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
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.” -GSXR-Suzuki.eu
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.
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.
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
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.”
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
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.
More GSX-R Builds
Born on the Track: Suzuki GSX-R1100 Restomod-The 34: Jean Damien’s 1988 GSX-R1100 Kevin Schwantz Tribute… The original GSX-R was nothing short of a motorcycling revolution, a road-legal rocket that blew away old notions of what a street-going sportbike could be. Every […]
Stunning SRAD: ’98 Suzuki GSX-R750 Resto / Mod-90s Supersport Stunner from Ammar Çeker x Mim Moto… In 1985, Suzuki revolutionized modern superbiking with the original GSX-R750, hailed as the world’s first street-legal “replica racer” — basically a racebike for the street, […]
Back in Time Treatment: Suzuki GSX-R1000 K7 “Slingshot”-Summer of ’89: Retro-modded GSX-R1000 from Cafe Rider Custom… When you take a vintage machine and upgrade the performance with modern technology while retaining most of the original look and silhouette, we call it a […]
Pick ‘N’ Gixx: Suzuki GSX-R 7/11 Slingshot-Torques Moto’s 1100-powered GSX-R750 Slingshot… Legend has it, the original Suzuki GSX-R “7/11” (GSX-R1100 motor shoehorned into a GSX-R750 frame) was featured in the September 1992 issue of Performance Bikes. The bike was said to outperform […]
Retro Superbike: Suzuki GSX-R1000 “Slabshot”-Slabside + Slingshot = Slabshot by Haxch Moto… Introduced in 2009, the Suzuki GSX-R1000 K9 was the first all-new machine in the model’s history, featuring a new short-stroke engine and lighter weight chassis, suspension, and […]
Skoal Bandit Special: ’86 Suzuki GSX-R1100 Restomod-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 […]
Slabside Thunderbike: ’88 Suzuki GSX-R1100 Racer-Road-Legal Racer: Haxch Moto’s Ex-TT GSX-R… When Suzuki released the original GSX-R in 1984, it was a revolution in sport bikes — the closest thing to a racebike with lights ever to emerge from the […]
2WD Hayabusa: Suzuki GSX-R1300 NUDA-A 2WD ‘Busa from Suzuki! Suzuki has announced plans to launch a production version of their two-wheel-drive GSX-R1300 NUDA for 2024, utilizing the 1340cc liquid-cooled inline four-cylinder engine from the Suzuki GSX1300R Hayabusa. The most […]
One of One: Suzuki GSX-R750W Streetfighter-Alexandre Bonaccorso’s Water-cooled Weapon… Introduced in 1985, the Suzuki GSX-R750 would come to be known as one of the most uncompromising, aggressive sport bikes on the market — a street-legal replica racer that proved itself […]
Bloody Evil: 1052cc Turbo KZ / GSX-R1100-Kai Bailey’s KZ1000 / GSX-R1100 Turbo… For 1977, Kawasaki introduced the KZ1000, their 90-hp inline-four successor to the mighty Z1 and KZ900. Not only was it one of the fastest factory bikes of the era, […]
Big Kat: WSBK-Spec GSX-R1000 “Katana”-Team Classic Suzuki builds a Katana with 200-hp WSBK underpinnings! Team Classic Suzuki, sponsored by Suzuki’s official vintage parts program, fields some very trick vintage machinery in classic racing series around Europe and beyond. “The […]
Unholy Roller: ’86 Suzuki GSX-R750-Cole Parnell resurrects a first-gen GSX-R750 Slabby… In 1985, the world received the original Suzuki GSX-R750, a lightweight aluminum-framed race replica that would set the standard for modern inline-four sportbikes. “With a clean sheet of […]
Slingshot: Suzuki GSX-R750 Resto by GMW-Gaston Motorcycle Werks restores / upgrades an 80s icon… Introduced in 1985, the original Suzuki GSX-R750 would become a legend in its own time. The world’s first street-legal road-race replica that the average sport rider […]
Cafe Killer: Suzuki GSX-R750 by Cool Kid Customs-“Neo Tokyo” — an Akira-inspired slabside GSX-R… In 1985, Suzuki introduced the original GSX-R750, an aluminum-framed racebike for the street — a bike that would serve as the grandfather of all Japanese super sports to […]
Big-Bore Weapon: Suzuki GSX-R1100 “Bushido”-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 […]