Suzuki TL1000S Custom
A number of motorcycles over the years have earned the nickname “The Widow Maker”, machines that will allegedly launch you into the nearest roadside tree at the twist of the throttle. The original Kawasaki H2 wore the name almost as a badge of honour, big power, and a junk chassis, but it was the Suzuki TL1000S that had motoring journalists predicting disaster, lawyers counting their cash and the Japanese company issuing recalls. Now decades on and the late ’90s bad boy has become somewhat of a cult hit, and our friends at Rajputana Customs have tamed the beast and given it a slick and sporty modern maker over.
With the success of Ducati’s L-Twin sportbikes and Honda showing a new commitment to the V-Twin in increasingly pepp’d up packages, Suzuki decided they needed a powerful 90° twin of their own and set about development. Seems they spent all of the time on the engine, as it was and is a blinder, the problem is the chassis and suspension package was an afterthought. The TL1000S came to market with a rotary style rear damper, separate rear spring and steep steering geometry. And those early journalists who got to test one on a smooth as silk track knew disaster awaited on the open road.