Posts by tag: Suzuki

Bimota May 26, 2017 posted by

Gone Too Soon: 1997 Bimota SB6R for Sale

The SB6R could have been Bimota's biggest seller of all time. Certainly the earlier SB6 sold in quantities that nearly qualify as mass production, with nearly 1,200 built. Unfortunately, the utter failure of the overreaching two-stroke V-Due low-sided the company into a crash barrier and the GSX-R1100-powered SB6R was not part of the brand's renewal, killing it after just 600 were made. Sharp styling aside, the SB6's party piece is that absolutely massive-looking aluminum frame that uses Bimota's "Straight Connection Technology" concept to link the steering head stock and the swingarm pivot as directly as possible for optimized handling.

Great idea, but those big slabs of aluminum limit access to a number of important components, including the front sprocket and the alternator drive. This is a problem because the front sprocket will likely need regular replacement, considering the power and torque available, and the alternator drive needs cooling air to keep it from failing. So just what do I mean when I say that the frame "limits access"? Well both components require the engine to be at the very least unbolted from the frame and lowered, something that might deter owners just a bit...

Built during the same era as Ducati's original 916, the Bimota SB6R goes about being a fast motorcycle in almost the opposite way as its Bolognese rival: bulging and stout-looking where the 916 is impossibly slim at the waist, beam frame versus a trellis, and powered by an inline four versus a v-twin. But both featured stump-pulling torque over high horsepower: the GSX-R mill in the SB6R is backed by a five-speed gearbox and I've yet to hear anyone complain that it needs a sixth...

That engine is a bit like the small-block Chevy of the motorcycling world, and plenty of folks out there have tuned them to make fairly outrageous horsepower. Today's SB6R looks like it's gone that route: it isn't exactly stock, although the modifications are all under the skin and committed to the pursuit of absolute speed. A wise move, as the bike's aesthetics represent one of the bike's strong points. But is the seller's asking price just one toke over the line?

From the original eBay listing: 1997 Bimota SB6R for Sale

Exotic Italian red handmade superbike.

Bimota SpA (www.bimota.it) was started in 1973 in Rimini, Italy, by Valerio Bianchi, Giuseppe Morri, and Massimo Tamburini (Bi-Mo-Ta). They design and build their own line of exotics, and the company and its people have also been involved with designing/developing Ducati, MV Agusta, and Lamborghini motorcycles. Bimota would study the market to see which drive trains they believed to be best of breed, purchase their components directly from those manufacturers, remanufacture and enhance them to Bimota standards, and then design and build an exotic motorcycle based on the new drive train. Bimota model numbers indicate which drive trains they were based on - SB (Suzuki), DB (Ducati), YB (Yamaha), KB (Kawasaki). Bimota also collaborated with other major brands on special models, and both SB and YB models have won world superbike and other class championships. True to the exotic business model, the company would only build a limited number each year, with very few making it to the U.S. market.

This SB6R was originally purchased new from Bimota by owners of a professional U.S.-based race team in the late 1990's, intending it as one of their anchor bikes.

Prior to race homologation, the principal team owner suffered major injury and the team was closed. Approximately $70,000 had been invested in this SB6R up to that time, but it hadn't yet raced and still remains in street legal configuration. If memory serves correctly, the original owner's dynomometer certificate listed 182 horsepower. This SB6R still has its original Bimota uprated (150+ HP) GSXR 1100 drive train, which was further blueprinted/uprated (to 1200 CC)/race-configured by a professional Suzuki team in the US. This Bimota can essentially be serviced and tuned by a competent professional Suzuki technician.

The second owner of the SB6R was a friend of the original owners and purchased it when the team was closed. He was also a colleague in my area of business (telecom), and I purchased it from him as he was retiring and moving away. The SB6R has always remained in climate controlled indoor storage and is only ridden briefly at the beginning and end of each season to keep it in good operating condition. Both the second owner and I bought the SB6R as collectors, not racers.

The purchaser should appreciate that it is essentially a race vehicle that remains street legal. Response can be startlingly quick and strong across even low RPM ranges due to Bimota's proprietary pressurized air box system. No tricks or gadgets, just simple, beautiful Italian race design on top of bulletproof horsepower.

Though not fully race homologated as intended, it will not ride and handle like a milder/more-comfortable/easier-to-ride street bike. It is designed for one rider of average racer size/weight and has no pillion or pegs for a second passenger. Riding posture and controls are designed for racing. Steering is designed to be more stable at high speeds, rather than more flexible at low speeds, and so is dampened and has less range of motion than normal street bikes. It is jetted for ~5000 feet altitude, and when cold will need to be warmed up patiently with graduated choke adjustments before being initially ridden (~15 minutes). Throttle control should be gentle and moderate, as response is fast and strong. Experienced riders (including me) have been caught by surprise when rolling in too much throttle in ordinary street riding conditions (especially from stops). The transmission is race configured (1-up, 4-down), which is the reverse of what is normal for street bikes (1-down, 4-up), and has a harsher sound and feel because it is heavier duty.

The buyer will arrange and pay for pickup. We've used a few different bike haulers over the years and they've always worked out fine. If the buyer happens to be in the Inland NW United States, I occasionally drive to Spokane or Bozeman for business and may be willing to deliver there or points between if serendipitous.

10% of sale proceeds go to the MARSOC Foundation.

Like many Bimotas of the era, the SB6R handles with aplomb, goes like stink, and looks the business, but the details let the side down: maintenance issues, including a gauge cluster prone to failure, and generally indifferent construction. It is one of my very favorite 1990s exotics, but that doesn't change the fact that the seller's asking price of $25,000 is extremely optimistic. It's very nice, but most SB6Rs are pretty well-preserved, and previous examples haven't gotten higher than around $15,000 before either selling outside eBay or going to the highest bidder. Is the extra attention lavished on the engine worth $10,000, or is it just gilding the lily? If you're a wealthy collector looking for a very nicely prepared, but decidedly non-stock SB6R, this might be just what you're looking for.

-tad

Gone Too Soon: 1997 Bimota SB6R for Sale
Suzuki May 25, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing: 1991 Suzuki RGV250 VJ22A for Sale

 

Today's Featured Listing Suzuki RGV250 is part of the rare and weird collection that the seller has been liquidating over the past few weeks. It may not be museum-quality, but it has obviously been well cared-for and would make a great weekend rider, assuming you live somewhere it can be titled. Rare and desirable here in the USA, Suzuki's RGV250Γ was basically the GSX-R of two-stroke sportbikes: it was fast, a bit wild, and ubiquitous in markets where it was sold new.

But here in the USA, these little Gammas are extremely difficult to find. Go looking for a Honda NSR250 at any given time, and you'll likely come up with at least something. But RGVs are pretty few and far between, in any condition. In fact, here in the US, the closest many of us may have come to the RGV is the Aprilia RS250 that is much more common and uses the same engine, with some minor tuning and cosmetic differences. 

The 250cc two-stroke sportbikes of the period seemed cut from the same cloth, although each managed to have its own character: light and stiff aluminum beam frame, liquid-cooled two-stroke parallel or v-twin engine, some form of power valve technology, a six-speed gearbox, sub-300lb dry weight, and lots of proprietary acronyms plastered across the fairings. In this VJ22's case you'll note "SAPC" or "Suzuki Advanced Power Control," an electronic power valve and ignition timing system to boost the 55-ish horsepower 90° twin's meager midrange. Earlier VJ21s had 17" front and 18" wheels, updated here in the VJ22 to a pair of 17" hoops that should give a wider choice of modern rubber. Weight for the VJ22 was up a bit over previous models, largely owing to that beautiful but complex and heavy asymmetrical "banana" swingarm that left space on the right-hand side of the bike for the bulging expansion chambers that fed those sexy shotgun exhausts.

From the seller: 1991 Suzuki RGV250 VJ22A for Sale

Saved the best for last! This will be the last Suzuki RGV250 up for auction. The honey hole is drying up quickly.

Up for auction to the highest bidder with NO RESERVE is a 1991 Suzuki RGV250 VJ22A with only 8,780 kilometers (5,455 miles) on the odometer. This RGV runs like the day it was new. I don't know the service history but it sure pulls like its been de restricted. Speedometer has been changed to a 300KPH clock so actual mileage is unknown. We see lots of these 250's with speedo's changed from the stock 180kph clocks to 300kph. This RGV has scratches throughout the bike. Tank looks like new. Mirrors and front fender show sun fade. The lower center V-fairing behind the front wheel has a broken tab and has a crack that needs to be fixed. Bike has great curb appeal and looks very nice. Bike comes tastefully upgraded with after market pipes and stingers, aftermarket levers and grips and steel braided brake lines. All fairings are 100% OEM Suzuki factory.

Bike comes with Utah state title and is titled as a Bstreet motorcycle for road use.

Scratches and scrapes throughout. Now there's an honest assessment from the seller, and should give potential buyers a good idea of what to expect here: it's clean, but definitely a used motorcycle. Those Brembo front brakes don't look original but should be a worthwhile upgrade. The levers and grips maybe not so much, but those are easily changed to suit your taste. It isn't perfect but, as stated earlier, might make a great weekend rider or a rolling restoration. You'll have to source parts from overseas, but the internet is a wonderful thing and most of what you need should be available to keep an RGV running.

-tad

Featured Listing: 1991 Suzuki RGV250 VJ22A for Sale
Suzuki May 16, 2017 posted by

Vape Machine: 1992 Suzuki RGV250 Lucky Strike

NO RESERVE - That is an ironic term considering that it covers both the auction as well as Suzuki's intent when designing the motorcycle. The RGV250 has risen to legendary status among riders and collectors due to its performance and balance (even Aprilia agrees, having purchased VJ22 power units for their own RS250 models). With a two stroke v-twin engine, aluminum chassis, upside down forks, asymmetrical banana / gull swing arm and racer bodywork (and riding position), the Gamma is what two stroke riders pick to ride.

1992 Suzuki RGV250 Lucky Strike for sale on eBay

Today's bike is a VJ22 model incorporating commemorative Kevin Schwantz Team Lucky Strike livery. Lucky Strike bikes are reasonably rare in the world of Gammas, as they were produced in low numbers and only for limited markets; they were also not produced every year. As all Gammas are grey market bikes in the US to start with, the LS model (even though cosmetic only) is an extra bit of topping on what is (now) a street-legal registered motorcycle. Things just keep on getting better and better.

From the seller:
Up for auction to the highest bidder with NO RESERVE is a 1992 Suzuki RGV22A Lucky Strike with only 10,809 kilometers (6717 miles). HIGHEST BIDDER WINS!

Just had a bath and ready for its photo shoot! This RGV250 two stroke runs like a raped ape, just like the day it was new. Its been serviced and ready to go with a new battery and new fluids. This RGV has been well loved and well ridden. Lots of scratches, rubs and notorious boot marks lol, but NO cracks in the plastic, NO broken tabs & NO dents in the tank. This bike would make an excellent candidate for restoration, or just wring it out as a weekend knee scratcher. Bike comes equipped with OEM mufflers and OEM stingers and the dry clutch sounds awesome. Suzuki owners manual, Suzuki drivers guide, first aid kit, Lucky Strike onboard tool kit and two keys. This RGV250 comes with a Utah State title and is titled as a motorcycle for street use.

One thing that jumped out at me is the dry clutch. Regular edition VJ22s do not come with this race-bred bit of trickery. The dry clutch is an Sport Production item (the SP model also included a close-ratio gearbox), which could either mean that the base bike is an SP, or the clutch was a retrofit to a standard LS-branded bike. I'm sure there are Gamma-pedia types reading this now, and I welcome you to chime in on the comments; let us learn from your collective wisdom. Other than that discrepancy, this appears to be a solid, imported smoker; there are requisite scratches from use over the years, but otherwise this is seemingly unmolested (i.e. OEM chambers and stingers, rear fender still attached).

The seller has listed this as a No Reserve auction. That means this bike is definitely going home with someone when all is said and done. The opening ask was a paltry $1,500, but there is good interest in the bike and the price is climbing quickly. While this is a titled and registered motorcycle in Utah, that does not guarantee your state will be as willing or complicit. As always, RSBFS recommends you check with your local constabulary prior to purchasing something not officially imported into the US (i.e. if you live in California, consider this an excellent track day steed). Check it out here, and thank you for smoking.

MI

Vape Machine: 1992 Suzuki RGV250 Lucky Strike
Suzuki May 11, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing: Suzuki TL1000R Racer/Track Day Special for Sale

In the 90s, Ducati captured the imagination of race fans and road riders alike with their exotic, race-winning v-twins, and the Japanese were forced to play catch up on track in in the showrooms, as they'd largely been relying on highly-developed, but less emotional inline fours in World Superbike and endurance racing. The rules of World Superbike certainly favored v-twins at the time, and the Japanese seemed to believe that was all there was to their success, "If a tiny little company like Ducati can do it, we can too!" Unfortunately, both Honda and Suzuki missed their opportunity to cash in, producing "Ducati-killers" that failed to understand exactly why people bought Ducatis in the first place. The Honda SuperHawk was a very good motorcycle cursed with a tiny gas tank and handling that was never really intended to measure up to the track-focused 916, with handsome but fairly bland looks. And Suzuki's TL1000R was a massive failure in terms of its Ducati-slaying ability as well. They'd already built their road-focused TL1000S, so the TL1000R should have been a no-brainer. But while the 916 was narrow, sleek, and very focused on speed, the TL-R was bulbous and heavy, with handling limited by the controversial rotary rear damper carried over from the TL-S. The rotary damper worked fine in theory, but overheated in practice, resulting in sometimes scary at-the-limit handling. Luckily, today's Featured Listing, a track-ready TL1000R goes a long way towards rectifying those shortcomings.

Why use a rotary damper in the first place? Well a bike with a 90° v-twin is generally very narrow [unless you're on a Moto Guzzi], light, smooth and torquey, but presents packaging challenges. Ducati's front cylinder lies nearly horizontal, making for a very long engine and a correspondingly long wheelbase. Suzuki rotated their engine back in the chassis, but that left little room for a traditional rear shock, and they used a compact rotary damper in its place. It was a proven concept, but the execution left a bit to be desired...

Although the TL1000R was considered a sales flop at the time, low prices and that absolute peach of a v-twin have made it a very appealing roadbike. Keep in mind that Suzuki used this engine to power a whole range of their own bikes, and it was used by plenty of other manufacturers as well. It is reliable, reasonably powerful, and sounds great with a set of aftermarket cans. The TL1000R was a fundamentally sound bike, with all of the elements to be the everyman v-twin Suzuki advertised, but the execution was flawed. Power is never going to rival modern Ducatis, unless you throw a ton of money at the engine. But pounds can be shed, and handling improved with a swap to a more traditional rear shock and good suspension set up.

Today's Featured Listing goes back to the TL-R's original stated intent and systematically fixes problems: a complete modern GSX-R1000 front end with a Brembo master cylinder, lightweight bodywork, updated rear shock by Penske, and an Aprilia RS250 solo tail that lightens the bike visually as well, making it the sleek machine it always should have been.

From the seller: TLR1000R Race Bike for Sale

TL1000R for sale, bill of sale, no title, was built frame up piece by piece. Specs follow:

Engine - stock internally, Sharkskinz airbox, M4 full exhaust - rear sections have been modified to pull the exhaust closer to the swingarm for cornering ground clearance, Power Commander III. Yes, I know it's not really a superbike with the stock motor, but the rest of the modifications mean it's not SS legal.

Chassis - LE rear link and Penske shock, 04 GSXR 1000 forke/triples - LE valved and lengthened, Woodcraft clipons, Vortex upper triple clamp, Ohlins steering damper, Sato rearsets

Brakes - Brembo radial m/c, 04 GSXR 1000 calipers with spacers to run 320mm TLR rotors, rear caliper is a Wilwood PS-1 in a captured spacer setup (Pro Fab did the swingarm modification and all the machined parts), Goodridge stainless lines

Body - Sharkskinz body with Honda RS250 tailsection. Rear subframe is all fabricated aluminum.

Misc - Wire harness has been thrifted and ECU has been relocated to the front in fabricated aluminum holder. Clutch m/c is a brembo radial. Throttle is from Yoyodyne, probably more little stuff that I'm forgetting.

$6500, located in Indianapolis

Email is best for me: motorsport.studio at geemale.com

I love the Aprilia RS250 tail section, and the Gulf Racing colors work for me too: I'd love to do a track Ducati 916 up like that! Honestly, $5,600 seems like a heck of a deal for such a fully-developed bike. I've no idea if it'd make a competitive racebike, but if you like twins but don't want to risk your precious 998R in the fast group at a track day, this might be just the ticket. I fully understand why folks would choose something like a GSX-R or R6 as a trackday ride, but it's the funky stuff like this that interests me.

-tad

Suzuki May 10, 2017 posted by

Time Machine: 1982 Suzuki Katana 1000

Grab your leg warmers and get ready to dial up your favorite Tommy Tutone number - we're going back to the 1980s! Hard to believe that Suzuki dropped the Katana on a flabbergasted world more than 35 years ago. With looks dominated by a big-block inline four and scantily clad with an itty-bitty bikini fairing, the Katana was as provocative as it was performance-oriented. Even today this bike stands out as something special; the design language still tells a powerful story as this bike looks mean and menacing just parked in the drive.

1982 Suzuki Katana 1000 for sale on eBay

Primarily a collection of existing parts, the Katana was not mechanically groundbreaking. Motivation comes from the GS model lineup, and the Katana 1000 is actually - GASP - less powerful than the GS1100 that donated the motor. But the sporting intent of the Katana is quite clear, and with a less-is-more philosophy overall the Katana made for a potent platform in the day. Today, archaic elements such as two valves per cylinder, air cooling and twin shocks make this look like it came from the caveman era. Yet this was built to go AMA Superbike racing (hence the 1,000cc vs 1,1000cc engine), and go racing it did.

From the seller:
This Katana is in very good condition, the fuel tank has a few small scratches and a shallow dent close to the filler cap. The bike shows 14939 miles looks to be original miles on the bike. The front reflector holders are missing on the bike. The exhaust system is new from MotoGP Werks. The inside of the fuel tank is clean. This bike looks like it has been taken care of during it life time. I was not planning on selling this bike as it is a great example of an original bike and it took a long time to find an original bike with out modifications. Realizing that I still have a number of projects ahead and needing the space I have decided to pass the bike on.

Katanas continue to be polarizing models today. Although the Katana name has been slapped on many a bike since 1982, it is really the original that one should bring to mind. Many examples have been rodded, rat-rodded, or simply abused to the point of salvage. Clean, original examples are very difficult to find. And while this one is not 100% original, it is closer to factory than many we come across. The seller has done a good job highlighting the known discrepancies, and would likely entertain questions should a prospective buyer have any.

This auction is live right now, and bidding has been moderate. The price is nearing the $8k mark at time of this writing, and the reserve is OFF. Get in while you can, because this bike is going home at the end of it all. Check it out here, and then jump back to the Comments section and wax nostalgic with us. Did you lust after a Katana when it was released? Did you actually OWN one? Were you even born yet? Good Luck!!

MI

Time Machine: 1982 Suzuki Katana 1000
Suzuki April 19, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing: 1985 Suzuki RG400Γ for Sale

With prices of Suzuki's RG500Γ "Gamma" through the roof right now, fans of 80s two-stroke exotica have had to look elsewhere for their smoky thrills, and today's Featured Listing RG400Γ might be just the ticket for collectors seeking two-stroke performance on a less extravagant budget. Certainly, values of the Japanese-market RG400Γ have been below those of the bigger bike, in spite of it being less common, owing to a significant power deficit: claimed weight is nearly identical at 340lbs dry, but claimed power is down significantly from 93hp to 59. That'd still make for a pretty fun package in a road bike, and you're still looking at better straight-line performance than the 250cc machines of the same period.

1985 Suzuki RG400 for sale on eBay

The Gamma was introduced in 1985 and lasted until 1987, although none of the bigger two-stroke machines lasted very long on the market. Suzuki's race-replica two-stroke was powered by an unusual liquid-cooled, square four engine that was configured like a siamesed pair of parallel twins, with two crankshafts and the "rear twin" slightly higher than the front for a sort of stepped design. The firing order helped to cancel out vibrations and the Gamma was designed without a heavy, power-consuming balance shaft as a result. The smaller RG400 was intended specifically for the Japanese market and was powered by a version of the engine that used the same 50.6mm stroke, but a smaller bore of 50mm versus 56mm to arrive at the reduced 397cc displacement.

Two-stroke engines are simple and very light weight, making them perfect for off-road and commuter machines. But that same incredible simplicity and a relatively high power-to-weight ratio also make them ideal for road-racing motorcycles and, once Walter Kaaden's two-stroke tuning secrets were "acquired" by Suzuki, they dominated Grand Prix motorcycle racing into the modern era. Riders familiar with performance two-stroke motorcycles love their incredible agility and savage power delivery, characteristics that defined the Gamma when it was new. As has been pointed out ad nauseam in the comments sections, even the RG500 isn't really all that fast by today's standards, although it's still a challenging ride: handling was superior for a 1980s motorcycle, but suspension has come a long way since then and the 59hp of the RG400 is being channeled through a 120-section rear tire that you'd be more likely to find on the front of a sportbike these days... But fans of the Gamma love the rawness, the purity of the bike. Or are just high on sweet, sweet two-stroke exhaust fumes.

This particular example features Walter Wolf graphics, which could be a plus or a minus, depending on your tastes. Suzuki fans might prefer the iconic blue-and-white colors, but I think Gammas are a little bit bulbous in the traditional Suzuki colors, and the Walter Wolf graphics slim the bike down nicely.

From the original eBay listing: 1985 Suzuki RG400Γ for Sale

This early RG400 Walter Wolf is in good original condition with ~19,500km  / 12,100 miles. Recently purchased out of Japanese collection with 1987 Ducati 750 F1 Laguna Seca also listed on eBay. The mid to late 1980's was a great time to be a motorcyclist. Technology was evolving rapidly with the Japanese and European manufactures innovating at a tremendous pace. There were a myriad of engine layouts, number of cylinders, 2-stroke and 4-stroke vying for top honors and in the case of the NR500 - oval pistons! Technology proven on the race-track inevitably made it's way to the showroom to the great benefit of the riding public.  For a couple years in the later 1/2 of the 1980's enthusiasts in the rest of the world could go to their local dealer and buy an honest-to-goodness 2-stroke 4-cylinder F1 race-replica! The RG400/500 Gamma - along with the Yamaha RZ500 and Honda NS400 - brought the sound, the smell, and the looks of the GP circuit within reach of the knowledgeable motorcycle enthusiast.

The RG's square-4, twin-crank, rotary disk-valve RG400 is durable and reliable and easy to service and and readily modified for more power.

I've owned about a dozen RG500 as well as RZ500 in the early 1990's and this really takes me back. This one is a great 'rider' that draws a crowd and thumbs-up. It starts right up, idles well with and runs like 'back in the day' (a little smokey). Still has original oil-injection, airbox, and the original paint and bodywork. The aluminum frame is clean and bright with no sign of damage. Chassis and brakes are original and work like they should. Riding down the road, it's well-composed. A couple points worth noting 1) no belly-pan; 2) crack in upper fairing near windscreen at right rear-view mirror; 3) a couple touch-up on seat-section plastic; 4) turn-signal button missing (signals still work).

Ride it as it is, restore, or modify to suit your preference - whichever way you go, it'll bring a smile on your face and make a fabulous addition to your collection.
Currently on it's importation paperwork - Japanese de-registration certificate / English translation of certificate / NHTSA HS7 / EPA 3520-1 / CBP 7501 (stamped). Washington State title is available for $400 documentation fee approx. 5-week wait. WA state buyers responsible for Tax & License.

Happy to work with your shipper. In the past year I have shipped to/from Japan / Germany / England / Australia / Chicago / Georgia  / Arizona / California / Oregon / etc.i. I have been happy with Haul Bikes and would expect shipping to be in the $500 range to California and maybe $600-700 to the East Coast.

This looks like a pretty nice bike, considering the $9,250 asking price. There are a couple of cosmetic issues clearly disclosed by the seller and, although you might have to go with some aftermarket bodywork to replace that bellypan if you're on a budget, the bike is obviously usable without it. As always, it's important to do your homework if you plan to use this on the road: it sounds like the seller has all the paperwork needed to register this RG400, but whether or not that's even possible will vary, depending on your home state. Hm. I wonder what a Washington State PO Box runs per year...

-tad

Featured Listing: 1985 Suzuki RG400Γ for Sale