Liquid Labour of Love

Introduced in 1971, the suzuki GT750 (or Le Mans in the USA) — affectionately known as the "Water Buffalo" or "Kettle" – was the first liquid-cooled production motorcycle from Japan, a 739cc, three-cylinder two-stroke street machine that boasted 67 horsepower at 6500 rpm with a rubber mounted engine.

In 1973, Italian importer SAIAD developed a racing special, the suzuki GT750S Vallelunga, named after a 1973 Coppa Cere victory at Vallunga. Only around 100 were ever built and sold to privateer racers.

Enter Daniele and Alberto Soiatti, the father/son team behind Italy’s Soiatti Moto Classiche, who perform concours-level restorations on vintage European and Japanese bikes from the 1970s. Daniele, who was a professional motocross racer for SWM in the 70s, opened the workshop in 1978 after retiring from racing.

This particular specimen is number 35 of 100 and arrived in their workshop after sitting in a garage for more than two decades. The bike was completely restored to its prior glory, with a re-furbished crankshaft, vapour blasted engine, new bodywork from Angelo Menani, and a Figaroli expansion chamber type exhausts.

For collectors there are no “bad” years for GT750’s and prices continue to climb. Naturally the very early models with the “water cooled” side panel badge achieve the highest prices, but now the later 1976/7 A and B models are being sought after.

issued: Thursday, December 01, 2022
updated: Tuesday, December 27, 2022

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