Bike of the Month November 2019

Wintertime, the offseason; pumpkin-spice everything, snow, iceskating, Christmas… Don’t you hate it?

I do; I’d rather be basking in sunshine, hooning the backroads on my EFE or trying to get that one lap even better than the one before on my next trackday. Another thing wrong with autumn/winter is basically, the lack of light and all that comes with that very fact. My motivation grinds to a halt, nothing gets done and that in turn demotivates even more.

However, you need the time off to get the bikes you broke during the summer preceding it, or building the racebike you dreamt up in your head, to attack the circuits next year.  I’m usually of the the former variety, breaking more than planned, having other projects taking a backseat to whatever I have to bodge first, to get myself underway again.

This also is less than inspiring and pretty much takes the fun out of it and turns it into frustration. One solution to turn all this around and get my mojo back to go and do something myself, is to read about others building their bikes. Most are built to a standard well above my ability, but it doesn’t hurt to have something to strive for.

Trackaddict as I’ve become, I get properly excited when I find true racemachines being built out off the bikes of our penchant. Probably because in my head, it gets translated to; “I can do that” (I can’t) but again, these OSS-bikes appeal more to me than other bikes, for obvious reasons, and get the blood flowing just a bit more than the next late-model superbike.

Duncan’s Slabby you see here, is one of those bikes. Purpose built for the Thunderbike championship, no shortcuts were taken and everything on the bike is there, because it needs to be.

Reading through the buildthread started all the way back in 2016, it’s a tale of triumph and defeat, coming out the other side, chin up and ready for more. Member of our Winged Hammer OSS-raceteam, I’m quite proud to see this bike used for what it’s built for, ridden on and over the very limit, making it better everytime the tires hit the tarmac and also, beating more modern motorcycles just because he can.

I met Duncan last summer when we both attended a weekend of trackday-fun at Cadwell; supernice guy and you wouldn’t think for a second he’s the Take-No-Prisoners racer that he is when the visor goes down. The bike too; it’s a black Slabby with gold wheels, until you start to look properly. Detail upon detail is found and it makes me want to start building my bikes to the standard this is.

I can’t, but I can try..

Congratulations Dupersunc, your bike is this month’s Bike of the Month

Discuss here

Buildtread here  

Bike of the month October 2019 GSXR1100

What is bike building if it isn’t an exercise in expression and interpretation?

GSXR1100 slabside oldskoolsuzuki

Suzuki’s GSXR Slabsisdes have been the focus of many a rivet counting, concourse restoration over the last few years. Many of those restorations were reverse engineered streetfighters from the noughties. Renthals and twin dommies swapped out for overpriced body work, extortionate paint jobs with original Suzuki GSXR decals.

I was riding bikes when the GSXR slabside first hit the roads and I remember riding one for the first time in 1988. It just felt so right. You sat in it, not on it. The clip-ons and the rear-sets stretched your body across the tank and you were instantly transformed into a racer.  I could never understand why someone would want to alter that geometry by fitting renthals.

What’s the essence of this bike then? It’s a race bike! When you sit on it you should “adopt the position” That, to me, is the essence of a GSXR slabside. Everything else is academic.

I’m also a sucker for a spartan build. A no nonsense, no frills, functional build. Something, practical and usable but fit for purpose.

GSXR1100 slabside oldskoolsuzuki

Every time I see this month’s Bike of the month, and I do see it regularly because it gets used regularly, I just want to get on it and ride it. I don’t feel the need to faun over it or ogle for hours. I just want to ride it. It is a very unique looking machine but at the heart of it are the same essential 3 points of contact that make GSXR slabside an out and out race bike. The rearsets, the seat and the clip-ons.

Ben Buckle’s spartan  GSXR1100 slabside is our October 2019 Bike of the month.

Members discuss this here.

Bike of the Month September 2019

I’m late, I know it and I’m sorry..

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 fault..

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.

We still 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

Discuss here

Buildthread here

Bikes of the Month August 2019

Rooster Racing’s bike 81 and bike 82. The GSXR 1100 powered Harris Magnum and the GSXR 1100 slabside are my firm choices for Bikes of the month for August 2019.

Rooster Racing GSXR1100 Harris Magnum and GSXR1100 Slabside

This will come as no surprise to those of you who followed my write up on Rooster Racing at Spa last month. We normally choose a single bike for bike of the month but the truth is, they both now hold a special place in my heart and a special place in the oldskoolsuzuki Winged Hammer’s hall of fame.

Rooster Racing team 81 and 82 Spa 2019
Rooster Racing Oldskoolsuzuki Winged Hammer
Rooster racing Angus Green GSXR Harris Magnum Spa 2019

Both bikes boast in excess of 165 BHP at the rear wheel, they are peppered with hand made functional engineering and they have one of the loveliest and well executed paint schemes you’ll find.

Rooster racing GSXR1100 Slabside Spa 2019

They were built with a single purpose in mind and they fulfilled that purpose admirably.

Rooster racing GSXR Harris Magnum
Rooster Racing GSXR 1100 Slabside

Don Hill and Rooster Racing you built our very first Bikes ( plural) of the Month.

Members discuss here

Bike of the Month July 2019

Some bikes will mean more than others.

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.

Pete raced this very bike in the Earlystocks championship and many of us were following his progress, either online or at one of his racemeetings.

Racing cut 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.

Sorely 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.

Russ has inherited the bike from his dad with the intention of using it and finishing what his dad had envisioned for it.

Starting 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.

I’ve never 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.

Russ, thanks for keeping OSS in the loop on this bike, it’s good to see it lives on, as does your dad.

Congratulations, your ET is this months Bike of the Month

Read more here

Discuss here

Bike of the Month June 2019

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.

Read (some) more here and here

Discuss here  

Bike of the Month May 2019

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 too easy.

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

Read more here

Discuss here

Bike of the Month April 2019

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 that..

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

Read more here

Discuss the article here

PS; It is NOT a Katana

Bike of the Month March 2019 – Suzuki GSXR 750 H

Slabbies, I love them. The GSXR 750 was such a radical new model back in the day when they were first launched, they have become very desirable today and are ripe for both subtle and serious modifications.

GSXR 750

So when I first saw pictures of b-slayer’s GSXR 750 H in it’s very sorry state, I thought the same as you probably did… ‘this has got potential’. Little could we have imagined how trick it would end up being… a real ‘zero to hero’ build.

Suzuki GSXR 750 H

Having started his project thread, b-slayer shared some photos of the horrendous state of the bike when he first got it and then the in-between stages of his build. Some of the bodges, wow!

Suzuki GSXR 750 H
Suzuki GSXR 750 H
Suzuki GSXR 750 H

There are several more, often scary ones on the project thread.

Progress was made and the bike was back on the road in a few different guises before it’s final new trick state.

Suzuki GSXR 750 H
Suzuki GSXR 750 H
Suzuki GSXR 750 H
Suzuki GSXR 750 H

Some nice details along the way too, much more than righting the previous owner bodges.

Suzuki GSXR 750 H
Suzuki GSXR 750 H

Then, time for the finishing touches.

Suzuki GSXR 750 H

Finally, just wow! Hard to believe that this is the same GSXR 750.

Suzuki GSXR 750 H

What a fantastic end result, looking very clean and period yet with some very appropriate improvements.

So, b-slayer congratulations! Your GSXR 750 is this months BOTM.

Read the project thread here.

Discuss this article here.

Bike of the month February 2019 – Suzuki DR 800S

Oldskool suzuki DR750

Oldskool suzuki DR750

Oldskoolsuzuki.info is a site largely dedicated to Suzuki in-line fours from the 80s and 90s. Occasionally we see the odd twin in there too but big  singles like the DR 750 and 800 are quite rare on the forum. I have always been a fan of big single cylinder machines so I would happily see more of them.

At the same time that Suzuki were releasing the first generation GSXRs they also nailed the big thumper genre too, with the mighty DR800S

The DR Bigs had very distinctive styling and record breaking 727cc and 779cc single cylinder engines. These bad boys took the big thumper concept to a new level.

Most of these bikes have stood the test of time too. There are plenty of them still being used on their original engine build. Typical Suzuki endurance and reliability.

This month’s bike of the month goes to Tom Davidson.  What he has done to his DR 800 is exactly what I would have done had I been able to get hold of one.

Oldskoolsuzuki DR 750Oldskoolsuzuki DR750 bike of the month February 2019

Take a big  big heavy thumper and fit a lovely set of 17″ spoked alloy rims. Now a super moto this ain’t ever going to be but I would imagine the road manners have been improved with the introduction of modern 17″ rubber and a six pot calliper up front.

More to the point though, it just looks fucking cool!

Oldskoolsuzuki DR750 bike of the month February 2019Tom you have our bike of the Month.

Read about the build here. Members discuss this article here.