Note: We’ve seen this one before, but it’s been a couple years and Tad has a fresh perspective to consider. -dc
We generally try to stay away from modified machines at this site, but this GSX-750R LE is exactly the type of motorcycle I love: a bike that shows evolutionary change, a gradual improvement to more closely match the needs of the owner and address performance shortcomings from the factory. I’m sure the spoked wheels will generate a bit of controversy here, but they do look pretty sharp, and the listing includes his reasons for the swap. Most importantly, it should make the bike much more usable: the original 18″ items don’t have much in the way of high-performance rubber available these days…
The GSX-R was introduced in 1985 and featured a 750cc four-cylinder that eschewed water-cooling in an effort to save weight. The bike basically set the pattern still being followed today, with an aluminum beam frame, four piston calipers gripping triple-disc brakes, and monoshock rear suspension.
This “LE” or “Limited Edition” version of the Gixxer was intended to homologate parts for racing, specifically the distinctive vented dry clutch, aluminum fuel tank, and anti-dive forks that were an electronic alternative to Honda’s mechanical system. The swingarm was lengthened for 1986, although this example uses the shorter item from the 1985 model for a shorter wheelbase and quicker steering.
The description includes a pretty detailed account as to the changes that were made and why, and they all do make plenty of sense in context. He also includes a video clip of the bike starting and running, although the sound quality is pretty horrendous. It’s nice to see that the bike starts up quickly and settles into a nice idle, but if you’re curious about the dry clutch sound, you’re best off clicking around YouTube for another video.
It’s also interesting to note that, although regulations in Europe concerning noise can be very strict, he was granted an “exception” for his modifications, which seems so strangely… reasonable. It’s pretty impressive that the German equivalent of the DMV has folks on-hand knowledgeable enough to make that sort of determination!
From the original eBay listing: 1986 Suzuki GSX-R750 Limited Edition
I am offering up for sale a very unique bike. I have outfitted this bike myself and have used it on the roads in Germany, before moving to the USA. I have all the German registration documents and those from the original owner. I have owned or ridden most every GSXR and a fair number of other bikes, this bike by far is the best road going sport bike I have ridden. The wheels I had special made by WIWO in Germany, they are numbered and dated 1994. They are 3.5 x 17 F and 5.5 x 17 rear The tires are 120/65/17 and 180/55/17 I have run Metzlers without any problem. The wheels are certified tubeless. The rims are AKRONT. There is no damage to these wheels and they run true. This bike is outfitted with the short 1985 swingarm giving it a 55 inch wheelbase. There has never been any wobble or shake at speed. 260kph seems to be the top speed and it is quite a joy to ride at any speed. The motor is on the original bore, however the cylinder head was fitted with Yoshimura 1mm oversized valves and a Serdi blended 3 angle valve job performed to correct the factory valve jobs which were not very accurate. The ignition box is a Yoshimura item. The difference is night and day. The engine will rev to 12,000rpm. The hit at 7000rpm is quick. The exhaust is a 4-2-1 stainless system custom made to fit this bike by Shaefer Racing in Germany. I had the bike on a Dyno outdoors. At 7000rpm the shreak from the carbs drove everyone for cover. It is louder than the pipe.
At some point you will ask, ‘Why spoke wheels?’….When this bike was being drawn up, the fastest bikes were all examined in great detail. One of the fastest bikes at that time was a TZ750. If you look at the two bikes they share the same basic shape. Since the first TZ had spoke wheels I had a set made up for this bike. They are TUV certified. At the time I could get magnesium wheels but they were not allowed for road use. Aftermarket aluminum wheels were not widely available. The Mitchel wheel from Lockhart was an option, however they are heavier than the spoke wheels. These wheels run perfect true and none of the spokes has ever needed adjustment! This bike will accept any standard 3 spoke GSXR wheel from the first or second generation bikes. Remember that the original Limited Edition has a 15mm front axle and is more prone to flex. The small amount of frame flex in the 750 seems to be ideal for road work. The Akrapovic end can was added to keep the bike road legal. All modifications have been signed into the brief. The process of doing this is a story in itself. I first went to the TUV engineer and asked to have the airbox removed. Stock exhaust, stock engine, dry clutch. Since the dry clutch made more noise than either the exhaust or the intake (before engine tuning) I was granted an exception. I had the exhaust fabricated and the road legal Akrapavic end can installed. Back to TUV and another modification signed into the brief. I have the original swing arm, which is quite long, and the original footpegs in perfect condition. I do not have the original exhaust, wheels or forks and triple clamps. .This bike has never been crashed or dropped!
With just one day left and a starting price of $7,500 and no bids so far, it looks like the seller may be aiming a bit too high. That’s the problem with making changes to the bike to suit your personal preferences: they may not match anyone else’s! Plus, the missing fairing lower may be putting casual browsers off as, at a glance, this looks like just another well-worn Slabby.
I’d find a fairing lower and paint to match, but this is otherwise a very cool resto-mod that seems to be very much in the spirit of the original bike. Note that the seller does not have the original fork or wheels, so be prepared if you plan to buy this and return it to stock appearance. All-in-all, this is definitely not a bike for collectors, but for folks looking for something that evokes an earlier, simpler era of riding but has a few nods to advances in technology.
Or ex-Ducati owners who miss the rattle of a dry clutch.