1986 Suzuki GSX-R1100


The bike that started it all..


Catastrophic transmission failure at 20,000.

Poor repairs/modifications done by previous owners, which needed correction.

General Comments:

I was unfortunate to buy this motorcycle. The bike had obviously been laid down before, and repaired poorly. There were hose clamps where c-clips should have been, loose screws and bolts inside the case, coil packs from a Honda CBR, JB welded covers etc.

Thus far, I have had the gears undercut while also replacing all the bearings and washers for the trans. I also replaced the shift forks, shift shaft, gear selector shaft, heli-coiled multiple threads in the case, replaced 2 coil packs with dyna units.

I also disassembled the carbs for winter cleaning and found the rubber diaphragms had been repaired with rtv sealant. Don't worry, they are still available from Suzuki... Only $115.00 apiece! I opted to upgrade to a set of 36 mm carbs from an 89 1100, but you need to be cautious with these too.

I found that the slide glides had been broken, and these are not available from Suzuki. I fortunately found someone "parting out" a set of carbs. You will also need to replace the petcock with one from a later year or a pingel unit.

Now, I know that almost none of this is the fault of Suzuki, but it should serve as a lesson to anyone considering buying a 20+ year old sportbike. Had I not been a mechanic, The transmission work would have easily cost in excess of $1500. Factor in rebuilding a set of carbs and you would have been looking at close to 2k. Know what you are getting into. Ask for receipts, take it to someone who knows what they are looking at, otherwise it could be very costly.

That being said, I do not regret buying this bike for one second. It's got scary torque that will easily put the front wheel up.

As far as handling, it's probably one of the worst handling replica racers ever built, but that's part of its character. If you can ride one of these oil boilers fast, than you are truly a masterful rider. Personally, it has more power than I'll ever need.

I may update the wheels and front end at some point to improve the handing, but other than that, I couldn't be happier with it.

Would you buy another motorcycle from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 12th March, 2010