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Sport Bikes For Sale posted by

First time on RSBFS: Suzuki RF900 (1994/1st gen)


This post is in our archives. Links in this post have been updated to point to similar bikes available to bid on eBay.

Here is a bike getting its very first post on RSBFS; the Suzuki RF900.  These bikes were only made for about 4 years and have kind of been forgotten about.  This appears to be a 1st generation RF900 with the highly desirable color matched frame.


To be honest, I have been looking for a early Suzuki RF900 to post for quite a while but they don’t seem to come up for sale that often.  Part of that is probably due to their not being hugely popular when they were available for sale.  Then again, it could also be that people are hanging onto the RF900 because they are actually really good bikes.  This one isn’t perfect and has a few aftermarket pieces but looks to be in pretty good shape.

For anyone who doesn’t know about the Suzuki RF series, back in 1994 the 900cc sportbike segment was pretty much created by the CBR900/Fireblade.  Kawasaki followed Honda with a laser focused performance-based bike, the ZX9 but Suzuki decided to go a different route by offering a 900cc bike that was a little more subdued, something similar to the Honda VFR 750/800.  Suzuki launched the RF900 in 1994 and like the VFR, the RF900 was more of a big sport standard, something that could be used as a daily rider and medium touring in comfort.

While the focus of the RF900 wasn’t on hyper performance, it wasn’t a slouch in the engine department by any means.  The RF900 engine was actually based on the GSXR-1100 bottom end – a 16-valve inline-four, four-stroke, water-cooled unit.  The RF900 had smaller carburetors and valves than the GSXR but the revised engine produced a smoother power delivery and a more usable engine.  Interestingly, even with the changes the RF900 still produced more power than a Honda Fireblade.

rf900 3

1994 Suzuki RF900 for sale on ebay

The big RF  was designed to be a bike that did everything well; it could go fast, stop quickly and do some medium-level touring.  The riding position was significantly more comfortable than the GSX-750/1100 series and while build quality wasn’t as high as the VFR the big Suzuki was significantly cheaper, mostly due to its frame being steel instead of aluminum.


Reviews of the RF900 by actual owners were overwhelmingly positive but even to this day the RF900 still has one major issue;  looks.  The 1990’s Testarossa-like louvers were either a love-it-or-hate-it affair for most riders.  The only other bikes I have seen with the same louvered look were some italian offerings such as the zane era laverda 750 (Note:  that may explain why I like these so much).

This particular RF900 has about 40,000 miles on it so its not been a garage queen.   The seller indicates some scratches and scuffs and a bit of an issue with 2nd gear but lots of recent maintenance, including the following:

  • front and rear tires (less than 300 miles on them)
  • battery
  • fuel pump
  • chain (still not broken in it will need re-adjusted the next 50 and 100 miles)
  • front and rear sprockets (replaced the same time the chain was replaced)
  • cdi box
  • brakes
  • spark plugs
  • upgraded seat and windscreen
  • aftermarket exhaust

rf900 4

So whats our first RF900 on RSBFS worth?   Well the issue with 2nd gear mentioned previously would need to be resolved.  Also the bodywork appears to be sunfaded but bodywork seems to be readily available via ebay.  Given how infrequently the big RF seems to be offered for sale, the asking price of $2,500 USD seems reasonable.    I think these could become future classics due to their styling but it could also be enjoyed by someone who wants to have what is essentially a GSX-R powered touring machine.




  • I have a later RF900. It’s a 1997. I can attest that these are pretty great all around bikes that give you a lot of bang for the buck. They can sport tour very well, especially with the Corbin seat as this one has, and then turn right around and hang right in there with fully modern sport bikes in the twisties until the pace gets truly insane. I love my Rf and don’t ever plan to part with it.

  • I had a 1994 RF600. I was one of the few that actually appreciated the fact that it didnt look like a GSXR/CBR/ Ninja/ FZR/YZF. The red frame with Ferrari red paint looked pretty sharp, especially with the matching Testarossa louver treatment.

    Not an awesome machine by any stretch, but far better than the Katana. Underpowered and poor suspension but comfortable and smooth. It was a good and cheaper alternative to a VFR 750. At the time I couldn’t afford a VFR, which is what I really wanted.

    Suzuki simply didn’t market the RF series right. Perhaps in retrospect they should have had these RF bikes be the successor to the Katana 600 and 750. The Katana name was well known even if the bikes were terrible.

  • I enjoyed my ’95. Do wonder what. 2nd gear was made of though.

  • I remember my 1996 VFR 750 used the louvered design to much better effect–probably because it was inspired by more sophisticated development (the NR). When you look at one today, it still looks modern despite being a little Miami Vicey. Let’s face it, Suzukis, old-school gixxers and 2 strokes withstanding, don’t stand the test of time that well. Just because the RF is old and strange looking doesn’t make it collectible.

  • I thought that the RF900 is an air/oil cooled machine, NOT water cooled as you state. Also, in your 1990 GSX-R750 post, you state that this is a 2nd generation machine. Actually, the limited ground clearance “Slingshot” model was Gen.2, first made in 1988. Man, it was so futuristic and “works” looking at the time. A bit more research is needed.

  • It is definitely a water cooled bike. Large curved radiator and all. Love 2 lean is right about the stock suspension, but that is pretty easy to fix. I swapped in a 2007 Gixxer rear shock and some better springs on the front, and it made a massive difference. Since mine is a later model, the front was already adjustable. Not sure what he means by underpowered, though. For as old as it is, it keeps up just fine with modern liter bikes.

    • jstv4man- I was referring to the RF600 as underpowered, I did not ever have the chance to ride the 900. I am sure that bike was plenty fast for its age.

  • The RF and compost bin it is posing with are hard to look at and stink up the place.

  • Well said MrMan. This bike is straight garbage.

  • I came across this posting in the Bay Area and thought of you may be interested. I’m not sure is a ’97 model is what you are looking for in an RF, but it looks pristine, and has only 2,200 miles! Check it out:


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