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Shopping for a TL1000R - Not Easy

6163 Views 60 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  egebhardt
I'm looking to buy a nice Suzuki TL1000R. Preferably under 20,000 miles. TLR only. Clean title only. I know there is a section for this, but folks don't go there much. 2 stock U.S. colors, as you know.Yellow/Black OR Blue/White. I'm looking for a Blue/White.

In 1997, I saw pictures of the first TLRs. I've wanted one ever since. They just draw me in. Partly the body-style. Partly the 90ft/lbs of torque. I've been reading here and at the Planet for the last 2 weeks. Since there are 300% more viewers on, I'll focus my posting here. is good for research too, but I'll probably try to post more here.

I'm in San Mateo, California 94403, Northern California (NorCal). In NorCal, Craigslist is king. After all, it started here over a decade ago. With some work and calls, all I can find is (5) 30,000+ mile bikes that are lowered or stretched or modded or salvaged with 7-speaker stereo systems. You get the idea. When I look in Southern CA, There are at least (20) TLRs. I would buy (5) of those TLRs instantly but they are 300 miles away. I don't have a truck and I'd rather not fly down there, if I can help it. Is it crazy to buy one and pay someone from to deliver it? They want $300. I'd like to buy in person, of course, but I'm finding nothing up here. Do I just need to wait until Spring or until some pop-up?

Then there's price. Is $4,000 enough for sub-20k miles and a clean title? Too little? Obviously, I'd like to spend $3,000 or less because TLRs are well over a decade old and need work. It's winter too.

I've done a lot of lurking so I have plans, once I get a good TLR.
Oil Change
Coolant Change
Clutch Replacement
Brake Fluid Flush
PAIR System Delete Mod
Charcoal Canister Delete Mod
OSV upgrade Mod
TRE (Timing Retard Elim) Mod
Airbox (Flaps and Panel delete) Mods
Extra Wires for Charging Mod or + Mod (same thing)
Headlight Turn-Off Relay Mod
Showa Rear Shock Mod
Pipes and Yosh Cans

I've spent a lot of time on BMW forums, so I understand how forums work. Good pictures, spelling and grammar makes everyone's life easier.
Feel free to call or mail. 650-308-9008 and eric.gebhardt(at) I'm 40 so I'm past the crazy days. I'm looking for a bike I can pamper and park next to my 2007 Honda 1000RR.


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I really don't follow the listings for TLRs all that closely, but I wouldn't be surprised if you need to go outside of your vicinity to find a clean specimen, for the money you are willing to spend. If it is well kept and has the basic aftermarket mods (and under 20K miles), the average seller will want $4K minimum, even here in AZ. Everything is typically higher in California. So then, I suspect you will be levered into paying for shipping, or find away to travel there and bring it back yourself. Still, like you say, it's winter. Spring could turn up some nice units in your locale.

Keep your eyes peeled and your wallet ready. :thumbup
One more thing....


Extra Wires for Charging Mod or + Mod (same thing)
These two mods are not the same thing.

The Charging Mod - connects the rectifier/regulator directly to the battery - bypassing the OEM loom connections, thus improving the ability to charge the battery and power the system.

The "+ Mod" - connects the ignition coils directy to the battery via a relay - again bypassing the OEM loom connections. This provides unimpeded power to the coils for improved spark, and thus better ignition.

..... I'm 40 so I'm past the crazy days. I'm looking for a bike I can pamper and park next to my 2007 Honda 1000RR.
You are the perfect I say "victim," to own a TL. :laugh
I got my wallet ready today. Just no bikes!

Thanks. I need to research those 2 electrical power mods more.

I bought a Showa MAL-601 and I'm working on getting an upper spring mount sleeve made out of aluminum. Then I'll worry about buying a new 1100lb spring.
Still no TLRs in my area worth buying. I'll bet it has to get warm before any will come out. Maybe February 2014.

I went to see a 2004 1000RR yesterday because it was 3 miles away because I like the style and color. And I was bored.
He is asking $4500. It was beat but I want a winter project. 17,000 miles. All plastics damaged somehow. Sloppy chain. Theft recovery but clean title. I offered him half. Hopefully he doesn't take it. I figure it'll cost $1,000 in body and maintenance to make a nice bike. Then I could sell it in March for a $200 profit.

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You're gonna be sorry you bought that, if you really wanted a TLR. :O
I hear you. I'd rather lose $1,000 on a TLR than make $200 on a beat 1000RR.

If you end up with a tlr like the one I sold 18 months ago dont sell it :banghead like I did :banghead
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Oh man..... That's bike porn. Shouldn't there be another venue for that?

That's EXACTLY what I'm looking for.
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Oh yes. I've seen all those postings. The trouble is the 400+ miles.
True. Any of us locals I'm sure would be willing to take a look for you. As far as shipping goes, check out U-Ship. I bought mine out of CO w/a friend's help and had it shipped that way. It worked out very well.
Down in San Diego; been on here for a while
Seems far, but my 1st choice.

Palm springs area;
Has black wheels. Are those stock? White looks proper.

Orange County;
18k miles. Still looks good with reasonable mods.

And this one on the 'Planet
I called him. He decided not to sell.

Thanks for the offer to take a look. I might PM you soon.
I've been watching "Shipping Wars" on Discovery lately. They all work off It's pretty funny.
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YEah that show is funny! No, black wheels are not stock. He them painted, possibly powder coated.
They all look like quite nice machines to me. At first glance I don't think you'd go far wrong with any of them.
You need to pickup MotoGiant's on TLP. That thing's got all the mods you will ever need or want. Insane low price IMWO.

PS.: If I didn't already have so many AND 2 project TLR's I would have picked up his already.

Nevermind if he changed his mind again... :banghead
No go with Paul and his TLR. Too bad.
In the meantime, I'm going to a couple machine shops after work. I'm trying to find someone who can make the Showa Mod Upper Spring Perch.

I'm thinking I should get some 3" Aluminum 6061 rod stock. Then have it turned on a lathe to "doug"'s dimensions. If it costs 100 bux, I'll have to decide if the 900lb Hypercoil spring is a better option over the 1100lb Hypercoil. Then just add the preload. I'm looking at Hypercoil 6" springs with a 2.25" ID.
I got screwed on an ebay bike once because I had someone else check it out for me.

The good news is that California has a 1-way single-trip permit which you get from the DMV and allows you to legally ride the bike to relocate it ONCE in just one general direction without title & plates or passing equipment inspection or anything. You still need insurance.

I rode the old race TLR from San Francisco to Long Beach. It didn't even have a place to mount a license plate, but it did have a headlight and taillight. It was one of the nicest trips I ever took! All by myself. I didn't take the full-inland highway or US1 along the shore, I started in the hills at Alice's Restaurant, looked for roads with words like "ridge" "peak" "top" in them, and ended in Ojai. It was pretty spectacular scenery and roads most of the way. The worst was some desolate empty road with a self-serve gas stop. I saw a small plane and asked the only other guy there whether they speed-patrolled by plane and he said no, nobody cares, they just patrol the pipeline and he went 120 out there all the time.

You could bundle up warm and ride during the day, or wait for spring. But SHIP it? Might as well borrow or rent a trailer.
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They all look like quite nice machines to me. At first glance I don't think you'd go far wrong with any of them.

And for less $$ than I expected.

Although the "2001" in Palm Springs has non-OEM paint scheme for that year. The fairing panel looks like the Hong Kong variety. Just something to be mindful of since it is "immaculate" per the seller. :)

You need to pickup MotoGiant's on TLP. That thing's got all the mods you will ever need or want..


....except radial calipers. :devious

But it is still (was) an exception bargain.
Good eye Six5, on the color scheme.
and here... (black and red were Euro)

It's obviously a fake set of fairings in Palm Springs. That's the difference between me (noob) and you (8yr vet). Since I'm looking for original, I'm going to have to be realistic. The newest TLR is now 14 years old. Time is not on my side.
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