Story by Jim Witters
Suzuki Motor of America is celebrating its long, rich history in AMA Superbike competition, highlighting the marque’s successes in the competition with a display at AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, July 8-10 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.
The display, Celebrating 40 Years of AMA Superbikes, presented by Suzuki Motor of America Inc., features the bike 2016 AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days Grand Marshal Wes Cooley rode to an AMA Superbike championship in 1980.
Cooley, an AMA Hall of Famer, rode a Suzuki GS1000 to his first AMA Superbike Championship in 1979, then defended the title for Suzuki in 1980 in one of the most thrilling AMA Superbike seasons ever.
Avery Innis, senior product marketing specialist for Suzuki, said the company is proud to have been a part of the AMA Superbike Championship and is happy to be part of the 40th celebration.
“We have won more Superbike championships than all the other brands combined,” Innis said. “We have always been committed to the superbikes and to sports bikes in general. It’s in our DNA.”
In addition to Cooley's 1980 championship bike, the Yoshimura Suzuki GS1000 owned by collector Brian O'Shea, and the bike he rode in the 1982 campaign, the Yoshimura Suzuki Katana owned by collector Ken Edgar, the display includes signage honoring Cooley's career and other key moments in AMA Superbike history.
The display also includes modern Suzuki sport bikes, the GSX-R1000, GSX-R750 and GSX-R600.
For more details on AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, including other historic, pedigreed championship-winning AMA Superbikes on display, see www.facebook.com/AMAVintageMotorcycleDays.
AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days, a fundraiser for the nonprofit AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame, includes vintage and post-vintage motocross, trials, hare scrambles and vintage road racing. A half-mile dirt track event will be held at the nearby Ashland County Fairgrounds.