Suzuki stared from pretty humble beginnings but now has over 100 years of heritage behind its name. Michio Suzuki, then a producer of looms (a device used for weaving textiles) pursued his passion for cars and bikes and founded the company in Hamamatsu, Japan in 1909.
During the post-WWII period, Suzuki’s motorised bike – the Power Free – earned a reputation for quality and reliability. Hot on its tracks was the 125 cc Colleda motorcycle and the pioneering Suzulight lightweight car that stimulated Japan’s automotive revolution. Michio Suzuki simply focussed on reliable, affordable methods of transportation.
Each of these vehicles was a significant development, as they were engineered by optimising the most advanced technologies of the period. Since 1955, Suzuki Motor Corporation has grown immensely and today their products are available in 192 countries worldwide.
Suzuki South Africa is committed to building on the legacy of Michio Suzuki by offering technologically advanced and reliable products. We are proud to celebrate over 100 years of innovation, good value and a fantastic “WAY OF LIFE”.
If you’re interested in knowing more about Suzuki’s business philosophies, feel free to visit www.globalsuzuki.com.
Michio Suzuki opens the Suzuki Loom Works in the small coastal village of Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. The new factory makes weaving looms for Japan’s massive cotton industry and Michio’s intention is simple: to build better, more ergonomic looms than anything that is currently available.
Suzuki builds its first motorised bicycle, the ’Power Free’. Designed to be inexpensive and easy to maintain, it uses a 36cc, two-stroke engine clipped to the frame of a conventional bicycle. The Power Free’s unique double sprocket gear system allows riders to pedal without engine assistance, with engine assistance, or to travel completely under the engine’s own power.
The now famous Suzuki ‘S’ makes its first appearance.
Champions of the world! East German rider, Ernst Degner, takes Suzuki’s first TT victory by winning the 50cc race. He goes on to win the 50cc world championship in the same year giving Suzuki its first world title. Five more 50cc titles will follow in the next six years.
Hugh Anderson wins his fourth world title, this time in the 125cc class. The sensational T20 Super Six really puts Suzuki on the international map. A 250cc, two-stroke twin with six-speed gear box and a claimed top speed of 160km/h, the T20 is a huge sales success.
Joel Robert retains the world 250cc motocross crown. Roger De Coster becomes the World Motocross Champion 500cc class on his Suzuki RN71.
Barry Sheene wins his, and Suzuki’s, first 500cc world title on the RG500. The legendary bike took the top six places in the championship. Meanwhile, the GS750 – Suzuki’s first big four-cylinder bike – is released.
Italy’s Marco Lucchinelli wins the 500cc world championship on an RG500. Suzuki stuns the biking world with its futuristic GSX1100S Katana. The bike’s aggressive styling and superb performance make it a huge sales success.
The bike that is to change the face of motorcycling arrives. Suzuki’s GSX-R750 will always be remembered as the first true race replica machine. Delivering 100 horsepower and weighing in at 176kg, it created a whole new category of performance bikes. The GSX-R750 achieves a 1-2 finish in its World Endurance Championship debut race, the Le Mans 24-hours Endurance Race.
Kevin Schwantz wins the 500cc world championship on the RGV-γ 500 and ensures his name will always be remembered amongst the all-time greats.
Suzuki re-invented GSX-R750 again in 1996. This is the turning-point model of the GSX-R750 with the newly equipped twin-spar frame instead of the double cradle frame. Faithfully tracing the GP machine RGV-Γ, the basic dimensions with shortened wheelbase generated smooth drivability with a surprising dry weight of 179kg.
Suzuki breaks the mould once again with the unveiling of the GSX1300R Hayabusa. The ultimate 1298cc liquid-cooled DOHC in-line 4-cylinder engine that powered the Hayabusa represented the epitome of no-compromise engineering. The Hayabusa’s most notable features were its aerodynamic design and its superb balance of the engine performance and handling in a wide speed range on the road.
Kenny Roberts Jr. wins 2-year consecutive victory in the Malaysian GP, the season’s 2nd round. With a total of four victories, Roberts Jr. becomes the World Champion of GP500, which for Suzuki is the sixth world title, and the first in seven years since 1993.
An unforgettable year which saw the launch of the ultimate sports bike – the Suzuki GSX-R1000. The newest addition to the GSX-R family had the same impact as the original upon its release in 1985 and re-wrote the rule books on performance, weight, handling and styling. It would soon be dominating race tracks and awards ceremonies around the world.
Suzuki sets new standard of sportbike once again with the introduction of the 2005 GSX-R1000. It went straight back to the top of the superbike tree. The GSX-R1000 wins number of Superbike titles including World Superbike Championship in 2005. The reasons for the Suzuki GSX-R1000’s dominance are simple. Great handling and ergonomics, radical styling and full-on usable power.
The Suzuki B-King, a naked muscle bike with attitude, first shown as a concept model in 2001, arrives. Suzuki launches the Worlds first production fuel injected motocross bike – the RM-Z450. In the same year, Suzuki launches the new GSX-R600 and 750 models – the thinking mans sportsbikes. Suzuki introduces 2nd generation Hayabusa 1300.
The all new GSX-R1000 is launched. In the United States, Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Mat Mladin clinches his seventh AMA Superbike Championship riding GSX-R1000.
GSX-R series total production reaches 1 million units. Since the introduction in 1985, the name of GSX-R became synonymous with high performance sportbike. Suzuki launches second generation V-Strom 650ABS. V-Strom 650 has always been the best-selling model
in its class since first introduced in 2004. To further improve its running performance and riding comfort, 645cc V-Twin engine has improved low-to-mid rpm performance, matched by enhanced fuel economy and environmental performance.
The Suzuki Endurance Racing Team (SERT) takes its 4th consecutive Endurance World Championship and its 13th title overall.
The all new GSX-R1000/R, Suzuki flagship model is finally launched. In addition, V-Strom 1000/XT, V-Strom 650/XT, GSX-S750, BURGMAN 400 etc., the total 9 new models are introduced. In MotoGP, Team SUZUKI ECSTAR, Maverick Viñales wins the championship at the British Grand Prix with GSX-RR in the second season after coming back.
Suzuki GSX-R1000 and Michael Dunlop take victory at the Isle of Man Senior TT.