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.
Mon, 14 Apr 2014 00:00:00 -0700
Ryan Villopoto won his fifth race of the season while James Stewart took second place to just barely remain in contention for the 2014 AMA Supercross title. Meanwhile it was a bitter-sweet podium for third-place finisher KTM‘s Ryan Dungey who was officially mathematically eliminated from title contention. Racing in his home town of Seattle, Wash., Villopoto led every lap en route to an easy win, his fifth of the season.
Tue, 08 Apr 2014 00:00:00 -0700
Ryan Villopoto ran mostly unchallenged for his fourth win of the 2014 AMA Supercross season, taking advantage of an early spill by Ryan Dungey. The win strengthens Villopoto’s hold on the points lead as the Kawasaki rider seeks his fourth-consecutive championship. Villopoto took the holeshot in the Houston main event and never looked back, leading all 20 laps for the win.
Mon, 07 Apr 2014 00:00:00 -0700
It’s official – Kevin Schwantz will return to his early years of wearing RS Taichi. While Schwantz wore RS Taichi gear during several of his memorable seasons in the 500cc class, his partnership and success with Taichi apparel all started with his victory at the 1988 Daytona 200. And now that Schwantz and the Circuit of the Americas have settled their differences, the 1993 world champ took to the track in RS Taichi leathers again for the first time recently at the Circuit of The Americas media day, as newly appointed motorcycle ambassador for the circuit.
Mon, 31 Mar 2014 00:00:00 -0700
Don’t look now, but James Stewart is the hottest rider in the AMA Supercross Championship. The Yoshimura Suzuki rider won his third consecutive race and series-leading fifth victory of the season. But with Kawasaki‘s Ryan Villopoto holding a comfortable lead with four rounds remaining, Stewart’s hot streak may be too little too late.
Mon, 24 Mar 2014 00:00:00 -0700
James Stewart captured his series-leading fourth AMA Supercross 450 class win of the season, giving him sole possession of second place on the overall career wins list ahead of Ricky Carmichael and behind Jeremy McGrath. The win also helped Stewart gain some ground on points leader Ryan Villopoto who suffered from a bout of food poisoning. Villopoto was examined at a Toronto hospital and released in time for the opening ceremonies.
Fri, 21 Mar 2014 00:00:00 -0700
Looking to get into motorcycle drag racing, but just don’t know where to start? Well, if you have $60,000 burning a hole in your wallet, have we got just the bike for you! For sale is Dave Vantine’s beast of a Pro Mod Suzuki dragster.
Tue, 18 Mar 2014 00:00:00 -0700
We’re just days away from the start of the 2014 MotoGP season and one would think it’s a little late for series organizers to make any significant rule changes. At least, one would think that if one were unfamiliar with the political back-and-forths going on between the major manufacturers and MotoGP promoter Dorna. But with the season-opening Qatar round about to begin, the Grand Prix Commission approved new rules establishing a compromise between the new Factory and Open options.
Tue, 18 Mar 2014 00:00:00 -0700
MotoGP‘s Grand Prix Commission announced the series will adopt a standardized Engine Control Unit hardware and software programming for all entries starting with the 2016 season. At the moment, all teams are required to use a standard ECU hardware supplied by Magneti Marelli. Teams competing under the Factory option are allowed to use their own proprietary software programming while Open option participants must use standardized software.
Mon, 17 Mar 2014 00:00:00 -0700
Yoshimura Suzuki‘s James Stewart captured his third win of the 2014 AMA Supercross season and 48th 450 class victory of his career, tying him with Ricky Carmichael for second on the all-time win list behind Jeremy McGrath‘s 72. Racing before a crowd of 50,856 fans at Ford Field in Detroit, Stewart took the lead from holeshot-taker Cole Seely shortly before the end of the second lap and led the rest of the 20-lap race for the win. Stewart led by as much as 7.1 second but eased off at the end, crossing the finish less than two seconds ahead of Kawasaki‘s Ryan Villopoto.
Sat, 15 Mar 2014 00:00:00 -0700
Photo: Brian J. Nelson
Danny Eslick capped off his return to the AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike class in spectacular fashion, winning the 73rd edition of the Daytona 200. The native of Broken Arrow, OK, and a two-time series champ won pole and then outlasted the competition to win the big one.