* Prices may differ from that shownMore Offers
Originally released in 2008 the Suzuki TL1000R is the fully faired counterpart to the TL1000S released a year earlier. The TL1000R was specifically released as a race machine to compete in Superbike championships in both America and Great Britain. It was this racing pedigree that originally tempted me to purchase one of these motorcycles in late 2005. This big 1000cc V-Twin however only lasted for one year before being replaced by the more popular straight 4 GSXR 750. Unfortunately I only had the use of this bike for around 2 years until late 2007 when a car driver decided it would be a good idea to run me off of the bike and write it off otherwise I would no doubt still have it now.
Price and Availability:-
Ok so they do not produce the TL1000R as a new motorcycle any more as production was ceased in 2003, so the only option is to look for one second hand. They were not really supplied with many manufacturer extras as standard and most of them that you will see will actually have a lot of aftermarket extras bolted on such as sports exhausts, carbon body parts, and coloured screens. About the only standard extra I am aware of was the rear seat cover to give the single seater sports bike look when the rear seat was not in use.
To buy one now you would realistically be looking at anywhere between approximately £2000 and £3000 for a decent condition motorcycle with reasonable mileage, and up to £3500 and more for a fully concourse low mileage example of this machine.
From afar you may well be forgiven for mistaking this motorbike for a Suzuki GSXR especially when wrapped in the blue and white colour scheme familiar to most people when they are thinking Suzuki. However once you get up close and realise just how big it is compared to the still produced GSXR'S you will soon realise. There is an extra exhaust compared to its straight 4 cousins with one for each cylinder coming out either side of the rear of the motorcycle.
This bike does look mean especially when looked at from the front and you realise how wide it is, and to say that it is anything else than good-looking would be lying with the complete fairing fairly high front screen and large fuel tank fitted snugly on top of the aluminium frame. This bike as mentioned is available as standard in blue/white, as well as yellow/black and red/black, you may well be lucky if looking for one now and find a custom one off paint job and not have to pay too much of a premium as it doesn't add a huge premium to the second hand price.
Engine And Performance:-
As mentioned previously this bike was fitted with the absolutely huge and incredibly powerful V-Twin Suzuki engine that will still do more than a good job of keeping up with the modern sports bikes today in the acceleration stakes, just being left behind on the top speed when compared. At the time the engine proved too powerful for the TL1000S and modifications had to be made to the bike however I will go into this later.
The 6 speed gearbox isn't the smoothest about but certainly fits in with the feel of the bike, it is not by any means clunky but is heavy, as is the clutch which makes for a difficult ride around town with the bike being very intense on the left wrist especially given the lent forward riding position with most of the weight of the bike being transferred though the shoulders and arms. After being stuck on the bike for a long stretch through town you will most definitely be glad to jump off to give your tired arms a rest.
The V-Twin engine as previously mentioned is 1000cc and as with most other larger bikes is water-cooled and fuel injected. The following stats apply to this bike:-
BHP:- 135 as standard
Top Speed:- Approx 170mph+
0-60:- 3 seconds
Weight:- 197kg (435 lb)
Quarter Mile:- 11 seconds and under
Fuel Economy:- Average 35mpg
Fuel Tank Size:- 18 litres (Approx)
So as you can see above this is quite a quick machine and not to be taken lightly whist being ridden on the road and is more suited in my opinion to the track. Even though it does everything it is supposed to well on the road I am more than surprised I still had my motorcycle licence intact and not got into any trouble with the law by the time I was forced to stop riding this machine. It is just too easy to open it up and not realise just what speed you are doing whilst tucked in behind the more than accommodating fairing especially with how easily this bike picks up speed. The acceleration gives a rip your arms out of their sockets feeling and 0-100mph is achieved far too easily probably in around 5 seconds from standstill.
With all of this acceleration and speed available from the powerhouse of an engine that is lurking beneath the fairings, I consider the brakes to be probably the most important part of a motorcycle such as this. I'm glad to report that the stopping power of this bike more than matches up to the power giving great reassurance and a very solid feel when bringing it to a halt rapidly and safely from whatever speed you may have achieved even whilst having a little bit too much fun.
The bike runs two sets of six pots callipers on the front and a single set of twin piston callipers on the rear. The pair of front brake discs measure a quite large 32cms in diameter, with the single rear disc measuring a more standard 22cms in diameter. The six pot callipers on the front make for a savage braking experience if used too hard easily bringing the rear wheel off of the floor if used too keenly, with the rear brakes just giving that bit extra when needed in emergency situations, and being more than adequate to scrub off a little speed if realising a corner is tighter than expected.
Handling And Comfort:-
Many people may look on motorbikes as a whole as widow-makers but this bike for quite a while even among people in the know and the motorcycle world as a whole had a bad reputation thanks to its counterpart the TL1000S. The TL1000S was originally supplied without a steering damper which meant under quick acceleration was liable to "tank slap" leading to an uncontrollable wobble being bought about by severe acceleration. This was considered so much of a problem that Suzuki actually supplied a steering damper to all owners of the TL1000S that didn't already have one fitted to their motorcycle. This is basically a hydraulic ram fitted to the handlebars to aid the rider and stops the shaking of the handlebars by giving resisitance and helping to keep the handlebars pointing where you want them and as the name suggests damps down the reaction the bars have when responding to the power of the motorcycle. The damper also helps the rider as it helps to damp down any twitchiness caused by the rider through the handlebars and converts it into a smoother action that is less likely to cause any adverse effects whilst riding the bike.
Thankfully the TL1000R come ready supplied with a steering damper as new after Suzuki had realised its mistake and therefore didn't have any of the inherent handling problems as the TL1000S, and therefore to a certain extent helped to put to rest the widow maker reputation of this motorcycle.
In my experience and opinion I would say that this motorcycle handles wonderfully for the amount of power and sheer weight of the machine. In fairness you do have to be careful when negotiating corners as the line you decide on using will pretty much be the one you will have to make work due to the weight and sports pedigree of the machine, but this is all down to experience and a fair amount of experience is usually desired before jumping onto a bike of this ilk. On the back roads this bike performs well and never left me fearing that I was going to leave myself sitting on the tarmac, except on the odd occasion I may have been going too fast but even then it got me out of any situation I managed to get myself into even in unfavourably wet conditions. On the dual carriage ways and motorways however is where this bike comes into its own, being the comfiest bike I have ever ridden on such roads. It will hold motorway speeds with definite ease, and the bike just seems lighter at speed rather than when pottering around town. I feel the other thing that helps this bike in the handling stakes are the very solid upside down front forks, which are very strong and rigid with no flex under hard cornering or braking, this gives a very positive feel to the front end of the bike and reports back well to the rider giving a good feel of what the bike is doing and therefore a good idea of what it is about to do.
Comfort wise as mentioned around town the weight of the bike really does start to show and it starts to take its toll on the wrists and arms, with 15 minutes of town riding being more than enough. This bike is definitely more suited to playing around on the B-roads and long motorway runs. Being such a big bike does have its benefits however, the seats are far bigger when compared to most other sports bikes allowing your rear end a bit more padding and not leaving it feeling numb after just half hour of riding. This is true for the pillion as well with this bike having one of the biggest rear seats I have ever seen on a sports bike and the reports from my pillion passengers were always good. The only downside here is the fact that the seat height of this bike is quite high and would therefore due to the weight be quite a handful for shorter people due to the weight and having to shift there position on the seat when stopping at traffic lights etc, as well as struggling to physically get on and off of the bike in the first place.
So overall in the handling stakes I would say that this bike does not deserve the bad reputation that its cousin the TL1000S bought upon this range of bikes, and I feel that the pure sports influence behind this bike has done a lot for the improved handling over that of its counterpart. This is definitely not the widow-maker that people once thought it was and I would say that most accidents on these bikes now would be down to rider error, and being far too happy with the right hand and throttle.
Maintenance and Servicing:-
Being a V-Twin the servicing schedules are quite close together giving only around 5000 miles between advised oil changes. Other consumables such as spark plugs I used to replace around every 10,000 miles as this is when I started to notice that they were affecting performance. However the main thing to take into consideration is that if you are riding this bike hard the chain will need almost constant adjustment due to the power of the bike and therefore it will need replacing more frequently than smaller or less powerful bikes. It is also recommended that sprockets are replaced with the chain every time so this is another cost to take into consideration.
Overall this is a more costly bike to run and maintain than other bikes due to it being a V-Twin and being so powerful. Compared to other V-Twins it is nothing more than normal however when compared to the straight 4's that deliver smoother power and don't stress the chain and sprockets as much, and require servicing generally speaking at lesser intervals it does work out marginally more expensive.
This bike is a thoroughbred V-Twin sports bike and if this is what you are looking for then you will not be disappointed. As said before it's not great at low town speeds, but once you are out of town you will most definitely start to see this bike come into its own. I would say that to get the most enjoyment out of this bike without losing your license it would be most advisable to make plans to be able to ride it a racetrack from time to time. However this said it does everything required of it whist being ridden on the road more than adequately.
This bike has Suzuki's inherent reliability so will not leave you sitting on the side of the road, I used it in all weather conditions whilst I owned and it started every single time even in sub-zero temperatures of down to at least -3 and -4 degrees. Even in the hot weather of the summer the additional cooling fans kept the bike nice and cool and I never had a problem with the large engine overheating which is a feat of engineering in itself.
For the price that these bikes are available for I would most definitely recommend them, however without wanting to be patronising I would make sure that this is what you want and to think carefully about whether you have the necessary ability and experience to handle this motorcycle.
4/5 stars for this bike from me mainly down to the fact that shorter people will struggle with this machine.
I bought a a red TL1000R new in June 1999, and have just sold it almost 3 years to the day. The bike handles and goes ok as is, but a set of end cans and either removing the top of the airbox, or just the valve operated flaps within it is a good place to start minor improvements - the increase in torque means you can be in the next gear up at any given speed with as much grunt still available. There is a problem with the TL1000R, known to Suzuki but in their usually style they ignore it, and hope it will go away. At 11 months and 2000 miles my bike broke down, the fuel injection light came on and the bike would not start. The problem was mis-diagnosed twice by Carnell (no surprise there then) as a faulty fuel pump, in fact it is a water trap in the wiring loom, in the connector to the solenoid on top of the battery. Water gets in during washing or whilst out in the rain, the water then rots the connector out. My bike had the entire wiring loom replaced. My advice is check your bike, dress the connectors with electrical grease and seal the whole thing with silicon. Oh and if Carnell carry the work out for you, it will take them 3 months, the bike will come back with a fuel leak, missing headlamp proptector and the cast sectors of the frame will be tarnished from being cleaned with too harsh an acid cleaner - oh and you will vow to never ever buy another Carnell bike - Hey! as an example. What else, junk the steering damper and go down to a 180 sector rear tyre to aid the bike's turning in. Rear tyres last 2000-3000 miles, Avons are good value at £160 per pair (Universal Tyres) Insurance - me at 34 yrs with 4 yrs NCB £450 fully comp with Hastings Direct. They make a lovely sound TL1000R, are odd looking and the media sticks the boot in on them - with no real justication. Pay £4000-4200 for a good 3 yr old S/H model, I've seen damaged repairables for £1400 - but when a new fairing panels costs in e
xcess of £200 - chosse your used parts carefully.
I treated myself to a 2000 model in Blue and White. All I can say is...BLOODY BUY ONE. I havent had a single tank slapper...I think that is media hype. In my opinion there are two modifications that are a MUST. The first is to install a manual overide switch for the cooling fans.....as you can imagine the rear piston and all sits between your thighs...so things get a bit sticky if you get caught in heavy traffic. The fans do come in but the bike (and you) are too hot by then. Simply bridge the sensor (bottom right corner of radiator) and run wires to a switch. I mounted mine in the air duct cover on the right side. You can then turn the fans on and off at will without making the sensor redundant. The second is to fit a rear hump pad....this not only tidies up the hump/seat area by 200% but it does stop your leathers/jeans form scratching the paint. I strongly recommend a visit to :- http://www.mccallister.freeserve.co.uk/index.html This guy really knows his stuff....I run the race settings for the suspension......VERY STEADY and precise handling. I know that the MEZ3's are standard and it is IMPOSSIBLE to get them to turn faster because of the round profile on the front tyre. I am going to change to the new Bridgestone 010's when these wear out.
Red, loud and fast. This is a very cool bike . The handling is much better than the dodgy S and the extra damping mechanism doesn't really detract from the performance. I thought it was impossible to do a wheelie, but I am changing my mind! This is the first twin I have had and i'm impressed. This is no screamer like my previous GSX-r. and moving thourgh the gears is a pleasure not a necessity I can easily touch over a certain limit without even looking for it... this of course could get me in trouble!!