Modifying a Suzuki GSX-R1000

Most motorcyclists modify their motorcycles to some degree. Repli-racer riders are no exception, and many go to great lengths to build motorcycles perfectly suited to their needs and wants. We took such an approach with one of our clients 2005 Suzuki GSX-R1000, aiming to improve the motorcycle's track-day performance while maintaining its excellent streetability.

First, a little history: The Suzuki GSX-R1000 was semi-professionally raced for some seasons in Thailand and Malaysia. During all that racing the GSM-R1000 was a successful experiment in transforming a street-legal GSX-R1000 into a competitive racer.

Because the owner knew the Suzuki GSX-R1000 wasn't going to remain a racebike forever, we returned it, on request, largely to stock after the owner had enough of racing the motorcycle. We kept the internal fork modifications but swapped out the borrowed race-spec Penske shock for a new stock Suzuki damper. Changes to the fork included different needles, dampers shims, fluid, pistons and stiffer springing. The shock got the same treatment. These changes, firmed up the ride and provided a wider range of damping adjustability, allowing the GSX-R1000 to be both more track- and street-friendly. Regarding the latter, we even went so far as to review a luggage rack on the Suzuki GSX-R1000 – luckily the owner didn't see the need for that.
Our double-duty approach also dictated rubber choices. We tried Dunlop Qualifiers and Metzeler Sportec M3. We found the Dunlops a bit numb when cold, but once up to temperature, they handled the GSX-R1000's prodigious power. The Metzeler's broader, more rounded profile didn't agree with our suspension setup, resulting in a motorcycle that wouldn't finish corners as well as it did on the Dunlops.

Racers often favor a reverse-shift pattern - one up, five down – to keep their boots from becoming trapped under the gear selector at deep lean angles. We installed fully adjustable billet-aluminum rearsets allow both standard- and reverse-shift, and are fully adjustable, to boot.
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