Bike of the month March 2018

There’s many reasons to start your own build, with “because I want to” coming first and “because I can” second. (If the person taking on this project actually can, is something different, but more on that some other time)

Other reasons are aplenty but there’s two that carry much more load than any other reason I can think of. One; building the dream bike of a lost friend. Two; being asked to build that dream bike, by said lost friend.

This Katana was trusted upon Pete by Dave “Swingarm” Roberts, member of old and builder of one of the very few actually cool Bandits in history. Dave was lost to a horrible disease and the Katana for which he already had most of the parts, was left to Pete to finish.

Pete took it upon himself to finish the bike to a standard we rarely see outside of OSS. With a general idea of what Dave wanted the bike to be, he set to work.

Built over the course of less than a year, the Katana was entered in the Newark Show as its first public outing this January, it promptly won a award.

The Kat turned out, arguably, better than the Yoshimura-1135R Pete posted up as the end goal for the build and it’s received praise far and wide.

A fitting tribute to a lost friend, I tip my hat to you Pete; the Katana is this month’s BOTM.

More here





Bike of the month February 2018

Oh no, here he goes again, twittering on about “evolution , not revolution” and “genetic engineering of an extinct species”

Well, nearly but not quite. I’m going to mix it up a bit this time and tell you a tale of evolution AND revolution.

Back in the Dino days of the old site there were many lovely bikes built but because they were scattered around the world you didn’t always get to see them in the flesh. I travelled a lot for OSS and I was lucky enough to see quite a few, close up. Some lived up to the hype and some didn’t. (I include my own creations in the latter category)

As luck would have it though, I didn’t have to travel far to see a bike, where the opposite was true. The pictures I had seen of this bike online, before I stumbled across it at a local bike meet, had not done it justice. That bike belonged to Gregg Campbell AKA Wee Man.

Looking around Gregg’s GSXR1100M Slingshot you could just tell his had been a long and intense love affair. It had the look of a bike that had been tastefully, and carefully evolved to meet its owners exacting tastes and requirements. All of which, were very tidy and meticulously well executed. If our FBOB had been there, he would have been forced to say “bugger me that’s shiny”. It instantly got my “bike you’d most like to take home” vote.

“But KM you promised us a revolution as well as an evolution!”. Easy tiger, I’ll get to that bit.

Fast forward a few years and I’m loafing around at the Fast by Me workshops drinking coffee and listening to Dave telling me about how he took an angle grinder to his modem, while on the phone to his internet provider’s customer support line. Out of the corner of my eye a familiar bike caught my attention. It was none other than Gregg’s Slingshot. “I know that bike” I said. Now we all know what happens to anything that goes to uncle Dave’s. That’s right, it gets the boost.( unless it’s a faulty modem)

The boost is pretty much Dave’s solution for everything ( I think he’s onto something). Gregg’s Slingshot was in for one of Uncle Dave’s rock solid turbo kits. Even Dave paused his internet tirade for a moment to chip in how tidy the bike was.

I’m sure Gregg will agree with me that the arrival of “the boost” has been anything but evolutionary and every bit Revolutionary! (made it, see)

This tells you all you need to know about limitless possibilities offered by 80s and 90’s Suzukis. The best part of breaking up, is making up, especially when the making up bit includes a extra-large bucket full of lairy charged up horses.

Gregg, congratulations you’re our bike of the month.

Members discuss this here.

Bike of the Month January 2018

Unicorns and cannon balls and Aquagenic urticaria

Here at we have our ‘sections’, and of all these the newest kid on the ol’skool block incorporates the water girls and water boys. Their choice of OSS machinery would, to the untrained eye, appear to be frowned upon and the butt of our communities ‘real ol’skoolers’ jokes, almost as if they’re are just about tolerated.

Madb didn’t let this ‘strange arrangement’ phase him, and got on with sharing the pursuit of his own wet dream in the mother of all sections.. ..’projects’.. We all love this section and the numbers prove this, so jumping in at the deep end like one of Pumhart von Steyr’s wet farts would come as a brave move to the unskooled-ol’skool, could there be a more obvious username? too far? too soon?

Here at we have no need for toleration, these four concepts and their paradoxes are taken care of by RTFR and the sites definition of ‘what is’.  Armed with this and an ethos that I’m sure many of the ‘project pool party’ be them oiled up or blow dried could identity with, has set about making positive evolutionary progress rather than chasing the elusive ‘wheelie wire’.

To say tolerates anything on the site would be an insult to both parties, the site’s boundaries are set for all to see just RTFR, and In these boundaries in my own virtual dream garage I’m in the centre (OBVS) and every members bike(s) on this site are top-trump cards fanning out, inadvertently jostling for a close orbit but for unknown reason (to me) the water boilers have to work a little bit harder to grab my attention, this bike’s gone from a weak blip on my paris dome to an active target with zero bearing rate.

congratulations Madb, your life and times gsxr is BOTM. The drinks are on you…….. Julie Andrews for me, and that’s almost as close to hobnob humour harbour as I’m comfortable with, so let’s drop a ‘boat anchor’ here before sun down….full moon….half moon… eclipse…..that’s it…. my bourbon biscuit built boundaries be breached.

Read Madb’s build thread here. Members discuss this here

Bike of the Month December 2017

Lists, we all have them; shopping lists, to-do lists, bucket lists. Stuff you “need” to do/buy/build before a certain time.
When you then, in your waking life, don’t get the chance to tick off some of your most desired points on your list, if you’re really lucky, it sometimes happens that some of your friends will do it for you, in your honour and in your memory.

Craig Smith is such a friend. We know Craig as one of our like minded Down Under members who has made VERY good use of what Pops Yoshimura and Wes Cooley started in the old AMA championship, by using his GS as it should be. He has also always made an effort to let us in on all the fun.

This Katana project was started off with previously accumulated parts and a general idea of what the finished product should look like. Craig and a few friends went on to finish the bike that their late friend, Alan Baker, had dreamed off and had actually started building. This project has had many things in common with the OSS Knarf build. Both were documented on the old site.

Only when we got OSS  back up and running did we properly learn how the project turned out and how the story had concluded. (imho) this Katana on its own, even when you don’t know the story behind it,  is one of the best Kats out there. Revealed to friends and the world in May 2016, it’s more than what anyone could wish for as a lasting monument and a promise that they hadn’t been forgotten.

I realise this project has been finished for quite a while and Smithy hasn’t been on OSS much after it but that’s beside the point. I had this bike on my BOTM list for a long time and here it is; congratulations Craig, Alan’s Katana is Bike of the Month December 2017.

Read more here

Bike of the month November 2017

If you want to shed a few pounds, some say the best way to do it is to cut down on your carbs. Apparently, if you’re really serious about getting all lean and mean you need to cut carbs out of the equation completely.

Now personally, I use whacking great RS36s on both of my big inline four Suzukis, which might explain my shrinking leathers- or not…

Anyway, here at oldskoolsuzuki we are purveyors of the philosophy that 80’s and 90’s Suzuki muscle bikes can be improved, while preserving their adorable  “fuck you” characteristics, by doing clever things with parts from the future. This months podium goes to a bike that ticks all of the above boxes.

At the heart of this braced ,steel framed Katana ensemble is the full fat, mighty air-cooled, 16 valve, GSX engine which has been tweaked up to 1170cc. It sports a complete EXUP front and back end too. Sounds tasty, I hear you say. “but what about my abs katanamangler?” “I’ve got a beach holiday coming up!” Well, worry not my middle aged,weight watching friends, this one is completely carb free! Yeah, that’s right, you heard me!

Using a a set of GPZ1100 throttle bodies and a set of GSX1400 injectors, our man Skelly has taken all of the guilt ( and a fair bit of hassle) out of 80’s muscle bike addiction through the wonders of EFI.

The bike was test ridden by Jon at our Donington Park track day gathering in August and it ran well.

Congratulations Skelly, your guilt free Katana is our bike of the month. Read more about Jon’s build here. Members discuss this article here.


Bike of the Month October 2017

The king of Babylon, his fingers and the number of the beast…..

….and oxygen, and allotropes of carbon, and Leary’s model, cervical nerves, a byte, a fully lit seven-segment display, an ‘mericun cup, the Dharmacakra..and…urm i’ll stop with how i started before i start listing all that is weird up the Corinthian caulicole of religious curiosities, that’s right this episodes B.OT.M. is brought to you by the number 8.

Although no longer an ‘8 valver’ doubling them up obviously (and mathematically) takes nothing away from this black suited 80’s doorman of a bike, man it’s got some presence, it looks purposeful yet somehow simple……..urm again i’ll stop before them two billett 6 ‘duckle knusters’ crack me in the yokes. don’t stare too long is all i’m saying. It’s an awesome clean looking ol’skool eighty’s air cooled muscle bike, uncluttered and understated with a stance all of its own, like one of Hyatt’s numero’ VIII balls rolling across the cloth into the pack, whether you’re watching in full colour high def or on your nan’s black and white, you know which one it is, which one is king, the eighth king, the king of Babylon, ol’ jake himself.

I gaze upon this bike as i imagine a rabbi gazes upon a jewish males 8th day, thinking ‘almost perfect, now we’ll just trim a little bit off the end’.

Congratulations on BOTM R1guy, an awesome build.

Read the project thread here.

Discuss this article here.

The number 8, a slightly defective number, a tweak away from perfection, come on, if i’d said octopus you’d have got it straight away…wouldn’t you?…..jeez… i the only one doing an eight-ball on an (ol’)skool night?

Bike of the Month September 2017

Goodbyes are never easy but they make for a good occasion to honour something or someone that has done OSS (very) proud. Let me fill you in…

Maxwin stumbled on the scene in January 2016 mid-development of his 750ET after having competed in the 2015 season of the Earlystocks championship. Having cobbled together the bike for 2015, the early days of 2016 were there to fine tune the bike and get it all working a bit better, looking a bit nicer and going a bit faster.

As with pretty much every build I’ve ever seen on OSS, thing spun a bit out of control with lots of clever engineering, pole positions and ultimately, big crashes. If you’re not crashing, you’re not racing. There’s no argument to say our friend Maxwin didn’t try his very best.

One of the very first to be promoted to OSS Winged Hammer, he has kept us up to date with all the ins and outs of the ET, plenty of pictures and YouTube videos for us to ogle over and wish for it to be us on the clipons and having a go ourselves.

Personally, I’d love to go racing, but lack of talent/balls/money will see me get my fix trying to hassle my bike around during rookie-level trackdays, dreaming of keeping up with the likes of Maxwin and his Earlystocks-compadres.

But, this is a goodbye, and for OSS an instance to honour someone who in turn honoured our request to fly the Winged Hammer flag and do his part for our little community. After a few heavy crashes, our friend choose to follow the path of progression (as you do with racing) and that progression sees the ET and Maxwin parting ways, with a water-cooled 600 of a not-to-be-named brand waiting in the wings to bring new highs in the career of our friend.

Update: It will be a Slabby 750 for next year, hurray! The ET will stay and progress, for Maxwin keeping it and let his dad have a go.

If you’re not crashing, you’re not racing. If you’re not trying to take things to another level, you’re not racing. If you’re not out to get that next second off your lap time, you’re not racing.

Maxwin chose racing and thus, we must say goodbye but not before we award him with the BOTM September 2017.

You sir, have truly done us all a big favour by letting us enjoy your updates and it makes me personally very proud to see our stickers on bikes used as intended and doing a bloody good job at it too! Thank you, I hope you return into our fold at some time in the future, for now, all the best 🙂

Congratulations on Bike Of The Month September 2017

Buildtread here

Bike of the Month August 2017

Bandits, they crop up for discussion from time to time on OSS. Are they interesting? Are they not? They get referred to as ‘blandits’ unless they’re decent and have always been seen as a good source of parts, particularly the engine for our beloved OSS bikes.

So, when we set about rebooting OSS into what it is today we had a think about how to word which bandits we’d like to see on here… specifically no blandits! However that needed a tad more definition so we ended up with the following as part of the rules: “Standard bandits just aren’t that interesting. Trick ones are another thing though, there are indeed some out there and we’re not talking bolt-on tat. GSXR running gear, 1216, flatslides, turbos etc, that makes them interesting!”

When it was time to choose this month’s BOTM, I saw Colinworth79’s Bandit Evo thread and re-read that definition. My thought was that maybe it’s time for a ‘non-blandit bandit that’s still somehow a bandit’ BOTM. I also like well-executed tasteful trick details and I like shiny… so here we are.

Trick frame? Tick. Upgraded running gear? Tick. Turbo? Fucking tick! There are so many upgrades and details on this bike. GIA frame (11kgs lighter than the stock), Ohlins suspension, Harris/custom yokes, that swingarm, lightweight wheels, big bore, turbo, the list goes on with some amazing details and one-off parts along the way. Recognisable as a bandit however very trick and lacking in renthal bars and twin dominator headlights too!

The bike has competed at the Brighton Speed Trials and has since been seriously crashed and rebuilt along with further upgrades. It doesn’t stop there though, a 1340 motor is now being prepared for it too.

So, here we have it – we’ve got a bandit as BOTM. Yet it’s not a blandit. It’s the opposite of bland yet it’s still got the recognisable silhouette of a bandit. Is it still a bandit? Who cares, it’s our BOTM.

Colinworth79, your Bandit Evo is this months BOTM.

Read the project thread here.

Discuss this article here.

Bike of the Month July 2017

Some of you may know of my fascination with Eighties Movies; I absolutely love them. To be honest, I’m not totally sure why myself; could be the cars, the music, the girls, anything. One thing that returns in pretty much all these films is that perseverance and doing the right thing, will alway get you on top. In the 90ish minutes most of these films take, our lead character will fight his or her way though all matter of obstacles, an epic montage for good measure, with the end of the movie wrapping up with the championship/the girl/the car/ saving the planet (remember Wargames?)

This Slabbie that Leblowski has built, reminds me of those movies. The buildthread reads as a moviescript with some things hard to be believed, yet they all really happened.

Starting on the backfoot with a heavy operation and a bike most normal people would’ve called a scrapper, Leblowski took it upon himself to get the bike built to enter in the Bikers Classics Festival at Spa Francorchamps which he had attended as a spectator many times before.

Cutting it as close as you like with having the bike first run on the Dyno only days before the event and arriving at Spa with the paint only literally just dry from application, the bike proved to be absolutely perfect. Finished to a standard most of us can only dream of and the frame so heavily modified, it may be the most extreme Slabbie in existence. You’d have to look for it though, because you really can’t tell if you just casually walk past.

Now Spa is out of the way, this bike will be used for more track outings as part of the #TeamBanana “racingteam”.

I take my hat off for Leblowski, doing this project and taking it as far as he did, I know very few people so determined to make their vision a reality.

Leblowski, your Slabbie is this months BOTM
Read the whole script here

Bike of the Month June 2017

Build it, run it, break it, fix it then repeat. The life of a drag racer can easily be likened to that of a drug addict. They spend all of their available cash and time working towards their next fix, even if it means ignoring the trivial things like food, clothing and sleep. The principle difference is that while a drug addict wants the hit to last longer, the drag racer does all that they can to shorten the experience. I’m reliably informed that once you’ve tried it, you either love it or you’re wrong.

Our bike of the month for June goes to Gary Hester AKA et1170. Gary has been evolving and racing this bike since he bought it nearly 7 years ago. Starting life as an 1100ET the bike now sports Katana styled bodywork. Gary was one of our first Winged Hammers and I like to think Hanma-Shin has had a hand in his results this year.

What I love about this bike and Gary’s story is that he has clearly never had serious money to throw at it. His success is a steady one. Carefully building on the previous years results with the parts that he could get. There are no turbos, no nitrous, no mega bucks cylinder head work- just oldskool, DIY air-cooled engine tuning in a shed. That, said if you read Gary’s thread you get the sense that Gary’s addiction will inevitably lead to forced induction and more…

Congratulations Gary you are June’s Bike of the Month.

Members discuss this here