Are homologation specials worth the investment?

Firstly, what is a homologation special? To enter machines into competitive racing, manufacturers had to build a limited number of homologation special machines and sell them to customers for use on the road. If they sold enough of them, then they could base their race machine on that machine. So they were often built to an incredibly high specification.
Let’s take a look at the most common homologation specials there is the 916 and 996 SP Ducatis, Hondas RC30 and RC45, Yamaha’s OWO1 and R7 and Suzuki’s GSXR750 SP, RR and LTD. Kawasaki did build a ZXR750 in limited numbers, but this has not quite kicked off with collectors- yet.

An incredible investment opportunity
the Ducati 996SPS is an incredible investment opportunity

Although they have proven themselves to be good investments, buying one of these classic motorcycles is always a problem. Why? Because people try to make standard machines look like the SP version, so there are fakes around seeking owners who do not know the difference, with very unscrupulous vendors. The other problem is that so many of these classic motorcycle specials have been raced. You do not want to own an ex-race bike; it has very little value and has very probably been crashed on numerous occasions. Also beware, as I do know of at least one dealer passing off ex-race bikes as no history road machines. So you need to find a bike that is as original as possible, has never been raced and is in excellent condition.

The first homologation special that people noticed was the 1986 Suzuki GSXR750LTD with a dry clutch. I believe 500 were built and they came with a single saddle and looked mean as well as having an evil power band. I remember selling an immaculate one in red and gold in 1995 for £1,800. Today you would pay around £15,000 for that machine. Then people started to collect the RC30 and this produced interest in Honda’s RC45. Yamaha’s OWO1 and R7 were not of interest to collectors until about three years ago when prices f such machines crept up. Then the 1989 Suzuki GSXR750RR caught on and now it’s the uber-rare Suzuki GSXR750SP from 1994. After that, at long last, people are waking up to the incredible value a 916 or 996 SP provides and these will go ballistic in the coming years. They are rare, in fact there were less of these built, at 1740, than Brough Superiors.

However, the Suzuki GSXR750SP is even more rare than the Ducati. The GSXR750 has always been Suzuki’s legendary hooligan. I have conflicting information, from many sources, about how many were built, but it boils down to these facts. Either 200 were built and a handful went to dealers and the rest to race teams. Or, there were 1,000 built and 200 went to dealers. Which ever was true, many of the machines from dealers went to race teams, so good, clean, un-raced examples are as rare as hens’ teeth. As such, I believe that these will become highly collectible, in spite of prices starting to rise quite rapidly. You will not find a collectible one for less than £10,000, less than the cost of a late used Fireblade.

An outrageous and rare homologation special
An outrageous and rare homologation special Suzuki’s GSXR750SP

Although the SP is flabby and comes with a pillion seat and pillion handles, it is a unique motorcycle. It has a long stroke motor with flat slide carbs, a close ratio gearbox and a custom-built header pipe system specifically for this machine. If you come across one with a full race exhaust system, then leave well alone, but if just the end can has been changed, then that is acceptable, as you will never replace the beautiful header system. They come with beefy blue upside down forks, six piston Tokico callipers and a steering damper. Because the GSXR750 was such a cult motorcycle, the SP, LTD and RR versions are going to appreciate vastly in coming years, especially as Ducati’s 916, 996 SPs and Honda’s RC30 and 45 become less and less affordable, the Suzuki’s will head the pack behind them. The Yamahas and Kawasakis are great bikes, but they just haven’t got the following that the Gixxer has.

If you are interested in owning a great tangible asset in the form of a stunning Suzuki GSXR750SP with just 3,000 kms from new, that has never been raced, with the original purchase invoice from the dealer to the one owner, classic motorcycle for sale at a very reasonable price, then you will find it here at Suzuki GSXR750SP for sale

Paul Jayson

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