Buying used: Suzuki TL1000R
You don’t expect to find a 12-year-old sports bike with just over 6000 kays on the clock from new, one that has been stored for most of its life. But that’s what I found at Mick Hone’s – this lovely 2000 model Suzuki TL1000R. It was a nice find to check out and take for a spin.
How good is it to see an example of a high-performance bike of this age that hasn’t been put through its paces by a succession of owners?
It’s even rarer to find one that hasn’t been modified. It hasn’t been tampered with at all. It hasn’t even had the usual Yoshimuras fitted. The standard cans look pristine and give an exhaust note that’s rich with hints of the grunty twin’s serious capabilities.
It’s a proper litre superbike with racer crouch, plenty of attitude and heaps of performance.
At 197kg (dry) it’s heavier than some of its peers; while it feels a bit weighty as you manoeuvre it out of its parking spot, once you’re rolling it feels trim and agile.
While die-hard sportsbike fans could use it as an everyday commuter, for me this would be my weekend scratcher. My ‘sunny Sundays’ bike. That kind of use would also respect its remarkably low kilometres for a 2000 model.
The V-twin’s power pulses add another layer to the pleasure you feel as you give it a fistful and it charges toward the horizon. And it’s remarkably vibration-free.
Brakes, suspension and throttle response all feel good. The fuelling is pretty good on low throttle openings, but it really comes into its own once you open it up and the revs commence their urgent rush toward the redline. Clutch and gearshift are all precise and accurate.
With so few kays and so much time safely locked away from weather it’s as good as new. Nothing has faded. Nothing has gone furry. The only blemish is a small touch-up to the paint on the fairing just forward of the left-hand front indicator.
While my couple of ‘Quick Fang’ laps of the leafy streets of Mont Albert and Box Hill near Mick Hone’s Whitehorse Road dealership hardly put the bike to a meaningful test, it was enough to demonstrate that everything felt just right (except for my disappointment that there wasn’t the time to take it for a quick strop through the hills).
It’s the nicest TLR I’ve seen for years.
And, at $9990 (rideway), it’spretty good value.
– Pulsing V-twin power
– It’s so original
– Amazingly low kilometres
– It hasn’t been flogged
– One cosmetic blemish
– Carries a bit of weight
Type: Liquid-cooled, four-valves per-cylinder , DOHC, 90-degree V-twin.
Bore x stroke: 98mm x 66mm
Compression ratio: 11.7:1
Fuel system: Electronic fuel injection
Type: Six-speed, constant mesh
Final drive: Chain
CHASSIS AND RUNNING GEAR
Frame type: Cast and extruded aluminium spar
Front suspension: Inverted 43mm fork, fully adjustable
Rear suspension: Rotary damper with separate spring, fully adjustable
Front brakes: Twin 320mm floating discs with six-piston Tokico calipers
Rear brake: Single 220mm disc with twin-piston Tokico caliper
DIMENSIONS AND CAPACITIES
Dry weight: 197kg
Seat height: 810mm
Fuel capacity: 17lt
Max power: 98.5kW (135hp) at 9500rpm
Max torque: 106Nm (78.2ft-lb) at 7500rpm
Price: $9990 ride away
Test bike supplied by:
Mick Hone Motorcycles,
715 Whitehorse Road, Box Hill (Vic), tel (03) 9890 0304