Posts by Category: Suzuki

Suzuki October 8, 2019 posted by

Spring has Sprung – 1982 Suzuki GSX-1100SXZ Katana

– At least in the seller’s Cape Town home.  This low-mile Katana is an excellent original and unusual -SXZ variant that was only offered south of the equator.

1982 Suzuki GSX-1100SXZ ( South Africa ) for sale on eBay

As 1980 approached, Suzuki was having its way on the track and in the showroom, and the SXZ was specified by the New Zealand importer to homologate the model for racing down that way.  Beside the radical look of the Hans Muth design, these Katanas came with spoked wheels ( 18-inch rear ), bigger brakes, carburettors and exhaust, and performance camshafts.  Actual tech for the time meant air cooling, right-side-up forks, and twin shocks.  Even with power bumped up from the usual -S’s 111 hp, the 500-plus pound dry weight was undeniable.  But it made for a great endurance racer and GT.

This owner has had some knowledge of the SXZ’s special lineage, and preserved it beautifully.  Some close-up details would be nice, but metals and finishes look close to faultless in what’s shown here.  Most bikes closing in on their 40th birthday have had some degree of customization, but this Katana is very original.

I am the second owner of this very special Katana for the past twenty-six years.
The mileage is low for the age of the vehicle.
In total, she has done just over 17,000 Km (10,493 miles) of which I have done about 7,500 Km (4,630 miles) during my 26 years of ownership.
She is in mint condition, well maintained and recently serviced.

The factory’s change to an 18-inch rear wheel is puzzling, maybe it was deemed the easiest way to increase ground clearance and decrease the rake angle, lending more quickness to the steering head.  The up-and-coming GSX-R put the kibosh on the Katana’s racing career, but the model has had a lasting impact on Suzuki’s stable, being revived this year as a 2020 model.  For a fan with the time and resources for an international purchase, this looks like a special opportunity.

-donn

Spring has Sprung – 1982 Suzuki GSX-1100SXZ Katana
Suzuki October 3, 2019 posted by

RRoarr – 1989 Suzuki GSX-R750RK(RR)

Sold while this post was being edited, maybe to a reader ?  Still worth a look…  Donn

Regular readers might recognize the Disney cells and beige carpet before even clicking through to this listing, but this is one of this collector’s finer examples.  Also one of the most legendary Gixxers, returning to the longer stroke engine and uber rare with just 500 examples worldwide.

1989 Suzuki GSX-R750RK(RR) for sale on eBay

With its 40mm semi-flatslide “slingshot” Mikuni carburettors, the 748cc four was a nice upgrade from the H variant with 112 hp on tap.  The alloy frame was compact thanks to the 1988 update, still air and oil cooled with a two stage oil pump.  Fully adjustable 43mm forks and Full Floater monoshock are a gift and a challenge, requiring a studious wrench and some time to get right.  Figure in some break time as well, since the high footpegs, low clip-ons and hard seat challenge the rider.  In neighborhood of 450 lbs. ready to ride, it wasn’t super light, but was trim for the day.

 

Somehow wheeled onto the carpet after just over 1,000 miles, this RR is collector quality with original fairings and paint.  The Yoshimura carbon muffler lets you know you didn’t just pass through a galactic wormhole.  Its age shows only in the tank protector which has accumulated some dirt under one edge, otherwise it’s the time traveler.  From the eBay auction:

GR79C with only 1,675 kilometers (1,041 miles). All fairings are 100% original OEM factory Suzuki. Bike is in mint as new condition. Museum collector quality! Almost flawless. Original mirrors show patina in the glass reflection. Light tiny surface scratches on the right side of the swing arm by the stand bolt. Clear tank protector installed and has a dirty edge. The rest of the bike is mint. Bike has been de-restricted. Comes with a Yoshimura full exhaust system and Ohlins fully adjustable rear shock. Original stock exhaust system and stock shock in new condition go with bike. Those parts were removed and replaced with the upgraded components when the bike was purchased new. (Original parts are worth thousands alone.) Bike shows no signs of rust or corrosion. Original owner said it was cherished and always stored indoors and never ridden in the rain. No signs of wear on the bike. Comes with two original keys and fresh tires. This bike looks like a bike should with only a thousand miles on the odometer. Looks like it was just rolled off the assembly line. Chassis and engine are spotless. Bike runs as good as it looks. Extremely well cared for.

It would be a stretch to consider this museum piece for an afternoon’s pleasure, but it could happen.  Like jumping in a 30 year-old Porsche 964 Turbo, or V-Tailed Beech Bonanza, you’d want to take a short shakedown cruise, stop, look it over, then have a serious discussion with the mirror.

-donn

RRoarr – 1989 Suzuki GSX-R750RK(RR)
Suzuki October 2, 2019 posted by

Lucky Strike Replica: 1996 Suzuki RGV250 VJ23A for Sale

The 1996 Suzuki RGV250 VJ23 was basically the last gasp for road-legal two-stroke sport bikes, and one of the most technologically advanced. Sure, Aprilia made the RS250 for a few years beyond that, but it was actually powered by the previous generation of Suzuki’s RGV250 engine, and the final examples weren’t even road legal in many markets. Earlier versions of the RGV250 were powered by the expected 90° v-twin, but the VJ23 was pretty much new from the ground-up, and was powered by a more compact 70° unit with slightly undersquare internal dimensions and a dry clutch for the six-speed transmission. Interestingly the new engine’s bore and stroke of 54 x 54.5mm match the Honda NSR250R’s specs exactly, and I’m assuming the increased torque contributed to the new RGV’s improved rideability.

Bodywork was completely new for the bike as well, and resembles the SRAD GSX-R of the period, all curves and bulges, with a functional ram-air duct in the fairing. The new VJ23 also featured an electric starter, a very unusual feature for a flyweight two-stroke, but very civilized and refined. Other revisions meant weight stayed basically the same as the outgoing VJ22, in spite of the starter. Frame was the expected twin-spar aluminum unit, along with the usual asymmetrical banana swingarm.

The biggest concern buying one of these desirable Lucky Strike race-replicas is… whether or not it’s a replica replica. It’s obviously pretty easy to buy new, pre-painted bodywork of varying degrees of quality from overseas, or even have a good-quality paint-job applied to standard bodywork yourself. How can you tell if it’s the real thing? As always, caveat emptor. Consult with an expert before parting with your money to avoid disappointments, especially at the $14,500 asking price.

From the original eBay listing: 1996 Suzuki RGV250 VJ23A Lucky Strike Replica for Sale

Up for sale is a genuine 1996 Suzuki RGV250SP VJ23A Lucky Strike with only 1,444 kilometers (897 miles). Just imported from Japan. Bike is in mint condition showing very little patina. Tank is perfect, upper and lowers are mint no scratches, no dings, no dents, no handling marks. Rear fairing has a few very light surface scratches or boot marks that don’t show up in pictures. All fairings are 100% genuine OEM Suzuki factory. Frame number confirms genuine factory Lucky Strike model. (Number 133 of 200 manufactured) Bike is completely stock. It’s in gorgeous collector quality condition. Runs like new. Comes with new fluids, carb cleaning and new Dunlop Sportmax tires. Comes with two keys and Utah state title. It is titled as a street bike for road use. This Lucky Strike will be the Crown Jewel of any collection! Please text 801-358-6537 for questions and pictures.

Keep in mind also that, if you plan to keep your collectible GP-replica bone stock, that these were intended for the Japanese home market and limited to just 40hp from the factory. This example was imported directly from Japan, according to to the seller, so I’d assume it is the limited power version of the bike. A few “export models” were made, just 360 or so of the 2218 VJ23s that were built. Either way, this was one of the most highly-developed two-stroke sportbikes ever made for use on public roads, and represents the very end of development for the breed.

-tad

Lucky Strike Replica: 1996 Suzuki RGV250 VJ23A for Sale
Suzuki September 25, 2019 posted by

Going the Distance: 1986 Suzuki GSX-R750 Race Replica for Sale

Well this is obviously not some perfectly-preserved replica, so if that’s a problem, just move along. Me, I’m always glad pristine originals exist in museums, so we can tell what those original, factory-supplied decals on the tank looked like before years of spilled gasoline caused them to flake and peel. But I don’t really want to own those bikes. Original carbon canisters that clutter up a Ducati’s clean lines? Massive exhaust cans that make a superbike sound like a sewing machine? Ugly plastic fenders and bulky signals and all that are optional, in my book. A bike is a blank slate. Sure, you can go too far and create something tacky and ill-advised. But this particular Suzuki GSX-R750 walks that line perfectly, with classic, if not original graphics, and great 80s endurance-racer style.

Flat-slide carbs now feed the air and oil-cooled inline four, but it otherwise retains the classic GSX-R oil-boiler powertrain. The inline four had twin cams and four valves per cylinder, but it saved weight by eschewing a radiator and water cooling system. Instead, Suzuki’s first couple generations of Gixxer used the Suzuki Advanced Cooling System or “SACS” that featured a double-chambered oil pump to circulate and cool the bike’s lubricant, along with oil jets that sprayed the undersides of the pistons.

The colors here match the black-and-red Japanese-market Limited Edition version of the bike, decorated with tasteful period sponsor logos. I don’t know if this Yoshimura setup is period-correct, but it looks the part, and makes the bike look more lithe and nimble, more modern. There may be fans of the huge, perforated cylinder that passed for an exhaust can on the original bike, but I’m not one of them. Stainless-steel braided brake lines are obviously a later edition, but look good and should improve feel from the old-school four-piston calipers. The Fox shock out back should get handling closer to modern standards, and I love the single-lamp endurance-style fairing.

From the original eBay listing: 1986 Suzuki GSX-R750 Race Replica for Sale

INTRODUCTION:

You are looking at a 1986 Suzuki GSX-R750 endurance race bike replica. This GSX-R750 was custom built to race spec but was never raced, it was mostly a show bike, this race build was inspired by the 1986 endurance race bike. The motor was fully race built from the crank up and a lot of performance bolt on parts were added or custom fabricated to replicate the endurance race bike of 1986. This bike is extremely fast and truly feels like a real race bike with the motor modifications and bolt on performance parts. But please feel free to read more about the specifics of this bike and see the pictures for detail. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. U.S. and International bidders are welcome to bid on this motorcycle but must arrange shipping themselves…

BODY:

The body work is all original and is in good condition. There are absolutely no cracks on any of the body panels, but there are some minor nicks and scrapes on a few of the panels.  We took pictures of the body work before all the decals so you can see the decals are not hiding any cracks or paint flaws. The wheels are perfect with no rock chips or scratches anywhere. The frame and engine have no corrosion and are nice and clean. Overall cosmetically this bike is in very nice condition.

MECHANICAL:

The bike runs and rides perfect, and shifts smoothly through all 6 gears. A full service tune-up was performed which included new spark plugs, chain, air filter, brake pads, oil change, new tires, and fluids flushed. All of the lighting, switches and electrical components work as they should.

RACE PARTS:

Professionally fully built motor from crank up, balanced crankshaft, over sized Wiseco pistons, race cams, adjustable camshafts sprockets, extended hardened rocker arms, performance valve springs, titanium valve retainers, and camshafts were degreed top performance race spec. 34mm Mikuni flat slide carbs, velocity stacks and pod filters included. Yoshimura race exhaust, fox fully adjustable rear shock, progressive front springs and emulators, larger 4.0 rear wheel, 520 chain conversion, pro flo clip-ons, larger diameter front brake rotors, braided steel brake lines, 4 piston large calipers. this bike also comes with a full JDM lighting kit for street, which includes JDM turn signals, and front headlight kill switch with city light options too.

CONCLUSION:

This is a great opportunity to buy a 1986 Suzuki GSX-R750 endurance race replica. This race build was inspired by the original endurance race bikes of the time and was built to closely resemble and perform as the original Suzuki team endurance race bike. If you would like any additional pictures or have any questions please feel free to email us. Domestic & International buyers are welcome to bid but must arrange the shipping themselves. We will however be glad to assist with any loading of the motorcycle.  We have helped with the shipping of motorcycles across the country and overseas for other customers in the past. Please feel free to bid as long as you make the shipping arrangements.

This is a very sharp bike, although the gauges are pretty faded and some other details show the bike’s age. Overall, it seems like a very nice rider, a bike to be enjoyed and shared, not bubble-wrapped or displayed in a museum. Bidding is very active and up to just north of $5,000 with several days left on the listing.

-tad

Going the Distance: 1986 Suzuki GSX-R750 Race Replica for Sale
Suzuki September 22, 2019 posted by

Pun Free Post: 1982 Suzuki GSX1000S Katana for Sale

One of these days, I’m going to write a Suzuki GSX1000S Katana post that incorporates all of the “edgy styling” and “sharp detailing” and “cutting edge design” jokes into one, long sword reference, every sentence carefully forged into a kind of Damascus steel masterpiece of bad puns. Today is not that day though. Instead, I’ll focus on the bike and spare you my attempts at metallurgical humor. Let’s be honest here: the Katana was not a brand-new bike, even though it certainly looked the part when it was introduced in 1981. In fact, the styling was really the only forward-looking element of the design, aside from a set of anti-dive forks.

The engine was Suzuki’s proven air/oil-cooled 1074cc inline four with standard five-speed gearbox from the GS1100, hung in a traditional frame with a twin shock rear suspension, and a 19″ front wheel matched to a 17″ rear. That familiar and bullet-proof mill featured DOHC, 16-valve heads and Suzuki’s TSCC “Twin Swirl Combustion Chamber” to put out 111hp, but the 511lbs dry weight obviously blunts performance somewhat.

It’s not that the Katana was slow, exactly. How could a big four-cylinder motorcycle with slippery, wind-tunnel aerodynamics ever be slow? But it was decidedly old-school, and the GSX-R that followed immediately in its wake showed the real way forward for the sportbiking world. With a bit of work, the Katana will handle well enough, but if you think “muscle bike” instead of “sportbike” you’re probably less likely to be disappointed. Top speed was a claimed 147mph, with tested speeds coming to within a few ticks of that, but it was reportedly pretty terrifying at anywhere near that speed. Best keep it around the ton and just enjoy the old school flexibility.

Slower speeds also permit you to bask in the attention you’re likely to attract, since this is the kind of bike that turns heads wherever you go. Styling was done by former BMW designer Hans Muth and his firm Target Design, and the result was hugely polarizing, but certainly not boring. Later bikes even got the pop-up headlight that looks like was always intended for that tiny nose cone. I’ve personally always been a huge fan of the gauge cluster, where the overlapping faces of the primary dials save space and generally look pretty trick.

Teased in 1979 and introduced in 1981, the bike came to the USA in 1982 powered by a smaller version displacing 998cc to stay under the 1025cc limit for Superbike competition, but but the full 1074cc version came hot on its heels in 1983. The seller simply refers to it as a “Katana” and it’s entirely possible we could have the 1000cc or the 1100cc version here.

From the original eBay listing: 1982 Suzuki GSX1000S Katana for Sale

I’m selling a beautiful Katana out of my personal collection! It is one of the first 1000 of production! The bike runs awesome, in good weather it will start and idle 90% of the time without the choke! It was totally gone through buy RR Restorations! New, brakes, battery and tires. The carbs, front and rear calipers and anti dive have all been professionally rebuilt! With only 11K miles I hate to see it go, but its time for someone else to enjoy it as I did! The bike come with a money back guarantee! However, your deposit is none refundable and buyer is responsible for return shipping! This is a beautiful bike that will turn head anywhere you ride it! If you have any questions please feel free to ask! Please free to make and reasonable offer! I don’t have to sell it, just what to make room for another! The bike runs, rides and everything works the way it should!

The buyer is completely responsible for shipping and the arrangements if needed! I will help the shipper in any way possible!

Katanas have proven popular as the basis for resto-mod projects, owing to their relatively low values, readily-available parts to maintain and tune the strong, reliable engine, and the wild design that even today looks like some dimension-hopping refugee from an alternate, much cooler future 2019 than the one we actually got. This one should probably be left alone though, with maybe just some updates to the fork and shock to keep the bike’s wayward high-speed handling in check. It’s not completely original, with the Kerker exhaust, but looks way too clean in general to chop up, even in the name of “improvements” and, at $7,000 is still a relative bargain.

-tad

Pun Free Post: 1982 Suzuki GSX1000S Katana for Sale
Suzuki September 3, 2019 posted by

Never Better – 2004 Suzuki SV1000S

Suzuki jumped on the liter V-twin bandwagon in 1997, and though the fine TL1000S didn’t meet sales expectations, they made some changes and released the SV1000S in 2003.  This one-owner example has been tuned and personalized, but ridden only 3,000 miles.

2004 Suzuki SV1000S for sale on eBay

While the vacuum-cast aluminum chassis looks beefy, a look from – inside – shows it is not solid, but a complex array of stiffeners, adding lightness and rigidity.  The 996cc twin has many changes from the TL1000S including forged pistons, lighter con-rods and timing chain.  The intake and valve train is optimized for its 75 ft.-lbs. torque – though peak power isn’t nothing at 123 hp.   Right-side-up forks and monoshock are multi-adjustable, and there is a steering damper and slipper clutch to help the big twin mind its manners.  Brakes are from Tokico and 310mm in front, 220mm out back.

This South Jersey owner has addressed every comment the media had about the SV1000S, and made several cosmetic updates as well.  A more open exhaust and accompanying Power Commander has allowed the engine to be heard, some reviewers thought it was too quiet.  Braided brake lines firm up the lever and pedal feel, and an adjustable steering damper has been added.  Suspension has been updated and tuned, and the supersport fairing has been made full with factory parts.  Not to mention a lot of blue anodized and carbon accents.  From the eBay auction:

Suzuki OEM Lower Fairing Kit.
Suzuki OEM Solo Seat Tail Section
Hot Bodies Undertail Section w/ Flush Mount LED Turn Signals.
Zero Gravity Smoked Double Bubble Race Screen.
Mirror Extender Blocks.
Dale Walker Holeshot High Mount Stainless Dual Exhaust System.
Vance and Hines Power Commander.
CNC Fabricated Tank Riser Forced Air Kit.
K&N Stage I Air Filter.
COX Racing Radiator Guard (Anodized Blue).
Traxxion Dynamics Road Raced Tuned Forks
Penske Triple Clicker Rear Shock w/Remote Reservoir.
Extended Dog Bones Ride Height Increased.
Hel Custom Brake/Clutch Lines (Carbon Look w/Blue Anodized Ends).
GPR Steering Stabilizer (Blue Anodized).
Tapered Steering Head Bearings.
CFM Woodcraft Road Racing Rear Sets w/Brake Light Switch Option.
Delran Frame / Swingarm Slider Stand Spools.
R&G Axle Sliders.
EBC Carbon Fiber Road and Race Clutch Kit.
Pazzo Adjustable Levers (Anodized Blue).
SBS Brake Pads.
Vortex Rear Sprocket.
Carbon Fiber Gauge, Triple Tree, License Plate, and Gas Cap Covers.
ProBolt and TiForce Titanium Hardware Throughout (Anodized Blue)
Brand New Dunlop Q3 Tires.
Brand New Maintenance Free Sealed Battery w/ Battery Charger Quick Connect.

The SV1000S could only long for the success of the jack-of-all-trades SV650, and though Suzuki could have presented a model as exciting as this owner’s, the cost probably wouldn’t have helped matters.  As offered, the bottom line is a little more than the usual 15 year-old Suzuki, but the new owner of this SV will have a basically new bike, itself a comprehensive update to the TL1000S, professionally updated in every important way.  It’s also one of a very few monoposto SV’s with full bodywork, its angular complexities downplayed by the dark blue color.

-donn

Never Better – 2004 Suzuki SV1000S
Suzuki August 2, 2019 posted by

Just Right: 1989 Suzuki GSX-R400R for Sale

Update 8.2.2019: This seller has upgraded to a Featured Listing. The bike is back on eBay and is now NO RESERVE! Good luck to buyers and seller! Links updated. -dc

I’m a big fan of smaller, less powerful sportbikes. Sure, maybe that sounds like I’m not a real motorcycle enthusiast, since I’m not addicted to excessive horsepower… But I’ve always found that chasing peak power to be a bit of a pointless exercise: there’s always something newer and faster. I really can’t use the power most of the time anyway, especially on the road. And let’s be honest: neither can most of you. I love the idea of a 250cc inline four, but the meagre power output and small physical size mean they’re probably not practical for my 6’2″ frame, but something like this Suzuki GSX-R400R might be perfect.

Many sportbike fans don’t realize that it was really the GSX-R400 that came first in 1984, a year before the GSX-R750 was introduced. Although they could be easily forgiven, since it wasn’t available in all markets. Unlike the bigger 750 and 1100 versions, the 398cc inline four was actually liquid-cooled, and produced a claimed 59hp, a power figure that didn’t really change throughout the different versions, since it had more to do with government regulation than actual performance. It was the lightest, fastest 400 four-stroke on the market when it was introduced, although other manufactures quickly jumped on the bandwagon and the whole class was hotly contested throughout the 80s and 90s.

The GSX-R400 was redesigned for 1986 and introduced SATCS, Suzuki’s “advanced, three-way cooling system” that used both water and oil to cool the engine. So basically like a normal liquid-cooled engine… I assume it incorporated an oil-cooler so they could tie it in with the bigger, “oil-boiler” SACS bikes, but technical details are pretty scarce online, so I’d love input in the comments. Those 1986 bikes also used an oddly modern-looking rectangular headlamp that wasn’t popular, so the 1987 bikes went back to the twin-round lamp setup. 1988 saw the bike styled to tie in with the whole GSX-R lineup, with “baby Slingshot” looks, a new aluminum frame, regular-old liquid-cooling, and a set of “slingshot” carburetors, along with a shorter wheelbase and a claimed 352lb dry weight. 1989 seen here was virtually the same bike, but added the “R” at the end of the name, probably for added poweR…

The seller is asking $4,999.00 for this particular GSX-R400R. It needs a little bit of mechanical attention to make it a runner but, as you can see from the pictures, it doesn’t need much cosmetic work. The original listing has plenty more pictures if you need convincing.

From the original eBay listing: 1989 GSX-R400R for Sale

This is a 1989 Suzuki GSX-R400R GK73. I found this bike in Japan back in 2015, it was a very rare color for 1989, few of them were made and it really caught my eye as being especially unique. The GK73 was an interesting model with the aluminum frame and liquid cooled engine. 

I imported this GSX-R legally from Japan and it has a clean and clear U.S. title with plate and street registration.

I did a mini restoration on this bike, it still needs a small amount of work so I am selling it AS IS (at a loss as well as I have over $6000 in it).

The bike currently does not run. I have rebuilt the carbs with the Litetek kit replacing all internal o-rings and seals. I had the bike running well but the fuel inlet o-rings weeped so I replaced those with original Suzuki new OEM ones. One of these leaked and the carbs needed to be synced… somewhat defeated and pulled away on other projects this is how I left the bike. So it will run, but you will at a minimum need to pull carbs and check the fuel inlet o-rings and make sure they are seated/installed properly and then double check carbs, re-fit and sync. The bike has a decent battery installed and all electric/lights work as they should.

The bike has had a FULL service front to back and has ZERO miles on the following. 

ALL fresh fluids front to back, brake fluid, coolant, engine oil. New spark plugs. Front forks were rebuilt with new fluid and seals, brand near tires on freshly powdercoated wheels with new bearings and valve stems.

I had the bike completely repainted in the stock colors and using all of the original OEM bodywork! The originally paint had some sun fading and typical scuffs and scratches for its age but no major damage. Likewise the wheels had some marks and corrosion so I had them powder coated, I did not get an exact match of the bronze type color Suzuki used on this unique paint scheme but it is pretty close!

This is a VERY nice GSXR-400R, most of the ones I have seen in Japan and elsewhere need a lot of work. I have done all the hard stuff (and costly work $$$!!) already, it will just need a few hours put into the carbs and some tuning work to have a VERY NICE rider!

I can help arrange shipping anywhere in the U.S. or world wide including crating!

It’s in California and claimed to be “plated” here but definitely do your homework. It’s not perfect, but the simple mechanical work indicated by the seller is something you’d expect of any bike this age, and the cosmetics look really sharp. I’ve ridden a Honda NC30 and you might think that the 60hp of a JDM 400 sounds pretty weak, but you might be surprised. Sure, you do find yourself twisting the throttle to the stop more often than on other bikes, but it means you get to run the bike to redline more often as well. If you and your buddies regularly head out to terrorize the freeways at 160mph, you will find a 400 underpowered. But if twisty canyons are more your thing, you might love something like this.

-tad

Just Right: 1989 Suzuki GSX-R400R for Sale
Suzuki August 2, 2019 posted by

Japanese Thunder: 2000 Suzuki TL1000R for Sale

The Suzuki TL1000R was famously underwhelming when released. It was a bit too fat, didn’t handle as brilliantly as the Italian competition, and while it looked appropriately Suzuki-ish, styling wasn’t considered a high point. Sort of like the designers were watching a lot of platypus porn while they were styling the bike… In fact, all of the would-be Ducati challengers basically fizzled, but several, including the Honda RC51 and the TL1000R, have since managed to become cult-classics. It certainly helped that their used values cratered, with lower prices making their flaws much easier to forgive.

Aside from the TL-R’s styling, which is always subjective, the biggest issue was handling. V-twins always present particular packaging challenges, particularly the transversely-mounted designs usually used in modern sportbikes. Obviously, a Harley-esque 45° angle between the cylinders is great for packaging in terms of length and width, if not height. But they vibrate like crazy at revs. Unless you want to add balance-shafts, a 90° twin is your best bet, but then the issue is the bike’s wheelbase: use an “L-twin” like Ducati and long swingarm for maximum traction, and the machine ends up with an unfeasibly long wheelbase. Rotate the engine backwards in the chassis to keep it shorter front-to-back, and you limit room for a rear suspension.

Suzuki went the second route, and got around space limitations by using an unusual rotary damper instead of a traditional linear unit. The concept is proven, but Suzuki’s unit was too small for the application and overheated under hard use. Strangely, aftermarket linear units from Penske and others can be swapped in with adapter kits, and Bimota used Suzuki’s v-twin in their SB8R, fitted alongside the heads and operated via a linkage, so the rotary damper was clearly a bit of a gimmick that backfired.

Handling issues aside, the TL-R was powered by a peach of an engine, a 996cc v-twin with liquid-cooling, four-valve heads, and 135hp. That engine, along with the six-speed box, could be found in a number of bikes from other manufacturers that lacked the resourced to develop their own. Away from the utterly ruthless nit-picking and hype surrounding them when new, odd-duck bikes like the TL1000R can now be appreciated on their own merits. All of the Suzuki’s flaws can be mitigated, or you can just enjoy it for what it is: a booming, easy-to-own supberbike at a bargain price.

From the original eBay listing: 2000 Suzuki TL1000R for Sale

Selling my Suzuki TL1000R, needs nothing, I was going to use it for track but change of plans. Bike has 15k miles, new tires, new brakes, rebuilt front forks, new fluid, flush brake fluid, coolant, fresh oil and filter change, new engine air filter, new spark plugs, rebuild clutch slave master cylinder, dual Yoshimura slip-ons and power commander, bike needs nothing and is road ready. I have the title.

Nothing flashy here, just a decent, well-maintained and largely stock bike, although the seller doesn’t mention whether the original tail section and passenger pegs are available. Miles are reasonable, and the upgraded Yoshi exhaust and PC setup is almost mandatory, since the Suzuki twin sounds great when allowed to breathe: deep and rumbly, without the additional layers of clutch and valvetrain noise of a Ducati. The $4,750 Buy It Now isn’t the cheapest we’ve seen, and suggests values continue to creep up, but that still represents a great deal for a very capable v-twin superbike. Just save up for a conventional shock conversion and ride this till the wheels come off!

-tad

Japanese Thunder: 2000 Suzuki TL1000R for Sale