Bike of the Month May 2020

It’s not often that I have a hard time to come up with the words to a BOTM article but this time, I’m genuinely struggling. You see, this bike is a bit different to everything else we do on OSS, as is Matt, tbf..

No cradle frame, no aircooled engine, it doesn’t even have 4 cilinders, yet here it is. The OSS breed has a very narrow vision of what goes and what doesn’t, and there’s very little deviation from this path.

However, every now and again, something stands out amongst the crowd; something that works when in reality it shouldn’t. If you were to say to one of us; I’m gonna build a TLS, with a Kat fairing and a GP-like seat, we’d call you mad.

Rightly so, it shouldn’t work; a curvy bike with a very pointy fairing stuck on the front of it; not a chance..

However, looking at the pics of the finished article, I think we can all agree Matt-man has actually pulled it off and made it look as intended.

It’s not really finished, as some modifications are on the cards when lockdown ends, but that’s the same for most projectbikes

I met Matt-man for the first time in 2008, in a pub in Buxton; I called him mad then, this bike just proves me right.

Congratulations Matt-man, your KaTL is this month Bike of the Month  


Discuss here

Read more here

Bike of the Month April 2020

Yes, really; you’re reading a BOTM article on the very first day of the month. The world is in shambles, and here I am actually getting some work done; I don’t know either, it’s not even a joke…

Ask the question; “What is a Streetfighter?” in a group of people that we have been surrounded with over the years, and chances are you kickstart a full-on brawl. Whatever your opinion, there’s no denying the fact how it started out.

Dig out your oldest SF mags and see for yourself; if it’s just Slabbies and Slingshots with 916-seats; you need to go further back, because it didn’t start out that way. Most were chopped up GS’s, GSX’s and some built out of other inferior brands we won’t mention, hardtailed or not but near all of them  were very hopped-up Jap 4’s in a modified factory frame.

Actually, they were all pretty close to the ET you see in the 2 pictures above, albeit faster. The bike you see here is owned and build by our friend EFEchop (obviously), Karl, for friends. Bought in 2011 as a mildly modified 750ET, built in spirit of the very first Streetfighters as mentioned earlier, Karl took his time to build it over the years to what it has become.

A bike not just reminiscent of the “proper” ones in the old days, but a bike that can show up the best bikes from way back when, and now, not only for the fact that it actually gets used on the road. Over the course of 9 years of ownership, Karl used a lot of tried and tested ingredients to get the bike to this level, but it takes more than just the right bits to end up with a decent bike. You need to know how to actually put the whole lot together too.

The weedy 750-lump was rightfully changed to a TSCC1135, complete running gear replaced with obligatory Slingshot parts, frontend mated to the headstock with thug yokes, just like it was done all those years ago. Swingarm on the opposite end balanced out with fancy shocks, exhaust routed thought the hole where the monoshock used to live; this bike has everything and makes it work.

Engine fed with a bank of fresh RS36’s, Dyna ignition and coils for a better bang and every other thing you can think of (bar a turbo); it’s been done to this bike. And then, there’s the paint..

Most bikes you see built now have very abstract paintjobs or even wrapped. These days it’s rare to see a bike airbrushed to within an inch of it’s life; it’s almost a forgotten art. More bikes need airbrushing; there I’ve said it. If there was ever a better example to stake my claim, this bike is it.

Btw; he has a few more nice bikes too; priorities and all that..

Anyway, without further ado; congratulations Karl, your Pork Chop is this month’s Bike of the Month.

Discuss here

Buildthread here

Bike of the Month March 2020

As February has come and gone, you may have noticed a apparent lack of BOTM that month. They made that month too short; that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. It didn’t help that the weather was utterly miserable and riding bikes in the summer sun was a long distant memory. Cue March and we’re inching ever closer to spring. Yesterday was the first decent day of 2020 here and I even managed to get the bike out.

I don’t ride on the road very often anymore (not here anyway) but if there’s one thing I get the most gratification out off, it’s showing up modern machinery with our older bikes. Having the powerrangers scratch their Rossi-rep lids in disbelief how they just got left for dead by a bike older than themselves, usually ridden buy a guy in jeans and trainers. But, enough about me…

The above is best done on a bike that is very understated and one that, in the eyes of the unknowing, just looks “old” My pink-neon wheeled EFE doesn’t fit this category but the 1100M Oilyspanner built that you see above is one of the best I’ve ever seen.

Even if you do know what you’re looking at, you’d have to look twice to see all that has been done to the seemingly stock-looking bike. Starting off fairly standard a few years back when it replaced a (much) later model GSXR, all was done to have the older bike get in the realms of modern sportsbikes.

Weight was shed anywhere and everywhere possible; roughly 40kgs (!) saved over stock and with a modern frontend swapped with the endlessly outdated (and questionably sprung) original Slingy USD’s, the rear was balanced out with a very trick raceshock from Nitron.

The buildthread of this bike reads as though a proper hands-on journalist is using it as a longtermer, with a wealth of information on chassis and especially carb-setup. Jetting all done on the basis of experience, “feel” and the use of a private road (officer), the bike has become what it should’ve been in 1991, had our friends in Hamamatsu had the technology of today.

Still very much a project but you can’t help but tip your hat to the work already gone into this bike to make it what it is now.

Congratulations Oilyspanner, your bike is this months Bike of the Month

I’d have left the purple wheels though…

Discuss here

Buidthread here

Bike of the Month December 2019

Some bikes are built because you can, some because you want and sometimes because you need to. A sense of urgency before you miss that window of socially accepted ownership, so to speak. Such is the tale of Kraptanaman’s turbo GS1000.

Excuses at the ready to justify the actual turbo to the good lady, parts were gathered from inside OSS-land and the build commenced swiftly. This very bike will be the first awarded BOTM twice, because the frame is YoshiJohnny’s old GS1000 Yoshimura-rep, previously earning BOTM way back on the old page.

Playing around with the hacksaw to make the engine fit properly without having to re-do the headers, all fell into place after some persuasion and focus was shifted to the frame itself. Deciding on a slightly shorted seat, the backend was lopped off and the seat shortened to suit.

Making use of the talents and knowhow of several OldSkoolSuzuki heavy-hitters and also a few local tradesmen, the project neared the end of the journey and after the obligatory MOT, it was out on the road, all nice and legal.

However, as normal with pretty much any bike built in any shed, trouble rears its head when you think you’ve done everything properly. This was no different and work was needed to the tank because it sprung a leak under the new paintwork, which ended up needing a different tank and another complete paintjob again.

Over time a trip to Blair’s dyno to get the best out of the old oilboiler, Andrew ended up with a 200+ Bhp machine, having scratched his mid-life itch of building and owning a turbocharged motorcycle.

Long overdue since it has been finished for some time; congratulations Kraptanaman, your GS Turbo is this months Bike of the Month.

Buildthread here

Discuss here

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 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

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 – May 2018

This month’s bike of the month is a tale of both resurrection and evolution.  Plucked from an insurance sale, this slightly fire damaged, pretty standard machine was rescued by nightrider. It was quite a rare find – especially the other side of the Atlantic. The decision is what we at OSS would call ‘a no brainer’.

We’ve been watching the story of this machine since the oldskoolsuzuki.info site itself was resurrected and as is often the case with projects progress sometimes stalls. Over the last 3 years we’ve seen a pragmatic mix of make do (when the OEM spares are hard to get) and mend.

With some advice and moral support from folk who have done the same thing as you and the balls to give it a go (or know when to sub it out) most obstacles can be over come. The proof is in the riding but this ES is easy on the eye in that striking blue squareness it wears so well.

So the GS 1100 ES has now returned to it’s rightful duty as a smile inducing muncher of miles. And I have no doubt the story and evolution will continue.

 

It’s a great bike. Who wouldn’t want it in their fleet?

Read all about the build  project here

Or throw your green eyed congratulations in nightrider’s direction over here

Congratulations to our Winner!