Offering sports bikes, scooters and off road bikes, there is a Suzuki motorcycle to suit every rider. From 125cc commuter bikes and scooters, the current range also includes the streetfighter styled Bandit, GSX-R superbikes, Intruder cruisers and a comprehensive selection of motocross bikes and ATV’s.
Although the company was established in the early part of the century, the first Suzuki motorcycles were produced in 1952. Until 1976 however, the company produced only two stroke powered machines. As with other Japanese motorcycle manufacturers, early Suzukis were successful in competition and through the 1960’s and 1970’s, the company scored many racing successes in both on and off road competition. Early Suzuki road bikes had a sporting bias, with machines such as the twin cylinder Suzuki T20 Hustler proving a great success particularly in the USA which was to be a huge market for the company. The Suzuki GT range eventually included machines ranging from 125 to 750cc. The Suzuki GT750 (affectionately known as the ‘Kettle’ in the UK!) was the world’s first mass produced watercooled motorcycle and another great sales success, and is today considered a classic Suzuki.
By the mid 1970’s and ever tightening emissions laws, the days of the 2-stroke were numbered and after toying with projects such as the innovative, but less than successful Wankel rotary engined Suzuki RE5, the company began production of the GS series, featuring 400cc, 500cc and 750cc 4-stroke air cooled double overhead cam motors. The Suzuki GS was well received by the motorcycling press and public and heralded a new era for the company. Other four strokes soon followed and included the legendary GS1000, one of the first real ‘muscle bikes’ from Japan and a very quick, yet refined motorcycle that still has a strong following amongst Suzuki enthusiasts today.
As well as a large range of smaller capacity commuter oriented bikes and bigger tourers and crusiers, plus a very successful range of scooters, Suzuki continued their sporting tradition in 1985 with the introduction of the GSX-R750, a machine which many would consider to be the first of the modern ‘race replicas’ and which offered very high performance both in terms of power and handling. Original ‘Gixxers’ were oil cooled, with a new watercooled engine introduced on the 1992 model. Throughout this period, 250, 400, and even a brutally quick 1100cc versions of the GSX-R were also available whilst the GSX-R600 was finding many friends amongst those riders looking for a quick machine in a smaller, lighter ‘supersports’ style package. By 2001, the GSX-R1100 had been replaced by the GSX-R1000, a 999cc superbike which owed much to Suzuki’s racing heritage and development. Other notable Suzuki motorcycles include the hyper sports GSX1300R Hayabusa, a bike which when introduced in 1999 immediately captured the title of the world’s fastest production motorcycle with a claimed top speed of almost 200mph!
Motorcycle racing has always been very important to Suzuki, and the company has maintained an interest in both on and off road events. The company won 500cc road racing World Championships in 1976 and 1977 with the late, great Barry Sheene, in 1981 and 1982 with Marco Lucchinelli and Franco Uncini respectively, in 1993 with Kevin Schwantz and most recently in 2000 with Kenny Roberts Jr. Suzuki has also enjoyed many successes in motocross events throughout the world, including the 2007 MX1 World Championships with Steve Ramon.