Blistering performance is not usually at the top of the wishlist for a custom build. But this Suzuki from Classified Moto is capable of destroying pretty much anything that crosses its path.
Technically speaking, it’s a streetfighter—but you won’t find any shiny anodized bolts or Day-Glo farkles here. Just a heavy dose of Classified’s signature apocalyptic styling.
“It’s been a while since a project made me nervous. But this one definitely did,” says John. “Partly because ‘Classifying’ a modern sportbike is a rarity, and partly because the bike was shipped all the way from Hawaii.
“It’s not like the customer could just swing by and collect it if we weren’t coming up with any decent ideas!”
Happily, it ended up being the good kind of adventure.
The story began when Ron Belfort of Hawaii saw Classified’s Triumph ‘Doomsdaytona.’ He wondered if his 2013 Suzuki GSX-R1000 could be modified in the same style—making it more upright, more raw, and more apocalyptic.
“Basically a 190 mph urban assault bike for blasting around Oahu,” says John.
Ron had a few simple but far-reaching requests, mostly for safety inspection reasons: he wanted to keep the existing tank, and not make any major frame or swing arm mods. He also wanted an under-seat exhaust. Otherwise, John could have his way.
“The best news was that the GSX-R1000 subframe is removable, with mounting points in logical places,” says John. So Danik Herashchanka, Classified’s head tech, fabricated a trellis subframe.
It keeps the back of the bike looking ‘open,’ and draws the eye to the box-style exhaust muffler—one of the most unusual set-ups we’ve seen. “It was a trick to get everything routed in an aesthetically pleasing way,” John admits.
“We used copious amounts of reflective heat shielding, and played with the air gap between the subframe and muffler to stop the seat from getting hot,” says John. “I imagine in Hawaii, there’s no upside to a heated seat.”
Since a GSX-R1000 has around 180 horsepower, the nature of this project was mostly cosmetic and ergonomic. But John took the bike to Redline Performance Motorsports in Yorktown, Virginia, anyway.
There, dyno expert David Lillard tweaked the fuel map to complement the new exhaust. “This thing just has so much power, at whatever RPM, and it’s so smooth,” says John. “It’s really changed the way we look at sport bikes as platforms for our builds.”
Aesthetically, Classified has applied its scorched earth policy to the fairing and other plastics. They’ve replaced the molded plastic cover on the front of the tank with waxed canvas, stretched over a custom webbed frame.
“We also did an inventory of all the stamped steel brackets that were never meant to see the light of day. Danik replaced them with some really elegant and strong pieces that fit the look much better.”
There’s also a neat stainless steel overflow reservoir for the coolant. To keep an eye on the level, John and Danik came up with a sight glass configuration that looks super trick.
Unlike most builds, this GSX-R can be returned almost to stock if necessary. The tank has been stripped and powder coated, but here’s only one mod to the core frame: a tiny bit shaved off the steering stop landings, to give more turning radius.
All the other brackets and fittings have been mounted onto existing features. The instrument gauge cluster has been modified slightly, and also the outlet on the catalytic converter—and that’s it.
Not surprisingly, several hands went into the air when it was time to test the finished bike. Matt ‘Shop Class as Soulcraft’ Crawford and Classified business partner Alex Martin both spent time in the saddle, and jumped off wide-eyed and pumped.
“Then I called our buddy Alex Heath to see if he had a few wheelies to spare for a photo shoot. We ended up with some great shots!”
Does this mean we’ll see more sportbikes from Classified in the future?
“Well, we hear that Suzuki’s designed a new GSX-R1000 for 2017,” says John. “We’re hoping to get our hands on one soon…”