1260cc Tasmanian Devil: Suzuki GS1100 Restomod

Suzuki GS1100 Restomod

ProtoWorks Manufacturing builds an air-cooled, 160-hp superbike…

Introduced in 1980, the Suzuki GS1100E quickly became the undisputed King of the Superbikes, rocketing through the quarter mile in 10.99 seconds at 120.8 mph — the world’s first ten-second production street bike. Cycle World named it Superbike of the Year for three consecutive years, and sixteen-valve engine, boasting “Twin Swirl Combustion Chambers” (TSCC), received nearly universal praise. Said Cycle in 1982:

“As things stand now, three out of three of the quickest and fastest motorcycles Cycle has ever tested have had the big-inch 16-valve Suzuki engine (’81 GS1100, ’82 Katana, ’82 GS1100).”

Suzuki GS1100 Restomod

Enter Bill and Evan Gregory, the father/son team behind Ontario’s ProtoWorks Manufacturing, which specializes in restomod superbikes, prototyping, and small-batch machining. Last week, we featured their stunning 1990 Honda CB-1 restomod, which took home a top 10 finish in the builders’ competition at the 2020 Motorcycle Supershow in Toronto. Now they’re back with this ’83 GS1100E, which was actually their first build together and also took earned a top 10 finish!

Suzuki GS1100 Restomod

Working out of their basement machine shop, the duo spent over 2.5 years on the project — and it shows. Only the engine, frame, and bodywork remain from the original machine.

“Other than the updated forks, brakes, wheels and instruments, everything else was designed, machined, fabricated or 3D printed by us.”

GS1100 Restomod

One of the most impressive components is the three-piece swingarm they designed and machined from solid aluminum — a stunning piece of work. The electronics are now housed in an aluminum skin stitched into the frame, replacing the rear fender, and the paintwork is inspired by Suzuki’s 2020 GSX1100. Then there’s the engine, which has been punched to 1260cc with JE Pistons, Web Camshafts, a Barnett clutch, and an in-house port and polish job. Says Bill:

“With the motor cranking out about 160HP, this bike is as fun to ride as it looks.”

Below, we get the full story on this restomod superbike!

Suzuki GS1100E Restomod: In the Builder’s Words

Suzuki GS1100 Restomod

This bike represents a 2.5 year project undertaken by me and my son. We entered it in the builders competition at the 2020 Motorcycle Supershow in Toronto, where it earned a top 10 finish in the cafe racer category. It would have been nice if they had a Resto-mod, classic superbike, or a similar category for us to compete in, because this bike is definitely not a cafe racer.

GS1100 Restomod

All work was performed by me and my son. We are both machinists/fabricators/tuners. We have a complete machine shop in our basement consisting of several conventional & CNC metal working machines. Our garage serves as our tear down, fabrication, paint, final assembly and engine tuning area.

GS1100 Restomod

The only original parts that remain are the motor, frame & bodywork. Other than the updated forks, brakes, wheels and instruments, everything else was designed, machined, fabricated or 3D printed by us. For our next build (currently in process), we are machining triple clamps, brake calipers and several other bits of our own design.

The front end is from a 2001 Yamaha R1. The swing arm was machined from solid aluminum and assembled in 3 pieces.

With each build we continue to refine the design and manufacturing process of our swing arms in an effort to reduce the weight while maintaining maximum strength and reliability. The net weight is slightly heavier than a fabricated version, but the end result is a stunning work of art.

The paint scheme was inspired by the 2020 GSX1000 model. The seat was shaved down to render a sleek line.

GS1100 Restomod

To further clean up the lines we replaced the rear fender with an aluminum skin stitched into the frame and integrated it with the enclosure for all the electronics. We replaced the entire electrical circuit with an M-Unit, anti gravity battery and Dynatek ignition system. The only items remaining from the original circuit is the voltage regulator and starter solenoid.

GS1100 Restomod

Engine work consists of the following: displacement increased to 1260cc (JE Pistons), mild cams installed (Webcams), head ported & polished (performed by us), heavy duty clutch plates & springs (Barnett), 36mm Mikuni RS series carburetors. With the motor cranking out about 160HP, this bike is as fun to ride as it looks.

GS1100 Restomod

It was a pleasure working on this project and equally pleasing to see the final product.

Follow the Builders @protoworks_mfg


  1. You can be proud of your creation. Nothing flashy, everything designed to make the old GS perform better. I have had two of these, and they remain one of my favourite superbikes from the eighties. Of course, mine were nothing like this. Your beauty is right up to date with the 2020’s!

  2. Nevyl Banks

    In Australia we called that bike a GSX1100E, all the 4 valve heads were GSX. The GS1100 was a shaft drive with 2 valve motor. The GSX1100E was a great bike especially if you could get some weight off it. This looks like a great build, love those carbs and your swing arm. Should be a real hoot to ride. Those big GSX motors are a joy to work on.

  3. That’s a clean looking bike. And it’s not a bend your ass over cafe. I’ll bet it’s fun to ride!

  4. That’s one good looking bike, the colour scheme brings the bike right up to date.

  5. Wow! I love it, had a couple of these, ( actually an 83 1100e & a 85 1100e. ) Your “updated version is incredible!

  6. A stunning example of what a near 40 year-old bike can become.
    Mine has gone through multiple changes over the years.
    A photo of it (with my wife standing next to her bike) can be seen in the comments section here: https://www.motorcycle.com/new-model-preview/moto-guzzi-teases-v100-mandello-and-reveals-plans-for-new-factory.html

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