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Suzuki Motorcycles

Suzuki grabbed its place in the motorcycle world by pushing the envelope. From progressive two-strokers in the ’60s to the stunning Katana in 1981, but with none more than the GSX R 750 in 1985, the first true street-legal race bike. Today, Suzukis aren’t groundbreakers, but evolved, reliable and affordable motorcycles. check out our Buyer’s guide for more information about Suzuki models

A bit of Suzuki History

One of Japan’s Big Four motorcycle makers, Suzuki began in 1909 as a weaving machine factory in Hamamatsu. Seeking to diversify, founder Michio Suzuki began producing cars in 1937 and added motorcycles 15 years later.

The motorcycle factory established itself as a sport-oriented groundbreaker, from the 1962 T20 Hustler, “the fastest 250 cc bike in the world” with a then-rare six-speed transmission, to the stunning three-cylinder, two-stroke power bike GT760 in 1971 and then the Katana family, with the 1100 flagship in the early 1980s. But few motorcycles changed the industry as much as did Suzuki’s GXR-R750 in 1985, followed by the 1100cc big model. The world’s first superbike, built for the racetrack out of production, spawned of a whole new class of high-end, super light and super fast motorcycles.

Suzuki was the first Japanese maker to branch into the chopper/cruiser division, appealing to the Harley Davidson-dominated U.S. market with the v-twin Intruder 750, also in 1985.

In 1996, Suzuki went after the Italian Ducati with its own 90-degree V-twin, the TL1000. While the model did not last long, the modified engine eventually went to the much more successful dual-sport model, the DL1000 V-Strom, from 2002. The downsized 650 cc V-2 engine powers the budget street model SV650 since 1999 and the small V-Strom, the wee, since 1999 and 2004, respectively.

The factory also produced off-road bikes, notably with the DR-BIG, a 779 cc single-cylinder – to date the largest production single in the world – as one of the early adventure/touring bikes which became the dominant segment on the big motorcycles market around a decade later.

F.A.Q.

Who founded Suzuki?

Michio Suzuki (1887 – 1982) launched a loom factory in 1909 in Hamamatsu, Japan. The factory began making cars in 1937 and motorcycles in 1954.

Where are Suzuki motorcycles made?

Suzuki motorcycles are made in Hamamatsu, Japan.

What is the most iconic Suzuki motorcycle?

Arguably, the early 1980s Katana, the mid 1985s GSX-Rs or the Hayabusa. Among particular models, the two-stroke Grand Prix replica from the mid-1980s, the RG500 Gamma, and the V-2 superbike TL1000 R from the mid-1990s count among the most-sought after collectors’ models. Both are rare.

What is the fastest-ever Suzuki motorcycle?

The first Hayabusa, in 1999. It reached 194 MPH. Later Hayabusa models were slightly slower, under a manufacturers’ agreement limiting the speed to 186 MPH. The manufacturers feared that superbikes may become banned because of their speed war.

What is the best-ever Suzuki motorcycle?

The GXR-R 750 was the biggest game-changer. Arguably, the Katana was the most beautiful. Hayabusa was the fastest. The modest SV650 and V-Strom 650 have remained in the program and are sold longer 21 and 17 years, respectively.

Does Suzuki only make motorcycles?

No, it also produces small, mid-sized and maxi scooters, as well as ATVs. Suzuki is also a major car maker.