<img width="210" height="136" class="floatleft" src="www.motorcycle.in.th/images/articles/The-Suzuki-TL1000R-as-Used-Motorcycle_1.jpg" alt="" />The year was 1998, Nike Air Jordans were the coolest thing to wear on your feet, the Nintendo 64 game console was cutting edge and the V-Twin sportbike madness was in full swing. The Ducati 916 was out stomping the competition. Aprilia was about to release its new RSV Mille and Suzuki was trying to cash in. One year after introducing the street oriented Suzuki TL1000S, Suzuki introduced the hard hitting Suzuki TL1000R race replica.
The Suzuki TL1000R was a pump-up version of the tamer Suzuki TL1000S, the TL1000R was designed to battle in both WSB and the AMA superbike series. Though the Suzuki TL1000R only garnered one checkered flag before Suzuki returned to the lighter Suzuki GSX-R750 for racing, the big Suzuki TL1000R became an instant classic.
While the Suzuki TL1000R shared the same engine design with the TL1000S, it also received forged components, stronger internals and a higher compression ratio. The muscled-up 996cc, 90-degree V-twin engine was good for 135 horses and a good amount of torque to to play. The over-square design made for an engine with the typical torque of a twin but added an unusually strong top-end more akin to an inline four.
Despite tipping the scales at a tick over 226 kilos wet, the big Suzuki TL1000R was able to devour the 0 to 400 meters (quarter-mile) in the high 10s at 209 km/h and would almost touch 275 km/h on the top end.
<img width="230" height="143" class="floatright" src="www.motorcycle.in.th/images/articles/The-Suzuki-TL1000R-as-Used-Motorcycle_2.jpg" alt="" />Unique to say the least, the Suzuki TL1000R's styling was muscular yet swooping, and the booming exhaust sounded like shotgun blasts at all times.
Like its distinctive styling, the Suzuki also stood alone with its unique rotary damper rear suspension. Quirky may be cool for some, but the majority found fault in the TL1000R's odd suspension design and overweight stature. If that wasn't bad enough, when paired with the wrong conditions it could result in very unstable riding conditions. Though most complains stemmed from the earlier Suzuki TL1000S models which had different frames, sadly both Suzuki TL1000's got slapped with the stigma of being a widow-maker.
Aside from these gripes, the big and bad Suzuki TL1000R has earned a cult-like following amongst its fans, and owners have nothing but great things to say. Most admit the stock suspension isn't a strong point, but agree that upgraded fork internals and a new shock transforms the TL1000R. Equally mandatory is a good aftermarket exhaust system since most owners mark the sweet exhaust note as their favorite aspect of the Suzuki TL1000R.
With owners racking up over 50,000 trouble-free kilometers on their TL1000R it seems they're as reliable as they are mean.
Common problems are few, but include temperamental charging systems, fouled plugs and the aforementioned suspension and weight woes. Other than that, Suzuki TL1000R riders seem to enjoy the ride for all types of riding: cruising the country side, weekends track days, the Suzuki TL1000R will do fine...
It's been over six years since the last Suzuki TL1000R rolled off the assembly line. Some loved it, some hated it... but we all reminisce about it.... Personally, if I could get my hands on a used one, I would buy it directly... And maybe you should do the same!