Suzuki Motor Corporation is a Japanese multinational corporation headquartered in Minami-ku, Hamamatsu, Japan, which specializes in manufacturing automobiles, four-wheel drive vehicles, motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs), outboard marine engines, wheelchairs and a variety of other small internal combustion engines.
In 1909, Michio Suzuki (1887–1982) founded the Suzuki Loom Works in the small seacoast village of Hamamatsu, Japan. He was making looms, did some cars for a short time, faced cotton market collapse in 1951 and so he came to new products.
Suzuki's first two-wheel ingenuity came in the form a bicycle fitted with a motor called, the "Power Free." Designed to be inexpensive and simple to build and maintain, the 1952 Power Free featured a 36 cc, one horsepower, two-stroke engine. An unprecedented feature was the double-sprocket gear system, enabling the rider to either pedal with the engine assisting, pedal without engine assist, or simply disconnect the pedals and run on engine power alone. The system was so ingenious that the patent office of the new democratic government granted Suzuki a financial subsidy to continue research in motorcycle engineering, and so was born Suzuki Motor Corporation.
In 1953, The Diamond Free is introduced and features double-sprocket wheel mechanism and two-speed transmission. That year Suzuki scored the first of many racing victories when the tiny 60 cc "Diamond Free" won its class in the Mount Fuji Hill Climb.
By 1954, Suzuki had officially changed its name to Suzuki Motor Co., Ltd. S mark was adopted as corporate emblem in 1958.
In 1955 the Colleda COX debuts, a 125cc bike equipped with a steel frame. It features a 4-stroke OHV single-cylinder engine with three-speed transmission.
Using MZ’s technology (Ernst Degner defected to the west while racing for MZ in the Swedish Grand Prix, and he took knowledge of Walter Kaaden’s expansion chamber designs), 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.
The T20 is released in 1965 (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’ (1968) is an air-cooled parallel-Twin two-stroke.
In 1971 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. Also the TM400A motocrosser goes into production, a 396cc bike designed for 500cc motocross races.
With the GS750, Suzuki finally builds a 4-stroke, four-cylinder road bike in 1976.
The 779cc DR-BIG, dated by 1990, has the largest single-cylinder engine in living memory. The much-loved 16-valve, 1156cc air/oil-cooled Bandit 1200 appears on the scene in 1995.
In 1996 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 (SRAD) system.
Tue, 14 Oct 2014
From a Suzuki press release:
Crescent Suzuki has announced its completed rider line-up for the 2015 FIM Superbike World Championship as world-renowned competitor and current Suzuki MotoGP test rider Randy de Puniet joins the UK-based team alongside Alex Lowes. A long-standing racer in Grand Prix, de Puniet has amassed 139 MotoGP race starts and five 250cc GP race wins during his 15 years on the world stage so far. During 2014, he has become instrumental to the development of Suzuki’s 2015 return to GP competition with the all-new GSX-RR.
Mon, 13 Oct 2014
From a Suzuki press release:
The 2015 Suzuki MotoGP GSX-RR was unveiled at today’s Motegi MotoGP race in Japan as 1993 World 500cc GP Champion Kevin Schwantz was joined by 1982 World Champion Franco Uncini for demonstration laps at the Twin Ring circuit. Schwantz, who joined the Suzuki MotoGP test team for its test at Austin in Texas, USA earlier this year, rode the GSX-RR while Uncini demonstrated the GSV-R that last competed in the 2011 MotoGP series. Kevin Schwantz: “I started very carefully as we didn’t start from pit-lane and without tyre warmers, but I soon felt the machine was being very stable and I was able to speed-up.
Mon, 06 Oct 2014
At Intermot this year Suzuki made it official: the company was returning to MotoGP in 2015. There had been some speculation about a 2016 return considering that will be the year of new ECUs and a switch to Michelin spec tires, but team boss Davide Brivio confirmed the GSX-RR prototype will be in action next year, piloted by Aleix Espargaro and Maverick Vinales. However, Suzuki will also make a wildcard appearance at the season ending round of the championship at Valencia with test rider, Randy DePuniet, at the helm.
Fri, 03 Oct 2014
From a Suzuki press release:
Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing has signed former AMA Pro 250 Motocross Champion Blake Baggett to the team today during the 2015 Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. (SMAI) Dealer Meeting at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Baggett will join Yoshimura Suzuki’s James Stewart in the premier class for the 2015 AMA Pro Supercross and Motocross seasons, but his first race on the Yoshimura Suzuki RM-Z450 will be Las Vegas’ Monster Energy Cup later this month.
Mon, 29 Sep 2014
Graham Coxon, British musician and lead guitarist for Blur, auctioning off seven of his personal motorcycles with proceeds benefitting NSPCC, the UK’s leading children’s charity. See the full press release from Bonhams below. The motorcycles will be sold as part of Bonhams Autumn Stafford Sale, an annual event taking place at the Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Show, held on 19th October 2014.
Tue, 23 Sep 2014
The defending champion Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (SERT) have had a rough season this year, with exactly zero victories to its name. However, at the season finale LeMans 24-hour race, the team turned their fortunes around. As an added bonus, the Suzuki Junior Team also won the championship in its class. Read the full press release below for details.
Thu, 18 Sep 2014
Say what you will about the depleted state of the American roadracing scene, it shouldn’t diminish the fact Hayes put in the effort and beat some formidable challengers to the title. Here, the AMA congratulates Josh Hayes on his accomplishment. Monster Energy Graves Yamaha’s Josh Hayes entered the 2013 AMA Pro SuperBike season on the heels of the most dominant campaign in the history of the series and with his primary threat no longer in the paddock.
Thu, 18 Sep 2014
The Suzuki Endurance Racing Team, or SERT, has had a rough 2014 endurance season. The defending champions haven’t scored a single victory this year, but are hoping its fortunes turn for them during this weekend’s season finale: the grueling 24 hours of LeMans. Yes, motorcycles participate in this classic race, but the course configuration is entirely different from what the car guys use. See the full press release below and the conditions SERT needs to claim its 14th title.
Wed, 10 Sep 2014
Pirelli’s relationship with the World Superbike Championship started in 2004 and will carry on through 2018, as the Italian company will continue to supply tires for every class of the championship. What follows is the official Pirelli press release. Pirelli has been confirmed as the Official Tire Supplier for all classes of the eni FIM Superbike World Championship having won the tender organized by Dorna, promoter and organizer of the World Championship, in agreement with the FIM, the International Motorcycling Federation.
Tue, 26 Aug 2014
More than 2,000 attendees visited America’s Car Museum for its 3rd annual Vintage Motorcycle Festival ‘The MEET’ last weekend in Tacoma, Washington, where over 300 motorcycles and scooters were showcased on the Haub Family Field at LeMay. The event drew pre-1981 motorcycles and scooters from the U.S. and Canada, including an antique motorcycle display, swap meet, cruise-in and a 78-mile roundtrip tour from ACM’s Anderson Plaza to Mt. Rainier.