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RSD Water Buffalo

Apr 26th 2021

It’s undeniable. Two strokes are and will always be insanely fun. The sound, the smell, the powerband, and the pure attitude are all unique to two-stroke power plants. And what makes a two-stroke sing is when you start adding cylinders, two and in the case of the Water Buffalo even 3. The two-stroke triple is a two-wheeled anomaly with very few manufacturers willing to spend much time making them work outside of snowmobiles. Kawasaki had the radical and rare H2 AKA, the Widowmaker, and Suzuki had the Water Buffalo, a road-tuned highway hungry 750cc two stroke triple street built to do miles rather than loops of a race track. The production bike was never intended to see a racetrack and it was with the considerable effort we set about getting it close to race-ready. So in proper Super Hooligan fashion, we set about creating a flat tracker from the Stock Water Buffalo as it fits the rules, 750cc and up street bikes, which are legal for competition in the Super Hooligan Series.

Photos by: Preston Burroughs as seen on SideBurn Magazine X BikeBound

Lectron carburetors replace the stock 3 carb set up filtered through KN filters. Make your race exhaust from Swarbrick Racing in the UK supplied the parts to piece together a race-ready exhaust capped with FMF silencers. We used an HPI ignition with a BDK magnesium engine cover which has since been destroyed and replaced. The side cover and sprocket cover were made in-house. A custom Aluminum oil tank feeds the oil injector, no premix on this bad boy.

BIKE INFO/SPECS

1972 Suzuki GT750 Water Buffalo

Bodywork  
Gas Tank Yamaha RD400
Tail Section Saddlemen Caballero fiberglass tail section
Seat Saddlemen seat
   
Engine  
Make* Suzuki GT750 Two Stroke
Size* 750cc
Year* 1972
Carburetors Lectron carburetors (3 of them)
Intake K&N Air Filters
Exhaust* Swarbrick Racing (UK) TR750 spec chambers. Welded by RSD with FMF silencers.
Ignition HPI (Belgium) Inner Rotor Ignition conversion
Ignition BDK Race Engineering (UK) magnesium ignition cover.
Side Cover RSD hand fabricated aluminum right side engine cover
Sprocket Cover RSD hand fabricated aluminum countershaft sprocket cover
Starter Kick start only. Electric starter removed for weight savings.
Oil Tank Custom aluminum oil tank
Radiator Mishimoto aluminum radiator
   
Transmission  
Make* Suzuki GT750
Year* 1972
   
Frame  
Make* Suzuki GT750
Year* 1972
   
Wheels and Components
Front Wheel* RSD Traction flat track wheel
Size (front)* 19x2.75"
Front hubs RSD R6 TT hub kit
Front Disc(s)* Galfer floating rotor - Yamaha R6
Front Tire Dunlop DT3 flat track race tire
Rear Wheel* RSD Traction flat track wheel
Size (rear)* 19x3.00"
Rear Hubs Quickchange flat track hubs
Rear Disc* Galfer floating rotor - Yamaha R6
Rear Tire Dunlop DT3 flat track race tire
Sprocket* Superlite quick-change flat track sprockets
   
Brakes  
Front Caliper(s)* Yamaha R6
Rear Caliper* Brembo P34 w/ RSD custom hanger
Brake Lines Spiegler USA
   
Controls  
Handlebars Pro Taper Dirt Track handlebars
Grips Pro Taper grips
Throttle Motion Pro 1/4-turn throttle housing
Front Master Cylinder Yamaha R6
Clutch Lever ASV unbreakable clutch perch & lever
Rear Master Cylinder Brembo PS13
Foot Controls RSD custom fabricated foot controls
   
Front Suspension  
Forks Yamaha R6 conventional forks
Forks GP Suspension fork cartridge kit
Triple Trees GPS Racing billet flat track adjustable offset triple clamps
   
Rear Suspension  
Make* Progressive Suspension fully adjustable 990 series shocks - 12.5" long
Swingarm Stock GT750
   
Paint  
Color(s) Red, Yellow, White "Barry Sheene" style
Pattern(s) Stripes
   
Additional Items  
Cables Barnett Cables
Throttle Team Kenny Roberts - 500 GP Triple
Petcock Pingel racing fuel petcock

 

We started by stripping off all unnecessary items. And on the Water Buffalo, there were a lot of items. With a starting weight of 482 lbs, our goal was to get below 400lbs which we did easily. The frame was trimmed of all unnecessary items and tabs while maintaining stock geometry and swingarm. A Yamaha RD 400 gas tank was modified and mounted to replace the std. unit and the rear seat and fenders were replaced with a modified subframe and Saddlemen Caballero tail section and custom seat.

Photos below by: Justin George x Joseph Hitzelberger

With a manufacturer claimed 70HP at 6500 RPM it was actually in the ballpark with many of the race bikes in the hooligan class and as any good dirt tracker understands it’s not about horsepower, but getting that power to hook up. In the case of a two-stroke triple, getting that powerband under control was a lot to ask, even for Travis Pastrana. It’s always the weird projects that attract the most attention and after Travis saw Roland firing the bike up on Instagram for the first time a phone call followed. Travis was planning on heading to Daytona for a week of racing and good times and wondered if we might have a spare race bike. In particular, a certain two-stroke. With only a week to get the bike to Daytona and not a lot of prep time the RSD crew set about getting the bike finished up and ready to go racing. With Travis, there are always special mods as TP’s body is pretty trashed. With a janky right ankle track, fab ensued and a lever for Travis was fashioned out of a toolbox of items. The bike and Travis could have benefitted greatly from prior track time, but as with many of our projects, the first rides are on a race track. Unique to this one, those laps counted for qualifying. In true TP style, he hung it out on a fresh machine damn near qualifying for the main in a field of incredibly hungry and talented Super Hooligan racers missing the main by one spot in his heat race.

The triple will have its revenge… one day.

RSD traction flat track race wheels were used front and rear with Galfer floating rotors and Dunlop DTS flat track race tires. We fit an R6 fork tuned by GP suspension to GPS Racing flat track triples with Pro Taper bars and grips, Throttle from a Kenny Roberts GP triple and triple cable, ASV levers, and a Yamaha R6 front brake and master cylinder. 12.” Progressive shocks mount to the standard swingarm and shock position. The final geometry was incredibly close to an FTR750 which shocked all of us but we were in the ballpark.

Lectron carburetors replace the stock 3 carb set up filtered through KN filters. Make your race exhaust from Swarbrick Racing in the UK supplied the parts to piece together a race-ready exhaust capped with FMF silencers. We used an HPI ignition with a BDK magnesium engine cover which has since been destroyed and replaced. The side cover and sprocket cover were made in-house. A custom Aluminum oil tank feeds the oil injector, no premix on this bad boy.

We started by stripping off all unnecessary items. And on the Water Buffalo, there were a lot of items. With a starting weight of 482 lbs, our goal was to get below 400lbs which we did easily. The frame was trimmed of all unnecessary items and tabs while maintaining stock geometry and swingarm. A Yamaha RD 400 gas tank was modified and mounted to replace the std. unit and the rear seat and fenders were replaced with a modified subframe and Saddlemen Caballero tail section and custom seat.

OG render below

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