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.
Fri, 21 Nov 2008 00:00:00 -0800
Here are a few things going on around the Motorcycle.com Forum Network:
What the heck is this? HomerSaurus of the 1000RR.net forums had a bit of an accident on his Honda and wound up with this extra part leftover after rebuilding his bike. So what the heck is it?
Thu, 20 Nov 2008 00:00:00 -0800
The rumors had been flying. Speculation swirled but many didn’t think it would actually happen. It was recently confirmed that the breakup is in fact official.
Sun, 09 Nov 2008 00:00:00 -0800
In a county gone mad with cruisers, from outrageous T.V. customs to 250cc Honda Rebels, the cruiser is the largest segment of the American motorcycle market. Interesting then, that despite a seeming glut in the cruiser supply, and receding sales figures from major OEMs in the past year, that new cruiser models keep coming.
Sat, 08 Nov 2008 00:00:00 -0800
In our ongoing coverage of everything worth covering and talking about and beating to death that happened at EICMA, Suzuki unveiled a new Bandit 650 range in Milan earlier this week. Both the 650 and 650SA models received styling and practical updates that bring a new sharp and dynamic look to the 2009 middleweight class. With new edgy styling, the naked Bandit 650 is headlined by sleeker modern headlights, and newly styled mirrors that make it resemble an angry bunny rabbit.
Mon, 03 Nov 2008 00:00:00 -0800
I have had a little walk around checking out the preparations for the show. I haven’t seen anything that I haven’t already seen or heard about previously, but here’s a selection from three of the halls. Yamaha are the only manufacturer to use an industrial crane to place some of its bikes up on high rise stands.
Sat, 01 Nov 2008 00:00:00 -0700
If you’re anything like me you’ve spent hundreds of hours dreaming of the time you could ride a motorcycle across the water – perhaps even take a scenic ride to the Caribbean. Anybody…hello…Bueller? OK, I’ve never actually thought about it before in my life, but somebody has.
Sun, 26 Oct 2008 00:00:00 -0700
How does that saying go? “Necessity is the mother of invention.”
All the riders who regularly decide between two-wheels or four should get a kick out of the Suzuki SXForce concept. From the outside this peppy car looks like a highly-customized street dream.
Mon, 20 Oct 2008 00:00:00 -0700
The popularity of two-wheeled transportation certainly picked up this summer, thanks mostly to the economy. Not everyone who wants one however, has a choice they can live with. Stylistically scoots sold in the states have been rather traditional and staid, that is until now.