The Suzuki DR800S Big — aka DR Big or Desert Express — was inspired by the large-bore Paris-Dakar rally racers of the era. Said Suzuki: “The DR800S is a motorcycle you can ride to Africa or the corner shop.” The bike offered a 54-hp, dual-carb single-cylinder motor with double balance shafts to counter the vibration of the giant piston. The DR Big proved a stout performer, with owners getting 50,000 miles out of the engine before needing a rebuild.
Enter Andreas Soeser of Austria, who’s wanted a street-legal dirt tracker for more than two decades. Since no such bike is available in his home country, he decided to build one himself. The result is this stunning Suzuki DR Big street tracker, inspired by the race bikes of American Flat Track.
Below, we get the full story on this dual sport street tracker!
Suzuki DR Big Street Tracker: Builder Interview
• Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.
I’m Andreas Soeser, a 48 year old bike enthusiast from Austria. I started driving motorcycles at the age of 11 years. From motocross to street racing bikes, I had all of them. I’m an autodidactic builder, customizing bikes just for fun for myself and learned it by doing it.
• What’s the make, model, and year of the bike?
Suzuki DR Big 800 (SR 42 A DR 800 SL), 1990
• Why was this bike built?
My dream for nearly 20 years is to own a dirt tracker. Due to the fact, that there were no such bike available here in Austria, I decided to build it by myself. My goal was to build a drive-able good looking and street legal bike.
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
I like the design of the American Flattrack race bikes, especially the big ones like Harley XR750. But I don’t wanted to just copy them, that’s the reason for the color combination – green with brown, and white for the racing look.
• What custom work was done to the bike?
– It was lowered for 12 cm by reworking the linkage and fork
– Some performance parts were used
– The front wheel comes from a BMW F650
– Tank from a XS 650
– Custom made air box, hosting the air filter, accu and the electrics
– Relocation of the ignition lock underneath the fuel tank
– Custom made holder for the lights and flasher
– Reworked rear frame, powder coated
– Custom made handlebar clamp
– Stripped wiring to get everything under the fuel tank
• How would you classify this bike?
I would say, it’s a street tracker
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
That’s a difficult question. I think that I’m proud of realizing the bike which I had in mind with less money. You will laugh, but the chain cover is made out of an old aluminium window sill or the small rear finder (to protect the rear suspension) is the recycled original DR front fender formed with the help of a hairdryer.