Posts by tag: XN85

Featured Listing June 15, 2020 posted by

Featured Listing – 1983 Suzuki XN85

Suzuki’s XN85 Turbo was built for 1983 only, and combined moderate boost with mid-size 673cc displacement, stuck with air-oil cooling, but was pretty sporty with 85 hp, 16-inch front wheel, and Full Floater rear end.  RSBFS reader Don’s example has just under 16,000 miles but looks better than excellent.

1983 Suzuki XN85 Featured Listing

Suzuki stayed conservative on the XN85’s internals, just SOHC and two valves per cylinder, 7.4:1 compression, and everything in the crankcase was toughened up.  One nod to the centrally mounted turbocharger was the adoption of electronic fuel injection, which allowed a programmable response to the complex relationship of rpm, manifold pressure, and temperature.  The chassis design added triangulation to the backbone, and though the wheelbase and rake were long, handling with the 16-inch front wheel got good reviews.  Brakes were good-sized with 296mm front disks and 265mm rear.  The cafe windshield and flowing side covers make reference to the 1981 Katana.

Don has kept his XN85 super nice, and the bike was subject of a magazine feature in 2002.  Since then it’s gotten a very correct re-paint and regular maintenance to keep it rideable, though it’s not ridden much.  Don’s comments about the XN85:

Extremely rare 1983 Suzuki XN85 (factory 650cc turbo). 1983 is the only year 300 units were imported into US and only 1,153 total worldwide. 15,876 original miles. Excellent condition, maybe 9 outta 10, and all original except repaint using original color and OEM stickers by previous owner. Paint is near perfect and original looking. I’ve owned it 3 years.
This same and exact motorcycle was featured in the September 2002 issue of Classic Bike Rider magazine by the previous owner. The magazine issue is included in the sale.

The bike starts, runs and rides like new. I cleaned the fuel injectors recently (ultrasonically) and it runs better than ever. Clean title notarized out of Ohio (previous owner), I never bothered to register it. This would make a great addition for the collector trying to assemble all 4 factory turbos from the Japanese. This is definitely the most difficult to find.

Don asks $7,500 for his XN85, and requests offers by email – here –.

Bike is located in Sacramento and Don can easily facilitate shipping.

Each of the big four stuck a toe in the turbo waters in the 1980’s, partly in response to gas lines and emissions standards enacted in the late 70’s.  At least a good engineering exercise, they checked out some smaller turbo concepts for a future that thankfully was delayed.  Suzuki’s entry was the sportiest and shortest-lived, and continues to be the rarest as well.  They only appear here once a season or so, and Don’s is one of the nicest and ready to ride, though more of its future will likely involve display.


Featured Listing – 1983 Suzuki XN85
Suzuki September 13, 2017 posted by

Mr T: 1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo

Given the title, I’m sure you’re looking for some “I pity the fool…” type of comments here, but you will get none from me. Although looking back some 34 years from the future – in a world where nearly every car (from econo box to sports car) is either turbocharged, supercharged or both – it feels like we have not come very far at all. And while every one of the Big Four offered a puffer-enhanced model in the early 1980s, each was a dismal failure in the showroom, despite the investment and technology. Take the 1983 Suzuki XN85: this 650cc sport bike was labeled as the best handling motorcycle of that year. But nothing ages faster than last year’s model, and the heavy, expensive, complicated XN85 was quickly left behind.

1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo for sale on eBay

Looking back, the XN85 paved the way for more successful Suzuki models, such as the original GSX-R series. In fact, the air/oil cooling technology that enabled the GSX-R’s light weight was pioneered on the XN85. What about the GP-inspired 16″ front wheel? Today this is seen as an antiquated attempt to lessen gyroscopic forces and improve transition maneuverability, but given the chassis technology at the time it was effective. So, too, was the adjustable anti-dive fork and the single shock rear suspension – which was carried onto other sporting models. Computerized fuel injection was a necessity for the turbo application, but represented a giant leap forward in the day (despite the computer being roughly the size of a toaster). Today this technology is a given, but the DNA has deep roots and a long memory.

From the seller:
For sale is a 1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo. Bike is original an survivor with only 07772.1 miles. Read item condition for specifics, look over the photos or email for any questions. Thanks for looking.

This one year only model looks to be in decent condition; no obvious missing pieces or major damage. It would have been nice for the seller to take a minute to wipe the bike down (or, gasp!, wash it) before taking pictures, but this is not the worst we have ever seen. The corrosion is pretty typical of the age; most of these models have some rash on the brake master and the aluminum forks. While it does detract from the aesthetics, it should not prevent the bike from being ridden. And Turbo bikes need to be ridden regularly. Otherwise critical seals become old and crack, waste gate actuators stick, and myriad other problems can develop.

The Suzuki XN85 is perhaps the rarest of the US-imported Turbo bikes. Suzuki did everything they could to deny its existence, and buyers boycotted the extreme price differential between the XN and a performance-comparable GS750. Today these are interesting milestones along the racetrack of development. They are unique, rare, and relatively affordable. Prices are on a very slow ascending curve, making this a collectable you can afford – and afford to ride. Parts are difficult to find (especially the computerized bits and the bodywork), but if you locate a good one there are few weaknesses in the overall package. Boost is slow to hit – and doesn’t hit nearly as hard as say a CX650T or Turbo GPz – but the handling is sublime by 1980s standards. This particular bike is a true survivor. Check it out here, and get boosted. Good luck!!


Mr T:  1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo
Suzuki January 13, 2017 posted by

One Year Only: 1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo

The Eighties were a wild time in terms of motorcycle development. Manufacturers experimented with all types of engines, suspensions, chassis, materials and design. Like Darwin’s theory of Natural Selection, those bikes best suited to their environment survived; other, less fortunate machines fell to the onslaught of progress. This 1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo is one such casualty. Offered only in 1983 (in the US at least – the model actually survived 3 total years of worldwide production), this rare bird is the rarest of the factory turbo bikes, and offers a terrific glimpse at how hard Suzuki was working at evolution.

1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo for sale on eBay

Powered by an air-cooled inline four-cylinder displacing a mere 650cc, the addition of fuel injection and an IHI turbocharger maxing out at approximately 12 PSI of boost upped the ante considerably. Still, the XN85 is not the most powerful of the turbo set; while the “85” in the name is supposedly the horsepower figure, that was optimistically taken at the crank. Real world numbers are closer to 70 ponies at the rear wheel. Notably, the XN motor incorporates oil injection on the backside of the pistons – a feature that was enhanced to become the SACS system on the air/oil cooled first generation GSX-R750 models.

From the seller:
1983 Suzuki XN85 turbo. 14800 Original miles. The motorcycle has just come out of long term storage. All fluids changed and fully serviced. Runs beautifully. A few marks and dings on the tank, because the previous owner stupidly piled items haphazardly around and on the bike.

Outside of the novelty of the Turbo setup, the XN85 was also the first US street bike to incorporate a 16″ front wheel. This GP technology was based on the fact that the smaller diameter wheel developed a smaller gyroscopic force, enabling quicker handling. While this fad was later reversed due to better suspension, tires and frame geometry, the XN85 was considered one of the best handling sportbikes of the day. Wrap it all up in futuristic-yet-minimalistic bodywork and you have a rare piece of ride-worthy sculpture.

This bike is located in Florida and is looking for a new home. XN85 machines are not like other Suzuki products; parts are hard to come by, with many no longer in stock/available. If the foundation is good, the cosmetics can be repaired. Tire selection is quite limited these days due to the 16″ combination, but they can still be found. The Suzuki XN85 Turbo is an interesting machine in concept, a great looking bike in person, and a terrific machine to ride. Prices really have not risen much over the years, so this may be a future collectable as well. Check it out and let us know what you think!


One Year Only: 1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo
Suzuki March 10, 2014 posted by

How rare are these things?! 1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo

Update 3.10.2014: This bike was first spotted in May of last year in Arizona and has now reappeared in Texas. I’m not clear if it’s the same seller but not many more miles have been accumulated. The new listing also has better pictures so make sure to check those out. Links updated. -dc


Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. These things are rare. No, really – they are. These are, in fact, the most rare of the factory Turbo bikes of the 1980s, although you wouldn’t know it lately if you run a search of the RSBFS archives.


From the seller:
Here is a two owner,1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo. All original, unmodfied. Been stored for the last 20 years.Looks like it did in the 80’s. These were very limited production. Original license plate from California with the 1984 Sticker: MYXN85.Arizona titled,Box A original mileage.Tool kit is still in the padded XN85 marked tool pouch in the fairing storage compartment. Original Ignition and Fork Lock Keys. May be your last chance to find one as nice as this.


This bike has not really racked up that many miles. These XN85s are very robust motorcycles, and the engines are quite beefy. Boost in stock form is relatively low, and provided oil changes are done on schedule there is really not that much to go wrong. You might have to do some research to find a suitable tire for that 16″ front wheel, but that is all part of the fun. I just love the personalized license plate on this one!


This former California bike is available in the warm and sunny climate of Tucson, Arizona. No nibbles yet, but the open ask is a very fair $2,900. Click the link to jump over to the auction. As the saying goes, make hay while the sun shines. In this case, grab a Turbo when you can find it – you never know when this windfall of boosted bikes is going to dry up. Good Luck!



How rare are these things?! 1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo
Sport Bikes For Sale May 22, 2013 posted by

It’s Got Some Boost: 1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo

xn right xn turbo

Got the itch for a little short lived 80’s engine tech? This low mile XN85 is here to satisfy. 

xn left

Only 4,300 miles traveled since 1983. 

The story:

TIMS  has an unbelievably nice 1983 very rare suzuki xn85 turbo with only 4300 miles on it—it runs absolutely perfect and is in near mint condition other than a small ding in the tank and some very light surface rust pits on the muffler,a little detailing and a repaint or powdercoat on the muffler as well as new tires( i believe the ones on it are the originals) and it would fit right at home in a collection or at bike shows–everything works and it even has a digital gear indicator located in the fairing inner—–the bike has a new battery and comes with the original owners manual–collectors dont miss this one

xn front

Yes, it has a little Katana DNA.  I wonder what OBRUT is? 

xn engine

Looks close to showroom fresh.  Back in 83 you were only two years away from Suzuki changing the game with the GSX-R750.

xn dash

That instrument cluster has the 80’s written all over it. The  asking price is $4, 495,  OBO, to brag about about your turbo charged bike.  Desirability aside, I think you can make the argument these are one of the rarest Suzuki models out there.  The general consensus on the number imported is only 300.

Click for the auction.


Suzuki May 1, 2013 posted by

Turbo Time II: 1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo


Welcome to Turbo Time – the long play edition!


Yes, as rare as these bike are in the US, here is the second XN85 Turbo we have found within a day. Listen up collectors: these don’t come along very often and they are not that expensive. If RSBFS history is any indication, the XN stream will dry up and we won’t see another until at least Thanksgiving. The postman may ring twice, but opportunity rare does the same.


From the seller:

The Suzuki XN85, released in early 1983, is a turbocharged motorcycle. It was designed as a sportbike. The name came from the fact that it produced 85 hp. It featured the first factory 16-inch front wheel, which was previously seen only on race bikes. It also had low clip-on handlebars, rearset foot pegs and a single shock rear suspension, called the Suzuki Full Floater.

The engine IS A 650 5 SPEED, with boost kicking in around the 5,000 rpm mark. It pulls strongly from that point. While the XN did not have the power of other sportbikes, it had extremely good handling.



There is a clear Title.


This is a US-spec bike (not Canadian), which places it a bit more on the rare side. That being said, there is little price or desire difference between the two from a collector standpoint, so go with the best condition you can find. This particular bike has had some strong interest, with the bidding up to $4,350 (reserve not met) at the time of writing. This is still low money for a great handling motorcycle, and the fact that there were only ever a few hundred brought into the country only makes it better. To check out this distinctive booster from another era, click the link and jump over to the auction. A turbo spinning will keep you grinning!


Suzuki May 1, 2013 posted by

Turbo Time! 1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo


Does everybody know what time it is? Turbo Time!


That’s right folks – your favorite one hit wonders are back for a limited showing. Today’s example – a very sweet Suzuki XN85, offered in the US in extremely limited numbers and for one year only. Turbo badges and stickers aside, this 650cc air cooled four cylinder pumped out 85 ponies at the crank, and was generally regarded as one of the sharpest handling sportbikes of the era. Credit the 16″ front wheel for agility, and legendary designer Hans Muth for the sculpted bodywork.


From the seller:

This is a one owner XN85 turbo . I am selling this bike for my brother in-law as he doesnt have much experience on ebay. Very low miles and in very good running order.

Everything works on the bike all gauges and turbo work properly. Very low production of these bikes ( 300 in the US) as they where very expensive back in 1983. None listed on Ebay except for this one.

Buyer is responsible for pick up and or shipping. The bike can be brought to the US border near Montreal if need be.

The bikes has 41379 KM which is equivalent to 25711 Miles.


Factory turbo bikes are some of the easiest “rare” bikes to collect. For while there were very, very few sold in North America they are also not prohibitively expensive. These are sure to go up in value over time, but it may be a long, long time before they are worth real money. Beware that parts on these one year only models can be difficult to source, although there are quite a few crossover parts with the rest of the Suzuki lineup for regular wear items.


This Canadian example is available right now – with very reasonable pricing. The current bid is only $2,025 with reserve not met. The BIN is only $3,400. When was the last time that kind of scratch bought you a very cool and very rare motorcycle? For more information and pictures click the link and jump over to the auction. Good luck!


Suzuki March 26, 2013 posted by

XN-Fiction- Suzuki 85 Turbo (Belgium)

Every time I come across a Suzuki XN 85 I imagine scenes from a science fiction movie:


It must be that original design, the details like the reverse TURBO writing on the front headlight fairing, the instrumentation cluster, or simply the fact that you know that there are some mysterious components hidden within the frame.

Suzuki XN 85_10

The XN was in production for 1 year only making the project a sure loss for Suzuki. Knowing that a lot of hours were spent in designing and making this motorbike work, at a price below 5000 EUR (current bis id 3500 EUR but reserve is not met) , this is already a good enough reason to acquire one.

Suzuki XN 85_3

Suzuki XN 85_4

We can realistically assume that nothing like this will be tried again. While turbo assisted combustion engines are the future in the car world, there’s no real need to fit one of these on a motorbike. The CO2 reduction regulations in Europe, the general cost of petrol anywhere in the world and the associated need to reduce vehicles’ consumption, asks for more efficient powertrains and lighter cars. Motorbikes are light by default and have already good fuel consumption that you can easily control with the rotating twist grip on the right handlebar. As cars are heavy, they need torque to move around at low rpm values (fuel consumption is linearly proportional to rpm). Motorbikes on the other hand are designed for high power at high rpm so that you can use a smaller engine and get a lot out of it. In cars, there is a trend that is now referred to as “downsizing”. The concept is simple, use a smaller capacity engine (fuel consumption is obviously also linearly proportional to cylinders’ volume and number) and maximize its efficiency = fit one or two turbos (in case of 2 one is for low rpm output and one for high rpm) to a 1.5 to 2 liter 3 to 4 cylinder engine. Look into the details of any modern BMW and you will see what I mean.

Suzuki XN 85_5

So why did the Japanese fit Turbos on their mid 80s motorbikes ? Well, from the simple physics’ point of view there was really no reason. I guess it was more a prestige thing. Coupling an internal combustion engine with what technically is a turbo gas machine (it compresses air using the exhaust gasses to run a compressor) was in the 80s a technological challenge. Showing this capability was a way to demonstrate to the world the engineering skills of a company. This would have been quite easy for Honda by leveraging on the highly innovative car department. (Honda is for the Japanese car industry what BMW, Alfa Romeo or Lancia were for the European car industry).

Suzuki XN 85_2

But for a relatively small firm like Suzuki, this was a big step. And there we go, in the mid 80s Suzuki produced fine examples of engineering such as the first GSX-R, the bold German designed Katana and the XN-85. I reckon these 3 models are among the most significant motorbikes produced  by the Hamamatsu based company. So, if a piece of history at an effectively under cost purchase price is what you are looking for, this XN available in Belgium might be for you.

With just 17000 km the current bid of 3500 € is below the reserve. Looking at he pictures the bike seems in great shape. Produced in about 1000 samples theses are surely rare bikes.

Let’s hear it from the seller (translated with Google):



1985 Suzuki XN 85 Turbo on eBay