This is where it all goes Pete Tong for the Suzuki TL1000S. The rear shock's damping action is controlled by a teaspoon of oil being forced through valves - it doesn't work. The rear end starts moving, plus the front end of the TL1000S is liable to flap about as the sheer grunt lifts the front wheel. Result; one scared rider, and possible excursions into the scenery. The Suzuki TL1000S also chews chains and rear tyres easily.
The TL1000S isn't the fire-breathing crazy monster that reports from the period will have you believe. Initial throttle response is neater and more predictable than a modern Panigale and the exhaust note is ias quiet as any Euro4 bike at low revs. There's an impressive kick at the top-end and it drives hard. The gearbox is slick, as you'd expect from Suzuki. 1997 'P' reg models offer full power. After that Suzuki turned down the power to try and tame the supposed instability.
The build quality is patchy. Some Suzuki TL1000S machines were rusting when new. Paint rubs away, alloy discolours, electrics and the fuel injection can play up. Luckily, owners are quite fanatical about the Suzuki TL1000S and it's common to see beautiful used examples with a host of mods up for sale in the £2000-£3000 bracket.
The TL1000S has a cult following thanks to its reputation so people tend to hold onto them. That said, you can get hold of them for under £3000, and even less if you're prepared to buy one that's a bit scruffy. Buying one now, in 2017, is a great idea as they're only going to go up in value. Find a Suzuki TL1000S for sale.
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The TL1000S has some decent brakes, forks and a half fairing, but it never looked as well equipped as some rivals from the late 90s. Details on the Suzuki TL1000S like the rubbish front mudguard, the crude fairing struts, sticky-out subframe and the lack of rear grabrail all hint at a bit of a rushed development.