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Author Topic: Suzuki GT550 Buy it or not?  (Read 390 times)

Offline Ryan Stecken

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Suzuki GT550 Buy it or not?
« on: Oct 17, 2017, 03:59:10 »
Hey guys!

So I ran into this bike, a Suzi GT550 (1976 model)and the guy is selling it for considerable low price (in Austria they are very rare and hard to get hands on).
After I sold my RD this would be a nice step up.
What you guys say?
How is the part situation for this model?

What I read is that Suzuki changed the cylinder linings from Iron to chrome coated so its impossible to re-bore these cylinders, coating is very expensive!
I need to bu it soon it would be cool if you guys could add your 2 cents!!

thanks!

https://www.willhaben.at/iad/gebrauchtwagen/motorrad/suzuki-gt-550-gt-223271399/

Offline davedogg

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Re: Suzuki GT550 Buy it or not?
« Reply #1 on: Oct 17, 2017, 08:33:41 »
From my understanding a Suzuki Triple is nothing like an RD. It was marketed as a more commuter style bike. I never heard that about the cylinders. All and all it looks like a clean bike.

Offline der_nanno

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Re: Suzuki GT550 Buy it or not?
« Reply #2 on: Oct 17, 2017, 10:42:07 »
Phrases like "absolute dog" and "quite sluggish" spring to mind.  ;)

Quite honestly, even your 350 in stock form was faster than the 550. It was quite heavy too, considering that it sported an electric starter. If you want something hot and interesting and two-stroke and Suzuki, I'd recommend a GT250X7. There's some experience in hopping up the predecessor of the 550 the T500 Titan twin, but as you end up throwing RD parts at it, there's not that much (stock) Suzuki left in the end, if you want to really spice it up.
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Offline Hurco550

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Re: Suzuki GT550 Buy it or not?
« Reply #3 on: Oct 17, 2017, 10:49:05 »
Yep, you will have way more seat of your pants fun on the rd than you will the gt550. I remember reading in an old cycle world (I think) magazine article stating that Suzuki successfully made a 2 stroke that acted like a 4 stroke when they made the gt lineup.

That said I like them, and I spent a ton of time on a gt380 (the little brother of the 550) and I had a blast. Im just saying that its not a performance upgrade from what you have. Parts are going to be a little tougher to find for the Suzuki triples, but far from unobtainium.


This quote was taken from here: http://www.oldjapanesebikes.com/mraxl_GT_Resource/GT550_files/page-5

"Suzuki made two very distinctly different models of the GT550 between 1975 and 1977 and regrettably they did not use a model specific numbering system to distinguish them - the frame and engine numbers were commingled. Beginning with engine number GT550-55829 (reference the last page of Service Bulletin 15, of May 1975 in the Technical Features section) a higher performance engine having Nikasil plated bores (or SCEM in Suzuki terminology), additional ports and a new exhaust having no cross couplers was offered outside of North America. Within North America the engines continued with the 'L' specification and cross coupled exhaust systems till the end of production, although springs were added during late 'L' production to try to limit exhaust gas leakage."
Keep er' Between The Ditches!!!

1976 BMW R90/6 farkilitious: http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=74349.msg882477#msg882477
1975 RD350 Road Racer: http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=70652.msg833688#msg833688
1973 Ironhead Hardtail: http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=68135.msg788081#msg788081
1976 GT250 Rebuild: http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=64973.new#new
Full Custom Pit Bike: http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=66954.new#new
1971 Yamaha 90cc twin HS1: http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=70498.0
"Two strokes are the motorcycle equivalent to Thors chariot. Full of glory and memories of battles victorious" ~ von yinzer

Offline jpmobius

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Re: Suzuki GT550 Buy it or not?
« Reply #4 on: Oct 17, 2017, 11:38:15 »
I'd tend to agree with most of what's been mentioned.  I think there was/is a philosophical difference between Suzuki and the other Japanese manufacturers in that they saw the potential of a lot more durability from their 2 strokes and built bikes with more of a long range/touring intention than the hot rod slant of Kawasaki and Yamaha.  So on the whole, they are not the benchmarks for speed and acceleration like the 350 from Yamaha and 500 and 750 from Kawasaki.  I've had examples of quite a few Suzuki's though (still have a T500), and certainly ridden most of the early street bikes and don't think I would qualify any of them as "dogs".  Having generally good build quality and their own balance between performance, reliability, marketing, and manufacturing would be my take on their '70 bikes. 

So are you looking for an upgrade or have you become bored with the RD and simply want another interesting bike?  The Suzuki is bigger and heavier and will be a lot more comfortable with your girl on the back, and likely will attract plenty of interest from brother bikers as you rarely see these now, but it's pretty stodgy compared to the RD in absolute terms.  Sounds like what you really want is to get it in addition to your other bikes.  Welcome to hell!  (500 ft2 living space, 20,000 ft2 garage!) 

It's always hard to tell from the pics, but that looks like a very nice, uncrashed, and unmolested example.  Getting extremely hard to find these days for any money much less than reasonable (though the Suzuki's being somewhat easier as they are less prized than the RD's or Kawi's).  If it looks like the pics in real life, the money is fair, and you have space for it, AND you just have to have it, well there you are!  Just keep in mind that it will take time and resources away from the other projects, as well as that pesky rest of your life!
Mobius


On a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.

1973 RD350 Yamaha build  http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=66498.0

Offline Hurco550

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Re: Suzuki GT550 Buy it or not?
« Reply #5 on: Oct 17, 2017, 11:46:39 »
One more thing to add to the "pros" column...

There is no better sounding bike than a 2 stroke triple with spandies.

you either agree or your wrong ;)

Keep er' Between The Ditches!!!

1976 BMW R90/6 farkilitious: http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=74349.msg882477#msg882477
1975 RD350 Road Racer: http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=70652.msg833688#msg833688
1973 Ironhead Hardtail: http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=68135.msg788081#msg788081
1976 GT250 Rebuild: http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=64973.new#new
Full Custom Pit Bike: http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=66954.new#new
1971 Yamaha 90cc twin HS1: http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=70498.0
"Two strokes are the motorcycle equivalent to Thors chariot. Full of glory and memories of battles victorious" ~ von yinzer

Offline Ryan Stecken

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Re: Suzuki GT550 Buy it or not?
« Reply #6 on: Oct 17, 2017, 17:34:30 »
Thanks guys for your input!
I really appreciate youre input, since I need to actually slow down a bit (foot surgery soon) and a XS750 project in my pocket I guess I will pass.
The question for me was if I could buy it,keep it and restore it when the time has come.

Thanks again for chiming in!
Maybe I will have a look at the bike and decide then.

Had a 'meeting' with a candy painted orange gt550 last summer on a oldtimer rally, the sound of that triple was mesmerizing....

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Offline teazer

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Re: Suzuki GT550 Buy it or not?
« Reply #7 on: Oct 18, 2017, 00:23:29 »
Not a bad looking bike at a reasonable price.  Rear light is not stock and rear fender may have been shortened, and set needs some TLC, but looks sound.

Lots of good input so far.  The 550 is a bit heavy and low powered, but it's faster than you might expect and a nice bike to ride.

If you want more power, it's not hard to do but will require re-plating the barrels and that can be costly.  I have an early GT550 cylinder on the porting bench it's also the assembly bench and welding bench etc but that sounds better....

The intakes have been lowered and made wider, exhaust is raised further than I thought would be possible and transfers have also been dramatically improved. We are looking for 60 or so RWHP compared to OEM 38 or so at the rear wheel. And that's with iron liners ie old style barrels.  We'll see what the results are.

There's an article in a British magazine that has been scanned and is on line.  Check this thread for details http://www.suzuki2strokes.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=13135

A better idea would be to restore it to stock condition, ride it for a while and sell it for a nice profit.
« Last Edit: Oct 18, 2017, 00:46:21 by teazer »