The Gixxer may have appeared later than some of Japan’s other legendary nameplates, but it certainly deserves just as much credit. In 1984, the very first GSX-R iteration – sporting a liquid-cooled 398cc four-cylinder mill – debuted on Japanese soil, while the Old Continent got to meet Suzuki’s race-bred GSX-R750 at the Cologne Motorcycle Show that same year.
Although the earliest copies left their stables in 1985, the U.S. had to wait another year for this untamed berserker to finally arrive. When it did, the long-awaited phenom also invited its gnarlier 1,052cc sibling to the party, which was a great way to compensate for the aforementioned delay! The GSX-R1100 retained the fundamental DNA that made its smaller brother legendary, while adding a healthy dose of extra power to the mix.
Tipping the scales at an impressive 434 pounds (197 kg), this mean machine was only 46 lbs (21 kg) heavier than the GSX-R750, despite featuring a much larger engine. By delivering up to 128 feral ponies at 9,500 rpm, the bike’s twin-cooled DOHC inline-four powerplant enables it to accelerate from zero to 60 mph (0-96 kph) in no more than 3.1 blistering ticks. Additionally, the ‘86 MY GSX-R1100 will finish the quarter-mile sprint in a mere 10.7 seconds, while its top speed is rated at 155 mph (250 kph).
All things considered, Suzuki’s two-wheeled missile is a genuine marvel of Japanese engineering, and it’s not hard to see why the earlier models are regarded as cherished collectors’ items on today’s market. Given these creatures’ cult classic status, the vast majority of moto architects wouldn’t dare to even think about customizing an old-school Gixxer, but Dutch craftsman Arno Overweel found a way to pursue his vision while maintaining a clear conscience.
Initially, Rno Cycles’ frontman obtained a spotless GSX-R to act as the canvas for the bespoke masterpiece featured in the photos above. With this donor on the workbench, Arno simply couldn’t bring himself to chop it up, so he decided to take a step back and keep searching. In a twist of fate, he managed to get his hands on one of his previous projects – a GSX-R1100 that’s been fitted with a Honda VFR800’s single-sided swingarm.
To kick things off, Overweel got rid of the VFR swingarm to make room for a Ducati 1098’s repurposed module, which is held in place by revised mounting points and a high-grade monoshock from Showa’s range. Right above this new setup, you will spot a unique subframe that’s been topped with snazzy upholstery, a tidy license plate holder and a handmade tail section.
The revised rear end sports an assortment of LED lighting goodies, while a Harley-Davidson V-Rod’s unmistakable headlight takes pride of place up north. Furthermore, the 1098 also donated its higher-spec Brembo brakes and Y-spoked wheels, whose rims have been enveloped in Pirelli’s grippy Dragon Supercorsa rubber. At the front, suspension duties are handled by a Ducati Panigale’s inverted telescopic forks that were mated to a set of unique triple clamps.
A quick glance at the cockpit will reveal a pair of carbon fiber LSL clip-ons, along with aftermarket levers and a single Acewell gauge. In terms of powertrain modifications, the Gixxer received 40 mm (1.6 inches) Mikuni carbs and K&N inhalers, as well as a bespoke four-into-one-into-two exhaust system that’s been manufactured in-house using stainless-steel.
After he had rewired the whole shebang to a modern lithium-ion battery, Arno proceeded to add the finishing touches. The original fuel tank was treated to a neat filler cap from LSL, while Ben Oud’s Motorspuitwerk has been tasked with applying that glossy layer of blue paintwork. In all fairness, we think Rno Cycles’ head-turner (dubbed “NOT4FOUR”) might just be the sexiest custom GSX-R that’s ever emerged from the Netherlands!