Big-Bore Weapon: Suzuki GSX-R1100 “Bushido”

Suzuki GSX-R1100 Custom

Rusty Wrench Motorcycles builds an 1100cc weapon…

In the early 1980s, Suzuki set to work developing a machine that could outperform the formidable Honda Interceptor. In 1984, they released the GSX-R400, an aluminum-framed four-cylinder sportbike that was nearly one-fifth lighter than comparable bikes on the market. Said lead engineer Etsuo Yokouchi:

“I felt that if we could do a 400cc bike that was 18 percent lighter, we should be able to do the same with a 750…”

Suzuki GSX-R1100 Custom

The GSX-R750 arrived a year later, introducing a “humpback” aluminum frame and a host of weight-saving measures, going so far as to use aircraft rivets instead of welding. Other innovations such as Suzuki’s Advanced Cooling System (SACS) and a re-engineered rear suspension linkage set the GSX-R apart from contemporary rivals.

Suzuki GSX-R1100 Custom

In ’86, all these high-performance advancements met with big-bore power, the mighty GSX-R1100. By the 1994, the big Gixxer, now liquid-cooled, boasted 157 horsepower at the crank, good for a quarter-mile of 10.5 seconds at 138 mph.

“The thing was so FAST… Fidget about to take the weight off your wrists and before you can say magistrate all the cars are in reverse. Hit 9000rpm and your bum slides backwards, your arms tense with the effort of keeping up with a motorcycle hell bent on breaking the sound barrier.” —Bike magazine, 1993

Enter Francisco and crew from Portugal’s Rusty Wrench Motorcycles, located on the country’s stunning Algarve Coast, where they have a brick-and-mortar store, apparel brand, and their great passion, a custom workshop:

“Transforming and making two-wheel dreams come true is our mission! For RW Motorcycles, a motorcycle is not just a vehicle, it is an extension of your personality, of yourself…

Suzuki GSXR1100 Custom

In this case, that dream stemmed from the Japanese concept of Bushido — literally, “The Way of the Warrior” — the code and customs that defined the samurai way of life. This GSX-R1100 “Bushido” is a tribute to that philosophy and to the original 1980 Suzuki GSX1000S Katana, a bike whose angular lines and radical styling would influence superbike design for decades to come.

Suzuki GSX-R1100 Custom

These hard, uncompromising lines can be seen in the bike’s handmade aluminum and sheetmetal bodywork, cladding the bike like a lightweight suit of armor. From the fenders and fairings to the side covers and engine spoiler — all are hand-shaped, painted dark gray with subtle red details.

The bike is now running minimalist Motogadget electronics, eliminating much of the original wiring, and the brakes, suspension, tires, and lighting have all been upgraded. In our opinion, RW Motorcycles have created a fitting tribute to the original Katana, a dark twin with immense power and a sinister edge.

Below, we get a few more details on the build, as well as more stunning shots from photographer Paulo Teixeira.

“Bushido” – Build Sheet

Suzuki GSXR1100 Custom

Motorcycle Make/Model: Suzuki GSX-R 1100
Year: 1994
Customized by: Rusty Wrench Motorcycles
Nickname: “Bushido”

This moto is a tribute to the Suzuki Katana from the 80’s, and the name is a tribute to the way of life of the Samurai.

This way of life — Bushido (originally “Buxido”) — is based on the loyalty, fidelity, justice, kindness, braveness, honor, glory and, above all, living and dying with dignity.

Handmade Parts:

The handmade parts were all done in sheet metal and aluminium, such as:

  • Sub frame
  • Side covers
  • Front fairing with a rectangular headlight
  • Front fender
  • Engine spoiler
  • License plate support
  • Rear Seat
  • Rear light support

Other Custom Parts and Work:

  • Motogadget MO-Lock
  • Motogadget Turn signals
  • Motogadget Rear Side Mirrors
  • Motogadget Speedometer
  • EBC Disc brakes – front and rear
  • Nissin Radial Pump
  • YSS Rear Suspension
  • Continental Contisport Attack – Tires rear and front
  • New Exhaust ends
  • LED Headlight

The color of the motorcycle is dark grey and black with red details. The seat is made in alcantara and leather.

More “Bushido” Photos

Photographer credits:

Paulo Teixeira: @pauloteixeiraphotography

Follow the Builder

Instagram: @rwmotorcycles

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One Comment

  1. Miguel Sousa

    What a fantastic result on an allready great bike. Exelent job, what a nice BUSHIDO. Another great work from these portuguese mates, muitos parabéns e continuem.

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