Tagged: GS1000

Sleek in Silver: 1979 Bimota SB3 in the UK

1979 Bimota SB3 L Side

Early Bimotas really straddle the “classic” and “modern” sporbike eras and helped set the stage for the mass-produced machines that followed. Prior to bikes like the SB3, monoshock suspensions and fully-faired bodywork were really only seen on factory racebikes, and it’s hard to comprehend just how exotic the SB3 was at the time. Although the price was steep, it was virtually the only game in town, until the advent of the GSX-R750.

1979 Bimota SB3 Front

I’m a big fan of red frames on bikes, assuming the frame is actually worth emphasizing and on these early Bimotas, the frame is basically the whole show. Not that the aerodynamic, quick-release bodywork isn’t worth a look, but it’s just the icing on the cake. The integrated signals are another nice touch, something that didn’t really find its way into widespread use until the past couple decades.

1979 Bimota SB3 L Side Rear Naked

But that frame was the only game in town if you wanted top-shelf race technology for the road. Wrapped so tightly around the virtually stock Suzuki GS1000 engine and transmission that powered the bike, it was designed to separate into halves to allow the powertrain to be removed for servicing. And the very trick concentric swingarm pivot and countershaft sprocket kept geometry and chain tension constant throughout the swingarm’s entire range of movement.

1979 Bimota SB3 Engine

At 483 pounds wet, the bike’s main advantage in terms of straight-line performance came from a massively reduced weight compared to the original Suzuki. While suspension was compromised for the road by being far too stiff, according to contemporary tests, it’s easy to argue that wasn’t really the point, and anyone able to afford a Bimota could certainly pay to have the forks and shock retuned to allow for road use.

1979 Bimota SB3 L Side Rear

From the original eBay listing: 1979 Bimota SB3 for Sale

 The SB3 has always been a very rare bike: just 402 were built worldwide.

This one is Number 9 (frame number 0009) and was the first SB3 in the UK.

Its history & provenance is fully documented – it’s a very special bike, with just 4 owners from new; two of those from the same family (Bought new, sold to son-in-law, then sold on to its third owner, then repurchased by the original owner before being bought by my father in law).

It comes with the original bill of sale (see photos) and a letter to the DVLA – when it was returned to its original number plate after having had a private plate – which describes its history very clearly. A photo of this letter also attached.

It has covered just 6,332 miles from new, with a documented change of speedo under warranty at the first service, hence only 5,045 miles showing on the clock today.

This very bike was the one displayed at the Earls Court bike show in 1979, and then road-tested by Motorcycle News.

(We have a copy of the issue of MCN in which it was reviewed – see pictures)

This SB3 was already in lovely original condition when my father-in-law bought it in 5 years ago, but he still carefully stripped it down and treated it to a full cosmetic restoration – having the frame and fairing professionally resprayed, and the Marchesini wheels re-painted in the original gold.

It has always been garaged, and is in outstanding original condition as you can see from the photos. There are a few marks on it here and there, so am not going to describe it as being in concours condition, but it’s pretty close!

I could go on an on about this bike, but no doubt if you’re looking at this advert, you’ll already be aware of what it is, and the fact that its likely to be many years before another SB3 comes up for sale.

A truly unique opportunity to own a rare piece of superbike history.

Viewing can be arranged in Colchester, Essex.

Collection only. Payment by BACS or cash on collection.

1979 Bimota SB3 L Side Naked

Well, that last bit could present a problem. I assume that, by “collection only” he means he won’t arrange shipping, but you could just see it as an opportunity to head to Colchester on vacation! One of my favorite color schemes is silver and red, so it’s no surprise that I really like this bike. Although at £19,995.00 [approximately $30,787.00] it is far out of reach for me for the time being.

-tad

1979 Bimota SB3 R Side

 

 

Brawn and Brains: 1979 Suzuki GS1000S “Wes Cooley Replica”

1980 Suzuki GS1000S L Side

Back when fast motorcycles were defined by two chief virtues: speed and stability, the Suzuki GS1000S was one of the speediest and stable-est of them all. A hulking motorcycle with four air-cooled cylinders, it formed the basis for Suzuki’s AMA Superbike racing efforts, and riders hustled the big brute around with surprising skill.

Until this point, Japanese big bikes had largely been freight-train like straight-line monsters, but the Zook brought a new trick to the party: handling. The GS1000 wasn’t the fastest of the Japanese liter bikes, but it was a real jack-of-all-trades, with a stiff frame, and solid brakes. It wasn’t particularly light, but then neither were its rivals.

1980 Suzuki GS1000S R Front

Race bikes were developed by the famous “Pops” Yoshimura and ridden by Wes Cooley who’d previously been using Kawasakis in their racing efforts, to middling results. But the new GS1000S put them on the podium and the won the AMA Superbike Championship in both 1979 and 1980. The S was originally intended for the European market, but was available in limited quantities in the US, with just 500 imported in ’79 and 700 in ’80.

Although never officially named as such, the S model became known informally as the “Wes Cooley Replica.”

1980 Suzuki GS1000S L Front

From the original eBay listing: 1979 Suzuki GS1000S for sale

This Suzuki GS1000S is my baby, bought new in Reno, Nevada in 1979. I rode this great bike often during good weather for about 10 years, putting weekend fast road miles on it throughout the Sierras and into Washington, Oregon and Idaho, without any issues, malfunctions or failures of any kind. During the past 20 years or so she has been my second bike, most often superior in most ways to the newer bikes I bought, and sold, always less impressed with them than with the all-around qualities of this Ballerina Queen of the road. Among the bikes which have come and gone from my garage, a wonderful 2005 red Suzuki Hayabusa and an equally stellar lime green 2005 Kawasaki ZRX1200R which were great, but never instilled the passion in me this old Suzuki has. Still immensely capable canyon carver and sports-touring ride but my garage is full and she needs a new home. I am not interested in selling this bike to anyone not intending to keep it…. I love this old bike and hope to find a good home for her.

He also lists updates and maintenance that’s been done and is obviously a sympathetic owner. With 35,000 miles on the clock, this is clearly no garage-queen, but these are built like tanks and it should have plenty of life left in it: Suzuki’s big four cylinder was a mainstay of drag racing for years and could handle all sorts of boost and spray without exploding. Interestingly, the 997cc motor was a development of the GS750 engine, but was actually lighter than its smaller sibling.

1980 Suzuki GS1000S L Rear

The four-into-one exhaust is not original, but I think it looks great and definitely makes the bike look a bit lighter and more modern. Interestingly, the list price for the S was $3,679 when it was new, just $20 less than the Buy-It-Now price… This is a very fair price for a very handsome, practical machine.

-tad

1980 Suzuki GS1000S R Side