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Posts by tag: TL1000S

Suzuki April 24, 2018 posted by

Future Classic: Clean, Low-Mileage 2001 Suzuki TL1000R for Sale

Look, here's the thing. If you're buying bikes [or cars, for that matter] that were hyped to be "instant classics" when they were introduced, thinking you can flip them for a profit... You may be waiting a while. Consider all the folks who bought the MV Agusta F4 750 Serie Oro when it was new, hoping it would be a valuable investment. That was almost twenty years ago and those are still selling at a significant discount, especially when you factor in inflation... So if you're trying to buy low and sell high, you need to to look around the fringes, find the slightly forgotten and overlooked bikes. Maybe bikes that got universally blah reviews and didn't sell all that well when new, but have strong performance, distinctive character and, if possible, a face only a mother could love. Something like this very low-mileage, banana-yellow Suzuki TL1000R.

When introduced, pretty much every review I read of the TL1000R was damning with faint praise. Billed as a "Ducati killer" it was too heavy, handling from the still-rotary-damped-dammit-Suzuki-stop-being-stubborn suspension wasn't as good as the 996, and styling was... odd. Sort of like the designers looked to the animal kingdom for styling inspiration, and found... the platyus. Still, the 996cc motor was a excellent, and made plenty of power with the fat midrange for which v-twins are justifiably famous.

See, when they're new, bikes get reviewed in context. But decades later, they get to stand on their own merits, without being compared unfairly to the bikes they were supposed to outperform. I'm joking a bit, but it's true: reading some magazine comparison tests, you get a sense that "if you ain't first, you're last" and I think many very competent sportbikes have been unfairly overlooked because they made a couple horsepower less than the class leaders, had questionable styling, or had handling that tried to kill their riders.

The TL1000R looks oddly bulbous, but it makes a great road bike, and a set of aftermarket cans like the Yoshimura bits seen here liberate some pretty great v-twin throb. The 135hp won't see you winning any stoplight races against newer tackle, but if you can't have fun with that much power on road or track, maybe you should choose a different hobby. The package was high-performance enough for Bimota to use in their SB8R, and Performance Bikes did a series a while back, turning a nice TL-R into a literal Ducati-killer with a wild big-bore engine build, new gearbox, and lightweight bodywork.

Significant upgrades to the power might be elusive or at least expensive for those of us without engine building friends or contacts with the gearbox specialists at Nova Racing, but fit some carbon panels and maybe a slimmer solo tail, change out the rotary damper at the rear for a more conventional unit, swap in a later GSX-R1000 front end for better forks and brakes, and you might be surprised at how much fun you can have on this affordable, reliable, easy-to-maintain v-twin sportbike.

From the original eBay listing: 2001 Suzuki TL1000R for Sale

It's time to scoot your computer chair a little closer to the screen..... grab your reading glasses and prepare to view the cleanest Suzuki TL1000R on planet earth!!  This is no exaggeration, view any of the provided photo's below and you will see what I mean.  This bike was purchased brand new in 2003 by an elderly car / motorcycle collector and parked inside a carpeted and climate controlled garage it's entire life.  This bike has NEVER seen a race track and has never been ridden past 8,000RPM's, ever.  This is the most babied and well taken care of example you'll ever see, anywhere.  Literally looks like it just rolled off the showroom floor - as the photo's clearly show.

If you're a true motorcycle enthusiast, this particular bike will bend you at the knee's.  With with only 2,583 ORIGINAL MILES, it's probably the lowest mileage TL left in existence too.  Look anywhere you can think of...... Cycle Trader, Craigslist, Ebay, Offer up, or anywhere else you can think of and you will see how rare these bikes truly are.  Most of them have been highly modified, raced or stunted and abused.  Primarily because they are so well built and tough - they can handle the abuse of people beating the hell out of them.  As sad as that sounds, you will have nothing to worry about in that department with this bike.  Look over all of the provided photo's in detail and you will see what I mean.  This is the closest you will ever get to showroom perfect as they come.  And SURELY the cleanest 2001 TL1000R on the market - anywhere. Hands down... Guaranteed!!  You absolutely WILL N O T find a cleaner TL anywhere.  This bike is SO clean you could eat your steak dinner right off the engine.  I have provided close up images showing the inner wheel hubs, the engine cases, coolant lines, chain, seats, trunk, dash, brake levers, shocks....... everything you would hope to see if you were buying a bike.  Look closely at the images provided and you will see what I mean.  Being garaged and covered it's entire life, there is no rust, no corrosion and no discoloration from road grime or road salt etc.  This bike looks just as clean underneath and inside the fairings as it does on the outside.  The paint condition and quality is (literally) like new.  No pit marks or chips on the front end and no (dirty rag) swirls or marks on the body.  As I said - this truly is the cleanest one you will ever find.  This bike is so clean it could be parked on the showroom floor at a Suzuki dealership on a display stand just to show it off.  Unsuspecting customers would mistake it for a brand new bike....... it's THAT clean!! 

Although there are no internal motor modifications, there are a few bolt on upgrades:
- Dealer Installed Yoshimura RS-3 polished slip on dual exhaust
- Dealer Installed power commander
- Custom rear fender painted to match
- Carbon fiber brake & clutch levers
- Zero gravity smoke tinted windscreen
- Smoke tinted flush mount turn signals
- Smoke tinted rear tail light lens
- Brand new front & rear tires (just installed 4-18-18)
- Rear under tail fender setup painted to match (never installed)

Being a collector bike, all stock parts were saved, packaged, boxed up and will go to the new owner.  If the new owner would like to put everything back to OEM stock condition, the parts are here and can easily be re-installed.  It comes with the original sales contract when it was purchased new, the original TL1000R owners manual and original TL1000R CD service discs.  It comes with a matching yellow helmet, only worn twice.  There's a custom motorcycle cover too that will go to the new owner.  It fits the bike like a glove!!  I even saved the original OEM tires that came on the bike when new.  The tires were still in good condition, but I wanted to install brand new one's for safety.  Not good to ride on old tires in my opinion, so I just had brand new tires installed front & rear.  All of the extra's that come with the bike are shown below in the photo's.  
 
Flaws:
As with any pre-owned motorcycle or vehicle, normal signs of wear & tear may be present.  Scratches, nicks, chips, dings etc.  If you have any questions as to the condition of this bike, by all means - bring your mechanic and feel free to inspect it in person prior to bidding or purchase.  The only noted flaw I can find on this entire bike is on the left mid section of the fairing there is a small scratch in the chrome TL-R graphic.  Not even sure how it happened, but it's about the only noted flaw I can find.  Replacing the TL1000R left side logo sticker would eliminate this completely. Also on the back edge of the left fairing just above the letter "K" where it says SUZUKI there is a small mark.  At one point in the bikes past, the fuel petcock sprung a tiny leak and some gas ran down this specific edge of the fairing which caused the smudge area.  This can most likely be rubbed out or buffed back to yellow with ease.  Also there is a tiny smudge on the back left outer edge of the Yoshimura slip on.  Looks like it was done from shoe rubber.  Will most likely rub off with a bit of effort.  You would have to be sitting on the pavement looking eye level at the side of the bike to notice either of these imperfections.  However, it is Ebay and I value my reputation as a seller so it's something I wanted to point out. Aside from this, the bike is a close to mint as you will ever find.  This bike looks like it has barely been ridden. 

Obviously, I'm not really suggesting the TL1000R is a great investment opportunity. But they're surprisingly affordable, offer great everyday performance, and really should increase in value over the next decade or so. Maybe not as obvious: for all the cheap shots I've taken at the TL1000R, I like them. This example has seen just 2,600 miles so far, so you can actually do some riding on your duck-billed modern classic and still maybe make a few bucks when the time comes to sell it on to some sucker... err, collector, when values have really spiked down the road and you're ready to move on to the next forgotten superbike. And before you scoff too loudly, or in print in the comments below, remember that nice, first-generation GSX-R750s have pretty much tripled in price over the past few years. That may not be the reason you buy motorcycles, but it's nice to know you might at least break even on your weekend toy, after you factor in consumables and a bit of maintenance. The seller didn't set some wishful-thinking Buy It Now price either: bidding is very active and up to north of $4,000 as I write this.

-tad

Bimota March 31, 2018 posted by

A Better Italian Twin? 2000 Bimota SB8R for Sale

 

Ducati has come a long way in terms of service costs and reliability. The four-valve Bologna twins have always offered good power and a bulging midrange, sure. But you really had to pay for it in the era of the 916. These days, 15,000 mile intervals between major services help keep costs down and the bikes on the road instead of in the shop but, back in the late 1990s, if you wanted a sports v-twin you could ride every weekend, you were probably looking at something like the Suzuki TL1000R. The duck-billed styling may not have appealed to everyone, the bike was a bit porky, and handling was a bit variable, owing to the rotary damper, but the engine was powerful, flexible, and made the right thumpy big-twin noises with a set of aftermarket cans fitted. That fact wasn't lost on Bimota when they went looking to build the SB8R their own v-twin superbike, although I'd bet it was more likely that Ducati wasn't interested in selling them any 4V twins, since I doubt Bimota was really worried much about reliability and cost...

Of course, for a while there, it seemed like the liquid-cooled, four valve, 996cc Suzuki v-twin was the small-block Chevy of the era, since it was used by Suzuki, Cagiva, and Bimota, and probably even a few others I've forgotten, and got stuffed into everything from sportbikes to roadsters to sport-touring bikes. Backed by a six-speed gearbox, the 138hp engine was plenty powerful and very reliable, especially compared to the charismatic, but sometimes temperamental Ducati unit. The biggest issues with the TL1000S and TL1000R were their slight weight problem and the packaging problem "solved" by an innovative but underdeveloped rotary rear damper that had a tendency to overheat and stop damping, leading to the lethal reputation of the earlier TL-S.

Bimota solved both problems. Reducing weight was pretty simple, since that's always been Bimota's thing anyway. It helped that the rear subframe didn't need to be engineered with a passenger in mind, and the bike was otherwise liberally sprinkled with lightweight materials. Of course, their other thing has always been frames, and this one is deserving of the Bimota name: it's an exotic composite unit, assembled from aluminum beam and carbon fiber elements for maximum strength and minimum weight. That new frame allowed a traditional shock to sit alongside the engine, like a Panigale, and solved the packaging issues. Styling is... different. One of the trademarks of a sports v-twin is the overall narrowness of the package, a result of having only two pistons. Sure, one of them is usually thrashing away at 4,000 feet-per-minute, pointed at your crotch, but that's a small price to pay for for torque, aerodynamics, and character. But somehow the SB8R is positively bulbous, although it does make much better use of the original Suzuki headlamp. It's a good-looking bike, but those intake tubes that snake over the tank from their inlets at the top edge of the fairing completely block your view of the controls, so new riders may fumble around a bit and errantly honk, cancel turn-signals, or shut the bike off until they memorize their location.

From the original eBay listing: 2000 Bimota SB8R for Sale

Limited-production track ready motorcycle. #3 of around 150 produced total. Aluminum & carbon fiber frame. 1,000cc engine producing 135hp and 5 speed manual transmission. 3,245 miles shown, but the title is mileage exempt

"1,000cc engine producing 135hp and 5 speed manual transmission. Revs kinda high on the freeway, but it's Italian!" Obviously, this is a dealer reselling the bike, but you think they could at least get the basics right... Anyway, aside from the fact that we're apparently missing a gear in the gearbox, it's mostly what you'd expect from a 3,245 mile bike, and includes a set of Arrow carbon cans, along with a few anodized accessories of dubious taste. The broken turn signals are a bit of a concern, since they appear mismatched, are non-standard, and could easily have been repaired before posting the bike up. It's a minor issue, but it suggests that maybe this bike isn't quite as carefully preserved as it appears. Bidding is up just north of $7,000 with another day left on the auction. Mid to late 90s Bimotas are currently at a low ebb in terms of value, so if you aren't afraid to buy a bike that might need a bit of attention to turn it into something that really performs as it should have straight from the factory, or if you're just looking for some very cool garage jewelry on the the [relatively] cheap, now is the time to buy.

-tad

A Better Italian Twin? 2000 Bimota SB8R 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
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 December 7, 2015 posted by

The Italian Alternative: 1999 Suzuki TL1000R for Sale

1999 Suzuki TL1000R L Side

In the late 1990s, manufacturers of sportbikes had basically given up on the v-twin like the one that powers this Suzuki TL1000R. Twins could still be found in smaller bikes, but serious sport machines had mostly moved onto the inline-four configuration. Except, of course, for Ducati and they probably stuck with it because they couldn't afford to develop an all-new four-cylinder engine. But the highly-evolved Pantah engine, now fitted with water-cooling and four-valve heads made a big splash in World Superbike racing in the 851 and 916 that followed, thanks to good aerodynamics and rules that favored big twins. So other manufacturers stepped up with their own v-twin sportbikes, and the TL1000R was the bike Suzuki hoped would compete against the bikes from Bologna.

1999 Suzuki TL1000R L Side Front

Introduced in 1998, just a year after the half-faired TL1000S, the TL-R was built for just a few years and production ceased in 2003. The bike itself was a bit of a failure, as it didn't really compete with the 916 in terms of sex appeal: that duck-tailed styling is a bit odd, and the broad fairing feels more inline-four and less v-twin.

1999 Suzuki TL1000R Dash

And the handling was an even bigger problem: to save space and keep the wheelbase short, Suzuki fitted a rotary damper to their twins. The concept is certainly sound, but the TL's was too small, which caused the unit to overheat and lose its dampening. The result was a tendency to tank-slap and the original S was considered a bit of a "widowmaker."

1999 Suzuki TL1000R Tank

But you can't really argue with the engine, and that 135bhp lump found its way into a pretty wide variety of machines over the years, including a couple of Bimotas. When the TL-R was introduced, some reviewers felt it was almost inline-four like in terms of its power delivery, with a top-end biased delivery. But its still torquey, reliable, and sounds great with a set of aftermarket cans.

1999 Suzuki TL1000R R Side Tail

From the original eBay listing: 1999 Suzuki TL1000R for Sale

Up for sale is a fantastic condition fuel injected 1999 Suzuki TL1000R with 15,900 miles on it. This bike has great personality, tons of highend power, 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 is faster than just about any bike in the twistys. Its a fantastic mixture of lightweight body/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. Full M4 Stainless steel exhaust system with Carbon cans (This exhaust sounds just like a Jap bike should)

2. Carbon Fiber Rear Hugger

3. Carbon Fiber look Air Dam Surrounds

4. Shorty turn signals front and rear

5. Smoked Windscreen

6. Tank Protector

5. Chrome swingarm spools

Here is a list of recent maintence items done to the bike (All done within 100miles)

1. New Avon tires installed (Front and Rear)

2. Brand new oil and filter (Synth oil)

3. Chain adjusted and oiled

4. Steering stem bearings cleaned and repacked with fresh grease

5. Front and rear axle bearings cleaned and repacked with fresh grease

6. Valves checked and found in spec at 12k

1999 Suzuki TL1000R L Side Rear

The seller also includes a helpful startup and walk-around video.

These change hands for shocking small sums these days, so it's a pleasure to find one that's so clean. Mileage is relatively low and, aside from the pipes and those questionable front turn signals, appears to be pretty stock. The seller doesn't mention whether or not this bike has had a conventional shock fitted to replace the rotary unit, a modification that is well-worth doing and generally solves the issues with the handling.

I prefer these in traditional Suzuki blue-and-white colors, but no matter what color, the TL-R makes a great, charismatic roadbike with v-twin sound and Japanese reliability, all for chump change.

-tad

1999 Suzuki TL1000R R Side

The Italian Alternative: 1999 Suzuki TL1000R for Sale
Suzuki August 23, 2014 posted by

Budget Widowmaker: 1997 Suzuki TL1000S

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.

1997 Suzuki TL1000S L Side

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.

1997 Suzuki TL1000S FR

From the original eBay listing: 1997 Suzuki TL1000S for Sale

A 1997 TL1000S. This V twin super sports bike was only made for a few years and this just happens to one of the cleanest one's around. This bike has never been raced or molested. It has some tasteful upgrades and that's it. The bike has a full Vance and Hines carbon fiber exhaust, not just slip on's. The rear has a turn signal eliminator kit on it, the turn signals are in the brake light. It looks very clean. Tires are good there are currently no issues with this bike at all. It is one of the cleanest TL's still around. This bike is has one of the most unique sounding engines due to the factory gear drive timing. If you’re looking at this then you know what you are looking at. This bike has a cult following. Here is your chance to pick up a very nice ride!

This is a very clean bike, it has been garaged its whole life! Must see to believe. There are no paint or decal flaws

1997 Suzuki TL1000S Dash Front

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 I would have expected: the bulbous 90’s styling is handsome at the front, although the rear is still a bit awkward to me. This example is in very nice shape, with under 11,000 miles. With bidding at $3,300 and just three days left, this represents a ton of performance and character for very minimal outlay of cash. 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.

-tad

1997 Suzuki TL1000S R Side

 

Budget Widowmaker: 1997 Suzuki TL1000S