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 “restomod.” But when you take a modern machine and turn back the clock on the aesthetics, making it resemble one of its two-wheeled ancestors, what do you call that? Here at BikeBound, we coined the term “retromod” for this time of treatment.
These bikes tend to be some of our favorite builds, combining the power and performance of a modern bike with the nostalgia, charisma, and old-school beauty of vintage machinery.
You can be forgiven if you thought today’s feature bike was an 80s GSX-R at first glance. In reality, you’re looking at a 2007 Suzuki GSX-R1000 K7 that’s been given what Fahim calls the “go-back-in-time treatment” in order to resemble one of the most formidable superbikes of the 1980s, the ’89 GSX-R1100 Slingshot.
“Suzuki’s GSX-R1100 has always been thought of as the ultimate hooligan’s tool…but it was the ’89 K model, which featured an even bigger 1127cc engine that really consolidated the bike’s reputation as a bit of an animal. To be fair, Suzuki had to do something about the increased competition from bikes like Yamaha’s FZR1000 Genesis and Kawasaki’s ZX-10 but the general consensus was that the firm went too far and had created a bit of a monster.” –Visordown
Fast forward nearly 20 years, and the new GSX-R1000 K7 remained as serious a weapon as ever, with 185-bhp on tap and a top speed of 186 mph:
“That’s part of the GSX-R manifesto: to design racebikes, and then adapt them to the street, rather than vice versa, as the case often used to be.” –Cycle World
However, many of us miss the beauty and attitude of the 80s and 90s superbikes, so Fahim and crew decided to turn the dial back to 1989 on this K7 for their client Nipun Benny, whose IG handle couldn’t be any more appropriate for the owner of such a build: @living_in_the_eighties_.
While the result may be more understated than some of the workshop’s other builds, Fahim assures us that it took buckets of sweat and hours of hard work to get everything just right. As is so often the case, it’s damn hard to make something look easy.
Below, Fahim gives us more details on the build. Photos courtesy of Siddharth Pandey (@sidpandey1), and thanks goes out to shop assistants Jeevan and Sreekumar for their hard work on the build.
In the Builder’s Words…
Starting life as a 2007 Suzuki GSXR 1000 K7, this bike has been given the “go-back-in-time” treatment. It now sports looks that bear a striking resemblance to a 1989 GSXR Slingshot 1100.
German-sourced Ricambi Weiss fairings are fitted to newly-fabricated fairing mounts, while the seat has been custom-made. Lighting duties fall to a set of Posh turn signals from Japan, and a used headlight setup from an original Slingshot completes the retro-classic aesthetic.
The engine remains untouched, with the exception of dual Yoshimura exhaust pipes sourced from the US, connected to custom-made bend pipes, so that it sounds as good as it looks!
While it may not seem as involved as our other builds, we can say that a lot of sweat and hard work went into getting this bike right. From how the fairing sits, to the color scheme and exhaust, the attention to detail is truly impressive.
Follow the Builder
Owner of the bike: Nipun Benny (@living_in_the_eighties_)
Garage: Cafe Rider Custom, Dubai (@caferidercustom | Cafe Rider)
Head builder: Fahim Rehman (@greasy_hands)
Photography: Siddharth Pandey (@sidpandey1)
Assistant Thanks: Jeevan and Sreekumar