Optimization of the Suzuki TL 1000 S

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Optimization of the Suzuki TL 1000 S

Optimization of the Suzuki TL 1000 S
The unfinished

The high expectations of the strong two-cylinder athlete were followed by disillusionment: chassis weaknesses, moderate handling and problems with the injection. MOTORRAD tackled the teething problems with tried and tested home remedies.

Werner Koch


The Suzuki technicians were hit out of the blue, apparently. “None of the prototypes and pre-series machines showed any symptoms of the errors that have now occurred; we suspect the problem in series production. All TL 1000 S customers will therefore be supplied with the planned improvements as quickly as possible. «Says Suzuki Sales Director Bert Poensgen, commenting on the defects in the MOTORRAD endurance test machine.
Suzuki remedied the sometimes violent banging of the handlebars by retrofitting a damper on all TL 1000 S delivered. The steering actually remains calm, only the steering precision when turning and turning around tight turns often becomes an easy balancing act due to the large hydraulic resistance. If you don’t want to spoil the fun on bends, you can fall back on TuV-tested, adjustable steering dampers from the accessories market, which are, however, subject to registration. .
There was also criticism on the subject of brakes, which require too much manual force for sporty conditions, especially when the brakes are cold. The problem here is less due to the design than to the friction pairing of the linings and the disc. Equipped with pads from the aftermarket, the braking effect and response behavior improved significantly.
Electronics specialist Bernhard Bludau got to grips with the excessive fuel consumption. Its completely redesigned map for ignition and injection reduces consumption without serious losses in terms of response behavior and power delivery. All values ​​also indicate that the oil dilution, which has been observed in some cases, is caused by a fuel mixture that is too rich
the original vote could be eliminated.
Stubborn rear wheel suspension of the Tl 1000 S. The cause: Even in the softest setting, the vane damper is too progressive with fast, hard compression movements. The conversion of the damper system by Wilbers Suspension-Service, which also has matching fork springs on offer, brought significant help and noticeably reduced the tendency of the extra-wide series tires to tilt and tilt in undulating curves.
The handling chapter is primarily determined by the tires. After the conversion to the Bridgestone BT 50 tires approved by Suzuki, the TL 1000 S was hardly recognizable: less steering force. easier lean changes, good steering precision. Only the maximum grip and the self-damping on bumpy surfaces are below the level of the ME Z1 racing tires. A 5.5-inch rear PVM rim with 180 mm tire mounted for test purposes in conjunction with the new Metzeler ME Z4 front tire demonstrated the existing potential of the TL 1000 S very impressively. Extremely easy turning, little effort in cornering and, above all, excellent self-damping on the front wheel, which surprisingly reduces the handlebar beating even without a damper. As you can see, the shortcomings of the TL 1000 S can be brought under control, even if the model was launched under a bad star.
A detailed tire recommendation is currently in the making at MOTORRAD. The approvals are already almost unmanageable. The TL 1000 S can be soled from a moderate 180 tire to a 200 roller. So work enough, which, as the first attempts show, is definitely worth it.


Alpha-Technik (phone 08036/4545): Tire approvals, special sizes 180 and 200. Bernies Brause (phone 02227/3380): conversion of the electronics box. Suzuki Hiller (phone 0711/650440): plastic parts, chassis improvements. Lucas (phone 02631 / 912-0) brake pads, brake lines LSL (phone 02151/555915): steering damper, brake lines, Spiegel (phone 0761/611010): Ferodo brake pads, brake lines, Wilbers Suspension Service (phone 05921/6057): White Power -Steering damper, fork springs, conversion of fork and shock absorber.Zupin (phone 08669 / 8576-0): Ohlins steering damper, fork springs.

Optical tuning – Optical tuning for the TL 1000 S.

Despite its teething troubles, the Suzuki TL 1000 S is and remains a fascinating twin, which one or the other weakness is benevolently forgiven. And anyone who opted for the TL 1000 S with their stomach rather than their heads will be delighted with the plastic parts from Suzuki dealer Werner Hiller from Stuttgart. An elegant solo hump (465 marks in GRP or 565 in carbon fiber), the small front spoiler (330 marks) that protects the exposed engine components such as the oil filter and exhaust manifold from splashing water, and the dainty carbon fiber wheel covers (190 or 280 marks in the front, 310 marks in the rear Mark in GRP or 320 in carbon fiber) make the TL 1000 S even more independent. The parts are delivered unpainted with all brackets and fastening screws. The original seat upholstery is retained in the solo hump and supplemented by a small, supportive back cushion. The rear inner fender with integrated chain guard is designed in such a way that the welded aluminum tabs of the standard and not exactly aesthetic splash guard on the swing arm ends are neatly covered. All parts have the blessing of the TuV, only the proper extension on the license plate has to be attached. All plastic parts are adapted to the design of the TL 1000 S and harmonize surprisingly well from all perspectives.

Steering damper Ohlins

At 1024 marks, the Ohlins damper with the perfectly made Harris conversion kit is very expensive, but in terms of function and finish it is the best that is currently available on the market. All parts fit exactly and are easy to assemble. Extremely smooth-running and with little breakaway force with small steering movements, the Ohlins is barely noticeable even in tight bends and when maneuvering. For fast driving on bumpy slopes, the damping must be adjusted to at least position 10 (calculated from the hardest position) in order to effectively prevent the handlebars from slapping.

Steering damper White Power

Functionally housed between the lower end of the standpipe and a mounting bracket on the cylinder head, the WP damper, which costs 478 marks, is barely visible. During assembly, make sure that the delicate clamp is fitted exactly so that it does not rub along the mudguard during compression. Satisfactory in terms of ease of movement and breakout force, it cannot quite keep up with the high-quality Ohlins damper, but it can be driven much better than the original Suzuki part. From position 8 (calculated from the hardest level) the kickback is safely eliminated.

Steering damper LSL

The seven-way adjustable LSL damper including mounting kit, which is installed in the same way as with White Power, costs only 309 marks. With the LSL damper, the effect in position 4 is sufficient to bring the steering smoothly, but then has a noticeable resistance when turning in tight bends. As the mileage increases, the initially high breakout force decreases, so the tendency to tipping at slow speeds decreases. The LSL solution also behaves better than the safety-oriented, clearly overdamped and aesthetically difficult to digest Suzuki extension.

Brake pads

The points of criticism: high hand strength, poor effect, especially with cold brakes. The solution: Brake pads with a different sintered metal mixture from Lucas (price per set 43.90 marks in specialist shops), which grip much more powerfully and effectively than the standard parts in all temperature ranges. Or organic rubbers from Ferodo (price per set 45 marks), which require a long running-in period, but then delay with good effect and soft, finely dosed use. Another improvement: brake lines made of high-pressure-resistant and steel-sheathed Teflon (available from specialist retailers).

Bludau ignition box

Bernhard Bludau tackles high consumption and misfires with a completely new ignition / injection map (price 990 marks). The result: between 0.8 (140 km / h) and 2.2 (brisk country road speed) liters of fuel savings with only minor losses in terms of acceleration and throttle response. The performance curve is identical up to around 8000 rpm, above that the Bludau box even adds a few horsepower. The problem: so far no TuV approval and no guarantee for possible consequential damage. Suzuki Germany is on the trail of an in-house solution to this problem.

Fork tuning

If the TL 1000 S is moved in a sporty manner, the fork plunges as far as it will go when braking hard on undulating asphalt. For sporty use, Wilbers Suspension-Service therefore changes springs and damper inserts for around 500 marks so that sufficient progression is built up during rapid compression. The more cost-effective solution (194 marks) are strongly progressive springs with a high proportion of negative spring deflection and an oil viscosity that is matched to this. This solution also counteracts the dreaded handlebar slap when accelerating without a steering damper.

Coordination of the spring elements

Despite the countless adjustment options on the fork and shock absorber, the TL 1000 S unfortunately provides an ideal solution. The reason: the suspension is too soft at the front, significantly overdamped at the rear, and there is no harmony. If a steering damper is installed, which effectively eliminates handlebar slap, the fork can be adjusted more stable and more puncture-proof when braking by increasing the pressure level to the 1/2 turn open position (adjusting screw below). The rebound stage is opened 2 turns, five rings remain visible when the spring is preloaded. For easier steering, the fork legs are pushed through ten millimeters, which improves caster and steering head angle in terms of maneuverability. At the rear of the impeller damper, the compression damping (adjusting screw on the left), which is much too high, is completely unscrewed while the rebound is opened by two turns. All setting values ​​are calculated from the hardest position. The rear spring preload is increased on the locknut until the machine only compresses around five millimeters without a driver. A decrease in the effect when the steamer was hot could not be observed with the test machine. Finally, the cells in the impeller damper are sealed by pre-tensioned rubber strips, which unfortunately means that the advertised advantage of low friction belongs in the realm of fairy tales.

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