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Use Your Boost to Get Through – 1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo

Vying for additional power without displacement, the 1980's saw major cycle makers attempt to tailor the excess heat and complexity of turbocharging to sport bikes.  Suzuki's entry is the rarest and this one has ultra-low mileage, and just one tangle with the mischievous elves that tip stuff onto parked motorcycles.

1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo for sale on eBay

Suzuki based their turbo on a 673cc inline four, and used electronic fuel injection to tailor the fuel delivery through the variable throttle / boost map.  85 hp are claimed, leading to the model designation.  An early adopter of innovations like Full-Floater rear suspension, air-oil cooling system ( with piston squirters ), and 16-inch front wheel, the XN85 was a bit of a tech showcase.  Kayaba provided the suspension, with anti-dive forks.  Triple disks are big but not oversize considering the 550 lb. ready-to-ride weight.  Angular fairing and sculpted tank owe royalties to the then-recent Katana.

Detailed photos should be part of an auction with a high falutin' buy-it-now, which this eBay bike parts dealer probably knows.  Nothing a pre-purchase inspection can't remedy, however.  Some history and service record(s) would be a help, even for a bike with so many years and so few miles.  Short and sweet from the eBay listing:

483 miles - all original except petcock, last ran in December 2018. Also, have Service Manual, and original title.
Right rear tail section has scratches that can be fixed.

Suzuki's turbo was the sportiest of the big four's litter, though even at that it's more of a GT.  None were real showroom success stories, but maybe their role was more of leading edge glitterati for the dealer.  Under just the right conditions, the XN85 could woosh through the traps first, or just look great on the sidestand.  Either way the XN85 can provide liter-size performance from a boosted mid-size, and maybe the make offer button will let us know whether this is a survivor or museum piece.

-donn

 

4 Comments

  • As a guy who has already bought one of these “low mileage” bikes, an up close inspection is a must, especially with so little details and the feedback on this dealership on yelp quite negative… Still, how many times do you get to see one of these with this mileage? A fun bike that I had in college. a bit rich at 12K.. at 8k I’d be loading it up

  • Has one of these “back in the day” in fact I had all the Turbo’s. This was the best handling bike of them all. Wait for it, Wait for it, Wait…. and boost.

  • Best handling of the Turbos for sure. But without mods, it is significantly weaker than the Honda wonder-turbo-twins.

    This would set a new high water mark for the XN85 if it closes at this price.

    – Mike

  • Agreed and the condition MAY warrant the price.. but knowing it has the gas tank lined means it sat for a long time and was not even looked at. For me, corrosion in the fuel tank means corrosion in at least ONE of the cylinders where one the exhaust valve was open. That’s the problem with corrosion, it tells a storage story. Nothing that can’t be fixed, but that’s work you shouldn’t have to do at that price. There is a CX650T Honda on ebay that is immaculate, also low miles, but it was one of the famous “classroom” bikes and was likely taken apart 100 times by rookies. ugh.

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