2006 Suzuki GSX-R 1000 Future Perfect

16 Jan 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on 2006 Suzuki GSX-R 1000 Future Perfect


Suzuki GSX-R 1000

2006 Suzuki GSX-R 1000 – Future Perfect

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There’s a lot to be said about the power of youth and the unique ability you have when you are young to ignore past and present, and instead focus deep into the future. With age comes nostalgia, the burdens of memory and experience that inevitably tie you to the things of your past. But when you are young you essentially have no past, and all your energy remains focused squarely on the promise, possibility and potential of the future.

It’s exactly this youthful spirit that makes custom sportbike builder Dean Kawczak, just 24 years old, such a perfect player in the Metric Revolution sportbike build-off (www.metrictv.com), a televised sportbike competition that aims to push the world of custom motorcycle design and construction in bold new directions. And it comes as no surprise that Kawczak was the mind behind one of the most original and innovative custom sportbikes that the show spawned, the bike you are looking at here.

Looking at Kawczak’s radically reshaped Suzuki GSX-R1000 is like looking at a motorcycle from 20 years in the future. While other build-off competitors relied on garish chrome, candy paint and other over-the-top elements to make an impression, Kawczak’s creation is almost understated, and instead makes its impression with flawless design, aggressive styling and fiercely innovative technology like the transparent Lexan wheels, perimeter brakes and sprocket, hidden controls, and myriad other details that just make you shake your head.

It’s almost hard to believe that it’s real-it looks like an RD; design study or concept bike from a Japanese manufacturer, or maybe an impressive exercise in Photochop. But believe us when we tell you this is a real-deal, rideable custom turned out not by a million-dollar design studio, but one young man’s bare hands, in a modest shop in Feura Bush, a small town in upstate New York.

This isn’t the first time that Super Streetbike readers have seen work from Kawczak’s LBF (Louder, Badder, Faster) Cycles-his was the shop that brought us the also-outrageous three-wheeled Hayabusa (Tripl3 Threat) featured in our July 2005 issue, and that was the custom that originally caught the attention of the Metric TV producers and got him a spot in this career-making build-off. Obviously, the stakes are very high when you’re talking about potential exposure in front of millions of television viewers, so Kawczak knew with this build-off bike that he had to put out something truly amazing, beyond anything he had done before, even the tandem-wheeled ‘Busa.

I wanted to make a huge impact, Kawczak says. I wanted to bring sportbikes to the level where choppers are, fabrication-wise, to make a point that sportbike guys can do more than just bolt together bikes with off-the-shelf parts and chrome.

Metric Revolution builders didn’t choose the bikes that they built-the television producers provided the base bikes, and they delivered a zero-mile Suzuki GSX-R1000 (sourced from Seymour’s Motor Sports, an upstate New York Suzuki dealership Kawczak worked at for a few years) to the LBF shop and gave Kawczak just 180 days from start to finish to complete his transformation. If you look closely, you can still see the basic Suzuki styling cues, though Kawczak has completely reimagined the lines of the familiar Gixxer.

Kawczak and his LBF staff (brother Don Kawczak, Nick Dagastino and Kevin O’Connell) first de-seamed the fairing, removing all the panels and plastic welding them together to create a smooth, one-piece appearance. LBF also radically reworked the front of the bike, removing the stock headlight and filling the opening (the headlights have now been relocated to inside the fairing’s ram air openings, using lights from Yamaha Banshee ATV), likewise filling the windscreen opening and radically cutting down the upper fairing to lower the front profile of the bike and remove some visual weight.

Like the fairing, the fuel tank on this bike is an original GSX-R piece that has been modified so far that it hardly resembles the starting point. LBF began by chopping three inches off the top to maintain the bike’s low profile and, since the tank is no longer required to carry fuel (more on that in a minute. ), the top was replaced with a clear sheet of Lexan to allow you to see through to the motor.

Once lowered, LBF stretched the tank three inches in length, maintaining the lower edge to hug the frame and visually lengthen the look of the bike. The tailsection is stock GSX-R as well-Kawczak loved the lines-but that of course has been tweaked too with the bulbous-looking blinkers shaved off the sides, a custom undertray to smooth out the bottom and a tiny diamond-shaped taillight. The gorgeously shaped, minimalist seat is molded Lexan and sits on top of a highly modified sub-frame.

Look closely and you’ll see the sub-frame no longer bolts to the main spars-LBF welded the frame and the sub-frame together and then meticulously molded the lines to remove the unsightly sub-frame mounting hardware and give the frame a more organic look-that’s attention to detail, typical on this bike.

The reconfigured bodywork on this LBF Gixxer is stunning, but it’s arguably not the most impressive feature of this bike-that honor almost unquestionably rests with the insane, transparent Lexan wheels envisioned by Kawczak and brought to completion by Gregg Hoeve and his crew at Ego Tripp wheels. The motorcycle world has simply never seen wheels like this before.

Beginning with one-inch-thick squares of Lexan glass, these were cut into circles and then sandwiched between two halves of a split rim engineered by Ego Tripp. The two halves bolt together through the Lexan center, as do the Ego Tripp-made hubs, resulting in an amazing, invisible wheel.

Accentuating the visual effect of these crazy wheels are the equally innovative perimeter brakes and rear sprocket that mount directly to the rim itself to leave the hub centers visually uncluttered-though these pieces were first selected not for the look but to prevent the Lexan wheels from being damaged by the massive torque generated through acceleration and braking. The perimeter rotors are from famed Belgian chopper builder Freddie Krugger of Krugger Motorcycles, machined by Ego Tripp especially to fit their rims; the giant, 96-tooth sprocket, meanwhile, was sourced from industrial sprocket specialists Martin Gear.

As you might have guessed, the final drive gearing is slightly taller than stock, despite Kawczak’s fitment of a huge, 20-tooth front sprocket. Kawczak freely admits the bike is not geared for speed. I usually only need to pull away in second gear, he says by way of explanation.

Suzuki GSX-R 1000

The wild, 240-width rear wheel is held in place by a radically modified (as if you couldn’t have predicted that) ten-inch-over swingarm originally manufactured by Trac Dynamics. The boxed center section of the swingarm now contains two internal tanks-one that holds two gallons of high-octane to run the bike (and allow the transparent tank top that offers such a good view of the motor), and the other to hold compressed air for the air ride suspension.

Speaking of air ride, the rear of this bike is supported by a DaPincci dual-chambered air ride suspension, and the standard Suzuki GSX-R forks have also been converted to air-ride status, allowing the bike’s ride height front and rear to be altered by six inches via toggle controls mounted beside the fuel tank. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first front-air-ride-equipped sportbike in the world, and, for the time being at least, Kawczak prefers to keep the details of these internal mechanics to himself.

Want your own? You’ll just have to contact him at his shop (www.lbfcycles.com).

Keeping with the surgically clean theme of this bike, check out the controls (or, rather, lack thereof). Look at the handlebars and you’ll notice there are no levers in sight-look again at the footrests and you’ll see the same thing-how, then, do you make this bike stop and go? Using a technique boosted straight from the chopper world, the throttle and clutch cables are internally routed through the handlebars using parts made by legendary chopper builder Russell Mitchell at Exile Cycles.

That’s right-to shift this bike, instead of pulling in a lever you twist the left grip to engage the clutch. The actual shifting is achieved by pushing a button to operate the electronic shifter from drag race specialist Pingel, which means there’s no shift lever or ugly linkage fouling the left peg of the bike either. As far as braking is concerned, see those tiny thumb levers located under either grip?

Those are thumb brakes from GP Tech, the right lever controlling the front brake, the left operating the rear. Brilliant and superclean.

The finishing touch on any custom bike is the paint, and, wisely, Kawczak chose a subtle, understated paint scheme for this bike so as not to distract from the brilliant engineering and design work. Put down by Darkside Graphix, the metallic champagne base color with graphite highlights looks so perfect that it’s almost like the bike grew skin and contrasts perfectly with the inky black powdercoat (by Powdertech) that covers the hard parts. Simple and elegant, the paint is absolutely in keeping with the style and spirit of this forward-looking custom sportbike.

What’s that old saying about youth and beauty being no match for old age and treachery? Apparently it’s not true in the brave new world of custom sportbike construction, where one of the most imaginative, innovative and beautiful sportbikes we’ve seen has come from Dean Kawczak at LBF Cycles, one of the youngest builders in the business.

The future, in other words, is now.

Suzuki GSX-R 1000
Suzuki GSX-R 1000
Suzuki GSX-R 1000
Suzuki GSX-R 1000
Suzuki GSX-R 1000

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