Skoal Bandit Special: ’86 Suzuki GSX-R1100 Restomod

Skoal Bandit Suzuki GSX-R1100

Big-Bore 80s Superbike from Drew Halliday… 

These days, we’re seeing a rise in the popularity of so-called “Youngtimer” superbikes from the late 1980s and 1990s. What’s a Youngtimer motorcycle? These are generally bikes that are 20 to 30-something years old, which may not qualify as vintage, historic, or classic quite yet — but will soon, and will likely have some enduring historic value or cult appeal.

“A youngtimer motorcycle should be mass produced and accessible. Age is a factor here, but it’s the last criterion to check. There must be something else — an X-factor that either makes it a sales hit or a cult object — due to any aspect — from design to technical innovation.” -Nicholas Andreetto, Cafe Racer Garage

Skoal Bandit Suzuki GSX-R1100

The first-generation of “Slabside” Suzuki’s GSX-R series certainly fits the mold for both historical and cultural appeal. After all, the GSX-R was an uncontested revolution in performance motorcycles:

“Without question the first generation Suzuki GSXR was an out-of-the-ballpark success. The model turned the sportbiking world upside down. With one deadly accurate slash of the knife, it caused every other sportbike manufacturer to bleed sales and, once through triage, to rethink its evolutionary product-development process.”

Skoal Bandit Suzuki GSX-R1100

The GSX-R brought a host of innovations that would set the mold for supersports and superbikes for years to come. The ultra-lightweight frame was built entirely of aluminum, while the air/oiled inline four featured the new Suzuki Advanced Cooling System (SACS), which utilized oil jets to cool parts of the engine with minimal airflow.

Skoal Bandit Suzuki GSX-R1100

Last week, we were thrilled to feature Huxch Moto’s ’88 GSX-R1100 Slabside — a former Manx GP racer rebuilt as a road-legal club racer. Then, with our Slabby radar turned up high, we came across this 1986 GSX-R1100 Skoal Bandit restomod — one of the Top 10 sales at the recent Mecum auction in Glendale, AZ.

Skoal Bandit Suzuki GSX-R1100

This Gen I Slabside is a big-bore replica of the handful of Skoal Bandit 750’s sold in homage of Suzuki’s GP and production racers:

“The Skoal Bandit model was a re-painted GSXR750 with only 50 produced in the UK to celebrate the (Aussie) Paul Lewis-ridden Heron Suzuki race bikes that were sponsored by Skoal Bandit. All 50 were sold with certificates of authenticity and a genuine article is worth a healthy house deposit these days.” –Shannons

Skoal Bandit Suzuki GSX-R1100

This project, built by Drew Halliday of Canada, reportedly underwent a full two-year concours restoration, with trick parts sourced from more than six different countries:

“This was my build here in Canada and finished around six months or so ago. The bike is a 1986 Suzuki GSXR 1100. It underwent a rebuild and restoration to bring it to what it is today. The restoration of the bike included the upside down forks, and 2006 rear swingarm which were done by a specialty shop in Montreal Canada. The frame had been powder coated by the previous owner but it was repainted in an aluminum match paint. Ohlins shock was mounted again by the specialty shop in Montreal and 17 inch front and back rims were mounted. The original 1100 engine went back in the bike with an upgraded ignition and speedometer set up. The bodywork on the bike is all Jason Dunn fiberman products, including Yoshi inserts. All of the paint work completed on the bike was done by professional bike painter, Scott Johnson, here in Ottawa, Canada. The Yoshimura exhaust came from California, USA. This bike was a re-creation completed by myself with the help of lots of good people. The bike was sold to another owner here in Canada shortly after it was completed and then travelled across Canada 35 hours away to its home with a new owner.”

Skoal Bandit Suzuki GSX-R1100

Then there’s the livery, which was hand-painted by one of the best in the business:

“Noted super bike painter Scott Johnson, completed free hand with no decals, following the original design by Dream Machine of England who penned the Suzuki factory race scheme.” –Mecum

Skoal Bandit Suzuki GSX-R1100

If you’ve got the hots for this Slabby, we hate to tell you it’s too late — this Skoal Bandit GSXR sold for $20,900 at auction.

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One Comment

  1. Love the articles and the resto on the old bine

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