From custom-built choppers to looking for a custom bike builder, the custom motorcycle market is booming! But what do you think of Suzuki? Whilst its roots date back to 1909 and the formation of Suzuki Loom Manufacturing it actually wasn’t until the 50s that Michio Suzuki took the business into custom motorcycles, reportedly spurred on by his son’s request that dad pimp his bicycle with a motor.
The Power Free bicycle engine emerged in ’52 with the first powered custom motorcycle two wheeler, the Mini Free moped arriving in 1954. Before long Suzuki was making a huge impact on the custom motorcycle scene with the 60s seeing the arrival of the T500 Titan which, aided by the expertise of East German engineer Ernst Degner, basked in a reputation not just for speed, but reliability. The all-conquering GT570 ‘Kettle’ hit the tarmac in ’71 firmly setting out Suzuki’s stall in the superbike sector whilst the company’s pursuit of innovation later saw the launch of the idiosyncratic RE5, powered by a Wankel rotary engine, which is now a popular eye-catcher at classic bike shows. A succession of great four stroke machines – the GS400, 550 and 750 Bandits among them – further cemented the Japanese marque’s reputation and position within the global custom motorcycles marketplace.
The late 90s saw the arrival of the jaw-dropping Hayabusa, the beautiful 1300c monster that immediately trashed records to become the world’s fastest custom motorcycles with a top speed of some 189mph. The manufacturer refuses to show its age, the 21st century heralding the launch of crackers like the GSX-R1000 and V-Strom 650.
Where? Headquartered in Takatsuka, Japan, which is also home to a motorcycle engine assembly and engineer plant with a factory in Toyokawa also handling bike assembly
What? Adventures, Cruisers, Duals, Mopeds, Motocross, Scooters, Sports, Sports Tourers, Supersports, Street.
Website? Click for the official Suzuki Motorcycles website.
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