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Suzuki GSX-R1100

Published: 23 December 2001

Lee workman, 31, is a manufacturing engineer at Land Rover. He has forked out £12,000 spicing up his GSX-R 1100M

Aaah, the sight of a Suzuki GSX-R1100M. No matter the guise, there are few things as muscular as these babies. Throughout its life, nothing said " I’m a man " quite like the big inch GSX-R. Lee Workman wanted something a bit more, however.

Putting a price on the machine is a tricky thing. On the one hand is what he has actually shelled out, on the other the proper price. And if you’ve got a third hand, you could add the price including labour. But Workman settles on around £12,000 if you paid full price for everything.

Workman did a lot of the work himself. Then he did deals with friend and foe alike for other parts, freely admitting he was out to get the most he possibly could for his cash.

The bike – at the time a mint condition, bog stock example – was found in Bikemart two years ago, ridden home and then the strip began. Workman says: " I always intended to do this with it. I’d done one before but not with the GSX-R1100 and it wasn’t powerful enough. Basically, I wanted a bike that was going to scare the shit out of me. This does it! "

First to go was the fairing. The paint job was done by a mate " who owed me a few favours, " Workman says. " I knew it was going to be slotted in between other jobs, so while he was painting I stripped it down to every nut and bolt. Then I threw all the nuts and bolts away and replaced them with stainless steel ones. "

The rebuild took up most of the following year – or so he thought. But that wasn’t to be the end.

" I ride it all the time. I took it to the Isle of Man. It was great there, getting under Yamaha R1s and the like. People get a quick glimpse of high bars and think it’s a Suzuki Bandit – that gives them a shock. "

Like many owners of special machines, Workman enjoys the attention his bike gets. He says: " People who don’t know bikes just look at the paint. Those who do, see beyond that to the details.

Lee’s tweaks

1186cc big bore, high compression pistons, gas-flowed, ported, oversize valves, adjustable cams, dynojet kit. Total engine work – £3090 – 153bhp/ 92ftlbs

Stainless steel Micron race exhaust and carbon end can

Uprated clutch

Aerotek 19 row oil cooler

Mirror polished frame, footrest hangers etc. Non-alloy parts powder coated

Forks and shock re-worked by Maxton

PFM cast iron brake discs

Kawasaki ZX9-R 6-piston callipers

Renthal alloy bars and modified top yoke

Suzuki Bandit mirror

Ohlins steering damper

One-off alloy chain-guard

Rebuilt loom with nylon overbraid, fabricated alloy tray for major components

Bates chrome H4 headlamps, mini indicators

Single seat unit with custom paint

All fasteners blue anodised aluminium

Total spent: Bike £2900 + £9000 tweaks = £11,900

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