Suzuki GT550 — Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Suzuki GS 550
Suzuki GS 550

Suzuki GT550

This article possibly contains original research . Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding inline citations. Statements consisting only of original research may be removed. (November 2012)

The Suzuki GT550 is a two-stroke. air-cooled, three cylinder 1970s-era motorcycle in Suzuki’s Grand Touring GT series. Even though total production of the 550 exceeded 60,000 examples spread over a six model year production run, this total was exceeded by both of its three cylinder GT series brothers.

Suzuki produced over 80,000 units of the GT750 and over 100, 000 units of the GT380. [ citation needed ] All three models were originally offered for sale with the beginning of the 1972 model year with the 550 christened Indy for the North American market. [ 1 ] Production of the 550 was delayed because it was not available to dealers in the U.S. until after April, 1972. [ citation needed ] In Suzuki’s numbering scheme, automobile race tracks identify each of its 3 cylinder GT bikes for the North America market: 380 for Sebring. 550 for Indy. 750 for Le Mans .

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Restoration [ edit ]

Both the 380 and the 750 are more popular for restoration. Each of these models still commands a large following of enthusiasts when compared to the 550. One drawback to the desirability of the 550, is its lack of a racing heritage. This is due to the 550’s unique engine displacement (actually 543cc) which prevented it from competing in the 500cc class.

Suzuki GS 550
Suzuki GS 550

Equally, the 550 could not compete in the 750 class because it would not have been competitive against the 750s of the day. Most collectors/restorers are drawn to bikes with a claim to racing fame. Consequently, there are relatively few nice original or restored examples of the 550 around today, some 30+ years after the last 550 rolled off the assembly line in Hamamatsu .

Unique features [ edit ]

Ram air system [ edit ]

A unique feature of the 550 (and the 380 ) was its Ram-air cooling system for the one piece cylinder head. Two-stroke engines lose power quite rapidly after the engine reaches its critical temperature, so Suzuki decided to try out an idea that had been used with some success on its 500cc two stroke twin cylinder racer, the T500. [ 2 ]

This system consisted of a two piece aluminum shroud bolted to the cylinder head to duct ambient air over the cylinder head finning. The centre part of the head had an increased fin area and a larger shroud entry area in an effort to keep the centre cylinder running at the same temperature as the naturally more exposed outboard cylinders. [ 3 ] In practice, it has been found that the centre cylinder actually runs somewhat cooler at speed than the outboard cylinders, so the system does work as intended.

Suzuki GS 550
Suzuki GS 550
Suzuki GS 550
Suzuki GS 550
Suzuki GS 550


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