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