Featured Letter: Suzuki's Water-Cooled Two-Stroke GT750 LeMans

MC MAIL feedback from a real Buffalo rider from the ’70s.

Hello, my name is Richard Kochevar and I'm writing to let you know how much I enjoyed the article " Buffalo Soldier " by Mitch Boehm , about the water-cooled, two-stroke Suzuki GT750 LeMans, also known as the Water Buffalo.

It was a great article for me to read because during that time, I worked for a Suzuki dealer in San Francisco called Al Fergoda's Sport Cycles. I was the first in the San Francisco area to have the new GT750 model in 1972.

I thought the bike was a great machine, so much so that I went production road-racing with it at AFM events during the early ‘70s. The Suzuki did very well in events held at Sears Point and northern California but was underpowered against machines like Reg Pridmore Sr.’s BMW and the modified bikes from Southern California. It was still a pleasure to ride and have fun at Ontario and Riverside.

The article brought me back to 1972 and an earlier time in my life. I still have a GT but not the one I first had. I have attached some pictures of my bike taken at Sears Point in 1973 just to point out that even though it was supposed to be a tame bike, changing the port timing, adding Koni shocks (an inch longer than the factory shocks) and Continental tires made it as fast as, if not faster, than the Kawasakis and Hondas of that era in the production class. Thanks for the ride down memory lane.

Rich Kochevar / via email