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, 13 Jun 2014
In this diary entry, Voltcom Crescent Suzuki’s Eugene Laverty reflects on a busy three weeks that saw him visit Suzuki HQ in Hamamatsu in Japan, test the Suzuki MotoGP machine in Okayama and Phillip Island; and then race to a podium position at the Sepang World Superbike round in Malaysia. The past few weeks have been one hell of an adventure. The trip started out in Donington for the British round of the World Superbike Championship and from there I travelled directly to Japan for my debut test on Suzuki’s MotoGP prototype.
Tue, 10 Jun 2014
Americans reported 45,367 stolen motorcycles in 2013, down 1.5% from 2012, reports the National Insurance Crime Bureau‘s latest Motorcycle Theft and Recovery Report. According to the NICB motorcycle thefts have been on the decline every year since 2007 when 65,678 motorcycles were reported stolen, though the overall trend appears to be leveling off. Japanese motorcycles continue to be the most popular target for thieves.
Mon, 09 Jun 2014
The first ever World Superbike round in Malaysia offered a plenty of drama including both factory Kawasaki riders crashing out on the first lap, a red flagged second race and an overall impressive outing by Aprilia. Under pressure for his lack of results so far this season, Marco Melandri impressed, earning the double for his first career wins on the RSV4 Factory. Aprilia riders led every lap in both races at Sepang, including the red-flagged initial start for Race 2, with Sylvain Guintoli joining his teammate on the podium with a pair of second-place finishes.
Fri, 06 Jun 2014
Michael Dunlop won his fourth race of the 2014 Isle of Man TT and 11th in his career, capping off this year’s event by taking the PokerStars Senior TT. It is the second-consecutive year that Dunlop has won four races in a single TT, this time capturing the Senior, Superbike, Superstock, and the second Supersport TT races. It took a while for Dunlop to get going.
Thu, 05 Jun 2014
The Suzuki MotoGP team concluded its three-day test at Phillip Island in Australia today after rain and less-than-perfect track conditions hampered much of the progress the riders and technicians hoped to make. Test rider Randy De Puniet was joined by Voltcom Crescent Suzuki World Superbike rider Eugene Laverty for the first two days; unfortunately suffering a crash early on the first day due to the slippery and damp conditions. However the Irishman was able to complete 37 laps yesterday despite inclement weather that halted much of the testing on every day; and which included a large amount of geese on the circuit obstructing every session.
Wed, 04 Jun 2014
Michael Dunlop led from start to finish to win the second Supersport TT race, giving him 10 TT victories in his career, tying him with the likes of Giacomo Agostini. Dunlop also joins sidecar racer Robert Fisher, Ian Lougher and Stanley Woods with 10 wins apiece, all tied for seventh overall on the all-time wins list. Riding his MD Racing Honda CBR600RR, Dunlop got off to a strong start, recording a time of 17:55.817 on the opening lap, giving him a 4.6-second advantage over fellow Honda rider Bruce Anstey.
Wed, 04 Jun 2014
Suzuki Motor of America announced a recall on the 2014 V-Strom 650 ABS because of a problem with the drive chain. As of this writing, the recall campaign has not been posted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, but we expect this to be done shortly. Meanwhile north of the border, a similar recall has been announced for the 2014 Suzuki GSX650FA by Transport Canada describing a similar problem.
Mon, 02 Jun 2014
Gary Johnson narrowly beat out Bruce Anstey to take the first of two Supersport races at the 2014 Isle of Man TT. Riding the Daytona 675, Johnson’s win was the first for Triumph since 2003, ironically, with Anstey taking the victory that year in the Junior 600cc class. The race started three hours behind schedule due to fog, but once it began it quickly became a duel between Johnson and Anstey.
Mon, 02 Jun 2014
Michael Dunlop won a historic Dainese Superbike race to kick off the 2014 Isle of Man TT week. Riding the S1000RR, Dunlop secured BMW its first win on the Isle of Man since Georg Meier won on a Type 255 Kompressor in 1939. After catching early leader James Hillier of the Quattro Plant Kawasaki team on the opening lap, Dunlop continued to set an impressive first lap time of 17:11.107, which translates to a record average speed of 131.730 mph on the 37.73-mile Mountain Course.
Fri, 30 May 2014
The 2014 AMA Pro Road Racing season resumes this weekend with the Subway SuperBike Doubleheader at Road America, in Elkhart Lake, Wis., and all eyes will be on 21-year-old AMA Pro SuperBike rookie Cameron Beaubier on the No. 2 Monster Energy Graves Yamaha YZF-R1. Beaubier may be the new kid on the block, but he entered the season opener at Daytona International Speedway with high expectations.