SUZUKI TL1000R (1998 - 2004) Review
At a glance
|Owners' reliability rating:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£230|
Overall ratingNext up: Ride & brakes
The Suzuki TL1000 range feature one of the truly great V-twin engines, in some of the most unpredictable handling chassis ever devised. The Suzuki TL1000R has an improved rear shock, which doesn't misbehave so much as the TL1000S model's, but both motorcycles get so light at the front end, so very easily with all that V-twin grunt on tap. The Suzuki TL1000R is exciting to ride, but for experts/nutters only.
Ride quality & brakesNext up: Engine
The Suzuki TL1000R features a frame based on the Suzuki GSX-R750 of the era, and it perhaps suffers from a short 1405mm wheelbase. Maybe the V-twin motor's poke would upset almost any chassis, but the TL1000R doesn't quite handle with the precision of say a Bimota SB8R, or Duke 916/996. When you push it, the Suzuki TL1000R gets loose at high speeds, and oversteers on slow corners.
EngineNext up: Reliability
The Suzuki TL1000R has a truly awesome engine, producing a claimed 135bhp and though it revs another 1000rpm higher than the TL1000S, the Suzuki TL1000R still feels like it makes as much poke as a Ducati 916 can manage, by about 6000 revs. Sheer, liquid, adrenaline-pumping lunge and the fuel injection works better on the TL1000R than on the Suzuki TL1000S.
Reliability & build qualityNext up: Value
The TL1000R's motor can take all kinds of abuse without any problems and the overall finish is quite high - for a Suzuki. The Suzuki TL1000R will still show some corrosion rapidly if you foolishly rode it through winter, it is basically a summer trackday kinda motorcycle. Electrics on the Suzuki TL1000R's can play up and it needs a strong battery to start that big motor, so invest in an Optimate.
Value vs rivalsNext up: Equipment
Hardly anyone wants the Suzuki TL1000R nowadays, with the earlier TL1000S model achieving cult status thanks to its lairy reputation. If you like danger, then the TL1000R version is almost as challenging to ride fast and can be had for a couple of grand in mint condition - surely a bargain compared to an unloved 916 for twice as much dosh? Find a Suzuki TL1000R for sale.
The Suzuki TL1000R's full fairing is fairly wide, especially at the top half, so it keeps some windblast off the rider. The TL1000R pillion perch is a bit of joke, footpegs are too high and the upswept pipes makes panniers impossible to fit. You get a steering damper as standard on the Suzuki TL1000R though...which is nice.
|Engine type||4 stroke, V-twin, 6 gears|
|Frame type||Alloy twin beam|
|Fuel capacity||17 litres|
|Front suspension||Preload, rebound, compression|
|Rear suspension||Preload, rebound, compression|
|Front brake||Twin 320mm disc|
|Rear brake||220mm disc|
|Front tyre size||120/70 x 17|
|Rear tyre size||190/50 x 17|
Mpg, costs & insurance
|Average fuel consumption||35 mpg|
|Annual road tax||£96|
|Annual service cost||£230|
|Used price||£3,200 - £4,000|
16 of 17
How much to insure?
|Warranty term||Two year unlimited mileage|
Top speed & performance
|Max power||135 bhp|
|Max torque||78 ft-lb|
|Top speed||165 mph|
|1/4 mile acceleration||11.2 secs|
|Tank range||120 miles|
Model history & versions
1998: Suzuki TL1000R launched.
2000: New colours/graphics.
2003: Suzuki TL1000R model discontinued, Suzuki SV1000 replaces it.
2004: Last Suzuki TL1000R stocks sold at discount.
Owners' reviews for the SUZUKI TL1000R (1998 - 2004)
31 owners have reviewed their SUZUKI TL1000R (1998 - 2004) and rated it in a number of areas. Read what they have to say and what they like and dislike about the bike below.
Summary of owners' reviews
|Ride quality & brakes:|
|Reliability & build quality:|
|Value vs rivals:|
|Annual servicing cost:||£230|
I've owned a few different bikes, but this one is my favourite. Hard to describe why, until you ride one.
It's a race bike.....the riding position took me a while to get used to.
Fantastic engine. I've now developed a love for racing twins.
Likes a drink when ridden fast
No added extras. Nice and simples.
Buying experience: I bought from a dealer. The bike had loads wrong with it, but the dealer paid to have it all out right.
Addictive stomp, Very comfortable for a sports bike, Easier to work on than my 2013 Speed Triple. Absolutely no issues with handling, goes exactly where you want it to go.Only two issues of concern or consideration being as follows.6 pot front calipers are no way as good as current brakes.Fuel injection again in 1999 is not as good as modern bikes.Bought as investment, three owners and only 16,000 miles, Problem is I enjoy riding it more than the Speed Triple.The engine is an absolute peach.
Will pootle round town without issues, does not overheat, likes to be pushed when everything gels and you come home grinning.
Best V twin of the era!
Regulator failed, only issue I have had.
Bare essentials.Diagnostic feature is very good, once you purchase the lead, plugs in under seat so can leave connected and turn on as required.
Buying experience: Private.
Annual servicing cost: £200
Such a beautiful bike with an awesome engine.
Front forks are harsh on bumpy roads, bike overseers on tight twisties and very slow changing direction in the twisties but Im still running the factory steering dampener. Great breaks, love the 6 pot calipers. Never had any issue with the rear rotary dampener.
Stonking engine with sooo much torque, amazing induction noise with the throttle fully open. Bombing v twin exhaust noise even with the stock cans and a total anti social hulligan with a pair of Remus cans.
Never broken down or had any issues in 30,000 km. Prone to corrosion in fasteners and the front break caliper pistons.
Still running the original chain and sprockets at 30,000 km with a chain oiler. Easy to service yourself. Front cylinder spark plug requires fairings off and radiator mounts unbolted and radiators displaced for access. Had the front spark plug fail twice with the bike starting on only one cylinder when cold and then running on both cylinders when warmed up.
For its time fully adjustable suspension front and rear. Cavernous under seat storage and even more room with the seat hump on.
Buying experience: Bought my first one (Yellow and charcoal) new in 1998. Wrote it off about 4 months and 8,000 km later when the rear brake torque rod came off and locked the rear wheel at 100 km per hour and the bike high-sided. Swing arm had been replaced under warranty so draw your own conclusion. Liked it so much I bought another new one (1998 model) in early 1999 (red and charcoal). I still have it and it still puts a smile on my face.
Annual servicing cost: £300
Throttle control is mandatory for this beast. Respect and a complete feel/understanding of this machine has to be there to push her. Once you achieve this beautiful area between disaster and success you will understand what it's all about.
If you truly Know how to ride it's extremely fun and very entertaining. However if your not ready and do something dumb then mark my words she will bite you
Top end is not as quick to as I'd like it to be however using correctly you will be amazed.
As long as serviced properly and not ridden in high rpms constantly this bike will easily outlast you.
I ride a lot and change my filter with each oil change. I also usually wear a back tire every 8 to 14 months and a front tire every two years
Nothing really comes on TL r
Buying experience: I bought my TL1000R from a individual and although it was in "street fighter" form I got it because of my absolute love of vtwin superbikes. It definitely wasn't for the faint of heart not a novice rider.
The rear shock and rotary unit is crap, but the engine is an animal and will laugh at you all day trying to push it to the limits. Some people slate them, but I don't know why. I suppose it's rough and ready when riding but it's got character and soul not found in newer bikes I've ridden.
No need to drop gears when overtaking. I've done a few track days on this machine and the engine is faultless with good torque. I've fitted a Power Commander 2 and new pipes, which make a big difference on power.
The fuel pump plays up.
Medium running costs.
Buying experience: I bought it from a dealership 10 years ago and still love it. They're becoming very rare now and prices increasing.
Annual servicing cost: £200
The bike's engine is amazing, it sounds deeper than most V-twins. I've had mine two years and always get bikers come and look at it. They have a growing cult fan base and are getting quite rare.
Lovely to ride, treat with respect as the back will bite and front hates corners under braking (remember slow in fast out). Good for shorter riders too. Rear foot pegs are rubbish! Endless fun and it’s about as much power as you want from a twin with out rider aids.
One of the best engines ever fitted to bike. Power and sound are awesome, especially through Yoshimura pipes.
It eats chains and electronics hate even mild rain. Keep it dry and don't ride it like you stole it every day and much fun will be had without breaking the bank.
Very little equipment as standard and low compared to modern bikes, however, mine has a power commander, 12 volt socket and gear indicator which were easy to fit.
Buying experience: Get one now! Prices are on the rise. There are less than 500 registered as working in the UK. Mine is a first year and there are just 42 of them.
Engine has to be the best twin of that era , stonking amounts of torque power , beware of cornering, will over steer on slower corners and feel a bit heavy on the front unless you set it up, love the sound of this bike.
Straight roads with the throttle wownd open will at the least put a smile on your face . Cornering needs care, ride comfort is OK and I'm 6ft and can ride for 2or 3 hours no problem .the braking is OK
Torque at its best in this engine, plenty of power , regular service and oil change should kept this engine purring.
Fairings can take a bit of time to remove if I'm being picky but nothing else. .
Fit decent tyres , I'm running touring type at the moment but ideally need a sticky set which I will be putting on .
This is the 3rd one I have owned and love it wish I hadn't got ride of the first one. Always gives you grin factor when I go out on it my second one I did track days on was awesome low down grunt powering out of corners leaving 4 cylinders behind... Did a few with the rotary damper and no issues it loved Mallory park. Shame they dont still make them in the TL form
For me riding position isn't to bad but I am only 5ft 7 and can ride for a bit before a break pillion seat is big so you have something to sit on
I bought mine 2yrs ago and it was totally standard, so i changed the cans for yoshis put a TRE & Power comander III on it; it tuned up to 120bhp wich doesn't sound alot to the newer bikes but the torque MORE than makes up for it when you throttle on, must say though that nearly all manufacturers over state their figures on bhp. No problems at all with mine but the massive torque does wear the rear tyres out so i picked avon storms (sports tourer)last time but will try the new angels out this spring, it sounds fantastic and is softer on the bum than my 918 fireblade it replaced,no probs with pillions either, thumbs up from me , ...
The TL1000RW is an awesome looking bike, with great design and style, however its inner beauty does not match. The back cylinder is right under your seat next to your manhood and when the engines running, it gives a whole new meaning to the word HOTROD! I agree basically with MCN’S review, electrics are dodgy in the wet, but all Suzuki’s are like that, c’mon guys, sort that out, you’re pro’s now. And the suspension is a joke, tank range poor too. However it sounds good and value is great picked my version up for £1200, (1999 T reg, 15K miles). Only for the brave or stupid I’d say. You should always acquire as much info on a bike as possible! Do not listen to gossip, most people have not ridden half of what they say and just hear it from others. Take advice from people who have actually had one or ridden one.
Have had Ducatis , Yamahas , Kwakas , Honda have a soft spot for suzuki and this seems to be a great all rounder , Especially fast open road stuff (Quick touring) , big torque , big power (relatively now)and reliable and of course that big booming twin sound . The only problem I will ever have is how to replace it if is totalled/stolen.
HAD BOTH TLS MAD FAST BRAKES BIT WEAK, FRONT END HAPPY OK UNITL THE SUB FRAME SNAPPED AT 110MPH HOW I STAYED ON I DONT KNOW. GOT A BRAND NEW TLR BLUE WHITE TOOK THE STEERING DAMPER OFF MUCH BETTER, NEW GRIPPY TYRES. OLHINS FITTED FRONT N BACK POWER COMMANDER AND CANS AND FILTER AND DYNOED MADE THIS BIKE AWSOME THEN IT GOT NICKED SO I GAVE UP AND GOT AN R1 BUT GOOD IN THERE DAY
What more do you want! Rolling road tells me i get 67ftlb at 3000rpm which peaks at just over 9000, storming machine for the money and frightens the young uns too ;-) Only let down is the possibly fragile gearbox, not as good as the GSXR but a helluva lot more fun!!! Have personally found the suspension ok, but i have it on fast road settings, just gets a bit twitchy on the bumpy bits, no different to my 1990 1100
This is my favourite machine to date and I stupidly sold it about two years ago. The power delivery was sweet and with a few tricks and mods the bhp can be easily increased. My biggest complaint would be the weight, but I helped reduce this with a set of Titanium Remus race cans (which also improved the note and noise to offensive... *grin*)
Awesome power and handling,mines done 32,000 miles and still going strong. Can be hard work if stuck in traffic (clutch grabs), other from that can't fault it....
Load a grunt in em. luverly sound wiv rite cans [blue flames} had 3 now, r & s models. dunno why they so good. each too thier own.... Strengths: Comfort, style noise. Weaknesses: Crap tank capacity.
I owned and raced a '99 TLR, one of the best cruisers around, just remove the "Superbike" sticker. Not any good for the track unless you spend large amounts of cash on it, 600 will trash you. Strengths: Storming motor for a V-Twin. Bullet proof unless you remove the soft rev limiter. Remove the scissor gears, skim and flow the heads, fit a 2-1 Yoshi Titanium Race pipe, if you can get one, BMC/K&N filter, remap and you'll have a sweet sounding tyre shredding power and torque, for a twin. 1100cc big bores around but to expensive and sleaves to thin so a bit of a risk. Weaknesses: Crap suspension, joke of an exhaust, must be for the Americans, to heavy and restrictive. Styling, you either love it or hate it.
My god its good...the engine is a stonker it just wants to pull wheelies everywhere...sounds nice with standard pipes. Strengths: Flexibility of the engine, you can stick it in any gear and it pulls...and coming from a sports 600 its good to still have a screming top end as well! Weaknesses: Low speeds stuck behind town traffic.
Always owned GSX-Rs but just bought a TL1000R. Some of the tech is showing it's age. 1998 fuel injection doesn't compare to my 750-K4's silky delivery. Changed the front brake pads to EBC HHs and this transformed the stopping power. Overall though this machine is lunatic fun. Strengths: Sets off car alarms. Sounds like it's ticking over at 150mph. Grin factor is actually about 110. Weaknesses: Needs twin injector fueling.
I've had it for nearly 3 years, it's taken a load of abuse and still looks and goes great. Will be looking for something new after this summer and it's going to take something special to replace it. Strengths: Engine. Power delivery. Weaknesses: Eats tyres (2000 miles rear), chain & sprockets every year (4000).
After riding 4 cylinder bikes it took a bit of getting use to, but now I wish I had bought one when they first came out as I have always liked the look of the TL R. That engine when coming out of a sweeping bend at 6000 rpm + is a good reason as any for continuing to live. The bikes rep (re the rear damper)did slow me down but I have yet to find any problems, & every ride I push that little bit harder. I think the rear damper problem is only an issue if you are on a track. As a real world usable road bike it's excellent.<br>
Fabulous top end power but almost 4 cylinder-like in its power delivery. Turns heads. Suspension is way too harsh, spring rates too high and it is overdamped. Needs a diet.<br>
Stonking engine, shame about the handling & reliability, I have had to make 4 warranty claims in 18 months; mainly electrical problems. I use the bike all year, I guess they are not supposed to be used when it rains.<br>
REMAP GIVES BRILL MIDRANGE AND TOP END, 180 REAR GIVES FASTER TURN IN, MICORNS SOUND SWEET. D\B SCREEN 100%. THIS IS A GREAT BIKE AND WITH THE REMAP GOES MANIC AT 7500RPM. EATS MOST BIKES IT COMES ACROSS AND ALWAYS PUTS A BIG, BIG GRIN ON MY BOATRACE. LOVE IT.<br>
I love the enormous torque and handling is well within my riding capabilities. Too bad Suzuki dropped the race program and further development of this awsome machine.<br>
Love the sound, acceleration is blistering (chews up and spits out majority of bikes) and with faultless handling. Clutch hard work around town. Took rear fairing off and put seat on because it was a bit ugly. Bit of a nasty to get a decent insurance quote.
Lovely bike, fast, fairly comfy, reasonable economy all round, suprb V twin noise, If she could cook, I'd marry her, for excellent info, try www.tl100.com, the owners site, mostly U.S. members, but even the yanks seem to have the bike well sorted. NEEDS A CLOCK THOUGH PLEASE MR. SUZUKI!!!
REAL GOOD FUN, NOT SURE ABOUT THE FRONT END YET!! GOT A FUNNY TICKING NOISE COMING FROM THE ENGINE, BLOW'S AWAY VFR 800'S EASY!! <br>
Removed steering damper - feels much sharper and easier to get turned without it. Engine lumpy and awkward in traffic.
<p>First V-Twin owned love it.</p>