Suzuki GT 380 [1973]

Suzuki GT 380, 1973

The brochures where almost torn apart by Easter 1973. I had been at the shop at Innherredsveien in Trondheim several times just looking before I cashed out my brand new Suzuki GT 380. My first big motorcycle. An impressive bike with three 125 cc cylinders in line, ram air cooling, separate lubrication and a four pot exhaust system. It wasn’t he lightest and best handling bike in its class and the similarities with the GT 550 was not accidental, the two of them had a lot in common. A disadvantage to the GT 380.

Compared to Hondas twin cylinder CB 350 the GT 380 was a big bike, and in my mind perfect for touring. But the handling was only so and so. The broad main stay was grounding even at moderate cornering speeds with a shower of sparks in the wake of the 380. An impressive sight in the dark, but not welcome when I tried to keep up with sportier bikes.

The disc brake on the front wheel felt strong and was state-of-the-art in 1973. Just a year and two earlier drum brakes were common for the front wheel.

I had many nice trips on the GT 380. In total I rode 40 000 km during 18 months the GT 380 was in my ownership. The longest trip was to Skåne in the south of Sweden. I had several trips to the west coast of Norway and also over to Sundsvall in Sweden. I had five days off from work every fourth week, and these days was mostly spent touring on the GT 380 with a small tent and a sleeping bag. I mounted a luggage rack to be able to carry the luggage on these trips. With the exception of a H4 headlight the GT 380 was original.

As many of the roads in Trøndelag was gravel roads my the Dunlop K70 tyres was my favourite choice of tyres at worked very well on the rough roads. The GT 380 was not perfect, and I had problems with the middle cylinder several times. After a trip to Oslo I had to drive home ( approximately 570 km) on two cylinders. If the workshop couldn’t find the cause of the problems I was determined to sell the GT 380. The Workshop never solved the problem, and I had already fallen in love with a Honda CB 350 Four.

You can read more about the Suzuki GT 380 on: www.suzukicycles.org

Suzuki GT 380 1973

SPECIFICATIONS
Engine: 3-cylinder two stroke. Air-cooled. 3 carburettors. Separate lubrication. Kick-starter.
Compression: 6,7:1.
Bore x stroke: 54 x 54 mm.
Cylinder volume: 371 ccm.
Power: 38 hp at 7500 rpm.
Transmission: 6-speed. Chain.
Fuel capacity: 15 litres.
Frame: Double cradle steel.
Tyres: 3.00-19 front, 3.50-18 rear.
Brakes: One disc and calliper with one piston front. Drum, rear.
Weight: 171 kg.
Top speed: 170 km/h.