Suzuki GT750 Le Mans
The Suzuki GT750 was a smokin' liquid-cooled 2-stroke triple "Superbike"
The Suzuki GT750
Photo by Mike Fuller
Suzuki GT750 Le Mans
Years produced: 1972-1977
Total production: 71,000 (est., 1972-77)
Claimed power: 70hp @ 6,500rpm (1976)
Top speed: 108mph (est.)
Engine type: Two-stroke, liquid-cooled, in-line three-cylinder
Weight (dry): 507lbs (1976)
Price then: $2,195 (1976)
Price now: $1,000-$5,000
"For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction." — Isaac Newton
It was 1971. Just two years earlier Honda had made the action that gained the attention of the motorcycling world — releasing the four-cylinder Honda CB750. Now defined as the first Superbike, the "big" Honda would turn out to be one of the most important motorcycles ever built, and Honda's rivals scrambled to introduce competitive machines. Suzuki reacted by releasing the Suzuki GT750, a water-cooled, 738cc 2-stroke triple, in late '71 as a '72 model.
An equal reaction it was not, though it was the definition of opposite.
Smooth, quiet, refined and comfortable were all words the motorcycling press used to define the Suzuki GT750. To be honest, the Honda CB750 was also described with the same adjectives. But the key here may be the words the press didn't use to describe the GT: quick, powerful and strong.
Read Lane Pipkin's experience of owning and riding a Suzuki GT750 Le Mans
Basically a Suzuki T500 Titan (a 2-stroke 492cc parallel twin) with another cylinder grafted on, the GT750 was an oddball from the get-go. But the bike's inline-triple engine wasn't the only reason it drew such a curious eye from the general public. Nor were the disco-esque colors it could be ordered in — Candy Lavender, Candy Yellow Ocher and Candy Jackal Blue.
The real difference between this Suzuki and the other motorcycles of the day was it's liquid cooling. The Suzuki GT750 was the first mass production Japanese motorcycle with a liquid-cooled engine, and Suzuki was the first motorcycle company to apply liquid cooling to a serial production bike since the Scott two-strokes of the 1920s and ‘30s.
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