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.
Thu, 13 Mar 2014 00:00:00 -0700
America’s road racing champions of tomorrow are racing in AMA Pro SuperSport today, and their season kicks off this weekend at Daytona International Raceway. With events on both Friday and Saturday, there are plenty of chances for glory for the 48 competitors entered. AMA Pro SuperSport is the most unpredictable class and the racing gives a chance for riders in the large fields to step up and prove they have what it takes. A great example is reigning AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike Champion and current SuperBike pilot Cameron Beaubier, who cut his teeth in his two-victory, two-pole season in 2010.
Tue, 11 Mar 2014 00:00:00 -0700
Photo: Brian J. Nelson
Even though reigning AMA Pro Superbike champ Josh Herrin has left the series to try his hand in the Moto2 series, the Superbike field is still filled deep with talent heading into this weekend’s series opening round at Daytona. Here are just a few names to keep an eye on this weekend.
Mon, 10 Mar 2014 00:00:00 -0700
Ryan Villopoto was dominant in Daytona, leading all 20 laps to win his third race of the season. The Monster Energy Kawasaki ride strengthened his hold on the 2014 AMA Supercross championship lead, padding his lead over Red Bull KTM riders Ryan Dungey and Ken Roczen. The reigning three-time champion was far and away the fastest racer on the Daytona International Speedway infield, posting lap times more than a second faster than anyone else.
Fri, 07 Mar 2014 00:00:00 -0800
Although aftermarket grips and LED strips are both listed on the ad for this poor Suzuki, there’s no mention of the single disc conversion at the front of the bike. It’s a good job the seller is in no rush to sell. Surely this is the worst looking SV650 ever?You can see the original ad here.
Mon, 03 Mar 2014 00:00:00 -0800
Ryan Dungey captured his first win of the 2014 AMA Supercross season in a wild main event that saw two of the top title contenders crashing on the starting straight at Indianapolis‘ Lucas Oil Stadium. Smartop MotoConcepts Suzuki rider Mike Alessi took the holeshot for the second race in a row, but the big news was incoming points leader Ryan Villopoto and Ken Roczen going down before the first turn. Roczen trailed Villopoto by nine points going into the Indianapolis round, but the KTM rookie’s hopes of overtaking the reigning champion took a blow when he went down on the straight, knocking Villopoto off in the process.
Sat, 01 Mar 2014 00:00:00 -0800
Former 500cc World Champion, Kevin Schwantz, will pair with former Japanese Champion, Satoshi Tsujimoto, in this year’s Suzuka 8-Hour race. The duo originally tackled Suzuka together in 1986, ultimately coming in third position. Now the two are back in celebration of Yoshimura’s 60th anniversary, as part of the company’s “Legend Team.” Yoshimura will also field a second entry with former Australian Champion Josh Waters and All Japan Superbike rider Takuya Tsuda.
Fri, 28 Feb 2014 00:00:00 -0800
Valentino Rossi and Dani Pedrosa topped the time sheets at the conclusion of the second MotoGP test at the Sepang track in Malaysia. Both clocked identical times of 1:59.999 to become the only riders to dip under the two minute mark the entire test. The hot and humid conditions in Sepang meant times wouldn’t be faster than they were in the first test here only a few weeks prior, and indeed, Rossi and Pedrosa’s time is 0.466 second slower than the fastest lap Marc Marquez set at the last test.
Wed, 26 Feb 2014 00:00:00 -0800
With the absence of Marc Marquez from the second Sepang MotoGP test, due to a broken leg suffered in a training accident, another Honda rider took his place at the top of the time sheets, though it’s not who you might think. Alvaro Bautista on the Gresini Honda set the fastest time at the end of the first day with a 2:00.848. The time is 1.3 second slower than the fastest time Marquez set at the last Sepang test.
Mon, 24 Feb 2014 00:00:00 -0800
KTM‘s Ken Roczen continues to impress, taking his second AMA Supercross win of his 450-class rookie season at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. Roczen, who also won the season opening Anaheim 1 round, took advantage of a mistake by Kawasaki‘s Ryan Villopoto to take the win and move within nine points of the defending champion in the rider standings. The main event started with Smartop Motoconcepts Suzuki rider Mike Alessi taking the holeshot for his best start this season.
Mon, 24 Feb 2014 00:00:00 -0800
For 2014, Celtic Racing will continue fielding Corey Alexander in AMA SuperSport competition. Joining him will be new teammate, Wyatt Farris. The pair, with support from sponsor Hudson Valley Motorcycles, will be riding Suzuki GSX-R 600 motorcycles with help from Suzuki.