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Eff Tee Pee
29,722 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Early GSX-R: 'Slabside'

The 1985-1987 GSX-R models were air and oil cooled, using a large oil radiator and complicated oil circulation systems known as SACS (Suzuki advanced cooling system) and also featuring oil jets to cool the undersides of the pistons.

Aluminium was viewed to be a highly advanced frame material in 1985, but otherwise, the frame layout was a fairly conventional cradle design.

The first GSX-Rs are commonly referred to as Slabside, or "slabbies" due to their very flat side panels and tall narrow frames. GSX-R 750s from 1985-1988 are Slabside models, and the 1100 slabside was in production around 1986-1989. GSX-R750 slabbies weigh approximately 178 kg dry, and are 100 horsepower at the crankshaft. GSX-R 1100 slabbies weigh 198 kg dry and produce 130 horsepower at the crankshaft if unrestricted. Both respond to tuning well and very little work is required to add 5-10 horsepower. Still relatively powerful by current standards, especially given their low weight, their main weaknesses are their handling, being somewhat light and prone to head shakes (especially the 750 cc model), and brakes that are wooden and not very powerful.

Being somewhat lightly built for their power, subsequent models improved only modestly on power but substantially on thicker, strong frames and stronger suspension. They can be hard to find in standard condition these days, due to being a popular model for the 'streetfighter' crowd, but they hold value quite well and enjoy a modest cult status. All GSX-R models are also colloquially known as 'Gixxers'. For the year 1987, Suzuki offered a GSX-R50 (also known as the GAG50 in Japan) that differed from its Yamaha and Honda competitors by using a 4-stroke engine

Second generation GSX-R: 'Slingshot'

The first major revision of the GSX-R series revolved around a new frame, styled after the then racing frame. The engines were also updated and power outputs increased for the 750 and 1100 (the 1100 increased from 1052 cc to 1127 cc), now making 112 and 145 horsepower respectively. The fairing was restyled, giving a much rounder look. Named after their carburetors, these are referred to as Slingshot GSX-Rs. The Slingshot 750 ran from 1989 to 1992, the 1100 from late 1989 to 1993. The 750s went to a high revving over-square engine which failed to find much favour with the critics as it made the bike 'buzzy' and harder to work

Third generation: Liquid cooled GSX-R W

The third revision of the GSX-Rs mainly centred around the introduction of an updated watercooled engine which, oddly, retained the air-cooling fins. This increased power slightly. The frame was subtly improved, while the suspension received a marked improvement over earlier models. The GSX-R 750W watercooled model (not to be confused with later SRAD/K series GSX-Rs) ran from late 1992 to 1996, the 1100W from 1993 to 1998. Power was 121 and 155 bhp, respectively.

However, by the end of the range the flagship 1100 model was substantially (over 20 kilograms) heavier than the original creation, and was considered a topheavy and only averagely handling bike. The new Honda Fireblade was substantially lighter, had a similar speed, and was a far racier machine than what had become of the GSX-R 1100. Sales records and racetrack comparisons showed up its weaknesses. It took several years for Suzuki to come up with a competitive bike once more

Fourth Generation: SRAD

In 1996 an all new GSX-R 750 was introduced, the 'SRAD', featuring a completely new, modern twin spar frame, all new watercooled engine and all new suspension. A year later a 600 cc model was introduced to compete in the supersport class. They had nothing in common with their predecessors bar the name and niche, and were a revolutionary change in the GSX-R series rather than evolutionary. However the series had stagnated somewhat and failed to successfully compete with the burgeoning 900-1000 cc market opened up, mainly, by the Honda Fireblade series, and later the highly successful R1 Series from Yamaha

2001 and Beyond

In 2001, Suzuki introduced the GSX-R 1000 in the form of a 988 cc fuel injected motorcycle which put its predecessor to shame with a whopping 160 bhp at the crank. Created to compete with Yamaha's R1 series, it amply met the challenge and continues to this day at the leading edge of the superbike class.

Following a common 2-year revision cycle, Suzuki updated the GSX-R 1000 in 2003. Changes included an updated fuel injection system, numerous intake and exhaust improvements, as well as improved and updated styling. Yet another revision followed in 2005; changes were more significant, and the 2005 models started to solidify the GSX-R's domination in the 1000cc sportbike market. In 2005-2006, most road-tests and reviews by journalists considered the 2005 (and 2006) Suzuki GSX-R 1000 to be the leading 1000cc sportbike model on the road.

All of these motorcycles have been successfully raced around the world since their introduction and Suzuki's sales reflect their popularity, with sales of over 2,000,000 globally per year.

Recycling the early bits

The air/oil-cooled Suzuki GSX-R 1100 engine was transplanted into a very heavy touring chassis and fitted with a shaft drive, to be marketed as the unfaired GSX 1100G in the early 1990s.

Around the same time it was used to power the GSX 1100F. The sports touring bike was the first production motorcycle with a power windshield.

Detuned versions of the shortest stroke 750 engine and the 1100 engines currently live on in the Suzuki Bandit series, as well as current models of the Suzuki GSX series.

The Suzuki GSX-R series were preceded by the Suzuki GSX Series and the Suzuki GS Series.

The term GSX-R is often referred to or pronounced as "gixxer"/"gixer" (jick-sir).

GSX-R Model codes

GSX-R Models are often referred to using their model codes W,Y,K1. These can be useful when ordering parts or downloading manuals.
GSX-R750 1986 - (G)
GSX-R750 1987 - (H)
GSX-R750, 1100 1988 - (J)
GSX-R750 1989 - (K)
GSX-R750 1990 - (L)
GSX-R750 1991 - (M)
GSX-R750 1992 - (N)
GSX-R750 1996 - (T)
GSX-R750 1997 - (V)
GSX-R750 1998 - (W)
GSX-R750 1999 - (X)
GSX-R750 2000 - (Y)
GSX-R750 2001 - (K1)
GSX-R750 2002 - (K2)
GSX-R750 2003 - (K3)
GSX-R750 2004 - (K4)
GSX-R750 2005 - (K5)
GSX-R750 2006 - (K6)

Eff Tee Pee
29,722 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
that is a brief history man. we have a 100+ page book at my work about just GSXR's.

pretty fuckin cool actually. im just waiting for it to go on the clearance rack b/c NOONE buys em. hahaha.
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