The 15 Best Suzuki Motorcycles Ever Made
Let’s be honest, when you hear the name Suzuki, what does comes to mind first, a car or a bike? That’s right, a motorcycle. Because Suzuki motorcycles are some of the best in the world. The Japanese company is one of the biggest motorcycle manufacturers in the world, occupying a top spot among the likes of Honda, Yamaha, and Harley Davidson.
The brand’s history goes back over 100 years, with their motorcycles having made happy millions of people all over the world since 1909 when the company was founded. Though they are well known for their sports bikes, they produce a wide range of motorcycle types, including cruisers, touring bikes and dual sport motorcycles.
The never ending competition between the Japanese motorcycle manufacturers has given birth to some excellent machines throughout history, and Suzuki’s best motorcycles is what we’re going to discuss today.
So without further ado, here are the 15 best Suzuki bikes ever made.
- 15. Suzuki RM-62
- 14. Suzuki Boulevard C90
- 13. Suzuki GSX-S1100S Katana
- 12. Suzuki RGV250
- 11. Suzuki RG500 Gamma
- 10. Suzuki GSX-R1100
- 9. Suzuki DR-Z400S
- 8. Suzuki Bandit 1200
- 7. Suzuki V-Strom 650
- 6. Suzuki GSX-R1000 K5
- 5. Suzuki TL1000R
- 4. Suzuki SV650
- 3. Suzuki RG500
- 2. Suzuki GSX-R750
- 1. Suzuki GSX1300R Hayabusa
15. Suzuki RM-62
The 50cc Suzuki RM-62 may be a museum piece today, but it once was the fastest bike on the Isle of Man TT and other championships, competing even against 125cc bikes. And winning.
This 8 horsepower bike is a real part of Suzuki’s successful history, one of the greatest to ever come out from the brand’s factories. It might seem unremarkable at first glance, but when you think that those 50cc, 8 horsepower could push the tachymeter to 12,000 rpm and the speedometer to 90mph, you might consider it for what it was: an incredible two wheeled machine in its time.
The bike won six world championships during the 1960s and established Suzuki as one of the world leaders in motorcycle manufacturing.
14. Suzuki Boulevard C90
The Suzuki Boulevard C90 is far from being a Harley Davidson, but it doesn’t even need to. It’s one of the best cruiser motorcycles ever created, and it doesn’t shy away from showing it.
With a 67 horsepower 1,462cc V-twin, fuel injection and stylish aesthetic, it won the hearts of many cruiser fanatics across the entire world. Since its launch, it was consistent in both powertrain and looks, making it a true icon of Japanese motorcycle know-how.
13. Suzuki GSX-S1100S Katana
Born from Suzuki’s desire to create something unique, the GSX-S1100S Katana was a revolutionary motorcycle, one that brought major changes to the entire motorcycle industry and not only for the company itself.
The Katana changed how a motorcycle looked like, moving on from the stoic design of the incipient years and into a radical new future, one that would bring Suzuki even more fans.
The Suzuki Katana was the change the motorcycle industry craved and didn’t know. When it came, it took everybody by surprise. But the futuristic look of the bike wasn’t everything though.
The new bike also came with some technical advanced features for the time, such as anti-dive on the front shocks, pre-load adjustment on the rear, and a whooping 110hp. The bike was an instant hit and it quickly built a cult following.
12. Suzuki RGV250
The Suzuki RGV250 was that race replica that everybody wanted to have. It was the bad boy, the wild one, the one that in the right hands would go head to head with liter bikes and often leave them behind to eat its dust.
The RGV250 was all the proof the world needed that bigger isn’t necessarily better. This fantastic bike was produced between 1988 and 1998, but unfortunately it fell prey in the end to the more reliable and easier to maintain and to ride 400cc sportsbikes.
Today, the Suzuki RGV250 is still the dream of bike collectors worldwide for the thrills and the joy it created back in the day.
11. Suzuki RG500 Gamma
Another bike that had racing written all over its DNA, but made road legal so that everyone could enjoy it, was the Suzuki RG500 Gamma. The bike is a very close relative of the original RG500 racing bike, which was a marvel of technological achievement at the time, one that had put Suzuki back on the map.
Unlike its cousin though, the Gamma came with upgraded fairing and all the roadgoing necessities installed, like the compulsory headlights and stoplights. In all the other regards, it was a true road rocket like the race-bred RG500, able to reach a top speed of 147mph.
It was light, weighing only 386 pounds, and the twin crank, square four, two-stroke engine delivered an amazing 95 horsepower that blew its competition away after going over that 5,000 rpm sweet spot.
The bike felt underpowered below that threshold, but once above, it all felt like the machine came back to life, propelling the bike and the rider forward like no other bike at the time could.
10. Suzuki GSX-R1100
When Honda FireBlade took over the sports bike world in the first half of the 1990s, Suzuki was left wondering if it could do better than its rival. Their first answer to the much praised FireBlade was the GSX-R1100, a bike already in existence since 1986, but upgraded and released again in 1994 to counter the Honda.
The newer variant of the GSX-R1100 came with a slightly larger engine, 1,074cc, water cooling instead of the original air/oil cooling, improved exhaust system, and upside-down racing shocks, all of which upped the bike’s performance, but also its weight, making it a huge 250 kg.
The performance gain wasn’t enough though to boost Suzuki’s sales, so from this point of view, the bike wasn’t successful. On the other hand though, the GSX-R1100 became one of the most popular sport motorcycles in its class, preferred for its power and bad boy attitude that speed junkies looked for.
9. Suzuki DR-Z400S
Probably one of, if not the, most competent all-round motorcycle ever created is Suzuki’s DR-Z400S, a simple, reliable, and comfortable dual-sport that did well on almost any kind of terrain.
Its dirt bike abilities made it ready to tackle anything you could throw at it, while the 398cc kept things light and simple, while delivering sufficient power for round the world trips.
Born in the 2000, the DR-Z400 was cheap, simple to maintain, easy to ride, and came with just the essentials to deliver the barebones essence of what motorcycling means for most riders.
Later iterations came with a SuperMoto variant as well in the form of the DR-Z400SM, and it saw huge success, as its off-road prowess transferred well to the asphalt circuit.
8. Suzuki Bandit 1200
Another simple, yet complete motorcycle, the Suzuki Bandit 1200, featured everything that was essential for a motorcycle to ride well, without the bells and whistles that didn’t add much to the overall experience, that’s why this was another success story for the Japanese company.
Despite the bike’s simple design, it was one of the greatest bikes of its period, delivering high performance but also the practicality and comfort that made it a good every day motorcycle.
The Bandit 1200, produced between 1996 and 2006, came with a 1,157 DOHC inline-four engine, a low seat, better fuel capacity than its previous brother, the 600cc variant, electronics, and improved fairing and frame design.
All these made this bike perform excellent both on straight sections and while cornering, and its braking abilities were good as well. It was among the best all-round motorcycles of that era, and have remained highly sought after even today.
7. Suzuki V-Strom 650
In production since 2004, the Suzuki V-Strom 650 is one of the most successful middle weight adventure touring machines the world has known. It’s the perfect motorcycle for beginner riders and offers plenty of fun to seasoned ones as well.
The bike’s 645cc V-Twin engine is powerful enough for highway cruising, but also punchy and light enough to make the bike decent off-road as well.
The V-Strom 650 has proved itself as a versatile machine over the years, more than ideal for long distance touring adventures, and with plenty of comforts and rider assists to make it relevant in today’s world.
Though some would say there’s no purpose for the likes of V-Strom 650 and similar when there are machines such as the V-Strom 1050 Adventure around, but the market says otherwise.
6. Suzuki GSX-R1000 K5
We talked above about the GSX-1100, Suzuki’s primary answer to the Honda FireBlade. The GSX-R1000 K1 that came out later in 2001, is a natural evolution of its predecessor, and probably the best of Suzuki’s GSX range.
The K5 variant of the bike that came out several generations later, in 2005, is seen as the best of the bunch, equally fun on the circuit and on the street, rider friendly, lightweight, and very powerful.
Despite its 999cc that produced a whooping 185hp and the bike’s only 166 kg, it featured excellent handling, without going on the edge, and the power was manageable, which made the bike good for all experience levels.
5. Suzuki TL1000R
Designed to compete with Ducati and Honda in the WSBK, the Suzuki TL1000R came a little bit too late to the party, with the company eventually dropping the project to focus on the more performant GSX-R750.
Despite that and a short production run of only 5 years, the TL1000R managed to gain a cult following in the motorcycle world, especially with those who wanted a wild and powerful two wheeled animal. The aggressive styling helped a lot to convey that message as well.
The 996cc engine delivered, the bike handled extremely well, but the lack of practicality and its lack of refinement made it more like a niche motorcycle loved by a select few.
4. Suzuki SV650
The Suzuki SV650 was an instant hit, a bike loved by everybody for its reliability, maneuverability, manageable power, and its pleasing aesthetic. The bike was instantly recognizable thanks to its trellis steel frame.
It was a streetfighter, but one that was competent enough for the more seasoned riders and also decently powered to be easy to manage by beginners as well. It came with a full array of useful features, such as six speed gearbox, liquid cooling, dual front disc brakes with ABS, and aluminum alloy wheels.
The SV650 was a joy to ride, no matter the rider’s style, be it daily commuting, weekend touring, or canyon carving.
3. Suzuki RG500
The legendary RG500 that put Suzuki back on the MotoGP map is one of the most successful bikes ever made. It came equipped with a four-cylinder two-stroke 500cc that was able to produce 90hp initially, with later variants pushing the output to 150hp.
The bike was a literal rocket, and it got Suzuki two world championship wins in 1976 and 1977, and another two in 1981 and 1982. It was the bike that inspired the road legal version, the RG500 Gamma that adrenaline junkies loved to ride.
Although the styling didn’t show it, the Suzuki RG500 was the perfect racing machine, with an ideal engine and lightweight frame.
2. Suzuki GSX-R750
The GSX-R750 is a bike done right, among the longest lasting motorcycle in Suzuki’s lineup. It entered production in 1985, and it’s still in production today, and that thanks only to the bike’s exceptional qualities, that make it a favorite of riders all over the world.
Its 749cc, four-stroke, liquid-cooled, inline-four engine delivers plenty of performance, outputting just shy of 150hp today. There isn’t much that has changed on the bike since its introduction, apart from the expected tech innovations like ABS brakes, inverted Showa shocks, modern engine management system and rider assists.
The bike impressed riders when it first came out, and continues to impress them today, more than three decades later. It’s lightweight, high performance, and affordable, which are all the right ingredients for a successful street legal sports bike.
1. Suzuki GSX1300R Hayabusa
The Suzuki GSX1300R Hayabusa is a pure legend and should need no introduction whatsoever. It came out in 1999, and then everyone went mad over it. The bike was fast, truly fast. It was this bike that started the speed war, with the current record held by the incredible Kawasaki Ninja H2R.
The Hayabusa shattered the 300 km/h speed mark, and everybody loved it for that. For a while, at least. The bike wasn’t for the faint of heart, and certainly not for the unexperienced. Later on, rider aids were introduced to make the bike more manageable and stable at high speeds.
Besides the high performance it delivered, the bike turned heads wherever it went. Some hated its bodywork, but for some it looked simply gorgeous. Today, despite not holding the speed record anymore, the GSX1300R Hayabusa is still one hell of a bike.
These are what we think the best Suzuki motorcycles ever made. The list might not do justice to some, but we’ve tried to cover all time periods and types of bikes.
Some are liked by everybody, while others are leaders in a particular niche, but nevertheless, they’ve made generations of riders happy.
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