In The Beginning

Hamamatsu is a part of a region called Enshu, around the western part of Shizuoka Prefecture, and it was in a farm house there that Michio Suzuki, the founder of Suzuki, was born.


In The Beginning

Suzuki has its historical roots in another industry. Michio Suzuki, was an innovator who built a weaving factory called Suzuki Loom Works in the small coastal town of Hamamatsu, in Japan’s Shizuoka Prefecture. The production focused on cotton fabrics.

1950’s: From Looms to Asphalt

World War II and the postwar period left Suzuki in crisis and forced large-scale restruc-turing. In 1952, as a result of this climate of uncertainty, Suzuki decided to manufacture their first motorised bicycle.


The Birth of the
First Motorised Bicycle

Named the “Power Free”, the bike was designed as an economical vehicle for those on a low budget. It was powered by a 36cc two-stroke engine anchored to a conventional bicycle. Its versatile design meant it could be ridden in a variety of ways; pedalled without power from the engine, or with full or partial power from the engine.

1960’s: Suzuki Start Racing

The 1960s heralded a new era for Suzuki as the company made its racing debut. A string of talented riders saw the brand rise quickly through the ranks to become one of the leading players in racing.



The Tourist Trophy in the awe-inspiring Isle of Man was the first ever race in which Suzuki participated. All three Suzuki entrants finished the race.



An East German rider, Ernst Degner, rode Suzuki to their first victory in the Isle of Man TT with a 50cc prototype called RM62. Degner was crucial in the development of those first Suzuki bikes. In 1961, after escap-ing from East Germany, he joined Suzuki and helped to develop their two-stroke mo-torcycles, using his in depth mechanical knowledge and skills.



In the final round of the racing calendar, New Zealander and former rugby player, Hugh Anderson, gave Suzuki their first win in the 125cc class. It happened at the Autódromo Oscar Alfredo Gálvez in Buenos Aires, Argentina.



Suzuki faced its second full year in the World Championship. A development engineer in Hamamatsu, Mitsuo Itoh, took an extraordinary victory at the Isle of Man TT. This memorable feat went down in history, as Itoh was the first, and only, Japanese rider to have conquered the dangerous roads of the island.

1963 - 1965


Hugh Anderson, who won the 50cc and 125cc championships in 1963 as well as giving Suzuki two constructors' titles in the same season. He took his third title in 50cc in 1964, and a year later won his fourth, this time in 125cc. Suzuki seemed unstoppable in the smaller classes, and Anderson was confirm-ing his legend status on Suzuki.


Victory for the RK66

After the success of Anderson, in 1966 it was Hans-Georg Anscheidt’s turn to explode onto the scene, The German rode the fabulous RK66, a two-cylinder prototype capable of reaching 170 km/h. He confirmed his dominance in the 50cc category for three years, from 1966 to 1968. And in 1970 Suzuki concluded a brilliant period in the small classes, when another German rider, Dieter Braun, won the 125cc World Championship.

1970’s: Sheene and the Glory Years

After their success in the 1960’s, it was time for a change of direction for Suzuki, and they began developing larger capacity motorcycles. Suzuki’s history was about to take a dramatic and inspiring turn.


Findlay’s Victory

On August 12th 1971, Australian Jack Findlay took Suzuki’s first victory in the 500cc class in Belfast.

1976 - 1977

The Golden Years

Barry Sheene, a young British rider, arrived like a whirlwind into motorcycle racing and revolutionised the sport. Sheene was the first rider to become a celebrity outside of the race track. Considered by his fans almost like a 'Beatle' for his character, his lifestyle, and outlandish behaviour, he took the 500cc title with the RG500 in 1976. This legendary bike occupied the first six positions in the championship that year. Sheene continued to shine, also winning the 500cc title in 1977.

1980’s, Two Italians Join the Fray

In the 80’s Suzuki turned to Italy to extend their dominance. Marco Lucchinelli and Franco Uncini both proved successful in a private Italian structure running Suzukis, called Team Gallina, created in 1975.



Marco Lucchinelli was the successor to Sheene at Suzuki. The charismatic Italian rider, nicknamed 'Crazy Horse' for his wild riding style, won the crown with an RG500. Lucchinelli fought hard with a young and unruly American named Randy Mamola who, despite his enormous talent, he could never get a world title.



In 1982 success came for another Italian on a Suzuki: Franco Uncini. After five victories that season, he won Suzuki’s second consecutive title.

1990’s, The Magic of Schwantz.

Another of the talents nurtured by Suzuki, Schwantz had one of the most spectacular riding style ever seen in the World Championship. He pitted his huge talent against his compatriot Wayne Rainey, with whom he maintained an extraordinary rivalry throughout the years.


“When I see God I know
it's time to brake”

Kevin Schwantz made history by defeating Yamaha and Wayne Rainey after winning the 500cc World Championship with a RGV-500 in 1993. The Texan had extraordinary charisma and his style remains unforgettable. Not least due to his “full gas” attitude on the bike and his seemingly impossible braking at the limit of physics!


At the turn of the century Suzuki added another title to their tally thanks to Kenny Roberts Jr., before taking time out to marshal their resources. Regrouping in 2015, the team were determined to forge a bright future, adding a second title in 2020, thanks to a magnificent second year in the reigning class by Joan Mir.



The next Suzuki World Champion also hailed from America: Kenny Roberts Jr., son of the famous 'King' Kenny Roberts. Against the odds, he won the 2000 Championship after a total of four victories. That title, the sixth for Suzuki in the premier category, was very special as it put an end to a drought of seven years without a crown. Kenny won it ahead of promising youngster Valentino Rossi!



Australian Chris Vermeulen gave Team Rizla Suzuki an epic victory in the rain at Le Mans, achieving the brand’s first MotoGP victory.



After a three year break from the World Championship (from 2011 to 2015), Suzuki returned to the scene with Team SUZUKI ECSTAR.



Spain’s Maverick Viñales flourished, achieving another win for Suzuki, this time at Sil-verstone. The victory bolstered Suzuki’s racing project, inspiring them to



Alex Rins brought joy to the team when he won two races during the season (Austin and Silverstone), finishing the year fourth in the Championship.



Joan Mir put together a sensational season, showing consistency and maturity throughout the year to be crowned MotoGP World Champion and put Suzuki back in the spotlight after 20 years. Coupled with Alex Rins’ impressive form, this was truly the ‘comeback’ year for Suzuki - a feat made even more special as the factory celebrated 100 years since their founding, and 60 years in racing.