Way back in about 2003/4 I came across a dream bike of mine, a Suzuki Katana, one which had been breathed on by a Suzuki tuning legend and previously featured in Streetfighter Magazine.
Built by Pip Higham, the modifications were classic ‘vintage speed’ –
WP USD forks, Magnesium Dymags, Harris clip-ons and swing arm, Harris collection exhaust, Spondon floating discs, Ohlins shocks, 33mm Smoothbore Carbs, Dyna coils and Taylor leads, Dyna 2000 etc.
I remember picking it up from Motorcycles Unlimited in Perivale and riding it to my office in Marlow. I was a sweating wreck by the time I got there and my wrists were killing me as I was unused to the clip-ons and pretty extreme riding position.
I muscled the bike around for a year or so, taking it to a few events and I even took it to Woodbridge to spectate at a Top Speed Flyer event.
Of course I couldn’t just spectate and took it for a run or two. Of course I killed it. Sean at Big CC in Wokingham looked at it with the usual sharp intake of breath and we decided it wasn’t worth a rebuild.
So I bought a Suzuki GSX1100 EEF and stripped it for the engine – coinciding with the emergence of Ebay, I managed to sell the frame and remaining parts and pretty much recoup the entire cost of the bike – so essentially got an engine for free, a better one too!
It also looked pretty cool with the black EFE engine as opposed to the original silver one
I always regretted selling that bike and have often kept an eye out for another – for me it would have to have the right mods – similar to the one I stupidly sold I guess!
In 2017 I tried to track down the ‘Donkey Choker ‘as they’d called it in Streetfighter Mag, but to no avail. Then I found myself at a lose end in South Africa with a favourable exchange rate and stumbled over this – Suzuki Katana GSXR