Posts by tag: oil cooled

Suzuki December 22, 2018 posted by

Teenage Dream: 1991 Suzuki GSX-R1100 for Sale

The 90s sportbike market is booming right now. Folks that grew up riding or lusting after vintage 1960s and even 1970s bikes are steadily aging out of the hobby, and values for bikes of that era are already pretty high. Many people that lusted after 90s bikes, on the other hand, are right in that sweet spot, where they're young enough to still enjoy bikes like today's Suzuki GSX-R1100, but old enough to have some mid-career disposable income, now that the kids are headed off to college... And while the values of 1990s sportbikes have risen sharply, solid examples of some amazingly capable and entertaining machines are still available for much less than your average midlife crisis Corvette.

It also helps that the ergonomics of the big Gixxer, while considered pretty extreme at the time, are a far cry from the ass-up, head-down, seat-like-a-plank superbikes of today. In fact, the riding position could almost be considered "cushy" and far closer to a modern sport-touring machine. While still technically considered sportbikes, I don't think that there were too many classes that would have allowed this later Gixxer to compete when it was new, but that wasn't really the bike's mission statement by the 90s. It was devastatingly effective at the kind of riding your average weekend warrior does, with relatively stable, predictable handling in spite of the near 500lb weight, good wind protection, and room for two-up blasts.

The majority of the package was pretty unremarkable, with an outdated but effective cradle frame, a full-fairing, a monoshock rear, and garish, neon-airbrush graphics. The biggest change from the earlier "Slabbie" and "Slingshot" GSX-Rs was the addition of updated bodywork with improved aerodynamics, including a fully-enclosed headlight unit. But the star of the show was definitely the engine, Suzuki's hulking "oil-boiler" inline four that relied on engine oil, a high-capacity oil pump, and an oversized cooler to keep temperatures under control.

Displacement was up to 1127cc for this M-model version, and the factory claimed 145hp, although much more was available with careful tuning. These are famously tough bikes, and variations of the engine saw use in the later Bandit 1200 and GSX1400. But the writing was on the wall, and looming power and emissions requirements meant the addition of liquid cooling for 1993's iteration of the big GSX-R to help it keep pace with bikes from the other Japanese manufacturers.

Of course, that meant even more weight, and while these things may disguise their weight on the move with a low center of gravity and good suspension, they're incredibly heavy if you're say, rolling one around your garage or a showroom... This example has obviously been cherished, and the seller appears to have been very meticulous when it comes to maintenance.

From the original eBay listing: 1991 Suzuki GSX-R1100 for Sale

I graduated high school in 1991 and this was my dream bike. At the time when I was 17, and was riding around a Riva 180 scooter as I couldn't afford the GSX-R, and I recall them being about $8,500 new. So when I could buy one, I did and looked for the very best stock, impeccable bike I could find just like I saw on the showroom floor. This bike is insanely clean, all original stock parts including the rare factory OEM solo cowl. I went through just about every mechanical thing I could, not because I needed to but because I didn't plan on selling the bike. See pics: I kept all the original replaced OEM parts like o-rings from cabs, needles, jets, o-ring seals, float bowl gaskets, etc. I wanted a bike that ran and looked like brand new and this one checks off both boxes. There was no expanse spared on this bike, period. The bike starts right up with choke, idles, and purrs along. I get told over and over not to sell, it's just a really excellent example of a perfect bike. The bike is truly a time warp.

At 9,469 miles, I went through the bike entirely and correctly as follows:

  • Carburetors. First, all four of the head-to-intake pipe o-ring seals were replaced, head oil hose o-rings, all o-ring seals in the carbs, including the most important o-ring on the plastic slide with emulsion tubes, float bowl gaskets, needles, seat valves, pilot jets, air jets, seals from replaced original seals
  •  Brand new Bridgestone BT016R Pros with 40 miles on them, they still have the knobbies... I went with these because they looked to most original to the bike and have the correct profile. Some tread patterns do not look correct and the profile is off, these look similar to the originals
  • Brand new air filter
  • Brand new oil filter and Motul 5100 10W-40 oil, mineral based
  • All new OEM factory NGK plugs including one factory OEM spark plug cap that was loose
  • All new bearings in the wheels and sprocket carrier. All factory OEM with boxes and receipts [NSK, NTN, etc. No Chinese bearings.]
  • EBC sintered brake pads new front and rear. 40 miles on them
  • Full hydraulic flush of brakes and clutch with Motul 5.1 fluid also at 9,469 miles
  • Recharged the rear shock with nitrogen to 140 lbs
  • New YUASA battery with trickle charger connection
  • Factory toolkit included, along with the original rear passenger grab handle
  • Factory solo cowl included

Bidding is up to near $6,500 with plenty of time left on the auction. These aren't quite as desirable as the earlier models, but all GSX-R1100s are pretty collectible at the moment. Clean, carefully-maintained, low-mileage examples like this are very hard to find, something that's reflected in the shocking jumps in prices we've seen in a very short period of time. They're big, fast, reliable, and relatively comfortable. What's not to like?

-tad

Teenage Dream: 1991 Suzuki GSX-R1100 for Sale
Suzuki October 20, 2018 posted by

Clean, Low-Mileage Slingshot: 1989 Suzuki GSX-R750 for Sale

Suzuki’s GSX-R750 revolutionized the sportbike game by bringing racebike handling and technology to the masses. There were obviously plenty of other sportbikes available at the time, like Honda’s VF1000F and Kawasaki’s GPz900R, but none seemed to capture the style of the era quite as well the Suzuki, with its endurance-racing bodywork and striking blue-and-white graphics. It didn’t hurt that it had the performance to back up the race-bred style.

Interestingly for a cutting-edge sportbike, the original "oil-boiler" GSX-R's engine almost seems like it was a step backwards, as it was not water-cooled. Instead, the GSX-R’s designers took a page out of Colin Chapman’s book, and used an oil and air-cooling system to save both weight and complexity. Luckily, they left out Lotus’ factory-installed mechanical and electrical gremlins… Suzuki’s Advanced Cooling System or “SACS” used a high-capacity oil pump and a large oil-cooler to do the same job as a radiator, and the package made 112hp in the second-generation version seen here.

The second-generation of the GSX-R was introduced in 1988 and affectionately known as the “Slingshot,” owing to the unusual design of the semi-flat slide Mikuni BST36SS carburetors. The Slingshot actually had one less cc than the original bike, because of a more oversquare bore and stroke that resulted in 748cc. The updated engine could rev higher and made more power, but naturally less torque, and increased weight meant some customers weren’t especially happy about the change: the extremely rare homologation GSX-R750RK actually switched back to the original bore and stroke dimensions to restore some of the lost torque at the request of race teams.

The new version kept the oil-cooling though, and the perimeter aluminum frame, along with revised styling, suspension, and 17” wheels that make it look and perform more like a modern motorcycle. I’m not generally a huge fan of Japanese sportbikes, but the second-generation GSX-R750 and 1100 are on my short list of favorite motorcycles. Okay, it’s technically a pretty long list, but this is still a really cool bike.

I don't especially like the heavy four-into-two exhaust system seen here, but it is original and should add to the value for collectors. "Showroom condition" is an overused term and  is often applied to bikes that are very nice, but far from the way they rolled off the dealer floor. It shouldn't be subjective: aftermarket turn signals, exhausts, and even period-correct performance-upgrades technically disqualify a bike. But as a non-expert on Gixxers, this one looks like it might fit the description, or at least come pretty close.

From the original eBay listing: 1989 Suzuki GSX-R750 for Sale

Rare opportunity to obtain an original 89 GSX-R750 in mint condition with original exhausts and components. 

8880 miles from new, runs perfectly and needs nothing

Originally Purchased from local Suzuki Service Manager and collector, maintained in a climate-controlled garage. 

 One small scratch on the rear left tailpiece otherwise in excellent condition throughout.  

Recent tires and battery

No oil or gas leaks whatsoever, no stains, engine is smooth

Buyer responsible for shipping arrangements and costs. 

Please do not bid if you do not intend to purchase.

The curse of the "everyman sportbike" was the very reliability and affordability that made them so ubiquitous: most owners didn't bother to cherish them as they would a more exotic, or maybe more fragile machine, and they were ridden, flogged mercilessly, and discarded when they were worn out or when a new generation was introduced, then "customized" horribly by their second or third owners as the obsolete version became more affordable. These days, clean examples of Suzuki's oil-cooled GSX-Rs are quickly snapped up by collectors. Just a few years ago, you could get one of these for a few grand, but prices are shooting up quickly, especially for nice, low-mileage bikes like this one. Don't scoff too loudly at the $9,500 Buy It Now price, since bidding is already up above $7,000 with plenty of time left on the auction.

-tad

Clean, Low-Mileage Slingshot: 1989 Suzuki GSX-R750 for Sale
Suzuki September 23, 2018 posted by

Hiding in Plain Sight – 1986 Suzuki GSX-R750R Limited Edition

"Now why would somebody use this funky bronze paint on this GSX-R ?" you say, not the usual red/black or red/blue/white, but otherwise an -80's GSX-R750.  But this is a not-available-here limited edition in Yoshimura racing colors.  With several factory go-fast goodies, the GSX-R750R conformed to KISS endurance racing principles, taking light weight and reliability to the winners' circle.

1986 Suzuki GSX-R750R Limited Edition for sale on eBay

Suzuki capitalized on their air/oil-cooled experience and the new 749cc engine made 100 hp, hung in an alloy perimeter frame.  Despite having recently introduced the model, they extended the swingarm for 1986 by 25mm to calm the handling.  The Limited Edition features front suspension and brakes from the 1,100 cc model, including an electrically operating anti-dive system.  Other particulars include a monoposto seat and lightweight dry clutch.  18-inch tires are fitted front and rear, ostensibly to ease wheel and brake changes in the pits.

The outstanding condition of the paint on this LE initially had me thinking it was a U.S. model painted by the owner in Yoshimura colors, but apparently the mods are limited to the Öhlins monoshock and Cyclone muffler, along with some slightly oversized decals.  With 22.5K miles, a repaint is almost certainly somewhere in its history, but it is faithful to the original.  Not sure about the gold wheels, looking back shows them most often in white, but they look great.  From the eBay auction:

While I have changed a few things that does not mean you can not change it back. The Yosh stickers are noninvasive and have not damaged the stock paint. Yes, this is factory stock paint that was available in Japan. I installed and recently rebuilt Öhlins shock. The forks are polished and the brake lines are SS braided. I took a risk that, in my opinion paid off, by having the wheels powder coated gold. I wanted the bike to resemble a Yosh race bike from back then. The inside clutch side cover and Yosh covers were painted. The housing for the clutch actuator is NOS. I recently purchased it, removed it from the factory packaging and installed it on this bike. This bike has been gone through very thoroughly and it is ready to ride or store to admire. 

You can only pick two from the fast/reliable/cheap menu, and the GSX-R750R was expensive at the time, a result of low volumes of special parts.  Bidding has reached nearly $10K without nudging the reserve, so this will still be a pricey 750.  Maybe a more period-correct Yoshimura muffler in black could be found, but otherwise this is a pretty together and special example.  Guess you're only allowed two from the golden-age sportbike menu, when the choices are a nice stock presentation, a special model, and a pretty good bargain...

-donn

Hiding in Plain Sight – 1986 Suzuki GSX-R750R Limited Edition
Suzuki May 15, 2018 posted by

Sharp Slabbie Survivor: 1986 Suzuki GSX-R750 for Sale

Suzuki's GSX-R750 brought endurance racer performance to the masses. It may not have been the first bike to use a full fairing wrapped around lightweight aluminum monoshock frame and a four-cylinder engine, but it was the first bike to make that formula accessible to ordinary mortals, and it popularized the format. Prior to the GSX-R's introduction in 1985, you needed to be looking at something from a boutique manufacturer like Bimota if you wanted that kind of package, and those were far out of financial reach of most enthusiasts.

In a step that seems retrograde at first, the GSX-R used oil cooling instead of water. But this actually meant for a lighter, simpler package that was also easier to work on, meaning the potential loss in maximum power was a good trade off. A high-capacity oil pump and a system of oil jets dubbed SACS or "Suzuki Advanced Cooling System" helped keep things cool and that, along with dual overhead cams and four valves per cylinder, helped the bike produce a genuine 100hp.

This 1986 example would have been from the first year the bike was actually imported to the USA. Slim, right-way-up forks [with anti-dive!], 18" wheels and very skinny tires clearly date the bike, but it otherwise appears pretty shockingly modern, considering it is 32 years old. It does have a few minor blemishes and small cracks in the fairing mounts, but is otherwise about as perfect as you're likely to find outside a museum.

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

For all those searching for an original, early GSX-R that wasn’t beat to hell or “modified” by some 18 yr old, here it is. All original everything in amazing condition. Miles are correct- no replaced speedo or set back to 0 after rebuild. Previous owner said the tires were original. Some scuffs, scratches and your typical stress cracks around the fairing bolts (as typical with these old Slabbies). Tank is beautiful, dent free and unlined. Exhaust/heat shield is perfect- (probably worth 2k in exhaust and tank alone if you can find them in this condition). A surface scratch approx 4-5” long on right side of tank (probably can be buffed out) and a few mm gouge on decal stripe on right tank side. Have a new tank decal kit if you’re going for museum quality restoration. Small (approx. 1/8”) plastic piece cracked on tail section cover, left side bottom shown in photo 17.  Some clear coat wearing off due to age near headlight cowling decals, photo 13. I tried to show everything, including flaws in the photos. In general, the paint is amazing. I took these photos in bright sunlight so some of the distortion you see is reflection. And I didn’t clean the bike and bathe it in armor-all for the photos. What you see is how it is after taking the cover off after several years. Never saw road salt or cinders- was previously a FL bike. 

I purchased this bike nearly 3 years ago, rode it approx 200 feet after it left the shipping truck, and parked it. Battery was removed and bike hasn’t been run since then. I just noticed some crusty brake fluid buildup that weeped from the front reservoir when taking these photos (4/23/18). Brakes should be bled, fluid replaced. I should have drained the carbs (but didn’t), so they may have to be cleaned.  

I bought a new GSX-R750 in '86, sold it when the military had me for 4 years, and purchased this one for more $ than what I paid new in 86’. If you want one of the nicest examples of the first true street -legal production race bike, and something that will hold its value, here’s your chance. More fun than a 401k too. I’m selling because after hitting the big Five-O mark, I’m more into dirt riding and the race replica style ergonomics don’t agree with my back and neck any more. Sold my Kawi triple, my GS1100, and Yamaha 2 strokes, and this is the last to go. PA antique title in my name. (Last owner was also older,  so bike was never abused).

Photos are part of the description ( **and no, the Shelby Cobra and KTM in the pictures aren’t included). I tried to include all the good and bad. If there’s any questions about things I may have missed, feel free to email and I’ll gladly answer. No outside CONUS shipping unless discussed prior to sale. I won’t crate and ship but I will work with your shipper. Bike located near Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, PA. Have your finances in order: if your bid wins, it’s yours. Non-refundable Pay Pal deposit due after auction. Bike and title won’t be released until all payments clear. Less than 10 positive transactions contact me first before bidding. In person examination can be arranged if desired. No low-ball offers please. Don’t waste my time or yours. I don’t need the cash, so if I can’t get what I’m asking, I’ll just keep it. If you can find one nicer and all original, go for it.  Thanks for looking.

Relisted because I ended it early due to not wanting to sell it the first time. My wife promptly changed my mind.

The asking price? $7,500 which is obviously on the high-side for a Slabbie right now, but not really out of line, considering the condition and originality. It wouldn't be all that hard to find a cheaper one, but minor blemishes aside, this one's in pretty exceptional shape.

-tad

Sharp Slabbie Survivor: 1986 Suzuki GSX-R750 for Sale
Suzuki January 29, 2018 posted by

Bonkers – 1990 Suzuki GSX-R750

Hardly altering its good looks, Suzuki made several changes to the GSX-R750 for 1990 - beefier frame, 4-into-1 exhaust, and a lot of internal changes to the air/oil-cooled I-four.  This Texas example is nice overall, but the evil lurking on the garage shelves bit the tank pretty hard.

1990 Suzuki GSX-R750 for sale on eBay

 

Suzuki had tried their shorter-stroke race engine design in 1988-89 road machines, but returned to a torquier 70 x 48.7 mm bore and stroke for 1990.  Great efforts were made to help the engine rev more easily, with lighter pistons, threading connecting rods bolts right into the rods, with 38mm Mikuni carburettors and changes in the head to address cracks between the spark plug and valve seats.  The result was 115 hp at 11,000 rpm and 57.5 ft.-lbs. torque.  While ROW machines got new upside-down forks, they wouldn't arrive here until 1991.

 

Having seen some use with 28,000+ miles, this GSX-R is quite stock, showing just the Carbon-Tech exhaust.  Hard to know the reason for the fading of the middle fairing section, perhaps it is a decal which hasn't aged as well as the paint.  The parts and bikes dealer says this in the eBay auction:

All Original aside from the pipe
One Owner Bike
Only fault is a ding in the tank and a small rub on the lower left fairing as shown in the pictures
Recent refresh
Runs and Rides Great
You will be hard pressed to find another like this one
28k Miles
Clean Title and Ready to Ride

 

Suzuki hung on to the racey feel of the GSX-R, with a serious riding position and requiring a resolute hand at turn-in time.  The quality suspension and lighter weight make the bike, as Colin Chapman said, faster everywhere.  Complete and stock GSX-R750's don't pop up every day, and while the new owner will have to take care not to let any refurbishment blow up the re-sale value, this sure looks like a good candidate.

-donn

 

 

Bonkers – 1990 Suzuki GSX-R750
Suzuki January 17, 2018 posted by

Literally Found in a Barn: 1989 Suzuki GSX-R1100 for Sale

The term "barn find" pretty much says it all: the collectible car or motorcycle in question was found sitting in an actual barn, where the previous owner stored it when it stopped running. Possibly hidden under a layer of dust, old blankets, back issues of Playboy, and mold. The implication is that it is in complete, original condition, but has been somewhat neglected cosmetically and mechanically. The term gets thrown around regularly as a sort of shorthand for "original, low-miles, and in need of restoration," but seems to be exactly the case for this Suzuki GSX-R1100K "Slingshot."

The second generation GSX-R1100's nickname came from the quartet of 38mm semi-flatslide Mikuni "Slingshot" carburetors that fed the dual overhead cam, four-valve, inline four engine. It actually displaced 1127cc, up a bit from the original's 1052cc, but still featured Suzuki's Advanced Cooling System or "SACS" to keep things within optimal temperatures. SACS used a multi-chamber oil pump to effectively cool and circulate the oil, with circuits in the cylinder head and jets directed at the pistons. Later GSX-R1100s adopted a more conventional set up with a radiator and coolant, but here Suzuki stuck with the concept that simpler was better and lighter, although the Big K isn't exactly a flyweight. Mass continued to creep up throughout the 1100's successive generations and the new frame used here was both stiffer and heavier than the one found on the Slabbie. With a dry weight of 462lbs, the "K" version was never going to be particularly agile, so it was more of a GT than an actual sportbike, something that Suzuki tried to rectify the following year when they made changes to the suspension.

Unfortunately, the GSX-R1100K never really matched up with expectations: I have an old issue of SuperBike magazine that describes it as "... quite pretty. To look at, sure, but never to ride." But it's really the beefy engine that defines the GSX-R1100 experience anyway. It was a powerhouse, the Small Block Chevy of the time: endlessly tunable with a wealth of performance parts available. People set them up for drag racing, and even created road-race hybrids by squeezing the 1100 engine into the GSX-R750, which is pretty much the same idea Bimota had when they built their lightweight and extremely quick SB6, although it was a very tight fit in both cases...

Of course, a GSX-R1100 by its very nature isn't necessarily all that uncommon, but ones in this kind of condition are very rare these days: the powerful engine, reasonable ergonomics, and good wind protection meant they got used as intended, racking up huge miles, battle scars, and less-than-tasteful aesthetic "upgrades" popular at the time. People looking to make them into the corner-carvers the looks advertised tried all manner of fixes that worked or didn't in varying degrees, but the end result was very few remain as delivered by Suzuki, and even fewer have covered so few miles. With just 722 miles on the odometer, I doubt you'll find a less used example anywhere outside a museum.

From the original eBay listing: 1989 Suzuki GSX-R1100 for Sale

1989 Suzuki GSXR 1100 perfect condition with 722 miles,  was a barn find been stored since 1991 but not climate control storage literally in a barn. The bike was redone but didn't need much as the miles are so low. The body was completely done to perfect factory spec's no cracks or any problems, the wheels are original but do have a bit of chips,  bike runs great and needs nothing. Full tune tires everything done including carbs. This one for collection beautiful bike and super rare. Also comes with passenger seat parts. Bike will sell no matter what

The seller's opening bit is set at $7,000 which seems pretty fair considering the condition and low miles, but there are no takers yet with very little time left on the auction. It's a shame the pictures aren't better lit, since I think this is the very best-looking version of the long-running GSX-R series, especially in classic Suzuki blue-and-white. If you're looking to actually ride it, I'd expect there are plenty of shops out there who can recommend suspension changes to make a Slingshot handle, probably using off-the-shelf Suzuki components, along with brake upgrades and weight saving measures. At the very least, you can probably swap the original 2-into-2 exhaust for a 4-into-1 and save 20 pounds. But honestly, the original bike offered plenty of stability, even if it lacked agility, and this one should probably be enjoyed for what it is: a freeway blaster par excellence or a great two-up weekend rider. Given the low mileage though, I'd bet it might end up stored away in a collection somewhere.

-tad