Suzuki RF Series

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Also calledRF9
ClassSports Touring bike
Engine937 cc DOHC 4-stroke inline-4
Bore x Stroke: 73.0 x 56.0 mm
Compression ratio: 11.3:1
Power135 hp (101 kW) @ 10,000 rpm
Torque100.2 ft·lbf (135.9 N·m) @ 9,000 rpm
Transmission5 speed constant mesh, chain drive
SuspensionFront: Telescopic, 43mm cartridge type, coil spring, oil damped, adjustable spring preload and rebound damping force
Rear: Link type, 7-way adjustable spring preload, rebound damping force, 4-way adjustable, gas with oil damping.
BrakesFront: Dual Nissin 4 piston (Staggered Diameter) brake callipers on 310 mm floating discs
Rear: Single hydraulic 240 mm disc brake
TiresFront: 120/70-ZR17 on 3-spoke cast aluminum wheels
Rear: 170/60-ZR17 on 3-spoke cast aluminum wheels
Wheelbase56 in
Seat height31.7 in (805 mm)
Weight203 kg
Fuel capacity21 L
RelatedSuzuki RF600R
Suzuki RF400R

RF Series

The Suzuki RF series is a hybrid sports/touring motorcycle. It came with three engine variations 400, 600 and 900cc's. It was in production from 1993 to 1999.

Powerplants and Fueling

The 600cc and 900cc version are both based on the GSX1100R bottom end. A reasonably high revving,16 valve inline 4, four stroke, water cooled unit. The RF has smaller carburetors (Mikuni BDST36 36mm downdraughts), and smaller valves. This results in a smoother power delivery and a more usable engine. The engine is canted forwards in the frame by 19 degrees to allow for a lower center of gravity, and allows the fuel air mixture to be "dropped" into the cylinders on the intake stroke. This also allows for a 6 litre airbox. A number of people have commented that there are flat spots in acceleration at 4,000rpm, however this can be cured with a jet kit, which also improves fuel consumption. The 900cc has a redline of 12,000rpm (although maximum power is achieved before this at 10,000), and the 600cc has a slightly higher 13,500rpm redline.

There is no fuel gauge, however a "fuel low" light is present, which gets brighter as you approach the reserve. Filling up at the lowest brightness of the light will result in only half the fuel capacity of the motorcycle being used. The bike has a 4 litre reserve, switched to with the usual fuel cock on the left hand seat unit fairing.

The larger two engine sizes are under-stressed, and as such many have been known to go on for up to 80,000 miles with no significant engine work.

The 400cc version is somewhat different, and uses the 400cc powerplant from the Suzuki GSF400. As such it has 32mm Mikuni carbs instead.

All the bikes use steel 4-1 headers. The later 600, and all the 900 versions use a tri bolt can fitment. As such, any Suzuki GSF1200, Kawasaki ZX6/7/9R, or any Triumph 4 cylinder (Daytona 600/650 Speed Four) tri bolt can with strap based mounting system can be used. The earlier 600 and all 400 RFs use a slip on with link pipe system, with a join below the center of the bike.

High Flow filters are available, and provide the advantage of a cleanable element. Combining a jet kit, a free flowing exhaust can, a high flow filter, and GSX750R cams with a 7 degree ignition advance can produce up to 160hp from the 937cc engine.

The pink wire connected to the ECU of some of the later 900 bikes retards the ignition timing in the lower 3 gears to make the bike more user friendly, limiting the ability to spin up the rear wheel out of corners, and reduced wheelie tendencies. Disconnecting this pink wire removes this feature.


The RF series uses a U shaped water filled radiator, which allows the engine to sit lower, and closer to the front wheel. The oil filter is also water cooled, and there is a cooling fan fitted to the rear of the radiator. This is effective at cooling the motorcycle to the point where it can be used happily at 9,000ft without over-heating. There is a temperature gauge for monitoring water temperature.


The 900cc model is fitted with a 5 speed constant mesh box, while the 400 and 600 use 6 speed versions to make the most of the smaller displacement power units. The lubrication of the gearbox and clutch is shared with the crank and engine lubrication. The 900 uses a RK532GSV2 x 110 links chain, although can be converted to use more readily available specifications. The 600 uses a RK50MF0Z1 x 108 links chain. The usual 1-N-2-3-4-5-6 gearbox shifting pattern is observed. The 900 uses a hydraulicly actuated clutch, while the 600 and 400 use cable actuated.

Chassis and Braking

The steel perimeter frame is heavier than aluminium counterparts, but more forgiving.

Braking is good from the stock Nissin brakes, however the 900 can be fitted with Tokico Hayabusa 6pot calipers using the standard mounts, and with braided hoses, this modification provides phenomenal stopping power, at the expense of some braking feel.

Sintered pads are not recommended as they tend to excessively wear the discs.

World Record

Information thanks to Metzeler Tyres

The facts:

  • Date: June 4/5th, 1994
  • Team: Suzuki Germany, Metzeler, german motorcycle magazine "Motorrad"
  • Bikes: 2 RF900R, red and black prepared from the Suzuki mechanics Michael Schellig and Klaus Schimo
  • Power: 146hp at 10900rpm
  • Tyres: Metzeler, serial carcass and tread design but modificated tread compound, 120/70 ZR17 ME Z1, 180/55 ZR17 ME Z2, 2.5/2.9 bar
  • Fuel: leaded super 98 octane
  • Oil: Castrol RS
  • Modifications: No main and sidestand, longer windshield, red batterysupplied emergency lamp, fast tankclosing, LCD speedometer, 2 infrared sensors for rear tyre temperature, 100W headlight, positioning lights, carbs adjusted rich due to overheating, 1 mufflerplate removed.
  • Riders: 18: Salvatore Pennisi, Waldemar Schwarz, Walter Villa, Rainer Jänisch, Yves Briguet, Andreas Bronnen, Rainer Bäumel, Helmut Faidt, Hartmut Skora, Dorothea Späth, etc.
  • Commission: FIM (Federation Internationale Motocycliste)


Time Distance Average Speed
1hr 256km (159m) 260.491km/h (161.896mp/h)
6hrs 1514km (941m) 252.341km/h (156.831mp/h)
12h 3022km (1878m) 251.835km/h (156.516mp/h)
24h 5904km (3669m) 246.000km/h (152.890mp/h)

Fastest lap average: 268,965 km/h (167,163 mph) at 7:05h AM, when the air had the highest oxygen concentration



  1. Suzuki RF Owners Manual