1972 Suzuki GT750J "Water Buffalo"

My Buffalo.
1972 Suzuki GT750J "Water Buffalo"

This bike joined my fleet about 5 years ago. My friend Tyson knew of a fellow in Robbinsdale, Minnesota who had this bike, a Honda CB350 and a snowmobile trailer all for sale for $500.00. I bought the whole lot. I used the trailer for a while, then gave it to my brother in-law. The Honda was sold at auction a couple of years later. The Buffalo came with a white Vetter fairing (yuk) and white Bates plastic (fiberglass?) saddlebags. I thought it was quite a steal. I removed the fairing and bags and found a headlight and fork ears at a boneyard for about $150.00. The only other thing it needed were fork seals, points and a new set of cables. This was all done it ran very well, but as the baffles were rotted away it is incredibly loud. It runs still but I really donít want to take it out on the street for all the noise. It is much noisier than the slash-cuts my neighbor runs on his Harley. If anyone knows where I can get a good pipe set for this beauty or perhaps some way of bodging up a set of baffles, let me know.

Click on the magazine to see what
Popular Mechanics, February 1972
Popular Mechanics
had to say about this bike in 1972.

5/19/02

I put in a good 8 hours of work on it this weekend. I adjusted the chain, lubed the timing oil pad, worked on the turnsignal wiring and cleaned up the wiring in the headlight bucket. The big job was the baffles. I re-fiberglassed them and replaced the set I was running with on the bike with the set from the pipes I ordered off Ebay. Dealing with the fiberglass batting around the baffles sucked, but I didn't do to bad a job of getting it on and secured. From the rear, the bike is now very quiet. However, the front crossover pipes are all leaking and a ton of noise comes from that area. I'll either have to find the inserts for the small pipes to seal it up, or just cap them off. I'm leaning towards the latter.

4/17/02

It's hard to believe that it's been more than two years since I've done anything with this bike or this page. I guess it figures since the last time I registered the bike was in 1998.

I'm happy to say that the Buffalo is back in service. When we moved, I dumped all my project bikes. I only moved two, and then traded one away just the other week. So here I am with just two bikes. The other one is my daily driver, but it's having ignition problems, so the Buffalo had to come out of the mothballs and back into service.

You'd think that after 4 years of sitting, it wouldn't run. Wrong. It is a two-stroke. I put a fresh battery in it, and even with the 4 year old gas in it, it fired off within a minute of cranking it. Over the next couple of days, I acquired mirrors, some good two-stroke oil, and tabs and now I'm running it as a daily driver.

Naturally, I still had to trace down the baffle issue. I had one. It has four pipes. I don't really have to say that it was loud. I went to my favorite salvage yard and within 2 hours I had pulled 2 bigs and 2 smalls out of various donors. Suzuki baffles look to run in two sizes.

I also traded that project dirt bike I had for a set of expansion chambers they had sitting on the shelf. They won't fit in their current configuration, but with a little welding and shaping and othersuch, I should have a spare set of pipes. That's a good thing. The stockers I have either are rotted inside, or I need to repack the baffles. I'll have to do more research.

It also was overheating like mad. I was worried the water pump had failed, but removing the stuck thermostat seemed to do the trick. I think I'll get the radiator flushed sometime this summer, just to be safe.

Some observations on the bike as a daily commuter. I simply have to get it more quiet. I have to address it's hunting and bucking at low rpms. I have to fix the turn signals. They don't blink, they buzz. Not good. I also need new tires and perhaps a new chain and sprockets as well. I also want to run it with electronic ignition. If anyone knows where I can get a hold of one that doesn't cost a couple thousand bucks, let me know.

Beyond all this, it has good presence in traffic. It has tremendous pickup. I'm sure the sport bike guys are laughing at this, but I do believe that in its sweetspot from about 5K to 7K rpm, it really jumps. It shifts nicely. The brakes are adequate and getting better, so there must have been some crud on the linings or on the braking surfaces. It was really grabby when I first took it out. This summer will be spent getting this bike into better daily commuting shape.

3/20/00
I updated this page and added the Suzuki Webring. If you've stumbled into my site via the Webring, welcome! Feel free to wander around the site and check out the other motorcycle stuff I have here. It's a pretty large and diverse site, so take your time and wander around. Click on this link to Consolidated Diversions to get to the front door of my website, or click on the icon at the bottom of the page. Thanks for stopping by!

See some technical tips for the Water Buffalo

This Suzuki Motorcycle Ring site owned by Tim Holtan.
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