Rarely is customising a motorcycle a wallet friendly activity, but for the cost of a crappy 90’s hatchback you could be riding this Yoshimura Suzuki race replica, that’s definitely hard to argue with. Patrick Sauter of Germany is no stranger to these pages – having built a very polarising CX500 rat bike a year ago – but this time he has turned his hand to a whole new style of bike and done it for a very lucky family member.
Being a child of the 1970s, I fondly remember a few formative moments in my motorcycle education. SS Ducatis. The Fonz. Evel Knievel. And, most importantly, Mad Max. We’ve talked before about this Australian movie par excellence, and I don’t think it’s an overstatement to say that it not only represents a milestone in the history of movie making, but also in motorcycle trend-setting. In a way it crystallised the ascendance of Japanese motorcycles – something that had started over a decade before at the Isle of Man with Soichiro Honda and continued in the 70s with the legendary Honda Daytona wins. Suddenly, kids like me weren’t dreaming of riding Italian or English bikes, but instead a new generation of Far Eastern dream machines with their race-bred OHCs, in-line four blocks and new-school traditions. To me, this bike is everything a cool motorcycle needs to be. Black. Fared. Flat-backed. Bad-assed. Not moved? We suggest you check your pulse for signs of life and read on.
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This 1979 Suzuki GS1000S sat in a backyard in Washington USA for six years until Larry Pearson got his greasy hands on it. Larry is no stranger to motorbikes. He has been custom painting and restoring bikes for years (having 8 amazing bikes in his possession). About 14 months ago he started his dream of turning this GS into a tribute to Wes Cooley’s Superbike. It all started with a beautiful original Yoshimura racing pipe. The engine only had 17K miles on it, and ran like new. He did a complete front end rebuild, all new seals, bearings. Same for the swing arm, and the entire brake system with the addition of stainless lines. Continental “Cont-Blyz” tires, ’80 Suzuki rotors, “83 Honda CB1100F rear shocks and front fender. Tarozzi rear sets. He cut two inches off a 1980 GS seat foam bottom, and had it professionally upholstered. He wanted to build this bike for 30 years after seeing Wes Cooley, Eddy Lawson, and Freddie Spencer race Superbikes. Well, we think it was worth waiting for and we take our helmets off to you mate. Larry is about to embark on restoring and painting bikes for a living, so if you want him to build you a masterpiece contact us and we will give you his email. (We will post some more of Larry’s creations in the following weeks).
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This historic Yoshimura GS1000 was Wes Cooley’s superbike. He was the winner of 2 AMA Superbike Championships. It is now owned by Brian O’Shea of Enfield, Connecticut, whose collection has a number of the landmark bikes in Superbike racing history. This particular bike has a really interesting history. Especially the 1980 superbike title, it reads like a movie. You can read the whole story at The Motorcycle Museum. Just look at this machine sitting on the track. It wants to be ridden, and ridden fast like Wes rode it.
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