1990 GSX-R400R SP and 1993 GSX-R400R
I know I’ve said it before but in my humble opinion the 1990 GSX-R400 SP is one of the best looking motorcycles ever built. It has the classic GSX-R looks with a bit of TT-F3 race bike sprinkled on and to top it off it has one of Suzuki’s best paint schemes ever. Okay, with that off my chest we can get down to business. If you happen to be in the market for a little GSX-R you have here your choice of a SP or standard model. To be honest with you it really isn’t that simple. I just went through this process and found it can get a little confusing shopping for these beauties. First off, you have to be mindful of model year. Starting with the 93’s horsepower was reduced from 59 to 53. From 1991 onwards adjustable suspension became standard, not just an SP feature. Other than that not a whole lot changed on the bikes from 1990 to 1995; the last year they were produced. Once you’ve settled on year you need to decide on SP, SP II or standard. If you are like me you see SP and think that is the one you have to have. One of the features of the SP is a close ratio gearbox. I’ve had more than one GSX-R400 owner tell me the SP is almost unrideable on the street due to it’s incredibly tall first gear. The SP’s also have larger carbs (35mm to 33mm) with a throttle position sensor. They also have slightly different cams, CDI, wiring harness and Dzus fasteners on the lower. Then there is this shadowy figure of the SPII. As far as I can tell it is almost the same as the SP but with different ratios for the gearbox making it a bit more street-able. I have a service manual on the way so hopefully I can shed more light on this in the future.
Once you’ve figured it all out it is time to go shopping! These two are from the same seller and both are currently located in Mexico. The seller is very clear that all types of shipping is availbable. No mention of what the title status is on the bikes.
Let’s start with SP. It looks almost completely stock. The only thing I notice is braided brake lines. It has extremely low miles, with just over 3,100 miles on the clock. Other than that the seller hasn’t provided much info on the bike itself. The standard bike, although listed as a 2002, is a 1993 model. I have to admit, something about that bugs me when a seller can’t get the model year correct. This bike is also low mileage, 3,995, but it has a few scrapes on it. The pictures aren’t detailed enough to tell if it might have taken a small slide. It is also sporting an aftermarket muffler. Considering how old these bikes are these are nice finds in close to stock condition.
Now normally I include some details from the auction but both of these auctions have generic, copied info about the bikes. The seller is clear though that if you want more info or more detailed pictures to contact him. So that leaves us with price. I’m going to put two and two together and say these will be offered on the high end of the scale price wise. Both auctions have reserves and the seller has other 400cc bikes for sale in the mid 7’s. So with the low miles, great condition and other bikes available from the seller I’d guess these would also be priced in that range. Yes, that is pretty darn high but as the old saying goes, “You get what you pay for”. I happened to find a basket case 1990 model for a few hundred dollars. Great price right? Yes but I will spend the next year or two tearing down the bike, hunting for parts, rebuilding it and having it repainted. I like a good project but if you want to purchase and ride you need to look at bikes similar to these. You can and the .
Here is one side note for any potential GSX-R400 owner. No matter the condition of the bike be prepared for carb issues. The GSX-R’s are notorious for carb problems. They have approximately four (per carb) rubber o rings that fail over time giving different symptoms. Due to the age of the bike a lot of people recommend going in and changing out all of these rubber o rings. A wealth of info can be found at 400greybike.com.