Posts by tag: TL1000R

Suzuki February 12, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing: Resto-mod Suzuki TL1000R

SOLD IN 24 HOURS! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

The Suzuki TL-1000R was a bold but flawed stab at stealing big v-twin superbike dominance away from Ducati. The bike was a bit of a misfit, impressing neither road testers nor road racers, as it was overweight and fitted with a mystifying and dangerous radial damper rear suspension. Aside from a few privateers racing at the club level, the bike never achieved much on the track, and its street sales hurt as a result.

Superbike Universe aimed to solve that problem, taking on a used TL-1000R as a project and producing the bike you see here. It has been relieved of its butt-puckering rear suspension and given a traditional Penske clicker shock. The front end, heavy as stock, has been tossed in favor of a set of upside down forks off a 2009 Gixxer, which have been treated to custom internals. The brakes also got more than a once over, with stainless steel lines, Brembo Monoblocs and a radial master cylinder taking over duties.

From the seller:

Here is another result from the long brutal winters here in the Northeast. I started out with a stock TL1000R and set about stripping everything I could off of it to lighten it up. The super heavy front end was replaced with a 2009 GSXR1000 front fork with 25mil K-Tech internals. The brake set up is truly one finger amazing. I used a Accossatto Radial master cylinder, custom Core stainless lines and a set of Brembo Monoblack calipers from a 2014 GSXR1000. Those massive Brembo's clamp down on a set of 330mm PVM superbike rotors. Out back I ditched that crazy Suzuki rear suspension box/spring thing that didn't work and weighed about 30lbs. I replaced it entirely with a custom Penske triple clicker and a one-off billet Linderman linkage. Not only did I loose a ton of weight up high but the rear end works perfect now!. The bike rolls on a rare set of 5 spoke MARVIC magnesium wheels that allow for amazingly quick turn in. A very rare 2 in to 1 Yoshimura exhaust helps get rid of burn fuels and again a shit load of weight. All brackets for the rear sub frame and passenger accommodations were cut off and trimmed accordingly. A fiberglass single seat Sharkskin tail and a custom under tray tidy up the rear of the bike. In all I lost over 108lbs off the original bike. They say that the TL100OR weighed just 424lbs in the original bike specs but that is complete bullshit. It weighed 493lbs fully wet when I started this project. Now with it weighs a super light 384lbs fully wet and with three gallons of fuel. If you push this around you feel the super light weight. I had an awesome Lance Johnson Paint Worx Yoshimura paint scheme applied to the stock /aftermarket bodywork. It looks fantastic and rides great! Certainly one of a kind and is exactly the bike Suzuki could have ended up with if they continued development. Put this Superbike Universe special in your collection now for a fraction of the cost of development.

The real eye opener is the claimed weight loss: more than 100 pounds off the stock bike, via a combination of suspension, wheels, brakes and body work. The whole package, complete with a ton of one-off and rare parts, will set you back $7,500. If you have an affinity for odd ducks or under dogs, or just like the idea of a howling Japanese v-twin, this thing is your mount.

Featured Listing: Resto-mod Suzuki TL1000R
Bimota December 29, 2017 posted by

Race History: Ex-Anthony Gobert Bimota SB8K for Sale

Both a flamboyant racer and a cautionary tale, Anthony Gobert was a hugely talented rider who fell from grace after a failed drug test. Several times, actually. Racing today is obviously a far cry from the wild days of the 60s and 70s, where playboy racers partied with stewardesses well into the night before getting up the following morning to risk life and limb while nursing a hangover. Today's riders generally treat racing as the serious profession it has become, instead of as a way for daredevils to travel and booze it up on someone else's dime. I'm sure Gobert's missteps would have been laughed off in another era, but a failed test for marijuana, of all things, ended his MotoGP dreams in 1997, although he continued to race in Superbikes events in a variety of classes. Somewhere along Gobert's slow downward spiral, he got a ride on this Bimota SB8K and managed to make an underfunded machine from a tiny manufacturer briefly competitive, a testament to his talent.

Bimota's SB8 was really the TL1000R that Suzuki wasn't able to build, and one of their most successful models. There's no doubting the liquid-cooled, 996 v-twin engine's prowess: it's been used in various iterations by Suzuki since 1997 to power both sports and touring models. More importantly, both Cagiva and Bimota saw the potential for the engine to power some serious sporting hardware, and just needed to work around the layout challenges posed by the v-twin. As can be seen by the Ducati Panigale's side-mounted rear shock, a transverse 90° v-twin is very long, making it difficult to package efficiently in a compact sportbike while simultaneously maximizing swingarm length. Suzuki used an innovative rotary damper with roots in Formula 1 to support the rear of their TL1000S and TL1000R. Unfortunately, while the concept was sound in theory, it didn't work so well in practice, as the undersized unit tended to overheat and cause handling to go from "stable" to "exciting" without much warning.

Bimota took that throbbing, 138hp lump of an engine and put it into a machine that could much more fully exploit its obvious possibility. As with all Bimotas, the SB8's real party trick was a state-of-the-art frame. While I'm a sucker for Ducati's classic trellis unit, the SB8 used a wild composite design based around stiff, lightweight aluminum spars with carbon fiber side plates and a self-supporting carbon fiber tail section. You can see Bimota's solution to that rear suspension issue, peeking out on the right side of the bike from behind the main frame spar. Ultimately, the SB8 weighed in at nearly 50lbs less than the TL-R, although the bike is uncharacteristically broad and bulky for a v-twin, ironic considering the amazingly slim design of the Ducati 996. It's exotic for sure, but not especially pretty, and the carbon air tubes on the original SB8R also meant you'd better know where those hand controls are without looking, or you'd be craning your neck awkwardly trying to find the high-beam switch or cancel the turn signals. Best not to use them.

Of course, the locations of headlight and turn signal switches matter little in this particular case, since this is the updated SB8K version that did away with the massive carbon tubes in favor of a more conventional intake system. And this bike doesn't have signals or lights anyway, since it's the very World Superbike machine that Gobert used to win at Philip Island in 2000, reminding everyone of his talent, if not his self-control. Many who worked with him feel he could have been one of the all-time greats, and flashes of his brilliance can be seen in results he achieved on the SB8K.

From the original eBay listing: Ex-Anthony Gobert Bimota SB8K for Sale

ex-Anthony Gobert, winning in Philip Island April 2000.

VIN: 00071

This is a legendary bike in a WSBK history for who remembers the victory in april 2000 in Philip Island when Fogarty ended his career... also it is an ICON for the Italian racing motorcyles enthusiasts and the Bimota collectors. 

Only 2 FACTORY bikes were built for the 2000 WSBK, frame #71 and frame #73. This is the only of the 2 fully preserved, complete (with telemetry) and owned by BIMOTA FACTORY from year 2000 to 2017. Full history know, fully untouched since the 2000 season ended.

The bike is fitted with SUZUKI FACTORY TL1000R magnesium/dry clutch engine but tuned then for Bimota by one of the TOP mechanics in the Italian motorcycling history, Franco Farne'... yes the Ducati legend! The bike comes with some spares: engine cases, 2 heads, spare rear wheel, box with bits and pieces.

Letter of verification by the FACTORY present.

Parade, race and collect!

Be sure to check out the photos in the gallery above. The shot of the injectors and one of the high-capacity radiator with the cutout for the front cylinder are especially cool. This is yet another ex-race machine being offered by the same seller as the YB4 racebike from a couple weeks back and, a bit of expected racing wear and tear and some significant discoloration on the swingarm, appears to be in very nice condition. There are several days left on the auction, and bidding is up to just under $9,000 with the Reserve Not Met.

-tad

Race History: Ex-Anthony Gobert Bimota SB8K for Sale
Suzuki October 24, 2017 posted by

Bad Reputation: 1997 Suzuki TL1000S for Sale

By the early 1990s, pretty much everyone making a hard-core sportbike was using an inline four engine for their regular production motorcycles. And why not? An inline four is a relatively compact engine, is capable of making excellent power for a given displacement, is smooth-running, and can achieve much higher revs than configurations using fewer, bigger pistons. But Ducati stuck with their sports v-twin, likely because of both budgetary and marketing reasons. With some pressure on various race series' governing bodies, they were allowed a bit of additional displacement compared to inline fours to keep them competitive in terms of outright power, and the wider spacing between power pulses gave them an advantage in terms of traction. But for street riders, the big benefit of a twin was character so, by the mid-1990s, the Japanese manufacturers wanted in on all that sweet vee action. For Suzuki, that meant the introduction of their stylish, half-faired TL1000S.

As has been discussed before, a transversely-mounted v-twin motor is very narrow for good aerodynamics and the perfect primary balance means it's a smooth performer, but packaging in a modern sportbike can be an issue. Ducati refers to their 90° engine as an "L-twin" to differentiate it from other v-twin sportbike engines, and it references the fact that the front cylinder is virtually horizontal, with the rear cylinder sticking almost straight up. Looking at the bike from the right hand side, the engine does indeed look like a capital L instead of a V. The problem is one of packaging: it's a long engine and, with a conventional set up, it results in a long wheelbase or a short swingarm, neither of which is ideal. Notice that, on the Panigale, the rear shock and linkage sit alongside the engine. To get the wheelbase they wanted, Suzuki rotated their own  90° v-twin backwards in the frame to clear the front wheel and used unconventional but very compact rotary damper setup at the rear. The theory is sound but, as many original owners discovered, it didn't work out all that well in practice for the TL.

The issue was that the damper worked fine up until the pace heated up, along with the oil inside, which caused it to quickly loose its ability to, um... dampen. This led to an unenviable reputation for scary tank-slappers and terrifying on-the-limit handling. A larger capacity unit would probably have solved the problem, but several companies have stepped in and developed a compact spring/shock that replaces the stock Suzuki unit and gives predictable performance, allowing the bike's otherwise excellent design to shine.

The TL's handling may have been suspect, but there is no doubting that engine: in various states of tune, it's powered a variety of Suzuki sport and touring models, along with a gaggle of Bimotas and Cagivas. It's powerful, reliable, and makes all those v-twin noises without the occasional frustrations that came with Ducati ownership at the time. Ducati service intervals are even longer than some Japanese makes these days, but when the TL was introduced, Ducati ownership required real commitment to deal with the recommended 6,000 mile valve adjustments. You might be lacking the famous dry-clutch rattle but, fitted with a good set of carbon fiber cans as seen here, the TL makes all the right noises.

Many TLs have led hard lives: they were billed as affordable Ducati-killers and people certainly treated them that way, so it's nice to see one that's been used, but well cared-for.  Some of the aesthetic upgrades may not be to your taste, but good carbon fiber is never a terrible idea, and you can probably find someone willing to swap for the stock parts if you're interested in originality. Something I wouldn't change is the rear shock conversion that's been fitted to sort the handling, the steering damper that should cure any errant bar motions, and the carbon cans fitted to bring out the expected big-twin boom.

Reading the seller's detailed description, there's something strangely familiar about it though...

From the original eBay listing: 1997 Suzuki TL1000S for Sale

Up for sale is a fantastic condition fuel injected 1997 Suzuki TL1000S with just over 21k on it. This bike has great personality, tons of low-end power and mid range grunt. Super fast but easily controllable and has great handling. This bike would make a great weekend twisty runner, commuter bike, or fully at home on the track. It is extremely fun to ride. It rides very smooth and can keep up with most sport bikes thru the twistys. Its a fantastic mixture of lightweight body/frame (gotta love the trellis style frame) and the perfect amount of power for the street. You wont be disappointed with this bike. Thousands of dollars in aftermarket goodies and hundreds spent on recent maintence items. This bike is ready to hop on and ride.

The bike has thousands of dollars in aftermarket upgrades and accessories below is a list:

1. Devil Slip-on Carbon Fiber exhaust (This exhaust is exactly what a V-Twin sport bike should sound like)
2. Carbon Fiber look Rear Hugger
3. Carbon Fiber look Air Dam Surrounds
4. Shorty turn signals front
5. Smoked Windscreen
6. Pro-Grip Carbon Tank Protector
7. Integrated rear tail lamp assembly (brake lights, running lights, and turn signals)
8. Adjustable shorty levers (Silver levers with black adjusters)
9. Aftermarket rear wave rotor
10. Aftermarket front wave rotors (not currently installed)
11. R1 rear shock conversion installed (This fixes all the problems with the rotary damper totally removes it)
12. Renthal Grips
13. Aftermarket black Aluminum side mirrors
14. Weisco Fuel Management (dyno tuned for current setup, runs amazing)
15. Aluminum Pro-Tek front and rear brake reservoir covers
16. Carbon Fiber Exhaust boot shields
17. Stainless Steel brake lines front and rear
18. Fender Eliminator
19. Aftermarket Color Matched Undertail

Here is a list of recent maintence items done to the bike:

1. Brand new oil and filter (Synth oil)
2. Chain adjusted and oiled
3. Coolant Flush
4. Steering Dampener Replaced
5. Spark plugs replaced
6. TPS adjusted/recalibrated
7. Battery Tender Hook-up
9. DID chain
10. Front and rear sprocket

Bike comes with a tub of extras that include the passenger seat, all documents for maintence and tuner, some of the stock parts, as well as some additional parts for the bike. Look at picture to see all. Any questions please ask. Price is negotiable. Need gone ASAP.

Introduced in 1997 and made until 2001, the TL1000S was a shot across Ducati's bow. Tired of the Bolognese firm getting all the press for their sexy, thunderous twins, Suzuki did them one better: a reliable, low-maintenance, liquid-cooled v-twin that made the power of Ducati's 916 at the price of their air-cooled 900SS...

While 125hp may not sound particularly scary now, it was a pretty big number for a v-twin in 1997 and the grunty power delivery, combined with relatively light weight and a compact wheelbase, made for notoriously "entertaining" handling.

In contrast to Ducati's "L" twin, Suzuki rotated their 90° motor backwards in the chassis, allowing better packaging at the front of the bike. This left less room at the back for a traditional shock, so Suzuki whipped up a "rotary" damper that was far more compact than a traditional "linear" shock. Unfortunately, one of the reasons traditional spring/shock combos are so widely used is that they've got 70 years of development behind them and just flat work. When ridden hard, the TL's rotary unit gets hot and loses its damping ability, which may contribute to the bike's reputation for "tank slappers", unintended wheelies, and all-around beastliness.

On paper, the TL1000S should have stomped Ducati flat, but that really never happened. But while the first bike to house Suzuki's new twin may not have set the world on fire, the potential in the engine was obvious. It became the Engine That Powered a Thousand Bikes, finding homes in Bimota's SB8 and the Cagiva Gran Canyon and Raptor models, and it still thumps on in the Suzuki VStrom.

Later reviews toned down the emphasis on the TL's "widowmaker" tendencies, suggesting that things had been exaggerated just a bit at the time. And, if you do plan to really ride this bike hard, a modern steering damper will help keep things under control, and kits are available to change out the rotary damper for a more traditional unit.

The 996cc engine does sound amazing with a set of aftermarket cans fitted, and the bassy thump that pumps out of the twin exhausts is pretty distinctive, like a very good computer simulation of a Ducati, with added bass.

The TL1000S is aging better than most. The motors are pretty bulletproof, parts should be readily available, and would make a great day-in, day-out bike for someone who wants big twin noise and feel, but doesn't feel like paying for Ducati maintenance.

Or someone that really, really likes wheelies.

Look, Suzuki's TL1000S is a pretty cool bike, and historically significant as described above, but I'll be frank: the reason I posted this example is because the seller's description is basically a cut-and-paste of another post I wrote a while back! This isn't the first time that's happened and honestly, I'm flattered. Hey, if someone thinks my description of a particular model will help them sell it, I'm doing something right. Reading through it, I do wish I'd been a little less liberal with the quotation marks though... In any event, the TL1000S still offers up a whole bunch of bang for the buck. Nice ones are already pretty hard to find, but still don't command much money. The looks may not be to everyone's taste, but I think it's better-looking than the bulbous, more conventionally-styled TL1000R and, with the replacement of the rotary damper, should be a solid handler. The epitome of 90s styling, with analog big-twin power and tasteful upgrades at a bargain price? What's not to like?

-tad

Bad Reputation: 1997 Suzuki TL1000S for Sale
Bimota September 23, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing: 1999 Bimota SB8R for Sale

Update 10.12.2017: SOLD. Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

Update 9.23.2017: Back on eBay with fresh pictures and a buy-it-now of $9,000. Seller note: Open to trades, would consider a trade up or trade down on a RC30, RC45, NC35 and possibly an Ow01 or Ow02, already have an NC30 so I’m good there. Yes, I realize the RC’s and OW’s are quite a bit more but if the offer is fair, I’ll make up the difference in cash. Would also consider a Hypermotard (only bike I miss after I sold and want another one soon!). Open to all trades I suppose, just has to be interesting and not run of the mill… Good luck to buyers and seller! -dc

Two nice Bimotas in one week! Today's SB8R Featured Listing that can also be found on eBay doesn't bother with a traditional Italian powerplant like the DB2, but does stick with a v-twin, in this case the liquid-cooled, 996cc unit from Suzuki's TL1000R. The TL-R may have been flawed as a sportbike, but there was surely nothing wrong with that engine, and Suzuki supplied it to Bimota and Cagiva to power their Raptor line as well. The engine was largely stock, although Bimota used different fuel injectors to bump power to a claimed 138hp. It's reliable, sounds great, and offers up plenty of performance in this lightweight machine.

Styling certainly isn't as svelte as the Ducatis it was pitched against, but the look is distinctive, with lots of exposed carbon on the bodywork and frame. Of course, that frame really is the centerpiece of any Bimota and the SB8R uses a sophisticated, composite design that uses aluminum spars and carbon fiber side plates, a design inspired by the one found on Cagiva's Moto GP bike. That curvy tail is made of carbon as well, and is self-supporting. Up front were beefy Paioli forks and a traditional Öhlins rear shock replaced Suzuki's troublesome rotary rear damper. These components helped shave nearly 50lbs compared to the TL-R and improve both the power-to-weight ratio and handling of the SB8R.

Suzuki donated the headlight and the gauges as well. They don't look quite as special as you might hope for on a pricey Italian exotic, but they also actually work, something that wasn't guaranteed on other 1990s Bimotas, so it's a sensible choice. Those huge carbon intake tubes may hearken back to a late 1980s Kawasaki ZX7, but that beautiful top triple they frame really shows the incredible details found on Bimotas of every era: innovative frames, trick bodywork that removes with just a few fasteners, machined from billet frame parts, footpegs with eccentric adjusters, and top shelf components. If you don't like what you see at first, just look a little bit closer.

From the Seller: 1999 Bimota SB8R for Sale

This example is number #18 out of 250 ever produced, with just 50 SB8Rs officially imported into the USA.  Hand built Italian super bike weighing in at around 380 lbs dry and 135 HP. This Bimota is truly stunning, especially considering it's 18 years old!  The red paint is a vibrant red, white is very clean and the carbon work is amazing.  The only imperfections that are all quite minor are the barely functional mirrors (look good for display though) and a tiny little crack in the "carbon tube base" where it meets the fuel tank (I pointed it out in the picture with my finger) but even that would be a very easy touch up, if you even noticed it.
 
The bike is pretty much stock other then a carbon Arrow Exhaust, 6 pot ISR calipers (rebuilt in 2016 with receipt), aftermarket kickstand (stock ones are known to collapse) and adjustable rear sets.  I have the stock exhaust and a few other things in a box.  Bike starts right up as it should with the choke engaged and is currently sitting in our warehouse under a soft cover.  Will need tires pretty quick though if you're planning to ride.  If you want to fly in and ride it back, I'd be willing to have new tires installed prior to your arrival at your cost of course...the labor would be free though.
 
I've been a huge Bimota fan since they first came out but back then they were out of my budget and just a poster bike.  The workmanship with the beautiful gold forks, CNC'd fork legs, carbon fiber frame and beefy swing arm are truly Italian Art.  The reason the SB8R is one of my favorites is that it utilizes the TL1000R motor which means you get the Italian style and an exceptionally easy motor to work on whereas some of the other models are belt driven Ducati's and much more expensive to keep running.  This is one of the few collector quality motorcycles that you can actually ride.  It's not a small bike by any means (I suspect it may be large for anyone under about 5'10) but it's exceptionally well planted on the freeway, excellent torque, fantastic brakes / suspension and much more comfortable then many of my prior bikes.
 
I've been shopping for one for years but they were not the condition I was looking for or perhaps I didn't trust the source.  So why sell after a short stint of ownership?
 
My son had went down on his Daytona 675 last year (see it on my other ebay auction), he's saved up enough for a new ride so we stopped to see a pretty special bike on the way to Laguna Seca last week.  Turns out, he has my UNICORN of motorcycles...the one bike that I've never been able to get my hands on, a beautiful condition RC45!  He also has the CBR400 my son was looking for.  Here's the catch, he's getting up there in years and cleaning house.  He will only sell me the RC45 if I take all 7.5 of his bikes (the .5 is a  rolling chassis)...  I've never really wanted a large collection, just a handful at the most, not to mention I just picked up some classic sport bikes in the trailing weeks to fix up with my son.  SOOOO.. seeing that I can't pass up this RC, looks like I'll be selling some of these others once I get through all the paperwork and figure out what I want to keep (tough life I know...HAHA).
 
Bear in mind, I'm not letting the Bimota go for cheap, if it doesn't find the right owner then I'll focus on selling some of the others.  Fact is, this SB8R is in such great shape, I feel bad to ride it... just too hard to find bodywork and I'm not the kind of guy that just looks at my bikes. The RC45 comes with 2 set of bodywork which is perfect for taking her out and new skins for showing it off :).
 
Thank you again Frank, my son and I are very excited about the new arrivals!!  I know you watch the 'Rare Sportbikes for Sale" site daily as we try too so you'll undoubtedly see this post.
 
Title is clear, in my name and CA registered.  If you want to ship, no worries.  I use Federal Transport (owned by Allied Van Lines), great guys!
 
PS.  This bike has had a few owners, as such you can search SB8R and see some of the prior postings as well as many other pics.  Last owner was a great guy!  He babied the bike and just sold it to get something that was a little more of a daily rider.  I've already waxed it as well so she's looking spiffy!
The SB8R was one of Bimota's most successful models, a much-needed win for the financially troubled company. With a starting bid of $8,000 and several days left on the auction, there's still time to pounce on this bit of Italian exotica, so head on over and bid at eBay if you're interested! This example has been thoughtfully upgraded with six-pot calipers and a set of classic Arrow cans, as indicated by the seller. There are just over 7,000 miles on the clock, which is low enough for collectors, but not so low you'd be afraid to put on a few more riding your handbuilt superbike.
-tad
Featured Listing: 1999 Bimota SB8R for Sale
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 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