We chose this months BOTM 2 weeks ago and I could have written this then. I was distracted by working on my bikes, thrashing them on various circuits (with a visit to the graveltrap included) and all other boring things that make up life.
If I had a
timemachine, I could go back to the start of the month and pen this article in
time for JB to gloat the full month, being awarded BOTM. Sorry JB; all my
However, if I actually did have access to a timemachine, I really wouldn’t go back in time a week of 2, I’d go back straight to the time when our bikes were the newest/fastest/best you could buy. A different world, different music, fashion and a very different way of modifying bikes. I’d fucking love it..
Back in the
70’s and early 80’s, there were more than a few options to make a bike handle
better with forkbraces (remember them?), aftermarket swingarms (Davida,
anyone?) and even complete frames.
When does a
bike stop being one thing, and start being the other? A discussion for later
maybe, fact is that for many an aftermarket-frame bike is the pinnacle of
bikebuilding and modification.
drool over Spondons, Harris’ and Marteks but there are a few more obscure
manufacturers too. Not that these bikes are lower on numbers but a lot of the
Moto Martins and Eglis are used what they were once built for; Racing.
When JB got his hands on the 750 you see before you, it had been off the road for quite a few years. Diving straight in, the bike was in running order in not too long a time and even got in touch with the framebuilder to verify what the frame had been originally intended for; a GS1000.
One job at a time, it didn’t take long before the bike was on the road and not long after that, on the racetrack. I’ve been out with JB a few times and it really is quick; a testament to JB’s riding skills, building skills and further proof that theses frame really had an edge over the factory frames of the time.
Congratulations JB, your Moto Martin is this months Bike of the month
To the person that built it, helped build it or to the person that owns it. This bike is owned by Russ750ET, after inheriting it from his dad, the universally known Pete750ET.
this very bike in the Earlystocks championship and many of us were following his
progress, either online or at one of his racemeetings.
short after a crash in 2006, the ET was converted back to streetuse and Pete
ran it as it was up to his too early departing of our favoured planet.
missed by all, including myself. I have had the privilege of meeting Pete
several times over the years and you really couldn’t encounter a nicer guy.
inherited the bike from his dad with the intention of using it and finishing
what his dad had envisioned for it.
with the lengthening the frontend and getting rid of a squashed exhaust (courtesy
of too-short Hayabusa forks), this bike is now again in a rideable state but
far from finished.
seen a bike finished, so to say a BOTM needs to be a finished article would be
a lie. Even if this bike has many mods to come in the near future, we found it
fitting to honour Russ with BOTM now, because for us as OldskoolSuzuki.info, it
fills us with nothing but pride that we can give this bike centre-stage and
show the world what these bikes can mean to so many across the globe.
thanks for keeping OSS in the loop on this bike, it’s good to see it lives on,
as does your dad.
your ET is this months Bike of the Month
Looking through pics new and old, I wonder what just
happened; a full year’s gone by..
It’s been a wild one and one of few reasons I got out to the
other side and am typing this now, is the very website you’re now visiting; all
that it stands for and the people I’ve come to know through it.
Excuse me if I sound like a broken record, but I feel I
should make this very clear, because it would be all too easy to take it all
for granted and make it feel like it was normal and expected. It’s not..
No-one ever MUST open their doors for you and take you in as
if you were family. It really is something special and the people that do it
for me, must be told how much I appreciate what they do for me.
I’m typing this from Pitbox 22 at the legendary Spa Francorchamps Circuit. KATANAMANGLER is 8 boxes up from me, managing one of the entries in the Classic Endurance Races (A Rooster bike, no less, which you certainly hear about in not too long of a time), it’s as good a time as any to start on a write-up of the 2019 TT trip I’ve just come back from.
My TT-runs of 2018 and 2019 couldn’t have been more different, starting with the fact that this year my fellow compadre Jelly was once more there in shotgun position, whereas last year I did all the travelling on my own. Destination was again the Kearsley-residence, only now moved tot he new house, married and basically, pretty damn sorted out, unlike yours truly.
EFE finished in it’s new Dayglo-guise, Jelly’s Kat just about there after we grafted a new oilcooler on to keep the temperature half decent (for whatever reason, the engine in it tends to run hot) and the van stuffed to the roof with whatever we thought we might need along the way, we set course to Cheshire. My van would again stay there, with us taking the bikes to Liverpool on the road. A 20 mile run REALLY is better than the 600-something we used to do.
I just can’t be arsed
to do the touring bit anymore; done it, sat at the side of the road, got
recovered multiple times and ended every trip with squared tires; F- that, I’ll
stick it all-in a van and take the lightweight approach, thankyouverymuch.
Unloaded on the Thursday afternoon, it was as good a time as
any to put the EF on the internet in full colour instead of the sepia Instagram
filter and I did get quite the response to it, which was kinda the point 😊A
night of Boats, Desperado beers and much speaking nonsense was had. The Friday we
had pretty much all day to ourselves; our hosts had to go to work/school, so we
just went and had the most touristic day one can have in the vincinity of
Everyone I know that lives there or close calls it a shithole,
but I actually thinks it’s kinda cool. We ended up in Hipster-central (as we
do) and went for craft beers and neon-lit Minigolf until it was time to get the
train back home. There, I was greeted with an actual sign with my name on it,
on my room, and my own keys tot he house and the garage. It’s a bit of a strange
feeling, but as I wrote before; it really is a home away from home. It feels
Quick Dominos that evening, loaded up the bikes and down to
Liverpool again to line up for the ferry. Heaving with people as you would expect,
I ended up being the very last person to go on the boat; how typical. Bumpy
ride over the Irish sea, we disembarked the other end to an Island that was in
hit-or-miss weather. It had been glorious the weeks before TT, and as one would
guess, it had started to rain from the first day of practiceweek.
Many sessions already cut short, loads were getting worried
to not get the bikes set up properly and be able to get the tracktime that you
need to get your head ‘round the place. Even the guys that are right up there
at the front need to get time on the bike to get themselves dialed in, let
alone the newcomers who basically will never have seen the place on racespeed.
Riding around on the open road to learn and understand where
the course is going, is totally different from doing it at the speeds they’ll
do under raceconditions. Bends become corners, bumps will become jumps and every
manholecover will turn into a potential danger; imangine knowing where every
single one of those is, all 37 miles around. Does your head in..
Jelly and myself just made our way to our usual digs at John
and Jo’s house in Peel. Fed and bedded, it turned into Saturday in notime. We
sleep in a shed, christened “Chateau Streetfighters” many moons ago when Wingnut
was still coming over with us. The name stuck, even though he’s not been for a
few years. Bugger that; you should come over next year mate.
Saturday would have been the first raceday (I think) but that got rained off. Roads were closed with everybody waiting in the hedges and behind walls, but when one part of the track cleared up, it went to shit somewhere else. That was about to become a running gag, if you will, for the remainder of the TT-fortnight. Many times roadclosures with people stuck across the island, only to have nothing actually happen. It’s sad but there’s absolutely nothing anyone can do about it.
For TT, the racing WILL NOT go on when it’s wet, for good
reason. The speeds are that high and the course is so varying in condition, it
would be asking for trouble. It’s scary as it is and they rightly don’t make it
With Jelly working as a marshall at Appledene for the event,
I was left to my own devices and do what I do best really; no plan, just go as I
like, where I like. It takes over 500 marshalls to man the course and John, our
host, runs Appledene. It’s a slighty unknown bit of the course, only one corner
up from Greeba Caslte. Hardly any spectators there, because when you’re there,
there’s no way out.
However, it really is PROPER fast and as spectacular as it
can be during TT, but due to it not being know as much, John usually struggles to
get the right number of marshalls to man the sector. Jelly stepped up and did
his bit, and that’s how a TT-practice or race is run.
No marshalls = NO
racing. It’s a thing thats apparently pretty hard for some to understand, as
every year there will be reports of spectators not listening to what they are
told; not be on the road, etc, only to be picked up by the police and more often
than not, be escorted to the Jurby Hotel (prison) for the rest of the TT
I’m not joking; during the TT, the IOM police don’t take the
piss. They will sling you in prison, impound your bike, give you a HUGE fine
and when you’re sent away after getting out, you’ll usually be banned from the
Island for more than a few years. There just is no room for people that don’t
want to play by their rules and you can’t fault them for it.
My days were spent chasing the weather, getting to spots I
hadn’t spectated from before and waiting, lots and lots of waiting. Ramsey
sprint on the Sunday, I went there, understanding full well that it wouldn’t go
on if it was wet, but when I got there, it wasn’t even that bad. The Island has
its own climate, with the possibility of snow at one end, and bath-in-the-sun
temperatures only 10 miles the other way, so when I set off from gloomy Peel, I
was hardly expecting the Sprint to be taking place.
Coming up the entryroad where they tell you where to park, I
simply said “I’m racing” and they let me straight through. Saves you walking
all the way up and down the field and who honestly wants to do that? Parking up
next to the gazillion Bhp Hayabusa of Woody, Kev’s mum went well out of her way
to feed me and make sure I had proper tea 😊
In two ways of actually entering the Sprint myself, I opted
out because it still is another 45 quid out of pocket, only for it to start
rainig again not minutes after.
That Sunday was a practiceday as well, which was a first in
the history of TT. It shows how badly the time was needed for the racers and
the teams to get the bikes out, with the first races on the Monday. Actually,
if anyone gets the schedule out and traces how it all went, it might be a bit
different from what I’m typing now, but we’ll just call that Journalistic
Liberty. What it really means is; I kinda forgot what went on when and realistically,
it doesn’t really matter, does it?
What does matter is that this TT was everything different
from 2018, from a general perspective; last year every single roadclosure,
practice session and race went on time, this year, not a single one did. The
weather was terrible and everyone got the short end of the stick as far as
Mother Nature was concerned. This ended up with Thursday raceday being the fullest
day anyone had ever experienced.
Weatherforecast looked good and with roads to close from
10ish, 5 races and 2 or 3 practicesessions to get through during the day, all
you can do is take your hat off to all the people that make racing possible,
like the marshalls, like the organisers, like the IOM Scouts and all those
Some eventorganisers in motorsport can learn a thing or 2
from these people; everthing goes on without a hitch and that in itself is one
of the reasons for me coming back. You’d think that after a time or three, you’d
get oblivious to it all, how incredible it is and how big. Luckily, I’ve been
void of that and eversince 2007, my first time, it hasn’t lost any of its
Hell, if anything; it’s gotten worse. Though OSS I met loads
of people that now are my friends and the TT is going the same way. Being in
the position that I’m in; having friends live there where we can basically turn
up in the middle of the night, any time in the year, for a place to sleep and
eat; I’m very lucky.
Senior Day (the Friday of the big race) would consist of
just that, because with the bad weather forecasted
to roll in during midday, they got everything else out of the way during the
recordbreaking Thursday that preluded it. Jelly and myself went up to the Grandstand
area to have a final mooch and with Peter Hickman as far ahead in the race as
he was, we chose to drop down to the ferry, so we could get a half decent spot on
the boat. When we came down and got the check-in out of the way, I turned my
radio back on and Hicky’s lead had all but gone!
I’m a Suzuki-man, through and though, but for roadracing,
all the brandsnobbery makes all but none of a difference. Every single person
lining up on that startline gets utmost respect from me, be you the winner or
very dead last; I couldn’t care less and I’ll root for you no end, even if you
are on a H@nda.
Hicky was on the new and untested 2019 BMW and everyone was
worried it might not make it the full duration of the race. We worried right.
First we heard was Peter going though the Sulby Speedtrap at 159mph; that’s
walkingpace. He managed to nurse it round the full 6 laps, but Dean Harrison
had past him by then, getting his first big win.
A cheer went though the crowd and that was that; TT2019
done. We were then herded onto the boat and on out way to Liverpool once more. Being
only Friday and our train across booked on the Sunday, we had a bit more time
to play with. With Kev going to Santa Pod to pick up his dad’s frame, freshly
tarted up after someone made a RIGHT mess of it, we opted to just tag along.
The weather was horrid; you wouldn’t have wanted to be out
on the road in that rain; you could hardly call it summer or spring, even for
British standards. We were meeting Ash and Matt who had just done up both bikes
on the dyno, with Matt’s really making silly horsepower, on pumpfuel, I might
add. Weather clearing a little bit, I was pestered to sign on and pushover that
I am, I did. RWUB, foreigners on holiday, bikes in the back of a van, so if it
was to blow up, we’d still get home; fuck it, go for it.
Only ever entered one dragrace years ago in Drachten and that
was a bit shit. My EFE is hardly setup to rag off the line; not streched, not lowered,
not that powerful, etc. Also the fact that my clutch has a mind of its own when
you launch it; non of these things help. Anyway, 8mm spanner in my leathers to
bleed it after the finishline, on we went.
Paired up at the startline next to Anna on the Slingshot, I
think, I ended the day with 4 runs under my belt with a best of 11.5 with a .55
reactiontime and a 1.955 60ft. Good enough for me. Yes, it’s loads of fun but
making your bike faster costs loads of money (which, as you know, I don’t have)
and the waiting kills it for me. I’ll just keep doing trackdays, one red flag
at a time..
Bike loaded up once more, we pointed the van in the general
direction of Sarah and Viz’s house. Late night chilli, talking gibberish; a perfect
ending to a perfect night. I love it there. Actually, I just love being across,
even though the friends that live there, more often than not don’t really understand
it. I know it will be different if you live somewhere, for me it’s just the
being away from home, grass greener on the other side sort of thing.
Heading home the sundaymorning, another TT-holiday had gone
by in what felt like no time at all. One of the big differences compared to
2018 was the fact that I actually experienced the whole thing consiously,
instead of having been pretty much oblivious to what was going on with me and
around me, like last year, epic as it was.
We were out of stroopwafels; best get the train home and
load up for the next one.
See you at Cadwell
Thanks to all who made us welcome, got us fed and made us tea; it’s much appreciated.
After a resounding success in 2018 (on a Thursday, no less), tomorrow Cadwell Park will once again be taken over by Suzuki bikes for the Suzuki Cadwell Classic. With the weather looking as it is and this year held on a Saturday, it’s bound to be a day not to be missed.
Organised by our friends from Classic Bike Trackdays, Suzuki UK themselves are bringing quite a few factory race machines old and new, works riders and as it looks, the full Classic Suzuki Raceteam line-up.
The day will consist of the track being in use for a Suzuki-only
trackday, with the cut-off on Y2K, so loads of bikes out that fit right in the
A fair few members will be out on track in several groups and there
will be a OldSkoolSuzuki.info-showstand as well. Naturally, other likeminded
clubs will be attending, showing off their Suzuki-based machinery.
Tradestands are present as well, with CP Racetech, Grumpy1260 et
al, for all your project needs and even a Dyno so you can show everyone that
your pubtalk-horsepower figure is actually true, or not..
Come say hello, look at pretty bikes in the show and see a few
would-be heroes (myself included) trying not to flip bikes over The Mountain.
bikes will be out on track at 9am. See you there.
Cadwell Park Circuit Louth, Lincolnshire LN11 9SE
See what was on in 2018 for yourself and expect this plus more;
Having rules is nice and all, and for the forum, this is
really good. However, in other instances, it can make your (or; mine) life a
bit hard. One of the rules we set for ourselves, is that a BOTM has to be built
on the website and have a topic showing the ups-and-downs of the project.
Here we have a BOTM with NO buildtopic, for the simple reason that this bike is pretty much as it left the factory in Japan all those years ago. Just that makes it damn-near unique in our little OSS-world. Rivetcounters really have no place here, just don’t think we don’t like a properly preserved bike.
Our friend Dorkburger should get an award only for the fact
that he has been a staple of originality, in a sea of bikes modified to within
an inch of their life. Also; he takes a mean picture.
Thank you for keeping your EFE as how our friends in Hamamatsu meant it, so we can all recognise where we came from.
Congratulations Dorkburger, your bike is this months Bike of the Month.
Choosing BOTM is hard;
there’s loads of bikes to choose from as it is, but we also need a proper
buildtopic with a nice backstory, a bike that represents OSS as it is and we
want diversity. We could happily just choose Katanas and/or EFEs and we’d be
able to carry on for about a year or 2 without coming up short, but that’d be
Another thing is the
“deadline”; I don’t think a single BOTM has been published on the 1st of the
month and I don’t think that will change in a hurry, mostly because a laidback
approach that we (or, I) quite like. Anyway, with all these bikes at our
disposal, it’s quite easy to forget what the people closer to home are doing. I
felt that way when I chose Dave’s EFE, because he is a good friend, and I feel
the same about this bike as well.
It’s as close to home as it can get, in OSS terms, but for now, it just felt right. I don’t really think I need to explain my personal reasoning for choosing this bike, because there are many. No, this bike is BOTM because of what it is and how it came to be.
For as long as OldskoolSuzuki.info
has been around, it’s been a source of inspiration for many people, be it members,
guests (lurkers) or even those steering the ship. A few years ago we found
ourselves in the Cadwell paddock, a whole bunch of OSSers signed up for the trackday
taking place. Our friend KATANAMANGLER was there with his 1135-powered Katana
streetbike, on touring-tyres, no real idea of how the handling would be and
even less of a clue how to attack the circular stretch of tarmac draped over
the Yorkshire landscape.
Trackweekend over, KATANAMANGLER
made a descision; a trackbike was needed. Parts were sourced from far and wide
and in about a year, the Slabby you see before you was built with its first outing
during the Donington Classic weekend in 2017. Sharing the shed with an angry Katana
has done the Slabby only favours as its gone from a trackbike, swiftly into a
proper racebike (and then it promptly blew up, but that’s another story..); it
really is hard as nails
From what you’ve read on
these pages, KATANAMANGLER is a man with a very open mind and quite a broad
view of the world, so it really was only a matter of time to go racing when you
have a track only up the road with guys running WELL at the front, using the
very machinery we prefer, and then get in touch with one of the better tuners
around; it’s hard not to do it, to be fair..
In the Netherlands we
have a saying; “Goed voorbeeld doet goed volgen”. It’s kinda the same as “Practice
what you preach” KATANAMANGLER is one of the people that invented the Winged
Hammer moniker and the OSS Racingteam it embodies, so it’s really only right
for him to be part of it as well.
Yes, this man is a very good friend and I am quite proud of that fact. It’s got Fuck All to do with why I choose this bike as BOTM, because it’s great as it is and us knowing eachother, and him being one of the website-owners shouldn’t mean it can’t be chosen as such 😊
Congratulations KATANAMANGLER, your Slabby is this months Bike of the Month
Only yesterday, it was made evidently clear that OSS and especially its forum, are a step away from current reality; from “normal” or “the norm” or whatever you want to call it. Facebook and/or Instagram are the go-to place to show off your bike, collect likes and get your ego fed, and rightly so (if you’re into that sort of thing). It’s easy, fast, all your friends, colleagues and your mom are on there, thus you get to publicly show off how awesome your life is etc.
This is normal…
Don’t get me wrong; I’m on FB as much, if not more, as
the next guy, but really; FB and its peers really dilute what you’re actually
doing. Your project goes from your own personal achievement, to just a bunch of
random photo’s posted at different times in someone’s feed and it’s hard to make
sense of it all, being bombarded by meme’s, Brexit-discussions and catpics, all
the while what you want to have your friends see, is that personal achievement.
We have our forum, so that you can actually have your own little place where you can chronologically post your progress, ask relevant questions for others to answer in that same place and you and others can actually find information where you left it, weeks later. Try that on FB…
Now, that in itself is different; we’ve established that in this piece, and many times before in other articles. This is our ”normal” yet even for us freaks, there is something that is away from the norm. Our friend Fatblokeonbandit borders on what anyone can get away with on OSS (it kinda in the name) yet he’s been doing it for many years. Building something of interest to us out of a Bandit isn’t easy, and if you choose a Teapot as your canvas, well…
However, Fatbloke did just that and after receiving a
pile of random bits from a fellow member and a rummage through his own stock, a
project was underway. I personally quite like the Teapot, but I’m weird like
Started in September last year and having it’s first outing on a racetrack only last weekend, it’s quite easy to understand Fatbloke knows what he’s doing, having a full project done in a good 6 months. Some struggle to change tyres in that time, let alone build a full bike and having it in working order.
I’m a sucker for “different” and I don’t think within
the realm of OSS it can get any different than building a cool Teapot; these 2
words just don’t usually go in the same sentence together. Build as a sleeper, it
still looks as a scruffy 750-commuter from the early 90’s to the untrained eye.
That it’s got a 150Bhp 1216 under the debatable fairing only ads to the fun,
for those in the know.
Congratulations Fatblokeonbandit, your Teapot is this months Bike of the Month
I try to stay as far away from politics as I can; tax is inevitable, and they’ll never do what we want anyway, so why bother? I’m happy to say that OSS is the same; no Brexit discussions here, and that’s how it should be.
Now, “politics” in itself goes further than just the governing body of your country. One could argue that us admins practice politics in our own way, but we honestly try not to; everyone here is the same, and we all follow the same basic rules. We just have the means to push some buttons when someone’s out of step, so we can safely guide our little Ark of OSS through the turbulent waters that is the current Internet.
One thing that I’m very wairy of, is nepotism. Under no circumstances must anyone one this page feel he or she is drawing the shorter straw, just because they’re not part of the IC. Yes, I have many true and some very close friends here, but I’ll take the piss out of them just as much as everybody else; we’re all the same.
Now, the other side of this is actually glancing over that what your friends have achieved in their sheds and when I was thinking about my next choice for BOTM, it was only right to give Dave his spot in the limelight. His EFE has been a regular since the first incarnation of this website, and Dave has done us all proud in rebuilding it to a standard we can only approve of.
Built to use 2-up TT2018, he started May’17 (a year before TT) and in absolute true OSS-fasion, it was in bits hours before rocking up at the ferry to get over to the Island. I was witness to it all and it would’ve felt wrong if it hadn’t been the case.
The bike made it to, over and back from the Isle of Man without any terminal damage. Going to the TT on a bike you built in your own shed or garage is brave in itself. If said bike then actually holds its own there, you know it will do anywhere; the place it utter mechanical torture, but in a good way.
We’re now almost a year on and this bike hadn’t yet made it to be chosen as BOTM. That is by no means because it wasn’t up to par before but here, we just really are spoilt for choice and it’s just one of those things.. Not taking away from the quality of any of the bikes chosen as BOTM up to now, or the ones after, but this bike was long overdue its recognition.
Dave, congratulations, your EFE is this month Bike of the Month.
When we set out resurrecting Oldskoolsuzuki.info as a website and dedicated forum, we knew we had a monumental task ahead of us. It would be hard, take countless hours, maybe even cost serious money, and we didn’t really know if it would actually be succesful. Still, as you know, we went ahead anyway
Bike projects can be pretty much the same; when you start off with a bunch of bits and a general idea of what you want, you’ll never really know how it truly will end up until it’s done, and if it will actually work or not.
Solcambs managed to bag a Bay of E-bargain and set to work, using the forum to document how the Katana you see before you went from a bare frame to what it is today and likely, what it will be later. Starting with a 750 frame and aircooled 1100 motor, later swapped out for a bit more fresh oilboiler. Blasphemy in the eyes of the purists, which, we’re not.
Through the 22 pages that the topic is now long, we’ve seen the build through the stages of initial planning, fiddling with forks and carbs, right through to a tour of continental Europe, proving again that our bikes are more than capable to shine in the current day traffic.
I know we’re not always given the time of day by the general “Biker” fraternity, usually only until we outbrake, accelerate or just plain outrun them on our outdated bikes, but this Katana is yet another example of how a 35 year old bike can be made more than relvant in the Now, and looking better than anything you can buy in the showroom today (and basically, ever) to boot.
Congratulations Solcambs, your Katana is this months Bike of the Month
I’m a firm believer of the proverb; “Better late than never”; It’s never too late to change your life for the better, it’s never too late to resurrect that website that used to be so great once (because it is once again), and it’s never too late to start Dragracing..
Anna first pointed her front wheel quarter-milewards after having owned the bike she was on for the grand total of 35 years. The seed was planted and a racingcareer was born. In the quest for more speed a Slingshot was put into service and over time up to now, all the right mods have been made to get the bike as quick as possible, yet also as rideable as possible for Anna; it’s all well and good having a 500Bhp bike but if you can’t use it, there’s not really a point (apart from being the baddest dude in the pub)
We have been enjoying Anna and Kyle’s adventures in great detail as them being one of the first (maybe even The First?) Winged Hammers, the racethread has been religiously updated after nearly every racemeet and tests that were undertaken.
We’ve all read about crashing, burnouts, racing in sub-zero temperatures, tyrepunctures and all else that comes with the age-old sport that is dragracing. I for one hope the regular updates continue to be posted up, because it’s one of the threads that makes you come back, have a bit of a read, get motivated and start working away on your own projects again.
Better late than never Anna (and Kyle), your Slingshot is this months Bike of the Month.