Hey Buck Rogers: your bike is ready. At least it was back in 1983, in the form of the Suzuki XN85. What is the XN85? It is 85 horsepower (at the crank, at least) of 650cc fuel injected and turbocharged goodness, and is arguably the very rarest of the factory boosted bikes on offer. It also looks like a mutated Katana, and is one of the sweetest handling sport bikes from the era.
Unlike the more popular Honda CX500 or CX650 liquid-cooled twins, the Suzuki XN85 was based on an air-cooled 650cc inline four. More similar to the Honda was electronic fuel injection technology, ensuring the engine always has an adequate supply of fuel for the specific atmospheric conditions. Force-fed motors are very sensitive to lean fueling conditions, and the specifically calibrated injection allows for proper compensation regardless of the level of boost. And while Honda went with liquid cooling, Suzuki opted for air cooling with oil cooling enhancements (including oil squirters to cool the back side of the piston). This concept was, in fact, the first step in the air/oil cooling journey that enabled the mighty GSX-R just a few years later. And while the bike screamed TURBO from every angle (including OBRUT from the front), the reality of performance was not *quite* up to the hype.
From the seller:
This is a NO RESERVE auction fora 1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo.
The odometer reads 15,570 kilometers which is just shy of 9,675 miles on this perfect XN85.
This is a very rare bike with less than 1,153 XN85 motorcycles produced from 1983-1985.
I purchased this bike out of Canada about 2 years ago. This bike will be sold on a Bill of sale.
The previous owner ran the bike over 30km before I took delivery of it. They stated that the bike ran, and everything worked properly. When I purchased the bike, I put it directly in to my collection and it has been kept in air-conditioned storage.
The silver paint with the blue and red graphics looks flawless on this beautiful motorcycle.
The only apparent modification is a set of stainless steel braided front brake lines. Everything else appears to be OEM.
More from the seller:
This bike is in immaculate condition, there are very small imperfections on this motorcycle I will list below:
-The plastic surround panels around the cockpit show surface scuffs.
-The front master cylinder and clutch perch show some paint flaking.
-The top triple clamp shows some minor scratches from a key chain.
Otherwise, this very rare bike is in beautiful original condition.
This XN85 Turbo will be a fantastic addition to any high caliber motorcycle collection.
If you have any questions, or would like some pictures of something particular, feel free to reach out to me.
Unlike the Honda and the Yamaha Turbo bikes, the XN85 was an unabashed sport bike (albeit one that weighed 550-ish pounds when fueled up and ready to ride). The conventional fork was preload adjustable, and incorporated an anti-dive mechanism as well as a GP-inspired 16″ front wheel. The latter is not ideal in terms of tire choice today, but the combination worked well to provide both higher speed stability as well as directional change agility. Out back was Suzuki’s Full Floater single shock, also adjustable for preload. The riding position is sporty (but not too extreme), and aside from the question of turbo lag (i.e. when will the boost build), the Suzuki is a very sporting package that inspires confidence.
Perhaps the most unloved of the Turbo bikes, the XN85 was imported to the United States in few numbers by Suzuki, and who sold even fewer than expected. This makes it rare. And pricing, as a result, has slowly grown in value. This is not on the order of a homologation machine or even a small-bore smoker when it comes to valuation and future prospects, but over time we have definitely seen a gain. Today’s example is a Canadian bike that has been imported into the US by an individual. It has apparently not been ridden since importing, and there is no mention of registration. Still, it looks to be very clean apart from a few issues noted by the seller. Interest is quite high on this one – the auction started in the basement and is nearing $7k at time of writing, so it will be very interesting to see where this one ends up. You can check out all of the details here, and Good Luck!!