Geoff Aspel’s book Suzuki is a companion book to Mick Woollett’s book Yamaha (see our review here).
Both published by Arco Publishing in 1984, they follow similar formats, are brief at about 64 pages and are remarkably well done given how much information is packed into so few pages.
Aspel recounts Suzuki’s early history in the motorcycle industry beginning in 1952 with the optimistically named 36 cc two-stroke single “Power Free” model.
The range quickly expanded to include both two-stroke and four-stroke models up to 250 cc and fitted with electric starters on the Colleda model as early as 1959.
Aspel traces Suzuki’s remarkable rise from mass-producer of humble mopeds and lightweight motorcycles to world championship GP competitor in road racing, where it won its first world championship in the 50 cc class as early as 1962 and in motocross where Suzuki-mounted Joel Robert won a world title in 1970.
It was in 1976 and 1977 that Suzuki captured back-to-back 500 cc GP world championships with British superstar Barry Sheene at the helm.
The book is flush with great images of some of Suzuki’s most successful models and racing images that include stars like Randy Mamola, Barry Sheene, Pip Higham and Jeremy Whatley.
The book helps retrace the steps leading up to the development of iconic models such as the T500 Titan, GS550, GT750 liquid-cooled two-stroke triple, RE5 Wankel-powered road bike, GSX 750 and 1100 and harbinger of things to come — the GSX1100S Katana.
For fans of the brand, Suzuki by Geoff Aspel is a great little volume to have on the shelf.
- Title: Suzuki
- Author: Geoff Aspel
- Published: 1984
- Publisher: Arco Publishing, Inc., 215 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10003
- ISBN: 0-668-06164-2
Note to readers: many of the books that we’ll feature here may be out of print and some may be difficult to find. That could be half the fun. The Internet should make the search relatively easy but ironically, none of the books currently scheduled for eventual retro-review for the Rider’s Library section were found with the help of the Internet. They all were found at book stores, used book stores, antique shops, motorcycle shops, yard sales and so on.