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 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

Reggie does TT (again)

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.

Thank you..

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 Liverpool.

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 pretty special.

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 worse.

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 festival.

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 other volunteers.

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 appeal.

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.

Discuss here

Suzuki Cadwell Classic 2019

As is with everything; better late than never;

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 OSS-category.

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.

First 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;

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