With the late 70s came the resurgence of big capacity four-stroke racing after a mixed few years. F750 began earlier in that decade as road machines grew in size and gave a platform for the Triumph and BSA triples to compete against the Nortons, Harleys and Ducatis on the racetracks of the world.
Tag Archives: Suzuki Classic Bikes
Creating a street special is never easy but to achieve such a radical shift and yet still retain the essential looks of the donor machine takes some doing, Andy Jones has done just that as Classicmotorbikes.net take a trip into Bandit country.
Andy has really nailed the art of keeping the essential vibe and looks of the original machine and yet playing with the senses and making one do a double take. This is the case with his latest efforts, the Skoal Bandit kettle, to the passer by at least, it looks every bit the classic Suzuki GT750, but closer inspection reveals there to be hardly an original part left unaltered or attended to.
Upon first impression, this GSX looks much like a standard bike, as the initial impact fades away however, it becomes clear that little of the original bike still exists. The weedy front end has gone, as has the entire back end too, in their place items that wouldn’t look out of place doing a far more industrial task.
The formula for any truly great sporting machine is an easy one to concoct. The secret is to not over egg the pudding, simply use a light and agile chassis allied to an easy to use engine, all held to the tarmac by good handling and sweet manners.
This is all present and correct in a well assembled Yammagamma, the original chassis being little more than a scaled down GSX-R frame and cycle parts, while being 20% stiffer, and around 30% lighter, than the old style Yamaha steel tubed frame.
47 year old sales manager, Peter Goodier, openly admits to reliving his youth. “I had a series of motorcycles between the ages of 17 and 29, but then had to lay off then when my first child was born, after that, I never had the time, or the money, to get back onto two wheels. I did have a Suzuki SP370, reg AYF 965T if you are still out there, back in 1979, and it was a great bike.
You cannot have visited a major bike show in the UK over the last few years without seeing Pete Tantrum and his RG500. The bike is beautifully painted in the same DAF trucks livery as the one that Barry Sheene last rode with, the bike looks stunning and stands out from the crowd wherever it may be parked.
It began life as a red and black RG and from the moment Pete acquired the bike the end result was clear in his mind, if not quite every one else’s. When ever he mentioned a Barry Sheene replica most people immediately thought of the red and yellow Heron machine upon which Barry romped to his two world titles in 1976 and 77 but not Pete, for him the tribute to this great man would take the form of the final year that Sheene rode in GP’s.
On paper, the GT550 should be a perfect match for the 500 Kawasaki, it shares the same basic configuration and before actually viewing each beast you could be forgiven for thinking they would go head to head just nicely. Based on the race track like performance of the Suzuki T500 twin, the GT series should have been a rip roaring line up of motorcycles but, the reality was very much different with the power delivery being aimed squarely at mid range acceleration and legal speed cruising.
Viewed alongside other machines from the period, the Suzuki is highly advanced, using design techniques developed in the ground breaking 250 and 500 twins. Horizontally split crank case make for easy assembly while a fluid, six-speed gearbox matches the engines desire for acceleration well while rider aids such as vacuum fuel taps may appear unnecessary but none the less do prove to be handy.
Launched as Suzuki’s flagship superbike on the show circuit in 1971, the GT750 wasn’t a fire-breathing monster like the Kawasaki Mach IV/H2 triple, but instead proved to be a pleasant touring bike, comfortable to ride, with a roomy seat and…
In 1984, a Yamaha advert quite boldly stated “ No one has ever built a road machine so close in technical basis to a current GP winner. Quite frankly we do not expect that any one else ever will”. How…