Two-Stroke Triple: 1974 Suzuki GT380

053116 Barn Finds - 1974 Suzuki GT380 - 1

This 1974 Suzuki GT380 is listed on eBay for $2,500. It’s located in Winona, Minnesota and it’s being sold with a bill of sale; no title comes with this one. Hopefully it won’t be a problem to get it registered, although this one is almost nice enough to be a display bike.

053116 Barn Finds - 1974 Suzuki GT380 - 2

The GT380 was made between 1972 and 1977. My neighbor bought a brand new, blue GT380 in the mid-’70s and it was scary fast, or at least compared to our Yamaha Twin Jet 100 twin street bike it was. But, what wasn’t.. I still remember the burble of the 380, and it’s a two-stroke, my favorite. The chrome, seat, and most other bits still look almost perfect but you can notice a little surface rust on a few painted edges from sitting for so long. And, the side covers are a bit faded.

053116 Barn Finds - 1974 Suzuki GT380 - 3

The seller of this GT380 bought this bike and two others in a sealed storage container and was told that they were put away in 1978 or 1979. Who knows what happened or how long they’ve been in storage, but this one looks great. They say that this “bike has also been serviced, carbs cleaned, new fuel lines, petcock seal, new oil, plugs points and condensers”, but go on to say that the front brake doesn’t work. I’m not sure how that got overlooked when it was being serviced?

053116 Barn Finds - 1974 Suzuki GT380 - 4

This is a 371cc triple-cylinder, air-cooled, two-stroke engine with 38 hp. Those are three of my favorite things, motorcycle-wise. Actually, car-wise, too. I’m a sucker for triple-cylinder cars, and air-cooled cars, and two-stroke cars, even. The seller says that this “bike starts, runs and ride awesome” and “the lights work, flashers work, horn works, indicator light all work.” My neighbor paid less than $1,000 for his GT380 but given that this is almost a new one, or almost in like-new condition, $2,500 doesn’t seem unreasonable. Are there any fans of these triple-cylinder, two-stroke Suzukis out there?

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Comments

  1. American_Badaz

    Neat bike. Not my style, but cool none the less. I would love to see more of the 3 VW trikes in the first pic!

  2. angliagt

    Cool bike! From back in the day when Suzukis had their own style.
    Now,like Nascar,I have to see the name on it to tell which brand of bike it is.

  3. jimbosidecar

    Not a fan of 2 strokes, but the reason the front brake doesn’t work is it might need a new caliper or master cylinder which you can’t just go and buy at the local Suzuki dealer. I bought a BMW R90/6 in similar condition recently with a non working front brake. I had the parts but it required new caliper, new lined and a new master cylinder. Now it’s like a new bike.

    • Cody

      I don’t think you would need a new caliper or master cylinder. The parts on this bike are practically brand new. Rebuilding existing parts would be the way to go, as I doubt there is much pitting on cylinders. Just new seals are needed. I did the same for my 77 gs 750. It was nuts, there was a huge rust ball behind the brake cylinder on mine when I pulled it apart. It was no wonder the front brake was so stiff and useless. Cleaned them up, new seals, and new fluid, and the brakes were like new. I was still able to get OEM parts, and this was about 5 years ago.

      You would be surprised at how many OEM parts are still available for old Suzuki’s. I’m pretty sure the original seat was still available though Suzuki. It’s possible that it has changed drastically in the last 5 years though. Also, my bike is 3 years newer than this one.

      • Alan (Michigan)

        I had the ’78 GS750. Man, I loved that bike…. And it would outrun any of the other brand 750’s of the era.

  4. StuB.

    Had a GT550 back in the day, loved it. This is very tempting…

  5. Bob S

    I bought one of these in Belgium used in 1980 and drove it to Yugoslavia. What a summer! Fantastic bike . Only one downside….a little thirsty on the gas. Great handling and throttle response. A real keeper.

  6. Dan

    I bought a leftover 1972 380 in 1973….nice sweet smooth lil bike…my buddy had a 350 Honda 4 banger….he could beat me until I took the baffles out of the pipes then I could beat him…lol….wish I still had that little bike and it was red too…drum front brake, 1973 was the first year of a disc brake on the front….memories from my youth…

  7. John.H

    In the late 70’s my ex wife’s father had one of these identical to this one that he would putter around with, and then carefully wipe it down and bring inside. He invited me to drive it once, with him on the back. I laid into the throttle on every gear, and he almost fell off, leaned it down into the curves, power downshifting and then throttling out the apex. The bike was a blast.

    I have no idea why he never asked to ride with me again.

    Like 1
  8. Neil

    I had already scheduled a bike trip to Winona tomorrow, so I’ll stop and check this out for fun. I also have a ’74, but it’s a Norton 850 Commando. Very odd that the side cover is so faded? Usually it’s the top of the tank that takes the brunt of sun. Could be as simple as how/ where it was stored. Possibly the side cover was exposed to the sun from a window in a garage and the tank was missed? Anyway, I’m in Minneapolis, and it’s a nice ride along the Mississippi river. the weather is nice, so it’s a no lose deal.

    • Alan (Michigan)

      I was in Minneapolis over the past weekend, bike related. One followed me home, LOL

      • Neil

        Hope you are happy with your find in Mpls. It is rich with great bike finds. Hit me up on your next visit !

  9. Howard A Member

    Again, Suzuki during this period had 2 strokes down to a science. With all the other Asian bike makers going with 4 stroke 4 cylinders, Suzuki stayed with the “ring-ding”. Just the nicest styling, I think it was the angled cylinder head or something, but they sure looked great. And fast, yet, not the best road bike. Anybody that’s done any long distance riding on a 2 stroke, knows what I mean. The exception was the 750 liquid cooled. And it’s a 380. Not a Kaw 900. Still for blasting around town fogging the streets, can’t be beat ( and don’t give me that these didn’t smoke) Very cool bike. Thanks Scotty.

  10. Alan (Michigan)

    I was in school in Quincy, IL in the early 70’s, and a classmate bought one of these 380’s. Blue, a fairly bright tint, I think. One night he got it into his head to ride it downtown, following a youthful activity which was fashionable at the time: Streaking. Off he went, wearing boots, and nothing else. Heh! He did make it back, without being spotted or stopped by the city’s finest….

    This one looks like a really nice vintage ride. Sort out the title issue, make sure it is safe, and ride into the sunset.

  11. jim s

    rode the t500 twin and wanted a GT750 back in the day. the 380 and 550 both were nice bikes. the seller of this one should have fixed the front brake and have a good title. great find.

  12. Howard

    I owned a 74 model and loved it. The gages would turn yellow and would be hard to read. Was as quick as a 750 Honda up to about 70 with a top speed around 115. I totaled mine when a lady pulled out in front of me when i was senior in high school. Had a cast on my arm for nine months. Broke it in 32 places.

  13. john C

    I too had this bike…a red 1972, ..someone traded it in after only a few months that year, and I bought a ‘new’ bike with only a few hundred miles on it. Learned the hard way about adding oil to the gas ( sometimes reading the directions is a good thing). Had it bored out some for the repair, and it was oooh sooo much faster !!. Wore it out, and gave it away for parts because I was by then unsure of it’s safe stability. Got the 55o next, and it too was sweet. I am mid sixties now, and three years ago I bought an 850 thinking I could relive ‘those good days’, however I am not so strong to hold up this one…it’s heavy !!. I’d trade the 850 for this 380 in a heartbeat !!! The 380 was so nicely balanced as well.

  14. Rob C - Toronto

    I have a ’76 sitting in my garage, begging for a restoration. Maybe sooner than later. When I was 16 I had the brochure on my night table and studied it. I ended up buying an RD350 instead. I think it’s time to get out to the garage.

  15. Tim Wyrick

    My Dad bought one new in 74 or 75. I took my m/c license test on it. His was blue. I rode it from ’77 to ’81 after he upgraded, then I bought a GS850GT Suzuki, That 380 was a great little bike.

  16. Scotty G Staff

    Sold at $4,350! Well bought and sold; right on the money.

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