Suzuki GSX-R 1100G

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Suzuki GSX-R 1100G
Production 1986
Class Sportbike
Four stroke, four cylinder, DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder, horizontal in-line
Compression ratio 10.0:1
Top Speed 249 km/h / 155 mph
Ignition Digital
Spark Plug NGK, JR9B
Transmission 5 Speed
Frame Ultra-lightweight frame built entirely of aluminum alloy castings: a collection of rectangular-section extrusions in a twin-downtube arrangement
Suspension Front: 41mm Telescopic fork, 4-way preload and 3-way anti-dive adjustable
Rear: Full-floater monoshock, 4-way rebound damping adjustable
Brakes Front: 2 x 310 mm Discs, four-piston calipers
Rear: 220 mm Disc
Front Tire 110/80-18
Rear Tire 150/70-18
Wheelbase 1460 mm / 57.5 in.
Seat Height 795 mm / 31.3 in.
Weight 197 kg / 434 lbs (dry), 204 kg / 450 lbs (wet)
Recommended Oil Suzuki ECSTAR 10w40
Fuel Capacity 19 Liters / 5.0 US gal / 4.2 Imp gal
Manuals Service Manual

It could reach a top speed of 249 km/h / 155 mph.


The engine was a Air/Oil cooled with 2 separate oil pumps cooled Four stroke, four cylinder, DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder, horizontal in-line. The engine featured a 10.0:1 compression ratio.


Power was moderated via the Wet, multiple discs, cable operated.


It came with a 110/80-18 front tire and a 150/70-18 rear tire. Stopping was achieved via 2 x 310 mm Discs, four-piston calipers in the front and a 220 mm Disc in the rear. The front suspension was a 41mm Telescopic fork, 4-way preload and 3-way anti-dive adjustable while the rear was equipped with a Full-floater monoshock, 4-way rebound damping adjustable. The GSX-R 1100G was fitted with a 19 Liters / 5.0 US gal / 4.2 Imp gal fuel tank. The bike weighed just 197 kg / 434 lbs. The wheelbase was 1460 mm / 57.5 in. long.


Suzuki GSX-R 1100G Suzuki GSX-R 1100G Suzuki GSX-R 1100G Suzuki GSX-R 1100G


Suzuki GSX-R 1100G

Road Test 1986 Sport riders in search of the Perfect Ride traditionally shy away from the literbike class, and it's not hard to see why: Most sporting big-bores, though endowed with dyno-bending horsepower and capable of prodigious speed, also tip the scales at well over 500 pounds dry. In addition, many heavyweights now give up a measure of sporting ability in favor of a soft suspension and compliant ride. So as sportbikes like the 900 Ninja or VF750F Interceptor lose their razor's edge in the transition to the liter class, knee-dragging enthusiasts search harder each year to find a literbike with both the pavement-rippling horsepower they expect and the full-combat handling they demand.

That search for a no-compromise sporting big-bore might well have ended, though, and the answer to enthusiasts' prayers comes from what might seem like an unlikely source, as well—Suzuki, a company long known for building liter-bikes of noteworthy capabilities, but that nonetheless lacked the hard-edged sporting charisma to appeal to die-hard knee-draggers. But one look at the GSX-R1100 will convince anyone that not only has a manufacturer finally decided to build a leading-edge, no-compromise 1100 sport-bike, but that all its previous efforts—and those of the competition—seem pale by comparison, as well.

The GSX-R1100 is so serious a motorcycle, in fact, and its sporting focus so narrow, that owning one might be the next best thing to being on Suzuki's roster of go-fasters-for-hire. From its twin halogen headlights to the tip of its four-into-one exhaust, the R1100's racetrack-bred styling promises nothing but performance. Settle into the cockpit, grab the cast-aluminum clip-ons, thumb the starter button and run the free-spinning engine up through the gears. The big-bore Suzuki accelerates as though the hounds of hell were snapping at its heels. And that's not all: Suzuki's claims of a 434-pound dry weight and 130 horsepower add up to the kind of power and handling seldom found this side of a factory ride—the kind to make your most outrageous sporting dreams come true.

Suzuki engineers share these dreams, too, because the R1100 lacks little more than numberplates and safety wire to look—and feel—right at home on any roadrace course in the world. A close look at the R1100's lean chassis, huge front discs and swoopy bodywork suggests that Suzuki's intent might have been to build a front-line endurance roadracer first, and a streetbike second—not that the company went to great lengths to prove otherwise, considering the GSX-R1100 debuted at Laguna Seca. And while a racetrack isn't the best place to evaluate a motorcycle's overall streetworthiness, the R1100's speed and agility around that tight, demanding course nonetheless speak volumes for how well Suzuki succeeded in tapping the innermost desires of sporting riders.

First and foremost, those die-hards lust for speed, and if you count horsepower instead of sheep at night, the R1100's engine is the stuff of your dreams. Based on the GSX-R750's engine, a powerplant with impeccable credentials in endurance racing, the R1100's engine borrows the R750's new TSCC (Twin Swirl Combustion Chamber) cylinder-head design, which is more compact and more efficient than earlier TSCC designs. Naturally, the R1100 has a bigger bore (76mm, up from the 750's 70mm) and stroke (58mm compared to the 750's 48.7mm), as well. And finally, a rack of 34mm flat-slide CV carburetors replace the 29mm flat-slide/needle units of the GSX-R750 (though U.S.-spec 750s use 31mm CVs), and help back up Suzuki's claim that its newest big-bore boasts the strongest engine available in any production sportbike.

And it's easy to believe that claim as you swing out onto the track and accelerate up the front straight toward Laguna's Turn One. When the R1100's tach needle swings into the upper rev range, a torrent of power cascades out of the big Suzuki like doubletalk in an election year. The R1100's prodigious appetite for Laguna's straightaways rivals that of Godzilla's for Tokyo, and there's more than enough power throughout the spread to make up for a missed shift or too-high gear selection. Whack open the throttle and the R1100 lunges from corner to corner with the ferocity of a junkyard dog.

That staggering acceleration doesn't come from sheer power alone, though. Suzuki engineers wanted a heavyweight on the dyno but not on the scales, so they took another traditional racebike route to speed and pared the weight of the R1100's internal engine components wherever possible, resulting in a claimed weight for the R1100's engine of 180 pounds, 52 pounds less than the GS-1150's claimed figure.

With this substantial weight savings in hand, Suzuki engineers could easily have added liquid-cooling to help the new engine cope with its colossal power output. Instead, they opted for the oil-cooling system pioneered in the GSX-R750. Suzuki's Advanced Cooling System (SACS) utilizes oil as a cooling medium, and has two separate oil pumps, one to pump oil to the cylinder head at a maximum rate of 22 quarts per minute, and the other to supply oil to the transmission, crankshaft, pistons and top end. And in addition to helping the R1100 keep its cool at high engine speeds, SACS eliminates the need for the added complexity of a water pump, fan and coolant.

The emphasis on light weight didn't stop at the engine: Chassis lightness played no less an important role in the R1100's design. As a result, the R1100 emulates current race-think with its square-section, all-aluminum frame, which boasts a claimed weight of only 28.2 pounds. And if you need any additional evidence of the seriousness of the R1100's sporting intent, consider this: Its swingarm pivot and front and rear axles are not only chrome-moly steel, they're hollow, as well—a trick usually employed only on racebikes, where fewer ounces translate into faster laps.

And on the racetrack, the extra time and effort spent dipping into racing's bag of tricks pays off in spades. When you run out of straightaways—and it doesn't take long on the R1100—you can throw the big Suzuki into corners with abandon, its linear steering letting you set your line with precision. In addition, once the R1100 is arcing through that line, it takes an act of Congress to budge it without your consent. Part of the credit for the bike's surefootedness goes to its tires. Its 110/80-18 front and 150/70-18 rear wheels are shod at the factory with either Dunlop or Bridgestone radials, reflecting Suzuki's desire for the R1100 to be equipped with rubber as advanced as the rest of the bike.

That same philosophy is reflected in the R1100's suspension, too. The 41mm front fork features a new anti-dive mechanism, activated by a sensor in the front brake lever. Since the R1100 triggers its anti-dive electrically rather than by brake-fluid pressure, braking feel is unaffected by the anti-dive units, and the R1100's resistance to nose-dive is notably improved over previous Suzukis. The R1100's rear suspension represents a departure from previous big-bore Suzukis, as well, with a new design

Full Floater single-shock setup that uses an eccentric link between the swingarm and the bottom of the shock, rather than the top. This new setup performs flawlessly; even through the bumpiest corners Laguna Seca has to offer the 1100 slices through the apex with unruffled calm.

On the way into and out of those corners, though, the R1100 lets you in on some of the compromises involved in crossbreeding a racebike with a streetbike. Like its hard-stopping endurance-racing ancestors, most of the R1100's impressive braking ability is concentrated in the two massive 12.2-inch floating front disc brakes, each with its own four-piston caliper. And they work so well, refusing to fade stop after tire-howling stop, that they quickly illustrate why the rear brakes on GP bikes get smaller each year. Using the R1100's front and rear brakes simultaneously while banking into a corner can initiate a heart-stopping slide as the weight transfer unloads the rear wheel. During testing at Laguna Seca, the front brake alone was entirely up to the task of checking the R1100's speed entering corners. On the street, however, the rear brake's sensitivity isn't likely to be a problem for any but the most aggressive, but it's precisely those riders Suzuki targeted with the GSX- R.

Those same demanding riders might find fault with the R1100's transmission, too, though not as much with its performance as with its number of ratios and their spacing. Despite the R1100's forgiving midrange, some will think that a bike with the all-out sporting intent of the R1100 demands a close-ratio six-speed, and riders who consider ten-tenths merely a starting point might wish for a more accommodating choice of ratios to close up the gap between second and third gears.

Those not so dedicated, however, might wish for a more accommodating seating position. After putting 1100ccs worth of sportbike in the R1100's 57.5-inch wheelbase, there isn't much room left over for tall riders. Although the rearset pegs are placed ideally for fast riding and generous cornering clearance, some riders will find them too high. And unless you use the GSX-R's considerable speed potential to create a cushion of air to support your upper body, your arms quickly tire of the bike's ultra-sporting crouch—it's a long stretch from the thinly padded saddle to the stubby clip-ons.

The GSX-R1100 has the Light Stuff-you provide the Right Stuff Those considerations seem insignificant, though, when the R1100 hits the heart of its powerband and your adrenaline starts flowing like beer at a bachelor party. And the thrills don't end when the roads get curvy. The GSX-R1100's handling is not only exceptional for an 1100, it's a revelation for any sportbike. This is a bike with something for flinty-eyed techno-freaks and snake-eyed knee-draggers alike, packed with more racebike technology and visceral thrills than any other big-bore motorcycle to date. If you're among those discerning sportbike riders who begrudge a motorcycle even the slightest dilution of its sporting purity, you'll find no cause for complaint with the GSX-R1100, from the first time you crack open the throttle and hear the battle-cry of 130 horses. And that cry is more than the exultation of a thoroughbred 1100 with the purest sporting focus in its class; it's a challenge for riders to match their own seriousness to that of the GSX-R1100.

Source Cycle Guide 1986

In look and in layout, the machine with which Suzuki rocked the superbike world in 1986 was almost identical to the GSX-R750 that had made such a huge impact the previous year. To that first GSX-R's format of 16-valve oil-cooled four-cylinder engine and aluminum frame, the open-class machine added not only more top-end power but also a Stroming supply of mid-range performance. The result was an unbeatable superbike.

At a glance the GSX-R1100 was almost indistinguishable from its smaller sibling. The two models shared Suzuki's endurance racer styling, with round twin headlamps in a tall full fairing and a four-into-one exhaust. The aluminum frame's design was very similar, too: a collection of rectangular-section extrusions in a twin-downtube arrangement, with cast sections at the steering head and around the pivot of a box-section swingarm that was made from the same lightweight alloy.

But if the engine's basic layout was unchanged, its larger I052cc capacity gave dramatically different power characteristics. Where the 750cc bike was highly strung and demanding, the GSX-R1100. which also differed in having a lower. 10:1 compression ratio, and CV instead of slide carburettors, was much more flexible. Its power curve impressed not just with its peak of 125bhp at 8500 rpm but also with its enormously broad spread of torque.

Muscular mid-range

The big Suzuki's white-faced tachometer did not register below 3000rpm by which time the bike was already accelerating with considerable enthusiasm. By 5000rpm it was ripping forward violently enough to lift its front wheel in first gear: or more usefully, to surge past a line of traffic in the highest ratio of its new five-speed gearbox. At 7000rpm. where the smaller GSX-R engine came alive, the 1100 was breathing even deeper as it headed for the 10500rpm red line and a top speed of 155mph (249km/h).

Straight-line acceleration was also aided by the GSX-R 1I00's light weight. At 4341b (197kg) dry it was 441b (20kg) heavier than the 750 due to many of its apparently identical parts being slightly larger and stronger. But that figure still made the Suzuki by far the lightest open-class machine, and its standing quarter-mile time of less than 11 seconds put the GSX-R far ahead of the opposition.

An excellent chassis added further to the Suzuki's all-conquering performance. That rigid aluminum frame was backed-up by anti-dive equipped front forks borrowed from the 750. plus a new rear shock, larger front brake discs, and wider 18-inch wheels and tires. Its steering was precise and its stability impeccable, aided by the addition of a steering damper in front of the steering head. In the fashion of the smaller GSX-R. the 1100 was an uncompromisingly aggressive machine with a stretched-out riding position and high footrests that made it uncomfortable in town. But its fairing gave enough protection to allow effortless highspeed cruising. Besides, many riders would have been happy to accept a far lower level of practicality because, for pure performance, nothing on two wheels came close to the GSX-R 1100.

Source of review: Fast Bikes by Roland Brown

Make Model Suzuki GSX-R 1100
Year 1986
Engine Type Four stroke, four cylinder, DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder, horizontal in-line
Displacement 1052 cc / 64.2 cub. in.
Bore X Stroke 76 x 58 mm
Compression 10.0:1
Cooling System Air/Oil cooled with 2 separate oil pumps
Engine Oil 10W/40
Exhaust System Steel, 4-into-1
Lubrication Wet sump
Induction 4 x 34 mm Mikuni Flatslide CV carburetors
Ignition Digital
Spark Plug NGK, JR9B
Starting Electric
Max Power 92 kW / 125 hp @ 9500 rpm
Max Torque 103 Nm / 10.5 kgf-m / 76 ft-lb @ 8000 rpm
Clutch Wet, multiple discs, cable operated
Transmission 5 Speed
Final Drive Chain, 114 links
Gear Ratios 1st 2.38 / 2nd 1.63 / 3rd 1.25 / 4th 1.05 / 5th 0.91:1
Frame Ultra-lightweight frame built entirely of aluminum alloy castings: a collection of rectangular-section extrusions in a twin-downtube arrangement
Front Suspension 41mm Telescopic fork, 4-way preload and 3-way anti-dive adjustable
Rear Suspension Full-floater monoshock, 4-way rebound damping adjustable
Front Brakes 2 x 310 mm Discs, four-piston calipers
Rear Brakes 220 mm Disc
Wheels Alloy aluminum, double 3 spoke
Front Tire 110/80-18
Rear Tire 150/70-18
Rake 26.5°
Trail 117 mm / 4.5 in.
Dimensions Length 2115 mm / 83.2 in. Width 720 mm / 28.3 in. Height 1235 mm / 48.6 in.
Wheelbase 1460 mm / 57.5 in.
Seat Height 795 mm / 31.3 in.
Dry Weight 197 kg / 434 lbs
Wet Weight 204 kg / 450 lbs
Fuel Capacity 19 Liters / 5.0 US gal / 4.2 Imp gal
Average Consumption 6.8 L/100 km / 14.8 km/l / 34.8 US mpg / 41.5 Imp mpg
Braking 100 Km/h / 62 Mph - 0 31 m / 102 ft
Standing ¼ Mile 10.7 sec / 209.5 km/h / 130.2 mph
Acceleration 70 - 130 Km/h / 43 - 80 Mph 2.97 sec.
Top Speed 249 km/h / 155 mph
Colours Blue/White, Red/White
Road Test Motosprint 1987 Group Test Motosprint Group Test