This Custom Suzuki GSX1400 Is A Top-Notch Cafe Racer

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Inline-four muscle bikes are an integral part of motorcycle culture in Japan. They score high in practicality while having high power output. Moreover, these machines have proven to be among the most reliable motorcycles in the world. However, if you were to look at some of Japan’s best muscle bikes, you could say that visually they look a bit bland. Not to mention, some of them may not look very good too. However, the bike we are talking about is a black sheep in this herd and originally it comes from Suzuki which is known for making iconic motorcycles like the Suzuki Hayabusa.


This bike is a 2008 Suzuki GSX1400 owned by custom bike enthusiast Luke. With help from Tom Gilroy and his team at Purpose Built Moto, they built an achingly beautiful iteration. Luke has worked with the same team before on his CBX1000 cafe racer and after being impressed with their work he decided to sign a deal with them again, but this time with the GSX1400. Initially, the motorcycle project started with only cosmetic updates, some light engine performance mods and better handling. The final product, clearly, went a step further and created its own identity.

And right now, while custom bikes can go well over the $100,000 mark, this custom Suzuki pulls off a lot, making it one of the best cafe racers we’ve seen. lately.


What’s New on the Custom Suzuki?

For starters, the bike was completely stripped of its original parts. Most of the factory body parts were trashed except for the fuel tank. Early in the brainstorming process, Tom and Luke had agreed on white wheels, which is why the color palette took shape. Shortly after, the wheels were sent for painting while work began on the subframe.

Tom shortened the rear end of the bike and fitted it with a generously padded Alcantara seat from Timeless Auto Trim. What followed was the addition of the longer YSS shocks which were mounted to the new shock mounts, raising the rear of the bike. The steering head angle has also been sharpened for a more aggressive stance and look.

The front aspect of the bike is just as mean as the rear. It gets a custom fender that matches perfectly with the white wheel and white-painted lower fork legs. Tom assembled the front fender using one of Purpose Built Moto’s fender kits.

The rather quirky headlight is a 4.5-inch PBM LED headlight, which acts as a high beam. Meanwhile, the low beams are supported by a pair of small spotlights mounted on top of the air cooler (a design cue reminiscent of the Honda CBX1000 build). The low beams also have their own fairings with matching paint.

Interestingly enough, the headlight nacelle, rear cowl and shrouds that protect the dipped headlights have all been hand beaten from aluminum foil. After assembly, the front light assembly took up dash space and therefore a Daytona gauge had to be mounted to the bar clamps. Speaking of which, the bikes stock bars have been replaced with a set of black ProTaper Contour units, ornate ProTaper grips, PBM’s 3-button switches and a pair of 3-inch mirrors.

Related: This Gorgeous Supercharged Suzuki Hayabusa Packs 370 Horsepower

Custom GSX1400 gets purpose-built electronics

Before building bikes, Gilroy specialized in custom motorcycle electronics. Purpose Built Moto still offers all of its products for sale and the full suite of these have been used on the motorcycle. This means that everything from the switches in the front to the lighting and the Black Box control module under the seat came from the shelves of the store.

After that, Tom wanted to plan something special with the exhaust, so he left the stock headers in place, then made a connector that is pulled through the subframe. Gilroy also finished the rear cowl using a custom muffler made from 3.0-inch perforated tubing with a two-stage muffler wrap inside. For those wondering, yes, this thing would look as sweet as you can imagine.

Related: 10 Motorcycle Mods People Think Are Cool…But Really Aren’t

The heart of the custom Suzuki GSX1400

The mechanics of the bike have been pretty much retained. Purpose Built Moto ran a new set of DNA pod filters and put the bike on a dyno to get it tuned. The output numbers speak for smooth speed with 107 horsepower at the rear wheel and 96 pound-feet of torque available with the twist of the throttle.

According to Bike Exif, Gilroy seems genuinely proud of his work, and for all the right reasons, by the way. He believes the only thing better than looking at the bike is riding it. Considering the attention to detail and the hard numbers, we’d say it’s no exaggeration. Put the power of an inline-four with the lightweight construction and upgraded suspension and that in itself seems like a formula for a successful design. And if you’re wondering if this custom Suzuki GSX1400 looks a bit familiar, that’s because it sports the same paint scheme as the older Suzuki MotoGP bikes.

In short, this bike really has it all – a design you can stare at for hours, an iconic inline-four engine at its heart, and a paint scheme that celebrates the Japanese automaker’s racing pedigree, what more could you ask for? the more you ask for?

Source: Specially Designed Motorcycle, Bike Exif

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