Suzuki’s GSX-R has been tearing up race tracks and suburban streets since the mid-eighties. It was the first motorcycle to be considered a “racebike that could be ridden on the road” and was the first bike to use an aluminium box frame construction. It was a reliable, fast and light weight option compared to the bikes being produced by the other big Japanese motorcycle manufacturers and the GSX-R badge is still available in Suzuki’s 2014 lineup almost 30 years on. With the current trend in custom motorcycling I like to call the “retro renaissance” motorcycles like this ’91 model GSX-R are starting to get the attention of custom workshops. Workshops like Le French Atelier who completed this Suzuki GSX-R 750 Cafe Racer last month…
“We began building bikes 3 years ago, at first it was for just for ourselves, but we began to receive more and more encouragement from our friends and people we met to do more. We had a little workshop near Versailles, so we decided to improve and expand it. Soon afterwards guys started to contact us to make bikes for them. At this time we decided to create Le French Atelier. But for us, our business must be a passion, we make bikes with love and for the sake of perfection and innovation. We care about the details, if something is not good enough we start it again. We start with a design that we can use to create a beautiful bike, with a retro style and appears new. That’s why we always start by stripping each bike and refurbishing, repainting or replacing any worn parts.”
“For the GSX-R our idea was to create a pure cafe racer with this historically significant and sporty base. The 1991 GSX-R 750 had a fully enclosed fairing but our design was to open it up as much as possible to create a neo retro look. The build began with a complete disassembly of the motorcycle. We cut of the rear part of the frame and made a custom tail end designed to accommodate all the electrical components (battery, relays, cdi, etc). To mount the tail we constructed a new rear loop and added a reinforcing cross member. At this stage we also custom made the taillights and a custom leather saddle to sit on the aluminium base plate.”
“The engine was completely disassembled. We rebuilt the cylinder head for reliability and basic power improvements and then fully repainted the engine in satin black and changed all the fasteners to stainless steel. Conical K&N filters replace the airbox and the “slingshot” carbs were rejetted and tuned to suit. The bikes triple tree was also reworked to house a mini speedo and integrated LED warning lights and a Bate’s style headlight was custom mounted. To finish the bike off its frame was painted using an epoxy satin black and finally the tank and tail were finished in satin grey.”
The Le French Atelier crew will be launching their new website just before Christmas, but in the meantime you can take a look at their Facebook page to see what other tasty projects they have underway in the workshop.