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Summer Fling – 1987 Suzuki GSX-R400

For 1987 Suzuki left the GSX-R400 substantially unchanged from ’86, but thankfully returned to the twin headlight fairing.  In a catchy single-year iteration of Suzuki blue and white, Deftone Cycles has brought this GK-71F with low km’s and Ohio title.

1987 Suzuki GSX-R400 for sale on eBay

Suzuki had introduced the 400 Gixxer in 1984 and made steady improvements over the years, the ’86-87 models using water, oil, and air cooling to keep temps down.  Since it was a JDM progressive license machine, horsepower was stuck at 59 by statute.  Still the topped-off weight of just 365 lbs. made the most of the available ponies.  An interesting concept was the Deca Brake system, with a separate brake pad for each caliper piston, ten in all, hoping to work around some unhelpful disk brake dynamics.  New vents on the endurance fairing help draw heat out of the fairing and away from the rider.

As very few GSX-R400’s were exported by Suzuki, most recent arrivals have some cosmetic issues from long storage.  Deftone has gone over the bike to insure trouble free running, but doesn’t try to gloss over the truth.  A short cold start video is available – here –.  This is a low-mile fighter that could easily be a lover with some TLC.  Greg’s comments from the eBay auction:

8,484 Miles (13,653 Kilometers) Completely original and unrestored.  Four stroke, transverse four cylinder, DOHC 4 valves per cylinder. One-year color scheme. Mechanically Sorted.  All fluids are fresh.  Shifts and revs to redline perfectly.  Starts effortlessly every time. Very Honest Bike. Very few scratches overall. Left lower fairing is where most of the issues are. Please see Images. Fuel tank is Rust Free.

Having stayed mostly in the home market, Suzuki’s 400 gave ground in the period shoot-outs, but had their usual simpler, stronger, lighter cards to play.  Now rarer, they often don’t have their original price advantage.  But this one is more affordable, if there was ever a 400 to doll-up as you learn to ride a lightweight, this might be it…



  • like the old add used to say, you’ve come a long way baby.

  • Hmm – always though Suzuki Deca Piston braking system just refers to the 10 pistons, not 10 brake pads.

  • You are correct RC45. 10 pistons with 6 pads.

  • My habit is to research these manufacturer-specific acronyms while I work up a bike, in this case a Dutch wiki entry which refers to ten pistons and pads. Seemed to make sense considering all the games car manufacturers play with piston sizes to equalize pad wear on multi-piston calipers. Certainly pads covering both pistons could be retro-fitted, even by the factory. To my mind trying to trademark a normal 4-piston 2-pad front caliper would have generated negative comments in reviews.

  • Wiki is the last source you should be trusting for accurate data. If you really want to know how many pistons and pads or other parts a bike has go the CMSNL website and look at the parts list.

  • great site thanks JR, clearly shows a single pretty damn near square brake pad for the front brakes ( for each side of each caliper ), so much for my fanciful narrative. Learn something here every day… 🙂

  • The same caiipers with single pad are used on many Suzukis. Both RGs. 600 and 750 Katanas. GS500 and more. EBC Double H s with lines can bring them alive a bit. I use them on some of my Zook restomods. They feel real nice on my 400 Banfit with stock MC. Not so on others bikes in my fleet.

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