Click here for an CycleVIN Motorcycle History Report on this Suzuki TL1000R. Additional photos are available here for your perusal.
Following the success of Ducati’s V-Twin-powered racers in the World Superbike Championship, other major manufacturers followed suit by developing their own race-bred V-Twins. Suzuki’s first attempt at a performance-driven V-Twin model came in the form of the TL1000S in 1997, though the next year the Japanese marque would follow up the half-faired 1000S with the even racier TL1000R. “The concept behind the TL1000R is simple: Build a V-Twin with the potential to win Superbike races,” explained Hiroshi Moritake, who led the TL-R project.
While the 1000S and 1000R models both shared the same engine, the R-spec was far more than just a full-faired version of its predecessor. The 1000R featured a beefy aluminum twin-spar frame based on the GSX-R750. The frame was complemented by a new braced swingarm, a standard steering damper, and a revised version of the 1000S’s notoriously finicky rotary damper spring unit with new linkages.
The V-Twin motor was also updated for the TLR, getting a revised ram-air-box, Mikuni electronic dual-injector throttle bodies, upgraded cams, forged pistons, beefier connecting rods, improved ignition timing, and a 1,000 rpm higher redline. The changes to the liquid-cooled, four-stroke, 996cc, 8V, DOHC, 90-degree V-Twin ultimately afforded the TLR a cool 135hp at 9,500 rpm and 78 ft-lbs of torque at 7,500 rpm. And despite the bump in performance, the V-Twin retained its reputation for bullet-proof reliability.
The Gixxer-derived chassis was paired with a set of 43mm inverted forks and a Progressive link shock, both adjustable for spring preload, rebound, and compression damping. Slowing the twin-cylinder superbike was a pair of 320mm front discs bit by six-piston calipers and a single 220mm disc with a dual-piston caliper in the rear — all provided by Tokico.
Weighing around 430 lbs dry, the TL1000R sported wind-tunnel-developed bodywork including a distinctive “shark nose” fairing, which helped the 135 hp V-Twin cut through the air and reach speeds of up to 170 mph. Suzuki also offered a myriad of trick factory race kit parts for the TLR, including upgraded internals, and a wide array of chassis adjustability such as swing-arm pivot position, ride height, and steering stem rake.
Despite Suzuki’s ambitious plans for WSBK domination, the TLR would only achieve a single race win before the company opted to revert to its four-cylinder GSX-R platform in WSBK competition. By the close of 2003, Suzuki had phased out the TLR in favor of the new SV1000(S), which still utilized a version of the TLS’s V-Twin platform. While the TLR never shaped up to be the podium-topping WSBK performer that Suzuki had hoped for, it nonetheless proved to be a stellar sport bike for the street, combining a relatively comfortable riding position with sharp cornering, solid wind protection, and a punchy, rock solid, high-revving engine.
The seller acquired it two years ago, noting that he acquired it from a long-term owner who had it sitting in the corner of his garage with a cover on it. The current owner brought this TL-R back to life and has covered approximately 100 miles with it since.
This was recently serviced by Lee’s Cycle Service in San Diego with a complete fluid flush, new brake pads, new tires, and a recently-installed OEM rear fender.