When I started this project I had a definite vision of what I wanted. So many of the streetfighters
that I saw in most magazines were either way to over done or a complete hack job. The over done ones
had every thing under the sun bolted to it and the design did not flow. It seemed the more braided stainless steel lines you could leave hanging out the better.
They looked like a bad plumbing job gone wrong going down the road.
Like most of my projects, I wanted it to be clean and to flow. It should look "right", not like it had been bolted together
or hacked up. It was going to be CLEAN! On top of that the overall look was going to be to emphasize the engine and rear tire.
After all isn't that what a streetfighter is all about. Like a muscle car you had better put your money where your mouth is.
Based on that I decided I had to start with the bike that started the streetfighter sub-culture.
It would have to be an air/oil cooled Suzuki GSX-R1100. They were only sold in the USA from 1987-1992.
I wanted the beefier frame and bigger engine so it had to be from the 1989-1992 range.
I started to look for a donor bike in 2002. There weren't that many GSX-R1100's to start with since they were considered
and open class race bike. Most of then were either long destroyed and in the junk yard or kept in pristine shape asking
a pretty penny for them. What I wanted was one that was sound mechanically but could be rough cosmetically.
It proved to be a hard search.
After a year I found one in pretty rough shape cosmetically. It had 2 ignition switches, no keys, no title, and a kid's word that it ran.
I said no way until they produced a title. After 11 months a replacement title was produced and the deal was done!
Like most of my projects, I wanted it to be clean and to flow. It should look "right", not like it had been bolted together or hacked up. It was going to be CLEAN! On top of that the overall look was going to be to emphasize the engine and rear tire. After all isn't that what a streetfighter is all about. Like a muscle car you had better put your money where your mouth is. Based on that I decided I had to start with the bike that started the streetfighter sub-culture. It would have to be an air/oil cooled Suzuki GSX-R1100. They were only sold in the USA from 1987-1992. I wanted the beefier frame and bigger engine so it had to be from the 1989-1992 range.
I started to look for a donor bike in 2002. There weren't that many GSX-R1100's to start with since they were considered and open class race bike. Most of then were either long destroyed and in the junk yard or kept in pristine shape asking a pretty penny for them. What I wanted was one that was sound mechanically but could be rough cosmetically. It proved to be a hard search.
After a year I found one in pretty rough shape cosmetically. It had 2 ignition switches, no keys, no title, and a kid's word that it ran. I said no way until they produced a title. After 11 months a replacement title was produced and the deal was done!
As I said it started life as a rolling basket case with two ignitions, no keys, the fairing tied together with pink string, and a questionable word that it ran. I bought the bike and brought it home to see what fun I would find. Over all it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. It was originally an Arizona bike so the sun had destroyed the paint on the tank and weathering from sitting out the last few years in Minnesota had destroyed the finish on about everything else. It had a relatively fresh overbore that was done after a scored piston in Arizona (surprisingly he did have the records to back that up) and a stage 3 jet kit in the carbs. After doing a thorough once over of the engine myself, and getting a second opinion from the Suzuki mechanic at my old haunt it was deemed ready to build.
I start all my projects with sketches that start with the original bike and go from there. The goal was to create a bike with the emphasis on the engine and the rear meat. That’s really the heart of streetfighters anyway. Other than paint, powder coating, and upholstery, all work was pretty much designed, done, and fabricated by me. The tail section had to shorten but not look just hacked off like so many. I decided the rear end had to be the last 17” of a Katana 600. I have always loved that taillight. Thank you Ebay for a tail light, seat and two side panels.
A hacksaw and 20 minutes later and the stock tail was no more. Now, a Katana 600 tail section doesn’t exactly match up to a GSX-R 1100. I cut the last 4 inches off the Katana seat so the back end of the seat would match the taillight but then I had to cut, split, and narrow the Gixxer seat to match the Katana seat width. The four pieces I ended up with were then hot plate welded back together. Cut and carve the foam to match and one custom cover later and you have the seat. The side panels were cut to length but then had to be finessed around the tail light to get them to go straight rather than splaying out like the Kat does. This new tail section was then mounted on a completely new sub frame I designed and fabricated. It was designed with threaded adjusters built in so I could dial in the desired angle. Note the line of the bottom of the seat lines up with the engine fins. This angle becomes the key angle though the entire design.
I put all the electrics under the seat which is tight as there is not much space between the seat and the stainless under-tray that finishes off the underside following the bottom of the side panels down about halfway and then go horizontal to meet up with the custom SS battery box nestled between the frame rails right behind the K&N pods. A GT250 ignition switch was relocated to the battery box right between the sub frame rails. The license plate mounts against the back of the battery box so that it is clearly viewed from behind but does not break the clean lines of the back end. The stock rear shock was rebuilt and a custom mount was made to hold the gas reservoir crosswise right under the license plate. A much shorter braided stainless line replaces the stock rubber unit. The seat is released by a hidden release.
Now the exhaust had to be a stainless system. I don’t know why, it was just one of those decisions that was made before the bike was ever bought. It is amazing how hard it is to find new full stainless systems for a 16 year old GSX-R. I probably could have used a Bandit 12 system but Yosh would not give any feedback as to the fit ability so I went with a Micron system built for the 1100. It is an uneasy feeling when you lay your brand new $700 plus exhaust system in the power band saw and start shortening it. I took 2 inches off the mid-pipe and 6 inches off the can (it was a trick to shorten the can but make it bolt back together as it did originally). Twenty minutes under the TIG welder and we were in business. However, when you cut off the back end of your bike where the pipe and can normally hang from you need to get creative. The last thing I wanted was to have major chunks of the bike falling off as I went down the road so I had to figure out how to hang and secure the back end of the system. Ultimately I used the mounting rail on the back side of the can to run a narrow stabilizer bar forward behind the can and pipe and attached it to a nut welded directly to the pipe right under the foot peg which then allowed an almost invisible mount to drop down from the rear set and secure the back end of the system. The angle of the can was tweaked so that it matched the line described earlier set by the engine fins.
The rear end was completed with a rear hugger ordered from FSD in Paris and mounted on custom tabs on the stock swing arm that allowed it to be raised slightly to allow clearance for the 4 over rear sprocket and gold RK chain.
I went with ’93 GSX-R 750 USD forks set in custom triple clamps that I designed in CAD. I sent the files to a friend of mine’s shop with two thick chunks of aluminum and say hello to a sweet triples tree. Note I designed it so the stock clocks would drop into thin wall aluminum tubes that are set back right into the triple clamp itself. Renthal street bars ride in custom risers I machined from 2” round stock in my own shop. The head lights were key in the look also. After many months of searching after market lights I decided on the FF (Free Form) series from Hella mounted on a custom stem. The low beam is a fog light and the high beam is the larger size in a driving light. These have been wired to have the low beam on all the time with the high beam adding to it when you hit the stock switch. The Renthal bars were complemented with Bandit 1200 master cylinders and I mounted up the calipers that came with them since they were eight years newer and in much better condition. The bars are tipped with bar end indicators that show front and rear wired as turn signals for a little more night time safety. The only idiot light I would not dispose of was the oil pressure light but where to put it? Hey let’s stuff an LED unit into the stem nut. Simple and CLEAN! While I was at it I ran the right hand switch wiring back along the throttle cable and enclosed it in a shrink wrap to clean up that side.
The oil cooler is an Earl’s unit with custom fabricated Earl’s oil lines. This sits on custom machined mounts along with the left side holding the one off breather/catch bottle.
All lines are braided stainless steel including the speedo cable, which required buying a Harley cable (I can’t believe I said that), removing the fitting and re-fitting the Suzuki lower end on it. The engine was painted black and Hyper Bolt blue anodized bolts were ordered up to complement the engine and fuel cap. Trick OEM UK studded foot pegs were mounted up to add some flare to the stock rear sets. Note the rear master reservoir was relocated and hid behind a custom heal plate.
Ultimately the pictures don’t do the finish justice. The blue paint is that of the ’96 Dodge Viper GTS blue as you know if you have seen one in sun light it is eye popping. The frame, rims and all brackets were powder coated in a bright silver fine metal flake with a clear over the top to give it some real depth. The 48 miscellaneous parts that were coated with the frame and rims cost more to coat than the frame and rims alone!
For more pics of the orginal bike, build process, or finished bike click here!
Here is the final build/spec sheet on the project.
1990 GSX-R 1100, Wiseco big bore kit, Factory Stage 3 jet kit, K&N air filters, Micron cut and modified race comp. full stainless exhaust. Earl’s 19 row oil cooler and custom made Earl’s oil lines. One off breather/catch tank. Hyperbolt blue anodized bolt kits. Power estimated 135hp at rear wheel.
1990 GSX-R 1100 with rear sub-frame removed. New mount tabs welded on and custom sub-frame bolted on with full height adjustment. All extra tabs ground off. OEM UK blue studded foot pegs.
1993 GSX-R 750 inverted forks. Custom machined triple clamps and handle bar risers. Renthal blue anodized aluminum handle bars. 1999 Bandit 1200 clutch and brake master cylinders. Bandit 1200 Nissan brakes. Spiegler braided stainless brake lines 5” over stock. Custom gage housings and mounts holding modified stock gauges. Stainless braided speedo cable.
Stock swing arm with new mounts for hugger. 4 tooth oversized rear sprocket. RK Gold side plate chain. EBC race rotor. Spiegler braided stainless brake line. Rebuilt stock shock with stainless line for reservoir mounted on custom mount.
Bodywork is heavily cut and modified Katana 600 rear panels and taillight. Seat is cut and narrowed stock GSX-R seat grafted to the last 4” of the Katana seat with hidden release. ’93-95 GSXR 750 front fender. Stock tank. Free Street Design rear hugger for 2001 Bandit 1200.
Modified stock loom. Hella FF100 fog light low beam and FF300 driving light high beam. Katana 600 tail/brake light. Oil pressure light tucked into steering stem nut. Turn signals integral to bar ends. Right side wiring follows throttle cable back. Custom stainless steel battery box with GT250 ignition switch tucked in between sub frame rails.
Bodywork is 1996 Dodge Viper GTS blue. Frame, wheels, and all brackets are powder coated bright silver metal flake with clear powder coat over top. Engine satin black,
ENGINEERING AND FABRICATION:
All engineering and fabrication done by owner with the exception of machining of one off triple clamps, paint, powder