Tagged: XN85

The Turbo Kid: 1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo for Sale

1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo R Side Front

Getting away from the race bike theme today, we’re headed back to the wild and wooly 1980’s with a nice Suzuki XN85 Turbo. Built for just one year in very limited quantities, with only about 1200 produced, the XN85 was an odd, developmental dead-end for Suzuki, and a very strange bike to produce with the iconic GSX-R750 likely already on the drawing board…

1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo L Side Rear

But it gave Suzuki a player in the very weird Turbo Wars of the 1980’s, where every manufacturer needed a boosted model to remain relevant, and the word “turbo” became a byword for “cool,” even when you weren’t talking about cars or motorcycles. At least I’m assuming that the character named “Turbo” in the movie Breakin’ didn’t actually have a Mitsubishi TD04HL-19T in place of a heart…

1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo L Side Engine

In any event, unlike what Kawasaki’s did with their Z1R-TC, Suzuki didn’t simply slap an aftermarket kit on a very dated platform, and the XN85 was very much state of the art, with clip-on bars, rearset pegs, 16″ front wheel, and a monoshock “Full Floater” rear suspension. The engine was a 673cc four cylinder that gave the bike the 85hp for which it was named…

And check out those 80’s-riffic LCD boost, fuel, and oil temp gauges!

1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo Dash

From the original eBay listing: 1983 Suzuki XN85 for Sale

This is a one owner bike that was found in a barn.

Please Google Suzuki NX85 to read all about the bike.

We had gone completely through the bike and everything works like it should. It starts up with a push of the button and purrs like new.

Brand new tires with zero miles.

Inside of the tank is brand new.

The miles are correct and was never raced on a track which is what it was intended for. If you are competing in the vintage road course races this is a must have and you will not see another one.

1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo R Side Rear Suspension

Although it is a little bit disconcerting that the seller calls it an “NX85” in the listing and talks about some non-existent racing heritage, this does look like a very nice example of a pretty rare motorcycle. In spite of their eminent usability and practicality, the prices for many early 1980’s Japanese sportbikes remain relatively low, and, assuming you’re okay with the so sharp you might cut yourself styling, these are very cool. Although “relatively low” ain’t what it used to be, with this example apparently bidding up to $8,500 at a recent Mecum auction.

Pick this up and you will likely generate lots of attention, although it will probably be from 50-year-old dudes coming up to you at bike nights, telling you, “I used to have one of those…”


1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo L Side

1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo for Sale


1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo R Fairing

A one-year-wonder, the Suzuki XN85 Turbo was an odd, stop-gap bike that Suzuki all but denies and, just a few years later, Suzuki set the sportbiking world on it’s ear with their GSX-R750.  That bike was a nearly perfect distillation of racing technology in a reliable, streetable package.  The XN85 was nearly the opposite: a quirky, unconventional machine, albeit with the same sporting mission: while other manufacturers’ turbo bikes were pitched towards the sport-touring or “gentleman’s express” end of the biking spectrum, the XN was a no compromise sports machine, with clip-ons, rearset pegs, and a monoshock rear: this was one of the first uses of the “Suzuki Full Floater” system that would feature on other bikes in their range.

1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo L Engine Low

The name came from the factory horsepower figures for the force-fed 673cc four-cylinder: 85hp.  While the bike lacked horsepower compared to its rivals, it made up for that shortfall with exemplary handling.

1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo Dash


Information is pretty minimal in the original eBay listing: 1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo for Sale.

You’re looking at a Suzuki XN85 Turbo motorcycle.  Only 1153 were made.  New muffler, new forks.  The bike originally came from Great Britain.  A really nice looking bike for its age.  Ask questions if needed.

1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo L Engine

There’s not much time left on this auction, so move quickly if you have a hankering for some forced-induction exotica from the land of the rising sun.  Information about the XN is pretty scarce, with only about 1100 made and only 300 or so were imported to the US.  If you like the 80’s styling of funky turbo machines, the XN was definitely the handler of the bunch.  The downside, given the bike’s rarity, is that parts may be less available.


1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo R Rear

Rarest of the Factory Turbos: 1983 Suzuki XN-85 Turbo

For Sale: 1983 Suzuki XN-85 Turbo

In 1982 Honda won a technological battle by launching the CX500 Turbo. Bristling with cutting-edge componentry, the turbocharged v-twin launched a very intense, yet very short arms race. Targeting the role of sport-tourer, the CX500T was a large, heavy bike. It was also not an immediate success; Honda returned in 1983 with the CX650T – building on the technology base. But by ’83 Honda was no longer alone in the market. Kawasaki built the GPz750 Turbo in late 1983 to be introduced as an ’84 model – and this was the dragstrip king. Yamaha built the “me too” Seca Turbo, an underwhelming effort simply to claim Turbo stakes.

When Suzuki launched the XN85 in 1983, it was everything the earlier Turbo bikes were not: It was an unapologetic sportbike. With the Katana-like styling supplied by Hans Muth, a GP-inspired 16″ front wheel, anti-dive front fork, full floater rear suspension and low set clip ons, the XN85 attempted to deliver on the “liter bike power in a 750cc package” promise that turbocharging held in store.

So how did it do? Like all the Turbo bikes, it was gone in the blink of an eye. The public did not want to spend liter bike money for a 650 festooned with so many badges proclaiming it was a turbo – and the performance never really lived up the hype. Honda Turbos were gone by the end of ’83. Kawasaki offered them only in ’84-’85. Yamaha’s run lasted longer, but with few updates the Seca was always destined to be the dog of the bunch. As for Suzuki, the XN85 was a one-hit, one year wonder…making it the rarest of the factory Turbo bikes.

From the seller:
1983 Suzuki XN85 Turbo. If you are looking for a collector bike this is it. There were only 1153 XN85’s produced and only 300 were imported into the U.S. That means this is a RARE motorcycle.

This bike is LIKE NEW. Paint, chrome, aluminum, plastics are all perfect. This bike can be your daily rider, but really should be in a museum or a collection of historic bikes. Runs and rides perfectly. No damage, no road rash, it has just been maintained and restored very well.

You will be proud to own this bike. It has been in my private motorcycle collection for almost 4 years now, but I am moving and it can’t go with me.

It is also for sale locally, and this auction is subject to termination if I sell it before the auction ends.

The “85” in the XN85 Turbo’s name stands for horsepower – at the crank. In the day, those numbers from an air cooled 650 were quite good. Today, the bike is not quite as fast as all the badging might suggest. Still, these were specifically noted for their excellent handling, and even by today’s standards the XN85 offers a stable, capable platform.

This bike looks to be in excellent condition. The black chrome exhaust looks to be very well preserved. These bikes are notorious for corrosion on the exterior cases as well as the fork – but not on this bike. The plastics all look good, as do the seat and the dash. The bike even looks to have decent rubber – which can be a bit of a challenge given the odd wheel sizes.

So what is the value of a super rare, one model year only vintage Suzuki? The answer might shock you. Had this been a rare bike from our Italian friends, you would be thinking that it could easily top $20k – $30k. Being a mass produced Japanese bike, however, that number could be an order of magnitude off. Owning a rare, collectable Suzuki Turbo – the rarest of the factory turbos – is far closer than you think.

This auction has not yet broken the $3,000 mark, with reserve still in place. These Turbos have not been known to eclipse the $5-7k range in any condition, and “average” bikes roll for $3-4k. This one could be fun to watch. For more information and pictures, click on the link and jump over to the auction. Good luck!