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…
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…
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!
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.
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…”