Back to the future GSXR

The charm of a queen of the 80s superbike with modern mechanics. Classic Slabbie powered by a big-bore 2005 Suzuki GSX-R1000 engine by Kardesign

Full fairing and leave the pillion at home, or half fairing with pillion seat? Which GSXR for you?

The 1985 GSX-R750 oil/air-cooled GSX-R boasted an iconic alloy cradle frame that was the lightest in class. However, our bike uses a water-cooled K5 engine with a beam frame but we’ve massively strengthened the main spars to put to rest any concerns about them cracking – there was an official recall a few years after launch due to some bikes that had been involved in accidents snapping near the headstock. A strengthened swingarm and modern inverted forks with Brembo Monoblocs handle suspension and braking duties. They have slotted in a pair of three-spokers and even included a grab-rail and reasonably-sized pillion seat.

The 2018 GSX-R1000 engine makes 185bhp at the back wheel while the detuned GSX-S1000 engines make 145bhp at the back wheel – both are Euro 4 compliant. The original K5 engines were Euro 2 compliant, made 165bhp and were packed with midrange usability as well as an impressive top-end, which is why it is often referred to as the ‘best’ GSX-R. In our little fantasy, this is the powerplant we’d start with, but it’d be bored out by 100cc to compensate for emissions regs. They are still looking at an honest (and pokey) 170bhp.

They modified the bodywork to fit with our engine’s beam frame. Taking cues from Suzuki’s successful stint in endurance racing, we’ve left the bellypan off for added ruggedness. While the 1985 bike didn’t utilise ram-air, the 2005 bike does so we’ve incorporated intakes next to the quad-bulb LED headlights. In another nod to the early GSX-Rs, we’ve ventilated the exhaust heat shield in both cheese-grater and slat style. cmm

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