If you wanted to hit the track or really tear up the canyons in the 80s and 90s, a 750cc machine was probably a much better choice for a rider than this Suzuki GSX-R1100. At the time, all of the Japanese manufacturers were caught up in a shooting war, homologating their 750cc machines for superbike racing, and that meant that those bikes balanced handling and power, versus outright brute force. Liter bikes of the period were more bruisingly-powerful GTs than out-and-out sportbikes and, although bikes like the Yamaha FZR1000 might have been just as fast and more refined, the allure of that extra 100cc gave the big Gixxer a swaggering air of danger.
The original GSX-R1100 is very much straddles the vintage and modern eras, with a full fairing and dual headlamps that aped endurance racers of the period and manages too look fairly modern, in spite of being matched to a set of 18″ wheels that would be out of fashion by the time the second-generation rolled around in 1989. The engine of the “L model” seen here still used Suzuki’s “oil-boiler” sixteen-valve inline four, but displacement increased from 1052cc to 1127cc. Weight was up to nearly 470lbs dry, but naturally so was power and the bike could almost touch 170mph.
I really like the style of the second-generation GSX-R1100, bridging the gap between classic and more modern superbikes. It’s big, heavy, fast, and handsome. Personally, I’m not so enamored of them that I’d hesitate to restomod or otherwise “improve” one, but that’s just me. Originality counts for collectors, and this one looks very clean and unmolested, even down to the stock exhausts.
From the original eBay listing: 1990 Suzuki GSX-R1100 for Sale
Excellent condition hard to find classic bike! 22k miles with clean title in hand. Please message me with any questions you may have. Unmolested motor with all factory parts including carbs and exhaust. Starts right up, runs great and excellent condition! No reserve!
The $6,500 starting bid just shows how much these have appreciated in recent years. Miles aren’t museum-piece low, but the bike appears to be in very clean condition and these engines are pretty durable. Certainly, parts to do a complete rebuild should be available, and decades of tuners have been able to squeeze plenty of power out of the oil-cooled lump, if the 140hp and 86lb-ft of torque of the factory bike don’t excite…