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Low Miles, Even Fewer Forks: 1993 Yamaha GTS1000 for Sale

Bikes today are faster, lighter, better-handling, and safer than ever before. But while there have been huge advances in terms of electronics and the materials used to build them, they use basically the same layout and suspension since motorcycle design became codified sometime in the late 1980s. The familiar telescopic forks are most definitely a compromise, but one designers and suspension tuners have become accustomed to working around. Simply put: when motorcycle forks compress under braking it upsets weight distribution and changes suspension geometry. So if you're developing a suspension system that gets around those issues, you'd think you'd create some sort of exotic hypersports bike to show off the advantages of your high-performance design, right? Well if you're Yamaha, you put your radical Omega Chassis Concept in a stylish, buy heavy sports-tourer like this GTS1000.

It's a shame, because the GTS might otherwise have made a great case for this alternative, swingarm front end: simply put, the design works very well.  Oh sure, there isn't any huge advantage over a conventional front end in a sport-touring application like this, but there's no real downside either. And the single-sided front end should make tire swaps a breeze, although the lack of a second front disc might give faster riders a bit of pause... At least it's vented and equipped with a six-piston caliper, and period tests don't complain about stopping power.

Yamaha licensed James Parker's forkless RADD front end to create their radical grand touring machine, and installed their five-valve, 1002cc inline four and five-speed gearbox, here tuned to produce a torque-rich 100hp. So the GTS was far too heavy and underpowered to be a legitimate sportbike, but limited fuel range and luggage options meant it leaned hard on the "sport" elements of sport-touring. Only available in the US from 1993-1994, the GTS1000 didn't sell very well, as the odd suspension, high price, and relatively limited touring capabilities scared potential customers away.

 

From the original eBay listing: 1993 Yamaha GTS1000 for Sale

Selling a very rare GTS1000A with a very low low miles. 

Bike is in a beautiful condition, kept in the garage for years , recently serviced with all new fluids and filters. New fuel pump. Left mirror has a small crack from moving in the garage, not even noticeable. Please feel free to ask me with any questions . 

New tires are needed. 

Treat yourself with a beautiful gift for the holidays. 

Bike starts and runs like new. 

The Buy It Now price is set at $6,500 which is pretty steep for a GTS1000 but, with just 4,400 miles on the clock, it's probably one of lowest-mileage examples in existence.  The problem is that, unless you're a collector of oddities, there's really no point: these things can rack up crazy miles so there's really no need to find one in such unused condition unless you plan to keep it as a museum piece. And that'd be a shame, since the GTS1000 is an amazingly competent mile-muncher.

-tad

13 Comments

  • Did you know that this bike came out of the development of this?https://www.motorcyclistonline.com/sites/motorcyclistonline.com/files/styles/1000_1x_/public/images/2015/12/mcy0116_draw-002.jpg?itok=o7L_UxCO

    • Wow. I did not know that. Yeah, I’m sure some enterprising soul could strip a GTS down and make something pretty wild out of it. Swap in an R1 engine and transmission, lightweight solo tail…

  • I’ve always wondered if you could strip this down to just the frame and suspension and drop something more high end is an engine, basically make a custom gts-tesi….

  • Never understood why Yamaha chose a heavy sport-tourer to be the debut of that front end. It has zero advantages over a regular fork on a sport touring bike, so why bother? Then they went and made it ugly, too heavy and overpriced to appeal to anyone except the small weird fringe of guys who just want something different in their UJM. James Parker, the guy who designed the front end, didn’t even like this bike. Some good info on his involvement:
    http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/2011/09/article/backmarker-james-parkers-new-mission/

    I had hoped they’d follow it up with something sporty with a revised Parker/RADD front end to show if there really are advantages but no, didn’t happen.

    I think there’s a lot of potential with the motoczysz fork as well, but that one also hasn’t gained any traction (pun intended) with mainstream OEMs.

  • This is one of those oddities I peruse craigslist for. I really want to try one but not interested in owning. Mainly because there is even less chance I’ll get to sample a tesi.

    One can tell it is compromised. Have not seen one for low enough money to pull the trigger. I suspect after purchase I will just yawn and go looking for a vf1000r to try next.

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  • Obviously they had the metallurgy and design, which makes me wonder why they didn’t go SSSA in back to match. Wonder if there were some ELF/Honda patent or licensing issues. Possible also that the conventional swingarm saved weight over the ss.

    • Several articles I’ve read suggest that it was cost that limited them to the conventional rear swingarm. Not materials cost, but development costs. And weight might have been an issue as well: BMW’s Paralever and Telelever work well, but I think that they’re naturally pretty heavy, and driveshafts do suck up power compared to a chain and sprocket set up.

  • Single sided swingarms, in practice anyways, have no advantages over conventional – they are heavier for the same rigidity, regardless of chain or shaft drive. Their only advantage is they look cool and allow quicker tire changes.

    • Sorry if I wasn’t clear BillyB: you’re completely right about single-sided swingarms. My comment was really about the fact that some people were confused about why a sport-tourer with a radical front end wasn’t introduced with some sort of shaft-drive set up to match.

  • It sounds like a lot of people are completely missing the point here, not least perhaps because they simply haven’t owned or even ridden a GTS. Whilst admittedly a heavy bike, this soon disappears once on the move. The handling is sublime, and believe me you can take absolute liberties on it braking hard while fully leant over, without fear of the front washing out. This is simply because of the inherent qualities offered by the front end geometry separating the braking and suspension forces. As for acceleration, then despite the facts that power is capped at 100bhp, the bike is very quick as all the torque you need is in the right place for rapid forward movement. And it goes just as well solo as it does two up with luggage, and is extremely comfortable. I should know, I’ve owned mine for 18 years. And before you ask, I also ride an R1, FZR1000 Exup and YZF750, and the GTS is in no way overshadowed in the handling and performance stakes believe me. A truly great machine, though clearly not to everyone’s tastes. But I can honestly say that I’d never part with mine.

    • Your feelings about the GTS1000 reflect those of the other owners I’ve talked to: you can pry their Omega-Framed motorcycles from their cold, dead hands.

    • I’ve ridden a GTS on excellent twisty mountain roads and the only thing that impressed me was how “normal” the bike feels compared to a traditional fork. I agree the motor is fine for a sport touring application. The whole thing left me with a “Meh” impression – nothing really stood out. Milk toast. This whole “But you can brake so much deeper into corners…” argument is bollocks in my opinion – if you want to do that kind of thing, get an R6 or a motard and you’ll be going WAY faster than you ever will on a GTS. What’s the point here – to be able to brake later on a GTS than your buddy can on his similar overweight underpowered touring bike? But then you still have to wave guys by who show up on real sportbikes? So you’re right, I must be missing the point.

      Back when I was club racing in the early/mid 90s a guy tried to race one of these and the ground clearance is limited by the front swingarm. He was a decent rider but this bike held him back with the combination of weight and the ground clearance issue. Yes he had a built FZR1000 motor in it so hp wasn’t the issue. He couldn’t hang with 750s much less the other 1000s/1100s, despite all the wonderful “advantages” of this front end…

      Not trying to be argumentative, I just don’t think one can make a logical argument that this motorbike has any real advantage over a similar bike with a fork. Its not a track bike, well, nowhere near a competitive one anyways, so any advantage the front end might have been able to offer is washed away by the compromised geometry they settled on and by the rest of the (comparatively slow/heavy) bike. Glad you enjoy your’s though.

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