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My first bike was a TL, very much like the yellow one pictured above. I can honestly say that I love my RC more. I enjoy the comparatively rigid suspension of the RC, and more precise handling. However, that does not mean that the tiller was a slouch. It was a blast to ride, as it packed more power than I ever planned to use on the street, and even though it was heavy, it still provided miles of twisty entertainment.
 

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TLR Pros:
- Softer stock suspension was good for street riding and light spirited action.
- Power band more flexible than the RC's out the box
- Delivery was smoother
- Chassis was more willing to flick (IMHO)


TLR Cons:
- Crap ass Rotax rear suspension was a JOKE!
- Down on top end power compared to RC
- Transmission was sometimes suspect
- Aluminum frame would heat up and burn your legs



RC Pros:
- Race Pedigree
- Rock solid engine and transmission
- Chassis very rigid
- Very neutral and balanced

RC Cons:
- Twitchy, lumpy throttle control and awful power dip until PCIII'd and flapper modded.
- Stock suspension was overly stiff and harsh for a street bike
- Chassis very rigid (not good in deep lean-in when the chassis and tires are the only suspension you have)
 

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RC, but I always wanted to make a kick ass trackbike out of a TLR.
 

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cycle canada test

back in '00 or '01 cycle canada did a back to back test of these two bikes...the RC pretty much crushed the suzuki in every department...the testers did say the suzuki was a blast to ride though. I think theyre both great bikes
 

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Visually the TLR look like a big ulgy boat, It does nothing for me. I cant speak from experience as I've never ridden one but I dont think they were nicknamed 'The Widow Maker' for nothing, I'm sure they're fine once a few thousand has been spent on the suspension though.

But because of this I expect you can pick them up nice and cheap :)

YouTube - TL1000R Commercial ;)
 

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Panigaliscious
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I'm in the minority, but I like the looks of the TLR (in white/blue, preferably with the neon red stripe of MY2000) better than the RC.

They both seem awfully fat and wide for a twin.

Both engines are somewhat unique in their architecture and cam drive.

Suzuki has better instrumentation and passenger seat. Honda has better suspension.

Both appear to be very reliable, with Honda probably more. Both though lay waste to the twins from Ducati reliabilty-wise though.

The Honda is at least a couple of years newer in its design, so no wonder it outperforms the Suzuki.

I hope both of them are soon referred to as the ancestors to 1200cc twin superbikes;)
 

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I have ridden, worked on both bikes and IMO the RC51 was a lot better bike. The RC51 was smaller, easer to ride and work on. The TLR felt long and bubbly and more of a street bike then a race bike like the RC51. The body work on the TLR was a crap design as the mounting tabs are easily broken, the stock rear shock was a complete joke and the chain would rub on the left exhaust and swing arm if not always adjusted correctly. The TRL also have less ground clearance and the left mid pipe had to be crimped in half to make clearance for the chain and swing arm. The TLR seat was like a giant sponge which made it harder to move around in the canyons. The RC51 needs a lot of work from stock to make it a great bike but out of the box it smokes the TLR and I have yet to be beat by one.
 

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Meatball's Dad
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I have both bikes. There have been a few threads about this already on this forum. Do a search and you will find some interesting reading.
My track bike is a 2003 TLR. Love the bike, it has cost me a bunch to get it to where its competitive with my basically stock RC. So to be honest, the RC in stock form vs a stock TLR...the RC wins. Period. Lots of reasons. The RC handles better, has better brakes, excellent chasis, upgraded motor (SP2), better center of gravity and feels better throwing it around the track despite the similar weight of both bikes.

We all know the race history of the RC here. Some of the things that held the TLR back was the engine case was not capable of managing upgrades for 150+ HP. The crankcases would not hold up and the lower end bearings would also fail frequently when taken out of stock specifications. Still is a problem with custom TLR motors. They never were re-designed and still are the 1998 spec.The rear suspension was an abomination, gotta wonder what they were thinking about with designing a "race replica" that used a cumbersome and heavy rear shock that had very few aftermarket fitments for racing.
Its WEIGHT...period.
It would have been terrific to see what would have changed has they stuck with it through a re-design.






http://www.speedzilla.com/forums/rc51-general-discussion/14407-suzuki-tlr-v-rc51-2.html

http://www.speedzilla.com/forums/rc...18528-my-other-v-twin-almost-ready-track.html

http://www.speedzilla.com/forums/rc51-general-discussion/34957-my-tlr-back-together-finally.html

My choice was simple, I have a crashed 99 TLR that I bought back from the insurance company for $1000 and that made for an excellent parts bike. I then bought another clean TLR and made that my track bike. With two complete TLR's now I had plenty of spare parts.

I also have a 2003 RC51 that I bought after my 99 TLR was wrecked. That bike was so nice that I didn't want to strip her down to make a track bike and I didn't have the money to buy another just for the parts. So, I kept my RC in street form.

My TLR is now a pretty compliant track bike, race wheels, steering damper, radial brake master, upgraded forks, Penske rear shock with LE Link, cast iron race brake rotors, race palstic, race exhaust, and plenty of other tidbits has helped me to drop abot 50 pounds of crap off the bike. Its still heavy in comparison to other bikes, but the TLR is a good machine and fun to ride.

I will admit the RC is a better designed machine, a little lighter and much smaller in profile, more like a 750 than a liter bike when you sit on it. I think the RC also has a better center of gravity and weight distribution than the TLR. The TLR is a 1998 design and never got the makeover that the RC had while in production. The RC is also newer in concept and they had the advantage of learning from Suzuki's mistakes with the TLR.

In all my project to turn the TLR into a good track bike was fun, but cost some bucks to get it to this point. I would not recommend the investment of money I put into mine, but I am glad I did. I have had lots of fun riding mine and it sounds great.
Ken
 

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Meatball's Dad
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I love (and sometimes hate) the reaction of the guys I creep up upon on the track when they hear the TLR coming. One guy actually turned around at the end of the straight at Beaverun to see what the noise was. Scared the crap out of me when I was about to pass him and he sat up and turned around to look at me at 100+.
I get comments all the time about the sound of the bike with the full M4 system on the bike. Everyone says that its worlds louder but nicer sounding than any other twin on the track. It just has a deeper note than the RCs' Aprilia Factory's and Buell's out there.
Ken
 

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I like the TL-R's and the TL-S's. I have always been a Big Twin fan (yes...bikes too) but could never afford a Ducati. I've also always been a Honda guy and almost slipped over to "The Dark side" and bought a TL when they came out. My procrastination (yes, 6 years) paid off and I got one of the coolest years of RC-51. I wouldn't feel Ill equipped on the street on a TL though. I kind of like the smooth swoopy lines. Kind of like a 'Busa Twin!
 

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Well I can tell you this,,,, my buddy has a TLR with exhaust I have a rc51(03) with exhaust and I beat his a$$ like a red headed step child! Plus the RC looks dead sexy the TLR just looks like a boat!
SRADkneedragger
 

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Meatball's Dad
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Well I can tell you this,,,, my buddy has a TLR with exhaust I have a rc51(03) with exhaust and I beat his a$$ like a red headed step child! Plus the RC looks dead sexy the TLR just looks like a boat!
SRADkneedragger
All that really means is that your friend doesn't ride as well as you do. :clapper
 

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I rode a 'tiller right after I got my RC in 04, and I actually liked it. It looks completely different, sounds a little different, and rides completely different. And as far as on the street goes, unless you are a squid, does it really matter which one has the best "track" numbers?
I like'em both better than the current I-4s. and Honda better come out with something against the Aprilia 1200 and the duck. I am excited to find out!
 

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My first bike was a TL, very much like the yellow one pictured above. I can honestly say that I love my RC more. I enjoy the comparatively rigid suspension of the RC, and more precise handling. However, that does not mean that the tiller was a slouch. It was a blast to ride, as it packed more power than I ever planned to use on the street, and even though it was heavy, it still provided miles of twisty entertainment.
Everyone says the TLR is heavy. In fact it is lighter than the SP1. It must be that it steeeing feels heavier.
 
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