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Suzuki TL1000R model history
1998—


I have tried to tell the TL1000R model history on this page as I know it. This page is still under construction. I would be grateful of any contributions — sales brochures, magazine ads, magazine articles, pictures, specs, facts, corrections etc. Please scan the material in JPEG format (large enough that all the details are visible) and send them to me. Please tell me the source and the publication date if possible. If you send me pictures of your own bike, please follow these instructions.

When you are talking about V-twin sports bikes, you probably are thinking about Ducatis. No doubt about it, the Italians were the kings (forget the Harleys, I said sports bikes) of V-2 prior 1997. That was the year Suzuki surprisingly introduced its ”Ducati-killer”, the V-twin powered and very sporty TL1000. It came in two versions, the TL1000S with a smallish top fairing, and later the TL1000R, a modified version of the same bike, with more power, different suspension and frame and also a full racer replica fairing.

Sadly enough, the first TL1000S model suffered from some (for Suzuki) embarrassing technical problems. There were number of problems; oil-leaking engines, slipping clutches, miss-firing engines to name a few. Later all the cured all the problems the first bikes had, but the damage was already done. Unlike the most Suzukis, the TL1000S got a reputation of being an unreliable motorcycle.

Nevertheless, there were nothing wrong with the behavior of the bike. When the Swedish Bike magazine tested the bike in 1997, comparing it to the '97 GSX-R750, the test riders cored the TL1000S as the winner of the competition. The competition test contained riding from Stockholm, Sweden, to Nürnburgring in West Germany and back, and naturally some serious testing at the Nürnburgring classic race track. Although the test bike suffered from all of the problems mentioned earlier, the TL1000S was considered as the greater bike of the pair. The engine character (wider power curve), fairing and the riding position of the TL were more comfortable on the highways and smaller roads but GSX-R was less nervous and faster on the Nürnburgring.

The TL1000S had some high-tech features, like lightweight trellis frame, electric fuel injection, inverted front fork, back torque-limiting clutch and rotary damper rear suspension. But the main thing is that the TL1000S is an explosive and FUN bike to ride!


Suzuki 1998More Suzuki models from 1998
1998 Suzuki year code: W
 
This is how the back torque-limiting clutch is supposed to work: Change down early on some other bikes in this class and the back wheel will suffer the effects of a compression lock from the two large cylinders, which will cause the rear to temporarily lock and skid. With Suzuki’s system this simply does not happen as the clutch automatically slips a little to prevent the rear wheel from locking. Some of the early models suffered from slipping clutches even when it was not supposed to slip. Suzuki could fix the problem for the '98 year's model, as well as the other problems the '97 year's model was suffering.

At a glance, there were no differences between the different model years, except for some minor changes in the graphics, and new colors, but engine was improved in several details for the '98 years model to get rid of the oil in the air filter and slipping clutch. A steering damper was now standard.


Starting frame number: VT52A-100001
Introduced in May 1998.
 

TL1000RTL 1000 R 1998
Overall Length: 2 100 mm (82.6 in)
Overall Width: 740 mm (29.1 in)
Overall Height: 1 120 mm (44.0 in)
Seat Height: 825 mm (32.5 in)
Wheelbase: 1 395 mm (54.9 in)
Ground Clearance: 120 mm (4.7 in)
Dry Weight: 197 kg (434 lbs)
Engine type: Water-cooled 996 cc 4-stroke 90° V-twin, DOHC, TSCC, 8 valves. 135 hp (99,3 kW)/ 9.500 rpm, 106 Nm/ 7.500 rpm.

Click on the image for larger format. Here's even larger image.

TL1000RTL 1000 R 1998
Overall Length: 2 100 mm (82.6 in)
Overall Width: 740 mm (29.1 in)
Overall Height: 1 120 mm (44.0 in)
Seat Height: 825 mm (32.5 in)
Wheelbase: 1 395 mm (54.9 in)
Ground Clearance: 120 mm (4.7 in)
Dry Weight: 197 kg (434 lbs)
Engine type: Water-cooled 996 cc 4-stroke 90° V-twin, DOHC, TSCC, 8 valves. 135 hp (99,3 kW)/ 9.500 rpm, 106 Nm/ 7.500 rpm.

Click on the image for larger format.



Suzuki 1999More Suzuki models from 1999
1999 Suzuki year code: X
 
For some reason, I have found several different dimensions for the TL1000S, in different countries (and even between the sources). The wheelbase and the seat height are usually the same, but the overall length varies between 2.045 and 2,145 mm (80.5—84.4 in) and the dry mass (weight) can vary between 187 and 209 kg (411—460 lbs). I have used the specs provided by the Suzuki in Sweden. Even the claimed power output figures differ between countries and regulations. I have used the unrestricted power output figures for the Swedish market; 125 hp (92 kW)/8.500 rpm, 103 NM/ 8.000 rpm.
 
TL 1000 R 1999
Overall Length: 2 100 mm (82.6 in)
Overall Width: 740 mm (29.1 in)
Overall Height: 1 120 mm (44.0 in)
Seat Height: 825 mm (32.5 in)
Wheelbase: 1 395 mm (54.9 in)
Ground Clearance: 120 mm (4.7 in)
Dry Weight: 197 kg (434 lbs)
Engine type: Water-cooled 996 cc 4-stroke 90° V-twin, DOHC, TSCC, 8 valves. 135 hp (99,3 kW)/ 9.500 rpm, 106 Nm/ 7.500 rpm.

Click on the image for larger format. Here's even larger image.


Suzuki 2000More Suzuki models from 2000
2000 Suzuki year code: Y
 
The rotary damper, fitted just behind the engine, made the bike's short wheelbase possible. Unfortunately the placing of the damper next to the rear cylinder and exhaust pipe could cause overheating of the damper when the bike was ridden hard. The problem occurres on all model years.

The same kind of rotary damper rear suspension was also used on the TL1000R, but the damper is placed further away from the engine.
 

TL 1000 R 2000
Overall Length: 2 100 mm (82.6 in)
Overall Width: 740 mm (29.1 in)
Overall Height: 1 120 mm (44.0 in)
Seat Height: 825 mm (32.5 in)
Wheelbase: 1 395 mm (54.9 in)
Ground Clearance: 120 mm (4.7 in)
Dry Weight: 197 kg (434 lbs)
Engine type: Water-cooled 996 cc 4-stroke 90° V-twin, DOHC, TSCC, 8 valves. 135 hp (99,3 kW)/ 9.500 rpm, 106 Nm/ 7.500 rpm.

Click on the image for larger format.



Suzuki 2001More Suzuki models from 2001
2001 Suzuki year code: K1

 
2001 was the last model year for the TL1000S (as well for its brother TL1000R). I wasn't as successful model as Suzuki had wanted, and it was redrawn only after few years of manufacturing. Its reputation was soiled because of the troublesome first models. As a matter of fact, the later model years were excellent bikes, far better than their reputation.

The V-twin engine, in somewhat modificated form, was found in the new all-purpose model DL1000 V-Strom, released in 2002, and the following year's SV1000 (and its sister model SV1000S).
 

TL1000RTL 1000 R 2001
Overall Length: 2 100 mm (82.6 in)
Overall Width: 740 mm (29.1 in)
Overall Height: 1 120 mm (44.0 in)
Seat Height: 825 mm (32.5 in)
Wheelbase: 1 395 mm (54.9 in)
Ground Clearance: 120 mm (4.7 in)
Dry Weight: 197 kg (434 lbs)
Engine type: Water-cooled 996 cc 4-stroke 90° V-twin, DOHC, TSCC, 8 valves. 135 hp (99,3 kW)/ 9.500 rpm, 106 Nm/ 7.500 rpm.

Click on the image for larger format.
Here's even larger picture.



Suzuki 2002More Suzuki models from 2002
2002 Suzuki year code: K2

Suzuki TL1000RTL 1000 R 2002
Overall Length: 2 100 mm (82,6 in)
Overall Width: 740 mm (29,1 in)
Overall Height: 1 120 mm (44,0 in)
Seat Height: 825 mm (32,5 in)
Wheelbase: 1 395 mm (54,9 in)
Dry Weight: 197 kg (434 lbs)
Engine type: 996 cc 4-stroke liquid-cooled 90° V-twin, DOHC, TSCC, 8 valves. 135 hp (98,6 kW)/ 9.500 rpm,
105 Nm/ 7.500 rpm.

Click on the image for larger format.
Here's even larger picture.
Suzuki TL1000RTL 1000 R 2002
Overall Length: 2 100 mm (82,6 in)
Overall Width: 740 mm (29,1 in)
Overall Height: 1 120 mm (44,0 in)
Seat Height: 825 mm (32,5 in)
Wheelbase: 1 395 mm (54,9 in)
Dry Weight: 197 kg (434 lbs)
Engine type: 996 cc 4-stroke liquid-cooled 90° V-twin, DOHC, TSCC, 8 valves. 135 hp (98,6 kW)/ 9.500 rpm,
105 Nm/ 7.500 rpm.

Click on the image for larger format.




More: Suzuki TL series

More: All Suzuki models


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