A Field Guide to the Suzuki GT550
Model Year 1972 (J)
For the most part, only General Export version E1 information is listed here. Please refer to the Country Specific Versions section for additional information about machines sold into your market.
- An inline three cylinder air cooled engine having a nominal displacement of 543 cc.
- Three individually mounted Mikuni VM 28 SC round slide, 'high top' carburettors. These changed to 'low top' carburettors during the 'K' production at frame 30716. Russell Armour has provided a few photos highlighting some of the features of the early style carburettors - just click on the image stack below.
- Throttle slides were 'handed' with the locator pin for the right side carburettor being on the opposite side to the middle and left carburettors
- Note there is still a lack of clarity about which carburettors were fitted and where. The Suzuki Service Data manual for 1973 lists a 34012 for non-EU countries and a 34600 for EU countries having different slide cutaways, different jet needles, pilot and main jets. The only parts manual I've been able to find does not list the 34600 carburettor - I'm sure additional material will surface over time.
- Early style 'high hat' differences include: o-ring in cap, no o-ring other fittings, needle extension on the needle jet.
- The front brake is a dual panel drum type with four leading shoes. Drum diameter is 230mm (as also used on the Suzuki GT750)
- Rear brake is a twin shoe, single panel drum type. Drum diameter is 180 mm
- Indicator lights for neutral and high beam were located in the tachometer, and the turn indicator lamp was between the speedometer and tachometer
- The instrument housings had attachable rubber rings as glare protection.
- Ignition, starter motor, alternator and regulator by both 'Kokusan' and 'Nippon Denso' - I have no data on whether this was market dependant.
- Ignition timing 24 degrees BTDC
- Two piece cast RAM AIR System cover for the cylinder head with numerous distinct raised ribs running fore and aft.
- "SUZUKI" san-serif lettering on the RAM AIR system housing
- The cylinder base studs were all the same length
- Cast san-serif "SUZUKI" in the alternator and points covers
- The engine covers were lacquered, and the crankcase halves were painted in a tinted gun metal grey lacquer.
- Choke/enricher actuation is via a lever and cable on the left handlebar.
- The grips were a ribbed design also used on the GT380, GT250 and GT185 being 57211-33010 for the left and 57110-33010 for the throttle
- Frame side covers were bulbous (covering the intake plenum part), with the hole for checking the oil level on the rear of the right side frame cover.
- The tool kit was located under the right side cover.
- Exhaust system with ETCS (cross connected exhaust - see the Technical Features section for additional detail). The prototype and also the machines featured in the early Suzuki advertising had no cross couplers.
- Seat had a diamond pattern with the san-serif lettering 'SUZUKI' in white lettering across the rear.
- The rear tail light assembly has two light bulbs, each with its own reflector
- The tank badge was a chromed die cast zinc badge with an anodized red san-serif "SUZUKI" logo held to the tank with pins rather than screws as used in later years. The fuelcock was fitted toward the rear of the tank when compared to the 'L' and later models.
- in the photo below, the J/K tank is shown upper, and an 'L' tank is shown below it showing the difference in fuelcock location.
- Front fender mounted with two struts
- Chain guard made of black plastic
- The side stand was secured with two bolts on frames up to at least 19232 and then changed to being fastened with three bolts.
- The turn indicators were a new design and first used on the 'J' models of all Suzuki triples. Signal bodies had side reflectors having a six segment lens housed in a chromed plastic case. The lenses in most markets were amber front and back. Some countries had red rear lenses, and as well some countries had no side reflectors fitted - please refer to the Country Specific section for information about your market.
- Showa rear shocks were fitted.
Power: * 47.7 (48) DIN hp at 6,500 rev / min
- 1st gear: 2.846
- 2nd Gear: 1.736
- 3rd Gear: 1.363
- 4th Gear: 1.125
- 5th Gear: 0.923
Final Drive Ratios: 16/40
Painted parts: Tank, side covers, fork ears, headlamp bucket
Colours (varied by market):
- Candy Corporate Blue, also called Redondo Blue in some markets (Suzuki paint code 156)
- Candy Yellow, also called Aztec Gold in some markets (Suzuki paint code 176)
Each had wide black stripes with narrow white or black stripes.