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1988/89 GSXR750 ????

Discussion in 'Bike Reviews, Questions and Suggestions' started by R66, Jan 18, 2007.

  1. Hey

    I have always had a soft spot for the Suzuki GSXR 750's of the ol day!
    I know nothing about them and have thought about buying one, are they resonable bikes for a newbie to the scene, with only 250cc experience??
    They are quite heavy arnt they? Obviously only think of buying one if it was in good condition which there seems to be a few around!
  2. Good bikes, but to be honest, not worth the money being asked for them.

    You will need to be really ahndy with a spanner.

    go the 90/91 if you are still keen. Much more sorted bike in terms of suspension, though the shim valves are harder work for maintenance.

    So if you want something to work on and find one for a couple of grand, then go for it, but otherwise . . . ..
  3. 1988-1989 aren't heavy, about 185kg. They're relatively powerful, for their age.

    They do have a fairly flexible frame... which you, honestly, don't notice coming off a 250. People biatch and moan, but they were a good bike back in the day.

    Basics of the 1988-1989 model is that, unlike the 85-87 models, they run a nice 17" front wheel, pretty much modern tyre sizes all around. 1988 was a change to a short stroke motor, 1989 has marginally (about 1nM more) more torque with a change back to a long stroke motor.

    1988 was the first redesign cosmetic of the GSXR750. Still has the exposed twin headlights - they were enclosed with a more bulbous fairing in 1991, and in 1992 the GSXR750 went watercooled.

    However, they are getting on nearly 20 years old, so there are a few things to look out for:

    1. Really crap needles in the carbies, they tend to stuff up and you end up with a bike that won't run except flat out, and uses heaps of fuel. Cost? About $100 for a carbie kit and rebuild at a mechanics.

    2. Bikes that old tend to have rustyish fuel tanks, as moisture accumulates in the tank. Plastic lining kits are about $120 to get someone to put in, and stick an inline fuel filter in.

    3. Suspension is usually tired - most people don't notice as it slowly goes pear shaped. Budget on getting a rebuilt rear shock and the front forks cleaned up - about $400 for the rear shock to get it done properly, and $150 to get new fork seals and filled with the right amount and grade of oil, yada yada. Common trick is to put a GSXR1100 rear shock, with the external reservoir, on them with the GSXR750 rear spring.

    4. Probably find things like the exhaust headers are getting a bit rusty, just general things like that. It's not going to be anywhere near a new bike. Other things are throttle cables, clutch cables... the usual suspects for not working 100% on an older bike.

    5. They're oil cooled, so make sure all oil lines are happy, etc etc, and that it has the oil changed very regularly. Like buying anything second-hand, you want as much history information as possible.

    I'd recommend getting any potentials checked out, esp. for compression just in case the head gasket is a bit tired, and also cause then you can find out how much meat is left on the brakes and all that jazz. Then again, they're cheap - you can pick them up from between $2.8k and about $4.5k. They're also surprisingly rapid. If you blindfolded someone until they got onto the bike, lots of people (on the road) would think the performance was on-par with a new bike (they have a slightly less agressive riding position than a modern sportsbike, but that's mainly due to a plusher seat, a longer wheelbase and slightly lower pegs).

    I've owned a few GSXR750s in my time, so I might be biased, but they're not a bad bike. Performance wise they're going to be slower than a modern 600, but marginally at that, so they actually make a good stepping stone onto a modern sportsbike, if ridden with some respect that comes with the fact that they have 20 less years of suspension refinement and brake power under them.

    EDIT: ibast may be right, 1990 is a better bike. Still oldschool looking, if that's you're thing, but has 4-->1 extractors and is slightly better again. 1991 has a much better fairing, is slightly heavier, and last of the aircooled. I wouldn't be looking at the 1992->1995 models, they got really porky and only got good in 1996 when the SRAD came out.
  4. Thanks Supamodel, great info, you have practically talked me out of it! which is a good thing!

    I think the best bet is to spend a little more $6-8k and buy something upto 5 years old!! prob an R6!

    Is there a particular year of R6 which is better?? There wasnt much of a change between an 01 - 03 model was there??

  5. Crickey! that was a quick change of allegence.

    Basically Supermodel is right. I don't entirely agree with the frame comment. These middle models had much better frames then the earlier ones and the switch to twin spar frames in 95 was more of a fashion statement then a neccesity.

    And the 1100 suspension is not that great. Particular the 89, which had a real bad reputation.

    Apparently the late 90/early 00s 600/750 shock bolts straight up and is a real nice piece of kit. Better then the 1000 apparently.

    Of those late 90 600s, the r6 wouldn't be my first choice. Not sure why, but for some reason I think they may be relatively fragile and highly strung.