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Team Classic Suzuki riders announced at 2017 MCN Show

Published: 18 February 2017

Updated: 17 February 2017

Team Classic Suzuki have announced their rider lineup for the 2017 Endurance Legends 4-hour race, with MCN Senior Road Tester Michael Neeves racing alongside racing legends Steve Parrish and James Whitham.

The team will be racing at Donington Park, May 6-7 on the Suzuki Katana 1100 which was put together live at the NEC Motorcycle Show in November 2016 using Suzuki's Vintage Parts programme.

Michael Neeves said: "It’s a privilege for me to race alongside two of my racing heroes. To to do it on such a special machine at one of my favourite tracks is the icing on the cake. Looking at the high level of competition it’s not going to be easy to grind out a result, but it’s going to be fun trying. I raced a GSX1100 and GSX-R1100 at Philip Island a few weeks ago, so I’m all dialled in for the old classics and raring to go."

James Whitham said on joining Team Classic Suzuki for the event: "I’m really looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to getting back on a big four-stroke. It’s what I did most of my racing on with Suzuki; big GSX-R1100s and 750s, and its a bit more me. I’m going into the race to enjoy it. It’s going to be great working with the team and with Neevesy and Stavros, but I’m really looking forward to getting on that bike.

"I watched it take shape at Motorcycle Live and it’s a work of art. I restore bikes myself but that design is so iconic. Nothing before or since has looked like the Katana. You look at a Katana and right away you know what it is. And it’s going to be great to get on it and race it and hopefully get a result with it."

The bike uses the same basic frame as the original, with adjustments made to the headstock and the swingarm pivot lowered. Suspension comes courtesy of K-Tech, wheels from Dymag, and the swingarm is a custom unit from Sweet Fabrications, while the GSX1100SD engine has been bored out to 1170cc, and gets higher lift cams and stainless steel valves. Everything else in the engine has been replaced with genuine Suzuki components from Suzuki’s Vintage Parts programme, including conrods, main bearings and big end bearings on the rebuilt crank.

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