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Suzuki GS850 – East 11th Street, NYC

January 29th, 2010 by Ian

The fact that Motorcycle journalists coined a generic term – Universal Japanese Motorcycle – to describe late 1960s-1970s Japanese bikes from several manufacturers over several years implies a pretty unassuming aesthetic. But the writers weren’t making fun or collectively branding them as having bland design. Instead, they were merely pointing out how similar each of the bikes look to one another thanks to several copy cat product entries released in quick succession from the likes of Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, and Yamaha. Many say that the 1969 Honda CB750 started the UJM trend, which is characterized by a standard seating position, chrome front fender, air-cooled inline 4, individual carburetors for each cylinder, telescoping front fork, featherbed-style frame, Integrated engine and gearbox, and front disk brakes. 


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5 responses so far ↓

  • i love these bikes for thier relative simplicity. And you can pick up used examples on the cheap.

    Great contrast with the surrounds in these images

    keep this stuff coming!

  • these UJM bikes are to motorcycles what the Triumph/MG/Austin Healey sports cars were to automobiles. Stylish, cheap, easy to fix and full of character. gotta love ’em for that.

  • Greetings—Nice bike! Question…Would my Suzuki 1982 GS850L qualify as a UJM? As a cruiser, It is not standard seating position, but being from the GS series of the past, I was curious about this. Thanks…


    • good question Tim – I think the displacement might be too big for it to be called a UJM but it is certainly of similar lineage

      come back and see us soon!