Good news everyone! Today we get to take a trip to the past, into a time before fuel injection, ABS and traction control, when two wheel slides out of the corners were still seen in top level racing (ala Gary McCoy). This was an era of serious performance that required a feather touch on the throttle and brakes instead of just point and squirt like they do nowadays.
Bonus points to those who read the paragraph above in the voice Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth 😉 – Marty
In all seriousness, the brute performance focus of the era showed in the bikes, and perhaps the one that did this the best was the Suzuki GSX-1100R. The big level performance focus of the big Suzuki is clearly seen in its design; not beautiful like a Ducati 916 or modern MV Agusta, the big GSX-1100R is a blunt instrument with aggressive angles and perhaps even a whiff of the quarter mile.
While the original 1989 GSX-1100R K model had a reputation for handling problems which was finally traced to incorrectly setup suspension units, by the time this 1991 2nd generation L/M model was produced the wheelbase had been lengthened and the front fairing was reworked to improve aerodynamics. Perhaps most famously the 2nd generation GSX-1100R came with Mikuni carbs that had vacuum operated slides. The slides cross section resembled the shape of a slingshot, hence the bikes nickname.
This particular 1991 looks to be in almost totally OEM condition, with the often replaced turn signals still intact and the original clear windscreen still in place. A Yoshimura exhaust canister appears to be the only non-stock item. Overall the bike looks amazingly clean – the only issue I am seeing in the pics is the rear brake caliper looks a little offcolor and the bolts look like they have some white residue.
Mileage is listed at a barely broken in 7550 miles but I would be willing to bet the majority of those came back in the early 1990’s so I would expect fluids might need to be replaced. The seller doesn’t provide much service history but they do indicate fresh rubber has been mounted and a fresh service of the carburetors have been done. The seller also lists some new parts are available but not installed, including a new rear rotor, grips and switchgear.
Now we come to the question of whether this big slingshot is worth the $5,500 USD asking price. The 1100 series doesn’t seem to be as high on most collectors wish lists as the 750cc series so its not surprising prices for the 1100 series still don’t seem to be as high as the 750cc model but as the supply of pristine slingshot edition Suzukis’ continues to dwindle, the price for the big 1100 does seem to be creeping up.
Previous versions of the big GSX-R posted on RSBFS have shown prices varying from a low of $2800 USD for clean examples of the next/3rd gen/”tiger stripes” model up to a high of $6500 USD for similar 2nd generation slingshots.
The $5500 USD asking price for this one actually seems a bit cheap to me and it will probably move pretty quickly. If this one is on your list, you will probably want to move quickly (no pun intended).