Rev Happy: “RIZKET” Suzuki GT750 Special

Suzuki GT750 Custom

Alan Green’s RIZKET: Finalist for the 2024 KICKBACK Builders’ Builder Awards… 

In 1971, Suzuki introduced the GT750, a two-stroke triple-cylinder grand tourer that made history as the first mass-produced Japanese bike to offer liquid cooling. That innovation earned the big smoker an array of nicknames. Here in the States, we called it the “Water Buffalo.” Down under, the Aussies nicknamed it the “Water Bottle,” and in the United Kingdom, owners affectionately dubbed the GT750 the “Kettle.”

No matter nickname, the bike earned fans across the globe. Etsuo Yokouchi, who’d developed Suzuki’s earlier “T” range and latter versions of the RG500 GP bike, was the man behind the bike’s creation. The GT750 was much more refined than the Kawasaki “Widowmaker” triples, while still offering performance just shy of a purpose-built superbike.

The original 739cc water-cooled engine boasted 67 horsepower, though the output would be boosted to 70+ ponies over the course of the bike’s production run, and there were other innovations beyond the cooling system.

“Designed to generate a pleasurable riding experience was the Suzuki Recycle Injection System (SRIS). This innovative system recycled leftover oil within the crank chambers to cut down on exhaust fumes. No manufacturer had ever applied these kinds of features to a two-stroke engine before.” –Old Bike Barn

While owners found the GT a genuinely liveable two-stroke — quieter, longer lasting, and significantly more comfortable than its rivals — the 750 triple could certainly be tuned into one seriously sharp-pointed machine.

“They were very torquey and relaxed, but they make great specials too — add modern front-ends, wheels and swingarms, plus you can tune the engines from 67bhp to 105bhp if you want.” -Richard Lindoe, MCN

Suzuki GT750 Custom

Enter our new friend Alan Green of Bedfordshire, UK — a man who’s owned over 45 bikes since he started riding as a teen. He’s always wanted a big, tricked-out two-stroke street bike, and the ’76 GT750 special you see here is that machine.

Suzuki GT750 Custom

The bike is now sporting GSX-R1000 K6 running gear at both ends, including inverted forks with modern brakes, GSX-R swingarm with mono-shock setup, and a modified GSX-R tail section with extended subframe, custom seat base, and a bespoke saddle done up by Nostalgia Upholstery. The wheels, meanwhile, are lightweight carbon-fiber units from Blackstone Tek (BST) — talk about trick!

Suzuki GT750 Custom

Then there’s the engine, rebuilt by Phil Baldwin of Rochester:

“It was originally built and tuned to go into a classic sidecar outfit to race at the Isle of Man. Not sure why it didn’t happen; hence why it’s a bit rev-happy and all top end. But she sounds SEXY and she smells SEXY.”

On the first full power run since the rebuild, before the ignition and carbs were fully tuned, the bike made 97 bhp — nearly a 40% increase from the stock output.

Suzuki GT750 Custom

Tank Care in Norwich handled the lovely paintwork, which echoes the Rizla Suzuki racing colors and gives this kettle its nickname: RIZKET (RIZ for Rizla, KET for Kettle).

Suzuki GT750 Custom

RIZKET has reached the finals of the 2024 KICKBACK Builders’ Builder Awards in the Streetfighter class, and you can see this stunning smoker in person at KICKBACK Custom Classic + Stunt Bike Show coming April 13-14 at Three Counties Showground in Worcestershire…along with loads of other smoking specials. Get your tickets here!

Suzuki GT750 Special: Builder Interview

Suzuki GT750 Custom

• Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.

I am married live in Bedfordshire. I am 63 and I’ve been riding legally since I was 16. I’ve had over 45 bikes so far.

Suzuki GT750 Custom

• What’s the make, model, and year of the donor bike?

My Suzuki is a 1976 GT750 port tuned and completely rebuilt engine. And modified from a GSX1000-K6 rear end and K6 front end. BST (Blackstone Tek) carbon wheels and many other mods.

Suzuki GT750 Custom

• Why was this bike built?

I’ve always wanted to own a big 2-stroke especially a trick one.

Suzuki GT750 Custom

• What custom work was done to the bike?

The frame has been converted to monoshock from twin shock.

Suzuki GT750 Custom

The fuel tank has been extended by 3” and the seat subframe by the same. To allow for the difference in bike sizes from K6 to GT, the seat base was extended and re-upholstered by Nostalgia Upholstery in Peterborough — a great guy, Chris.

Suzuki GT750 Custom

The tins, etc were all done by Ian at Tank Care in Norwich.

• Does the bike have a nickname?

“RIZKET.” Refers to the style of the paintwork because it’s in Rizla Suzuki racing colours — that’s the “RIZ” — and then “KET” becaue it’s a kettle. Hence: RIZKET.

• Any idea of horsepower, weight, and/or performance numbers?

After a short run on the dyno before electronic ignition and final carb set up, she nudged 97 bhp on the present gearing at 117mph. She sounded AWESOME. The first full power run after full rebuild by Phil Baldwin in Rochester.

Suzuki GT750 Custom

• Can you tell us what it’s like to ride this bike?

The ride is pretty wild for an old bike. It was originally built and tuned to go into a classic sidecar outfit to race at the Isle of Man. Not sure why it didn’t happen; hence why it’s a bit rev-happy and all top end. But she sounds SEXY and she smells SEXY.

Suzuki GT750 Custom

• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?

I just wanted to finish the bike to the best standard I could.

Suzuki GT750 Custom

• Is there anyone you’d like to thank?

Special thanks to Phil Baldwin for my engine rebuild and several phone call cries for help.

(Also, BikeBound would like to thank Lorne Cheetham of KICKBACK for connecting us with Alan.)

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  1. Elam Blacktree

    Wow…nicely done!

  2. Of all the cool bikes I’ve seen on Bikebound so far this one is THE COOLEST. Of course I’m a sucker for a 2 stroke any day. Hand it’s little brother a GT380 that was fun but this 750 makes me want one today.

  3. Horrible. And overall I like “70’s Suzukis .
    But I never cared for these tea kettles .
    And this one just doesn’t work.

  4. Martin Breakwell

    Bloody lovely mate!

  5. Neil Pendergast

    Nice, clean, well done.

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