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The way we were: Suzuki

Check out these Suzuki adverts through the decades!

Way back before the internet, the only way motocross fans got to learn details about new bikes was from magazines. And often just the adverts in them. Over the years, there have been some gloriously memorable adverts, and some shockers, too! In the first of a new monthly series, we take a look at some of the best and most cool adverts from the major bike manufacturers, and also clothing and kit makers too.

With a 2017 Suzuki on the cover this month, we thought it only fitting to kick off the series with the yellow bikes. Which, as many know, started out in Suzuki’s corporate blue before going to yellow to honour the national colours of Belgium thanks to its riders Roger De Coster, Sylvain Geboers and Joel Robert. So let’s take a look at some of the classy ads from Suzuki.

THE 1970S

We have to start with the awesome work of art at the top of the page, explaining the glorious high-tech details of the 1976 Suzuki RM125A. Complete with up-swept exhaust rather than it going under the motor, steel handlebars and around eight inches of suspension travel. All in a very classy advert that would look cool on a print on the wall! Check out some of Suzuki’s other 1970s ads…

THE 1980S

It was the decade of the biggest changes in motocross. Bikes started off in 1980 as twin-shock, air-cooled, drum-baked dinosaurs and very quickly turned into single-shock, water-cooled, drum-braked beasts with powervalves and cartridge forks. And Suzuki’s early watercoolers set the standard!

THE 1990S

In comparison to the 1980s, the 90s was a decade of fine-tuning the lightweight two-stroke for Suzuki. Although by the very end of the 1990s, the writing started to appear on the wall for smokers as Yamaha unveiled the YZF four-bangers, it took Suzuki at least another half a decade to get in on the act, and then only in a joint venture with Kawasaki. And that didn’t last long. The 1990s saw Suzuki do what everyone else did, and swop to upside down forks. Then at the end of the decade they went back to conventional style forks. But ti wasn’t for long, as upside down forks – like those of today – were simply better!

First published – MotoHead Issue 5 – April 2017

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