Posts by tag: TL1000

Bimota September 16, 2020 posted by

Once Bitten – 2000 Bimota SB8R-S Carbon

Last seen on RSBFS in 2015, Bimota’s SB8R-S brought Suzuki’s TL-1000 twin to the Rimini carrozzeria.  Out of Vegas with minimal pertinent information, the condition of this SB8RS is to drool for.

2000 Bimota SB8R-S Carbon for sale on eBay

As Bimota liked to do, they took a leading drivetrain and wrapped it in their innovative chassis.  In this case the aluminum twin-spars terminate in carbon frame connectors.  The lighter weight and Bimota’s intakes, bespoke fuel injection, and exhausts put 133 hp up against sub-400 lbs. dry weight.  Components from Paoli, Öhlins, and Brembo transform the lazy handling TL-1000 into a superbike worthy of the name.  Bimota showcased their carbon fab skills, with the big-weave fresh air tubes dominating the cockpit.

No maintenance or ownership history is mentioned by the selling dealer, but 1,500 miles and excellent condition tell their own story.  Though the black on black presentation is tricky, exquisite details abound.  While the interface between the seat sub-frame, frame connector and fairing is a futuristic landscape, the asymmetrical triple tree with off-center ignition switch greets the owner on every ride.  Gold Paoli accents are echoed at the pegs and brakes.

Though the SB8R was a winning model, the V-Due and Moto GP sponsor debacles forced the doors closed for a few years.  It’s a  pretty nice testament to the design that it was reinvigorated in 2005 as the SB8K.  This might be the same example auctioned at Iconic recently, if so it’s said to have a celebrity owner Nicholas Cage in its past.  An SB8R-S in this condition should be celebrity enough for any owner, though if it’s a short-term sale the reserve is probably up there.  Something to keep a close eye on !


Once Bitten – 2000 Bimota SB8R-S Carbon
Suzuki August 21, 2017 posted by

Tu Meke TL: 1998 Suzuki TL 1000R in New Zealand

While the majority of RSBFS posts are tied to North American ebay listings we really do like to showcase bikes from all over the world.   You could even say we seek to span the globe to bring you a constant variety of RareSportbikes…the thrill of the Britten V1000…the agony of  the Bimota VDue (NOTE: Bonus points to you if you read that bit of text and heard the voice of the dearly departed Jim McKay).

Today’s post is a very nice 1998 Suzuki TL1000R located far from the RSBFS offices in Wellington New Zealand.  This one looks to almost completely OEM and has the lovely and cleanly-styled phlolina-yellow bodywork which seems to be the most desired by collectors.

1998 Suzuki TL1000R in New Zealand

For anyone unfamiliar with the TL series, lets begin by saying there aren’t many motorcycles that have been through such a roller coaster of desirability.  It all began in the late 1990’s when Ducati V-twin powered machines were killing it on the track and the sales floor.  In response Suzuki announced they would deliver their own V-Twin powered sportbike, including both a WorldSuperBike/WSB capable machine to compete against the Ducati on the track and a street version for everday use.  The result was the TL-S/R series.

Anticipation for the new Suzuki V-Twin was very high and the TL-S/street version was launched in 1996 with the R version scheduled for the next year.   The quick verdict was that the new 90 degree v-twin engine was equal to or better the Ducati .  However, while the engine was good,  a significant handling issue quickly reared its head; front wheel lift (no pun intended).   The problem was quickly traced to the rear suspension, which was an offset rear shock with a separate rotary damper, a setup that had been chosen due to the reduced space caused by the new V-Twin configuration.  While this configuration worked in day to day riding,it could become overwhelmed by heat and heavy loads, which obviously happen on a sportbike quite a lot.  The result would be front end lift and when a rider rolled off/dropped the wheel, major tank slap and high side crashes could happen.   The problem was so significant that Suzuki offered steering stabilizers as standard on both the TL-R launched the next year and TL-S’s but the entire TL lineup never really shook its reputation as a “widowmaker”.

Note:  For anyone interested, a really good explanation of the rotary suspension function on the TL can be found here.

The handling wasn’t the only challenge the TL1000R had to deal with.  Another major issue was that the R version never really delivered on its promise to rival the Ducati as a WorldSuperBike/WSB machine.

“The real killer though was that the R never came close to being the Ducati-beating WSB-contender Suzuki intended it to be.  Despite its stumpy wheelbase, the R was confoundingly both heavier and larger than the S and too bulky all around.  Equally problematic was the motor: although producing a claimed 135 bhp in stock TL-R trim. it proved difficult to tune…After only 2 seasons Suzuki decided it’d be too expensive to develop/race successfully and re-focused its race development efforts on its proven inline 4 GSX-R750 series instead.”  – Practical Sportbikes 2017

Perhaps the final issue that set the TL1000R up for sales failure was that Suzuki never developed a unique identity for the bike.  The TL1000R was even offered in the Suzuki traditional blue/white color scheme which made it hard to distinguish from the its GSX-R sister bike.  Since a large part of the appeal of the TL was supposed to be that it was NOT an inline 4, making it look just like one seems to be quite an odd decision.  The result of all this is that the TL1000R developed a reputation as a big failure for Suzuki and some models were left on the sales floor for quite a while.

Now despite all the issues noted above and the bikes general reputation as a failure, the TL1000R was still a very good bike for 98% of riders.  While it didn’t live up to the hype at the time it was launched, it still had a bonkers engine that was significantly easier to live with than its Italian competitor (no belts!).  It was also surprisingly comfortable and was quite attractive.  Later models came with the aforementioned steering damper which solved much of the handling problems and many of the concepts introduced on the TL1000R can be seen in the later Hayabusa.

Unlike many late 1990’s Sporybikes the TL1000R has managed to maintain an active community of owners on the web and the fandom for the bike never really went away.  More importantly from a collectors standpoint, the TL was recently named as one of the top 10 collectible bikes to acquire “before prices get stupid”.

OK, now lets turn our attention to this particular 1998 Suzuki TL1000R.   First, location means this one is probably only going to appeal to one of our Australian or New Zealand readers, or perhaps someone who is willing to incur some shipping costs.   The seller indicates that was previously a Japanese bike but unlike a lot of bikes we see from Japan, this one it looks to have been well cared for/not treated as a disposable item and kept in stock trim.  The only non-OEM pieces I am seeing are some rear turn signals/indicators and some stickers on the rear fairing hump.  NOTE:  The rear seat cover/”hump” is a fairly rare item so bonus points for it being in place and looking to be in good condition.

Mileage is stated as just about 14,000 miles/22,000 kilometers.  A new battery and rectifier have also been fitted and rubber looks to be in good condition but no mention is made of age and fluids would probably be due for a refresh.

So what’s this V-Twin bit of Suzuki history going to cost you?   Prices for a pristine TL1000R have definitely started to climb but aren’t reaching stupid money yet.  The asking price for this one is $6,900 USD which is towards the high side of recent TL1000R’s listed on ebay but given the condition of this one and the fact that its in the best looking color scheme, the asking price doesn’t seem to be out of wack.    Also the seller does appear to be a dealer so some negotiation wouldn’t seem unreasonable.

Let me just conclude by saying this –  I have always liked this bike a lot; I think it looks like a meaner and more manageable Hayabusa.  Also I think most potential buyers will admit that a large part of the TL1000R appeal is that its different and its reputation for not suffering fools gladly.   While a TL1000R probably won’t experience a dramatic appreciation in value, if it was located closer to my current location I would definitely be considering trying to acquire it for my personal collection.



Tu Meke TL:  1998 Suzuki TL 1000R in New Zealand
Nico Bakker February 2, 2017 posted by

Leonard Smalls approves: 2000 Nico Bakker Barracuda 1000 formerly owned by Nicolas Cage

Back on ebay after failing to sell in December of 2015, here is a Nikko Bakker crafted Barracuda 1000 that is said to have been previously owned by Nicholas Cage.

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2000 Suzuki TL1000 powered Nico Bakker on ebay

Collectible sportbikes typically meet at least one of the following criteria; be produced in limited numbers, been in pristine/OEM condition (or have very low mileage); have what was at the time new/revolutionary technology, be hard to find in its listed location and/or have a significant ownership history. In this case, we have a bike that meets  a significant number of these criteria.  The Barracuda is a Nico Bakker framed special powered by the Suzuki TL1000 power.  This particular Barracuda was previously owned by Nicholas Cage of Leaving Las Vegas (good!) and Ghost Rider (bad!) fame and could be the only one imported into the United States.

I have to admit I am a Nico Bakker fan, in large part because he designed the frame for my beloved Zane-era Laverda 750 series.  Apparently Nico Bakker is still building bikes in the small town of Heerhugowaard, Holland (about an hour north of Amsterdam).  You can see more about Nico Bakker from this post from 2012.


From what I am have been able to find, the Barracuda has a custom frame built around a Suzuki TL1000 engine, suspension is WhitePower/WP or Ohlins, brakes are Brembo, the exhaust is Akrapovic and the 5-spoke wheels are Marvic.  More details about the components can be found here and there is a review from Carole Nash here.



Like most very small production runs, there isn’t a lot of information on what it would take to maintain this bike.  Given that its core is a Suzuki TL1000 and the rest of the bits are high end (but well established), I would expect no significant maintenance issues but I would expect to need fresh fluids and given its age, probably fresh rubber/tires too.

From the seller:

  • Mileage is only 765 miles/1232km
  • Recent serviced included battery replacement
  • Features a steel tubular frame with alloy swingarm.  Powertrain from the Suzuki TL1000. 
  • Ride height, steering angle and even the swing arm height can be altered.


So what is this Dutch crafted rarity worth?  Based on the previous listings it seems that the seller is looking for prices above $22,000 USD which seems like a lot for a bike that while rare, doesn’t seem to inspire “lust”.  (previous listing on ebay here.)   Also I am not sure if this one will appreciate in value.

I think this will only appeal to a serious collector, someone who already has a decent collection and and is looking to take a bit of a flyer on this one.    It may also appeal to  Zane-era Laverda fans and maybe that is the best potential new owner- someone who wants to see what’s it like to have a Nico Bakker frame combined with a bonkers powerplant.


Leonard Smalls approves:  2000 Nico Bakker Barracuda 1000 formerly owned by Nicolas Cage
Bimota February 19, 2015 posted by

Real Special: ’00 Bimota Carbon SB8R-S

2.19.15: Posted first about a month ago, this tasty carbon fiber special is back on eBay and nearly $4k off at $26,400. Links updated. -dc


Does an acre of carbon fiber bodywork ever get old? Not in my book. And probably not in the mind of most of our readers. Carbon fiber is like oxygen to mouth breathers, cheerios to toddlers, or profanity to Gordon Ramsey. With its light weight and superior strength, carbon has become the wonder material of which (nearly) all things can be made. For everything else, there is of course aluminum alloy, titanium and magnesium. But I never get tired of carbon weave…


2000 Bimota Carbon SB8R-S with 26 miles


The Suzuki-Bimota 8 model utilizes a TL1000 twin in an aluminum wraparound style chassis. In typical Bimota fashion, somebody else provides the motor, trans and electrics, and the little Rimini firm hand crafts a work of art by supplying everything else. The TL motor is a torque monster to be sure, and can be serviced at your local Suzuki dealership as needed. And this particular bike should not need much servicing, given that it is being listed as essentially being brand new – only 26 factory test miles on the unit. Note that this bike might look familiar, as we have posted a similar example years before. So similar is that post that the pictures look the same, but the mileage is different. RSBFS recommendation: If you are serious about this bike, do your homework and ask lots of questions. Better yet, see the bike and seller in person if possible.


From the seller:
I am selling my New 2000 Bimota SB8R-S (Special). Very Very RARE. Only 150 of these built worldwide, and are very collectable. It has only 26 miles (only the test miles from Bimota Factory). This BIMOTA is just out of the crate and has been in my collection for years. I have 2 of these and only need 1. This is one of only a few new condition SB8RS bikes in the world. It is 100% stock with zero mods. This is a museum quality piece as well as a collectors dream bike.

Aftermarket parts that were put on by Bimota USA as a special order.
– Marchesini 5 spoke rims – $5200 (only produced for this bike as an addition)
I have everything that came with this bike. Manuals, Certificates, Extra keys, brochure, and leather key cover. This is truly a collectible and will be worth twice as much in no time.


The SB series Bimotas are quite popular – possibly the most popular examples in the storied history of Bimota. The SB8 with the TL motor is a very desirable machine, and the R-S model even more so: With miles of carbon tow and limited to just 150 units, the SB8R-S is a good showcase of making a rare bike even more rare. With next to no miles, this is basically a new bike. Does the name Bimota start a Pavlovian drool reflex? Does carbon shining in the sun make you weak in the knees? Looking for something rare and unique? Sign up here and check it out. $30k or the closest reasonable offer takes it. Good Luck!!


Real Special: ’00 Bimota Carbon SB8R-S
Sport Bikes For Sale March 13, 2011 posted by

Duc Hunter? Low Mile And Stock 1998 Suzuki TL1000R

Duc Hunter?  Low Mile And Stock 1998 Suzuki TL1000R

This is one of those bikes that reminds me why I’m a loyal Suzuki fan.  Of the big four Japanese companies, Suzuki seems to be the one company that comes out of left field with bikes every now and then.  The original Katana would be one, the RGV250SP (VJ23) is one and I think the TLR was one as well.  Was the end game of this bike to see if it  could replace the GSXR series?  Sounds crazy but why introduce a racey V twin that directly competes with your own race based inline four?  Ducati was winning plenty of  races so I can see why Suzuki thought about going Duc hunting.

Suzuki must have got their answer quickly as they only raced the TL1000R for a season here in the U.S.  Ah, to only have been a fly on the wall to hear the reasoning for  building the TLR and the quick decision to pull the racing plug.  I believe Steve Creviers Yoshimura TL1000R is still on display at their HQ in California.

Being an RGV250 guy I’ve seen countless conversions trying to make the ultimate RGV500 replica.  Very few use the TLR fairing but I believe it is the closest thing to an RGV500 fairing Suzuki ever produced.  My recipe for a RGV500 rep:   TLR fairing, a VJ23 tail, a VJ22 tank combined with a VJ22 chassis with the gull arm and a RG500 engine for go.

Enough dreaming, here is the info on the bike at hand:

1998 Suzuki TL1000R in excellent stock condition.  Never modified – still has the reflectors on it.  It looks pretty much brand new and has always been garaged.  Whenever I would ride it anywhere people would be amazed when they asked about it’s age. Aprox 4,700 miles or so.

Only has two issues:  There is a small crack near the bottom of the left side fairing.  It’s about 2 inches long but not noticeable since it lays flat and it is so low near the ground.  It wasn’t dropped, the previous owner was slowly turning into a driveway and got too close to the curb.  The second issue is that if you look hard enough at the gas tank you can see a little moisture staining that happened when the previous owner had the wrong cover on it for couple of weeks.  It is only noticeable if you look for it.  Sorry, I don’t have pictures of either since it currently is in storage.  Will try to add more pictures before the end of the auction.  Other than that, all it needs is a rear tire.


We’ve had TLR’s here with lower miles but I thought this was a good representation of an over 10 year old TLR that has low miles, is still stock and overall excellent condition.  The auction only has a couple of days remaining and so far no bidders with a starting price of $4,200.  Yes, that is higher than book but this bike has all the right attributes to fetch a decent price.  I’m just not sure how many people are searching for a nice TLR.  .


Bimota January 26, 2010 posted by

2000 Bimota SB8R in Brockton, MA

Thanks Doug for tipping me off on another Bimota up for grabs.  This time it’s a 2000 SB8R from Dunbar Euro Sports in Brockton, MA:

Details are scarce but here they are:

Year: 2000
Manufacturer: Bimota
Model: SB8R
Primary Color: RED/GREEN/WHITE
Use: 7135 mi
Equipment Condition: Excellent
Title Status: Clean

Be different and own one of these rare and collectible bikes. Suzuki TL1000 engine.

As mentioned, the SB8R uses the wonderful Suzuki TL1000 V twin engine, housed in Bimota’s own alloy/carbon hybrid frame (aluminum beams + carbon plates) – possibly the first carbon production frame in the world?  You can read up about it on World Wide Bimota Enthusiasts Circle (yes, it’s quite a mouthful!).

Here’s a video of a SB8RS (‘S’ for special with all natural carbon bodywork):

The SB8R is not on my favourite list of Bimotas as I think it looks too front heavy, especially with those twin in-let air ducts, but (again) Japanese Bimota distributor Motocorse’s own version – the SB8RC –  looks and sounds SO much better.  I love Motocorse – they have the magic touch of turning something already exotic into something that’s sexier and even more desirable!