Posts by tag: Gixxer

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I have researched the photo archives of Cycle World and Cycle magazines and obtained a number of unpublished photos from their records.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 May 24, 2017 posted by

Contradictions – 1993 Suzuki GSX-R600 with 2200 miles !

Busy with the 750, Suzuki arrived late to the 600cc shootout, and stayed only for a couple of years before taking a break and then returning with a new generation.  The early GSX-R600 had a great deal in common with it's bigger brother and was a great favorite of budget conscious privateers.   Seldom seen in this kind of shape, this 1993 model has just break in miles and great light colors with red option wheels.

1993 Suzuki GSX-R600 for sale on eBay

Air-oil cooling was no longer cutting the mustard as the 1990's brought engines capable of well over 100 hp per liter, and the new water-cooled engine was installed in the GSX-R, the 600's slightly smaller bore and stroke still nicely oversquare.  Suzuki's alloy double cradle had heavy bracing for the steering head, with great access to the 36mm carburettors under the color-keyed side cover.  Evidence of the platform shared with the 750 is the weight in the late 400's.

Evidently spirited away early on, the owner doubled the mileage just this year.  Still basically new, save a past tipover.  From the eBay auction:

Bike purchased with accurate 868 miles on in 2017  (that's 36 miles average ridden per year since 1993)

The break in period was completed as per the Suzuki Factory repair manual (included in sale) specifications, at which point the engine was switched to Amsoil full synthetic.

Bike is 100% stock. Has split in fairing on left side. Probably fell at some point in it's 24 years.

As the FIM evolved the WSBK support racing classes, Suzuki went back to the drawing board and returned in the late 1990's with a SuperSport World Championship winner.  Limited pictures will require an in-person inspection, but no mention is made of running issues, a minor miracle for the four Mikunis.  Build quality of period Suzuki's can be variable, so it's fair to expect some projects as this bike approaches the  quarter century.  Might be a great example of a puzzlingly rare 600 sportbike...

-donn

Contradictions – 1993 Suzuki GSX-R600 with 2200 miles !
Suzuki April 4, 2017 posted by

Slabbie Import – 1986 Suzuki GSX-R750 Limited Edition

The first few years of GSX-R750 production had a simple race-derived seat fairing and refreshing performance.  The 1986 update included a lengthened swingarm to tame the handling, and introduced a Limited Edition homologation special with dry clutch and solo seat.  This Japanese import is in rare Yoshimura colors and just under 8,000 miles.

1986 Suzuki GSX-R750 Limited Edition for sale on eBay

Thirty-odd years ago, the GSX-R750 broke a lot of new ground and was pretty close to an endurance racer with lights.  The air/oil-cooled 749cc's were good for 100 hp, and the small-tube alloy frame helped keep the wet weight within a gallon of 400 lbs.  18-inch wheels, 310mm brakes, and Full Floater monoshock combined to spell capability.  Fiberglass seat console and full fairing with dual headlamps had a no-nonsense look.

The year after introduction, the Limited Edition had all the nice things the race department wanted to use, dry clutch, 41mm forks with Suzuki's New Electrically Activated Suspension ( NEAS ) anti-dive system, remote reservoir shock, wider rear wheel, and a host of lightened assemblies.

This Northwest GSX-R is a special import, the red and brown Yoshimura colors jangling a bit with the black seat and exhaust, and gray engine paint.  The VIN indicates a machine for the Japanese market, as does the lack of reflectors, tinted turn signals, and lack of heat shield on the muffler.  The overall condition shows that it must have been ridden very carefully and stored or displayed with a curator's care.  From the eBay auction:

All of the body panels are in excellent condition, there no cracks or major nicks anywhere. The original Suzuki exhaust is in excellent condition with no scratches or dents anywhere, The wheels are also in excellent condition with good paint and no major chips anywhere. Even the windscreen is original and in great condition. Basically the motorcycle is a 9.5 out of 10 cosmetically.  Mechanically the bike runs and rides perfect, there are no oil leaks anywhere and all of the engine paint still has the original GSXR shine with out any major dings or chips. All of the electrical components work as they should; lights, blinkers, horn, speedo, tach, fuel gauge, all work properly. The bike just had a full service tune up including new tires, all fluids were changed, and mechanically everything was inspected and replaced if necessary with original Suzuki parts.

Offered by a vintage parts house, the story of how this LE came to be isn't told in the auction, so bidders will have to send a query or go on wondering how so few parts appear to indicate use or even to have aged.  Maybe the preservation or restoration question doesn't even matter much, but as the auction goes on and the "reserve not met" sign remains lit, someone will want to know...

-donn

Slabbie Import – 1986 Suzuki GSX-R750 Limited Edition
Suzuki October 15, 2016 posted by

In a World – 1990 Suzuki GSX-R750 Racebike

Toward the end of the air/oil-cooled era, Suzuki took one last stab at a higher torque engine, with lightness helping the pistons and rods survive the 13,000 rpm redline.  Set up for racing with a newly built engine and suspension updates, this GSX-R750 appears ready to take it to the track.

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1990 Suzuki GSX-R750 Racebike for sale on eBay

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The "long stroke" 749cc still quite oversquare, the GSX-R750 had a wider torque band than than previous model and accessed 115 hp.  Four 38mm Mikuni carburettors handle fuel delivery.  Everywhere but America the legacy perimeter frame held 41mm upside-down forks, but these have been updated to those from a 1994 model.  Brakes are dual 310mm disks with 280 mm rear.  The race fairing is a pretty good silhouette of the factory bodywork, with no lights or pillion.

20161015-1990-suzuki-gsx-r750-racebike-front

20161015-1990-suzuki-gsx-r750-racebike-left-carb

Presented by an Arizona parts manufacturer, this race bike looks newly commissioned and super clean.  The large Hagon decals are puzzling with the claimed RaceTech forks and Öhlins monoshock, but it wouldn't be the first time a sponsor appeared only on the outside.  From the eBay auction:

1990 Suzuki GSX-R750. Was built in 2016 for AHRMA next generation superbike racing. The motor was rebuilt with new rods, pistons, valve springs. Has 1994 forks, all Race Tech parts. Ohlins rear shock, Mikuni 38 flat side carbs, and much more.

20161015-1990-suzuki-gsx-r750-racebike-right-rear

20161015-1990-suzuki-gsx-r750-racebike-right-peg

One of the first 750's into the 10-second 1/4-mile bracket, the 1990 machine was also a serious handler requiring an authoritative rider.  Historics can be some of the most fun race weekends ever, with the competition in a long perspective, and the focus on the hardware.  With the inherent simplicity of air/oil cooling, this GSX-R can show them how it was done.

-donn

20161015-1990-suzuki-gsx-r750-racebike-dash

In a World – 1990 Suzuki GSX-R750 Racebike
Suzuki May 14, 2016 posted by

First and Last – 1992 Suzuki GSX-R750

Just a few years after its ground-breaking introduction, Suzuki added liquid cooling to the GSX-R750, at least everywhere except the U.S.A.  For 1992, we got the last air/oil-cooled GSXR, and it was this owner's first bike.  After his long but successful hunt for a replacement, this rare model year and color scheme is on offer.

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1992 Suzuki GSX-R750 for sale on eBay

20160513 1992 suzuki gsx-r750 left

20160513 1992 suzuki gsx-r750 right front

The 1992 model combined valve train enhancement with chassis developments from the GSX-R1100, new bodywork from '91, and came away with 116 hp, a more aerodynamic nose, and a re-designed seat and tail fairing.  Each valve now had its own cam lobe and rocker arm, allowing stiffer valve springs and better reliability.  Upside-down forks were now standard, teaming up with Full Floater rear suspension to achieve a good mix of quick handling and stability.  Dry weight was nothing to brag about at 458 lbs., but the package was good for a 1/4 mile in under 11 seconds.

20160513 1992 suzuki gsx-r750 left front

20160513 1992 suzuki gsx-r750 right rear

A bit of a holy grail story, this owner had a sky blue / pink and black 1992 back in the day, sold it to a friend and regretted it shortly afterward.  A long search turned up this excellent example and he had the mechanicals freshened up, but didn't end up riding it much.

20160513 1992 suzuki gsx-r750 front

20160513 1992 suzuki gsx-r750 rear

It's mostly stock as he says in the eBay auction:

This was the last year for the oil cooled version.  This is the Black and Pink "N" code bike.  The previous owner purchased this bike in September of 1994 with 2,658 miles.  The bike holds a clear Texas title.  The only modifications to the bike seem to be the Yoshimura exhaust, windscreen and an alarm.  Other than that, it is bone stock.  Both tires are a little weak.  I'd say they are around 20%-25%.  If you are familiar with the early 1990's GSX-R's, you know that 99.9% of them are scraped up on the lower fairings on both sides on the "Suzuki" decal because of the design.  Those particular areas stick out and catch the majority of rocks and debris that the bike might encounter during regular riding.  

20160513 1992 suzuki gsx-r750 left rear

20160513 1992 suzuki gsx-r750 right rear wheel

Neat engine with the newer valve train, but without plumbing.  The 1992 model reviewed as easy to ride fast, great engine and handling.  Uncommon colors and graffiti design are in nice unrestored shape with just a couple of abrasions.  New rubber would seem to be in order, but otherwise it should be ready to run down memory lane...

-donn

20160513 1992 suzuki gsx-r750 dash

20160513 1992 suzuki gsx-r750 right front

First and Last – 1992 Suzuki GSX-R750
Suzuki March 7, 2015 posted by

Slingshot Gixxer: 1989 Suzuki GSX-R750 for Sale

1989 GSX-R750 R Front

When it was introduced in 1985, Suzuki's original GSX-R750 set the standard for production sportbikes that's lasted through the modern era. Interestingly, the first GSX-R's eschewed water-cooling to simplify the engine in a bid to save weight at the expense of overall power. The aluminum beam frame and monoshock rear suspension and fully-enclosed bodywork with endurance-racing style were a rarity in 1985 and rounded out the very complete package.

1989 GSX-R750 L Rear

The second generation continued this tradition and otherwise followed the template set down by the original "Slabby," albeit with updated styling and 17" wheels. That makes this particularly short-lived generation a great rider's bike, looking both backwards to a more classic style, and forwards, with a variety of tire choices available for the 17" wheels.

1989 GSX-R750 L FairingJPG

Suzuki sold plenty of these "Slingshot" GSX-R's, so named for their carburetors. But many were ridden hard, written off, or otherwise neglected, and bikes in this sort of condition are pretty hard to find. Not as collectible as the first generation bikes, not as competent as later models, but these are, to me, some of the best-looking Gixxers ever. When new, I'd likely have preferred this red, white, and black scheme, although these days I find myself more drawn to the classic Suzuki blue-and-white colors.

1989 GSX-R750 R Rear

From the original eBay listing: 1989 Suzuki GSX-R750 for Sale

Up for auction is my 1989 Suzuki GSXR 750 Slingshot 17k miles 2nd owner... Very good condition all original plastics never been down. Little crack on left rear plastic from replacing battery last summer. Clean carbs will need to be cleaned does run good and strong. On the road last summer carbs need to be clean runs strong upgraded fox suspension polished wheels frame steering damper. Custom Corbin seat bike runs great and the suspension in handling is awesome. All original plastics in near excellent condition including tank registered..

1989 GSX-R750 Dash

There are a few questionable details here. The wheels do vary a bit from photo to photo: they're solid white in some of the pictures, and have a polished rim in others. It looks like they were going for the Marvic modular look as seen on the Ducati Superlight. And those flush-mount signals, while sleeker than the stock items, would absolutely have to go, were this my bike. I'm sure it wouldn't be too much work to fit some low-profile LED units or subtle bar-end signals, or something like signals integrated into the tail lamp and headlight units.

1989 GSX-R750 R Side

The Corbin seat is likely far more comfortable than the stock item, although the stepped design is a love-it or hate-it kind of thing. Plan to put real miles on your bike? Definitely worth keeping on there.

With 17,000 miles on the clock, mileage is very reasonable and, although it will need some attention, there's nothing outside the abilities of a competent mechanic. All-in-all, a great-looking classic Suzuki.

-tad

1989 GSX-R750 L Front

Slingshot Gixxer: 1989 Suzuki GSX-R750 for Sale