setup was excellent. Anti-dive forks were probably more useful to the marketing team than to riders, but the bike did have excellent handling and a light weight of 286lbs dry, thanks in part to the aluminum frame, although grip from the skinny 80s tires will be limited if you're used to wide modern radials.

"Walter Wolf" may sound like the name of a James Bond villain, but in reality he was simply an eccentric businessman who made his fortune in the Canadian oil business and used that fortune to sponsor several Formula 1 racing teams in the late 1970s, followed by touring cars in the early 1980s, as rich folks are wont to do. The color scheme was an unusual choice, but I happen to think the dark blue-and-red race replica colors are the most flattering for the slab-sided Gammas, although the traditional white-and-blue obviously has many fans as well.

From the original eBay listing: 1986 Suzuki RG250 Walter Wolf Replica for Sale

Very original 1986 Suzuki RG250 Gamma Walter Wolf import that has not been running in a while.  I am a collector and imported it from Japan.  Appears to be an original Walter Wolf, not a clone. The only parts that seem not to be original are possibly the brake and or clutch levers and the clip-ons or handle bars.  Over all in good original condition for its age, minor dings, scratches, not running.  Turns over and feels like good compression. Will need going thru, tires, carb kit, brake work, battery, etc, my gut says that with battery, carb rebuild and fresh gas you will have a runner.  I do have both mirrors, one off now for easier storage.  Happy to send more photos and or video.  Prefer buyer to come see in person so they see what they need to see.  Seat has small cut and tank small dings.  Overall the body panels are in nice shape and someone put plastic sheet protection tape on areas to protect paint, etc. Clock reading 9130km. Florida title.  I can help arrange shipping, have worked with a few shippers recently.  All payment funds must be fully cleared before shipping. RZ TZR NSR RGV KR1 NSR250 RGV250 TZR250 Gamma.  Questions welcome.

Very original import that has not been running in a while. The only parts that seem not to be original are possibly the brake and or clutch levers and the clip-ons or handle bars. Appears to be an original Walter Wolf, not a clone. Over all in good original condition for its age, minor dings, scratches, not running. Turns over and feels like good compression. Will need going thru, tires, carb kit, brake work, etc, my gut says that with battery, carb rebuild and fresh gas you will have a runner. Happy to send more photos and or video. Prefer buyer to come see in person so they see what they need to see. Seat has small cut and tank small dings. Overall the body panels are in nice shape and someone put plastic sheet protection tape on areas to protect paint, etc. Clock reading 9130km. Florida title 

I believe some markets made do with stock Suzuki gauge faces, but the blue and red Walter Wolf items are a good indicator that this is the real thing. Obviously, this one will need some refurbishment, but nothing outside the ordinary for a bike of this age. The cosmetics aren't perfect, but the bike looks complete, and is claimed to be very original which counts for much among collectors. And if you're not into math, that kilometers reading on the odometer means the bike has just 5,673 miles on it. With a Buy It Now price of $4,750 the seller seems to be realistic about what this bike is worth, considering the worn cosmetics and non-running condition, so if you want an 80s two-stroke sportbike and your finances won't stretch to an RG500, this might scratch that itch.

-tad

Fierce Little Pup: 1986 Suzuki RG250 Walter Wolf for Sale
Suzuki July 26, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing: 1990 Suzuki RGV250SP

I'm beginning to think Utah has been christened The Beehive State because of all the buzzing, two-stroke activity that goes on there. From that western state has emerged a collection of drool-worthy hardware that would make any grey-market enthusiast weak in the knees. And the well has apparently not run dry yet. Case and point: This 1990 Suzuki RGV250 Sports Production Gamma. This rare bike is being offered in a NO RESERVE auction.

1990 Suzuki RGV250SP for sale on eBay

The Suzuki Gamma needs no introduction, but let's revisit the basics to make sure we're all on the same page. Originally introduced as a parallel twin in 1983, the Gamma was renowned as a hyperactive sport bike from day one. By 1987 the writing was on the wall for the parallel twin format - Suzuki GP racers were already winning events with a new, slimmer 90 degree V-twin configuration. In 1988 Suzuki released the RGV250, a replica of the GP bike utilizing the new vee configuration. The RGV would go on to be one of the most successful smokers of the quarter liter club. The basics were so good that Aprilia licensed the power plant for their own 250cc machines.

The RGV250 Gamma series had a 10 year run, spawning the VJ21, VJ22, and the VJ23 (the latter which utilized a totally new 70 degree vee angle). All RGVs were released with pretty high-spec components, but the Sports Production edition was a step above. Intended for home market club racing, the SP edition of the RGV VJ22 did not bump the HP (reported as 63 in de-restricted markets), or offer any radical changes to the chassis. Rather, the SP focused on the clutch and transmission. Offering a dry clutch setup (lighter and less reciprocating drag) and a close-ratio gearbox, these few changes made for a more racetrack-friendly RGV.

From the seller:
This auction is very special! Collector alert! A very rare 1990 SUZUKI RGV250SP SPORTS PRODUCTION VJ22.

Up for auction to the highest bidder with NO RESERVE is a beautiful 1990 SUZUKI RGV250 SP (Sports production) with only 16,474 kilometers (10,236 miles). This RGV is completely stock except for chain and sprockets & the steel braided brake lines installed. Fairings, mirrors, windscreen, turn signals, exhaust and all other components 100% genuine OEM Suzuki. Bike is in very nice condition. It has a lot of curb appeal and looks gorgeous, however, the bike has a few small scratches, scrapes and tiny blemishes from its travels in life but all in all, his RGV250SP shows very well with lots of luster and shine. There are NO cracks in the plastic and there are no dents or dings in the fuel tank. Bike runs like the day it was new. The dry clutch sound awesome! This bike might not be museum quality but its a gorgeous rider that wont disappoint. Let the pictures tell the story! This RGV250SP comes with a Utah state title and is titled as a street motorcycle for street use.

Again, this is a NO RESERVE auction. Highest bidder wins in the end. Bike will be sold regardless of cost, loss or investment.

As with most of the 250cc smokers, none of the RG/RGV models were ever officially imported into the US - although we are lucky to see them individually imported from Canada, Europe, Australia and Japan on occasion. The SP model is a far more rare version of the RGV, as this was only released in the home market of Japan. Thus there are numerically fewer examples in existence, and fewer markets in which to locate one. Then you still need to deal with the importation issues; shipping, paperwork, and lots of waiting. With this bike, all of that work has already been done.

This particular RGV250SP looks great. It is not a perfect, concours specimen - but perfect as an enviable rider. Considering these are home market bikes intended for racing, to find one that somehow avoided the ravages of corrosion and competition and is still in stock condition some 27 years later is incredible. The seller is well known to RSBFS staff and readers, and we have heard nothing but positive feedback. This rare machine is going to a new home in a few days - will you be the high bidder? Drool over the pictures and don't miss out. Good luck!!

MI

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