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Gixxer Fix: A GSX-R1100 with Ducati superbike suspension

Gixxer Fix: A GSXR 1100 with Ducati superbike suspension
Arno Overweel builds pretty wild custom motorcycles. He’s not afraid of bolting a turbo onto a Honda CBX1000, for example. But he usually reserves those neck-turners for his customers: his own daily runner is a bone stock and somewhat anonymous Suzuki TL1000.

A few years ago, the Dutchman built an eye-catching custom for himself, but made the mistake of taking it to a show—and someone made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. So he figured it was time for another personal project.

Gixxer Fix: A GSXR 1100 with Ducati superbike suspension
Arno had a specific idea: decades ago, he’d successfully mated a single-sided Honda VFR800 swing arm to a Suzuki GSX-R1100. Right now, he had the wheels and swingarm from a Ducati 1098 lying around in his Culemborg shop, and an itch to pull off a similar trick.

He managed to source a mint condition GSX-R1100 donor, dragged it to the Rno Cycles workshop… and froze. “I could not put the saw to it,” he says.

Gixxer Fix: A GSXR 1100 with Ducati superbike suspension
“When I get a new bike, I get rid of all the unnecessary stuff. But for the first time in my life I grew a conscience. I was thinking, this one is too original for its age. It’s a classic. This will be a sin.”

Luckily, a friend came to the rescue. While browsing the classifieds he stumbled across the GSXR that Arno had built years ago—with the Honda swingarm still attached. Arno took it as a sign, snapped it up, and tore the Suzuki down for the second time.

Gixxer Fix: A GSXR 1100 with Ducati superbike suspension
The first job was to swap the VFR swing arm for the Ducati 1098 unit. That meant milling out some metal on the frame, doing the same to the swingarm, and then building up certain areas with aluminum for strength. Arno also fabricated a full set of spacers to match everything up.

The new setup also called for a new mounting point for the shock linkage, so Arno designed a multi-purpose subframe to link the suspension and support the tail. The shock is a Showa unit, overhauled and tuned by HK Suspension.

Gixxer Fix: A GSXR 1100 with Ducati superbike suspension
Up top is a custom tail section, complete with an integrated taillight, and a neat bolt-on license plate bracket that also holds the turn signals. Arno fabricated a new seat pan too, then had Miller Kustom Upholstery cover the unique three-piece saddle.

The Ducati 1098 wheels and Brembo brakes went onto the Suzuki too, along with a set of Pirelli Dragon Supercorsa tires. But the front forks (and fender) are from a Ducati Panigale, held in place by a set of custom-machined yokes.

Gixxer Fix: A GSXR 1100 with Ducati superbike suspension
Move up to the control area, and you’ll find a set of custom-made clip-on clamps, holding carbon fiber bars from LSL. There’s also an Acewell speedo, and an aftermarket Harley V-Rod headlight. Everything’s mounted on hand-made brackets, and they’re all integrated too; the headlight bracket bolts to the speedo support, which also holds the brake fluid reservoir.

As well as loading the Suzuki with cool details like that, Arno has installed custom bits like the rearsets and front sprocket guard. There’s also a new oil cooler adorned with beautifully machined side guards, lines from Goodridge, and nifty little line spacers.

Gixxer Fix: A GSXR 1100 with Ducati superbike suspension
Performance upgrades include 40 mm Mikuni carbs with K&N filters, and a custom-built stainless steel four-into-one-into-two exhaust system. There’s new wiring too, and a Lithium-ion battery hiding under the tail hump.

Final touches include minor tweaks to the fuel tank, which is now topped by a modified LSL gas cap. The stylish coat of blue paint was shot by Ben Oud’s Motorspuitwerk, and the cheeky street racer-inspired graphics come from Jeroen Overweel.

Gixxer Fix: A GSXR 1100 with Ducati superbike suspension
It’s something of a mashup, with hints of cafe racer, street fighter and 90s sportbike all gloriously rolled into one. And with even more than the original 143 hp on tap from the screaming inline four, this is one heck of a grocery getter.

Rno Cycles | Facebook | Instagram | Images by (and thanks to) Floris Velthuis Instagram

Gixxer Fix: A GSXR 1100 with Ducati superbike suspension

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