Suzuki Motorcycle History

February 23, 2008
By Motorcycle USA Staff

Suzuki Logo

Part of the Big Four Japanese motorcycle manufactures, Suzuki has won racing championships in every discipline of two wheel motorsports. Whether it’s Supercross or Motocross with its RM-Z 450 AND RM-Z 250 motocross bikes or either the AMA or World Superbike roadracing series with its line of ultra-high performance GSX-R 600, GSX-R 750 and GSX-R 1000 sportbikes, Team Suzuki knows how to engineer a motorcycle that can win races on or off-road.

But building championship winning motorcycles wasn’t always what Suzuki was known for. Originally Suzuki got its start in Japan’s textile industry in 1909. It wasn’t until after World War II that Suzuki began to produce engines for use on bicycles as the need for affordable transportation emerged in Japan. Soon after Suzuki would go on to make its first full motorcycle.

In the decades following its entry in to the motorcycle market, Suzuki pushed into other transportation markets including the auto industry with its compact cars, vans and trucks. The marine engine industry was up next and still today, Suzuki has a thriving automobile and marine business worldwide.

Racing has always been a strong point of Suzuki’s history. Throughout the 1960s and ‘70s, Suzuki pushed hard in the racing scene both on and off-road. Riders like Joel Robert, Roger DeCoster, Tony DiStefano, and Danny LaPorte ruled popular off-road series like the Trans-AMA series, and AMA 250cc and AMA 500cc championships.

With a new  more powerful motor the 2008 Suzuki Hayabusa was looking to regain its customary position atop the hyper-sportbike field.
The Suzuki Hayabusa is likely one of Suzuki’s most well known models.

Suzuki’s combined experience in both the auto industry as well as the motorcycle industry allowed them to produce the world’s first four-wheeled ATV, the QuadRunner 125 which would be a precursor to its popular line of sport ATVs including the QuadSport Z250, QuadSport Z400 and QuadRacer R450. Suzuki also makes a versatile line of KingQuad utility ATVs with its top-of-the-line KingQuad 750AXi 4×4 Power Steering.

Today, Suzuki continues to innovate with models such as its futuristic B-King and its Hayabusa 1300, which essentially started the hypersports bike revolution in 1999. Other exciting models include the to-be-released Gladius and GSR 600. Yet Suzuki continues to produce classics like the Bandit 1250 and the versatile DR650SE dual-sport bike. Additionally, Suzuki produces a wide range of cruisers including the Maurader and Boulevard models. And for those who are looking for something more simple to ride Suzuki offers a comprehensive line of Burgman scooters in 125cc engine size all the way up to a 650cc.