Suzuki is another member of the “Big Four” from Japan.
It began manufacturing motorcycles in 1952 and has become well known
around the world. Its off-road bikes and roadracers have won world
titles, and its street machines range from the cruiser Boulevard series
to the legendary GSX-R series of sportbikes. It, along with Honda, is
unique in that the company also builds automobiles.
Suzuki Motorcycle History
Michio Suzuki founds the Suzuki Loom Company in Hamamatsu, Japan. He
builds industrial looms for the thriving Japanese silk industry.
To diversify activities, the company experiments with several
interesting small car prototypes, but none go into production because
the Japanese government declares civilian automobiles “non-essential
commodities” at the onset of WWII.
After the war, Suzuki (like Honda and others) begins making clip-on
motors for bicycles.
The Diamond Free is introduced and features double-sprocket wheel
mechanism and two-speed transmission.
The Colleda COX debuts, a 125cc bike equipped with a steel frame. It
features a 4-stroke OHV single-cylinder engine with three-speed
East German star Ernst Degner defects to the west while racing for
MZ in the Swedish Grand Prix. He takes MZ’s most valuable secret –
knowledge of Walter Kaaden’s expansion chamber designs – to Suzuki.
Using MZ’s technology, Suzuki wins the newly created 50cc class in
the World Championship. The company will win the class every year until
’67, and win the 125cc class twice in that period, too.
U.S. Suzuki Motor Corp. opens in Los Angeles.
The T20 is released (aka Super 6, X-6, Hustler). This two-stroke,
street-going Twin is one of the fastest bikes in its class. The ‘6’ in
its name(s) refers to its six-speed gearbox.
The T500 ‘Titan’ is an air-cooled parallel-Twin two-stroke.
Joel Robert wins the 250cc World Motocross Championship for Suzuki.
This is the first year of a three-year streak.
The GT750 2-stroke surprises people with its three-cylinder
liquid-cooled engine. In North America, it’s nicknamed the Water
Buffalo; in the UK they call them Kettles. Although the bike is quite
advanced in many ways and inspires a line of smaller air-cooled triples
(GT380 and GT550), it’s clear that pollution control legislation will
limit the use of two-strokes as street motorcycles. Even while the GT750
was in development, Suzuki had signed a licensing deal with NSU to
develop a motorcycle with a Wankel (rotary) engine.
The TM400A motocrosser goes into production, a 396cc bike designed
for 500cc motocross races. Roger Decoster wins the 500cc World
Championship on the factory version of this bike and will dominate the
class, winning five times from 1971-’76.
The Hustler 400, a street version of the TM400, is released. This
bike features a double-cradle frame and 2-stroke single-cylinder 396cc
The RE5 is the first Japanese motorcycle with a rotary engine. It
cost a fortune to develop and, while not bad, it’s a commercial
disaster. After two years, the company abandons the project, and there
are rumors the tooling was dumped into the sea so that Suzuki managers
would never have to see it again.
The RM125, with an air-cooled 2-stroke single-cylinder 123cc engine,
is a production motocrosser
With the GS750, Suzuki finally builds a 4-stroke, four-cylinder road
The GS1000E becomes the flagship model of the GS series – it’s
Suzuki’s first literbike.
Wes Cooley wins the AMA Superbike Championship on the new GS. He’ll
repeat the feat in ’80 before submitting to Eddie Lawson.
The GSX750E adopts Twin Swirl Combustion Chamber (TSCC) structure
and a DOHC engine upgraded to four valves. Also, a new Anti Nose Dive
Fork (ANDF) system is adopted for the front suspension.
Somewhere in Japan, Suzuki appoints a Vice President of Acronyms for
Suzuki’s Success (V-PASS).
German designer Hans A. Muth, styles the GSX1100S Katana. It boasts
an output of 111 hp at 8,500 rpm.
Marco Lucchinelli wins the 500cc World Championship for Suzuki.
Franco Uncini wins the 500cc World Championship.
The RG250 is Suzuki’s first ever race replica. This bike features
the AL-BOX, square aluminum frame, 16-inch tire and Anti Nose Dive Forks
(ANDF) at the front.
The RG500 “Gamma” features the same square-Four cylinder layout as
the as the factory Grand Prix bikes. Other racy features are the
square-tube aluminum frame and the removable cassette-type transmission.
Although the rest of the world got the GSX-R750 a year earlier, the
most important new motorcycle in a decade finally arrives in the U.S. in
1986. Kevin Cameron, reviewing the machine in Cycle World, rhetorically
asks, “Where will we go from here?”
The new GSX-R1100 covers ¼ mile in 10.3 seconds and boasts a top
speed of over 160 mph. That’s where we go from here.
Jamie James wins the AMA Superbike Championship of the GSX-R750.
The 779cc DR-BIG has the largest single-cylinder engine in living
The GSX-R750 switches from oil-cooling to water-cooling and gains
Kevin Schwantz wins the 500cc World Championship. “I’d rather not
win it this way,” he says, referring to the career-ending injury of his
arch-rival Wayne Rainey.
The much-loved 16-valve, 1156cc air/oil-cooled Bandit 1200 appears
on the scene.
Suzuki calls the new GSX-R750 the ‘turning-point model’ thanks to
its twin-spar frame instead of the older double-cradle frame. The engine
is also redesigned and featured 3-piece crankcases, chrome-plated
cylinders and a side-mount cam chain as well as Suzuki Ram Air Direct
The TL1000S is the first Suzuki sportbike with a V-Twin engine. It
will be followed a year later by a racier R version, with a dodgy rotary
vane damping system in the rear shock. Suzuki equipped the TL1000R with
a steering damper, but it was still prone to headshake and customers
approached it with caution, if at all.
Mat Mladin wins the AMA Superbike Championship, beginning a run of
unprecedented dominance. Mladin will win five more times, and Suzuki
will win 8 of the next 9 titles.
With sport bikes getting more and more sharp edged, the company is
one of the first to recognize what might be called the ‘semi-sport’
market, as opposed to the supersport market. The SV650 features an
aluminum-alloy truss frame and a liquid-cooled 90° V-Twin DOHC 4-valve
Suzuki calls the Hayabusa the ultimate aerodynamic sportbike. It’s
powered by a 1298cc liquid-cooled DOHC in-line 4-cylinder engine that
becomes the darling of land-speed racers. The name means “peregrine
falcon” in Japanese.
Based on the compact GSX-R750, the GSX-R1000 is powered by a
liquid-cooled DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder 988cc engine, which features
narrow-angle valves and downdraft individual throttle-body fuel
Suzuki’s original 4-stroke motocrosser, the RM-Z450, is equipped
with a 4-stroke 449cc engine, which features the Suzuki Advanced Sump
Troy Corser gives Suzuki its first and only (so far) World Superbike
The M109R, Suzuki’s flagship V-Twin cruiser, is powered by a 1783cc
V-Twin engine with 112mm bore and 90.5mm stroke. It has the largest
reciprocating pistons in any production passenger car or motorcycle.
The B-King is launched, powered by the 1340cc Hayabusa engine, the
B-King is Suzuki’s flagship big ‘Naked’ bike. Suzuki says it has the
top-ranked power output in the naked category.
- Join date : 16/01/2010
Age : 35
Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum