For most of the bikes we feature here, performance is relative. (There’s even the odd replica Grimeca drum brake.) There’s no true answer to ‘how much is too much’, but in the streetfighter world, you can never have too much. Most streetfighters leave me cold, but this one stopped me in my tracks. Probably because I’m a sucker for anything connected to Yoshimura, and builder Lee Workman is a kindred spirit. While wondering what sort of bike to build, ‘A poster of a Japanese-spec GSX-R750 R was on my wall, painted in the Yoshimura works colors of anthracite over bright red. The hand of inspiration smacked me across the chops, and the bike’s fate was decided. If Yoshimura was ever to build a streetfighter-cum-dragbike, then this is what I reckon it’d look like.’
Workman, who hails from the UK, grew up drag-racing at “Run What Ya Brung” public track days, but his previous machine was hamstrung by its short, road-friendly wheelbase. So he built this longer, more strip-friendly machine, using the frame from a crashed 1989 GSX-R1100. Despite the logos, the engine is a bit of a mongrel—part Wiseco big block, part Bandit 1200. It’s now 1340cc in capacity with heavily upgraded internals, including forged alloy pistons, Carillo rods and a lightened crank.
It’s clad with heavy-duty Yoshimura engine covers and then Workman added a Pro-Mod style Nitrous Express ‘wet kit’ to send the power output through the roof. (‘I had a bit of trouble getting the bottle through British customs,’ he notes.) The front end is from a GSX-R1000 and now sports oversize 320mm Galfer wave rotors. A modified swingarm stretches the wheelbase by 8”, allowing the bike to get its power down on the strip. The hand-beaten aluminum tank comes from an ex-Durex race team bike that competed on the Isle of Man, and the German-made bikini fairing houses an Aprilia RS250 lamp. The exhaust system is a genuine Yoshimura titanium duplex system.
So, is it quick? All I know is that Lee Workman’s previous bike would run the quarter-mile in a smidge over ten seconds—and this one is considerably more powerful.