We never considered the Suzuki GSX-R 750 as a material for creating custom bikes. Of course, this is a classic racing bike from 80s, which may soon become the subject for collecting – but not the same type of machine, with which something can be done.
Kurt Walter thinks differently. He works as a design director at ICON Motosports and is an avid fan of Japanese high-speed machines. And the latest creation of ICON 1000 – ‘Major Tom’ – forced us to look at the Gixxer in a whole new light. It is based on the 1986’s model, when the GSX-R 750 was released in the United States.
At the time, many young people were seriously injured on this and similar “two-wheeled rockets”, including the ICON team members. But usually Gixxers suffered the most. It is hardly possible to find fragments of the roadside without the Suzuki ABS.
Like most of the bikes, at the beginning of its life Big Tom was shiny and attractive. The second life of the bike began about 15 years after the end of its first life. Its remains were found in a shed of a ‘farmer’ in Oregon.
This Gixxer has a very peculiar look. The lower fairings were removed, ostensibly for better ventilation of oil coolers, windshield Zero Gravity was covered with cobwebs, the Uni filters were eaten by mice, or gasoline, or both. Electricity was not working and the engine did not start. According to Walter, it looked like a complete wreck. Most buyers would have fled without looking back from this disaster. But not the Walter’s team.
Three years ago, a prophetic name of ‘Major Tom’ was chosen. (Walter is a big fan of David Bowie.) “We usually assemble our custom bikes in our design studio in Portland,” admitted Walter. “This project took more time, but virtually every member of the ICON team one way or another put a hand to the ‘Major Tom’”.
Today GSX-R looks different. The subframe is raised by a few inches, and the front fork is represented by the reduced Kawasaki ZX-7R, which occupies an intermediate position between the USD and the standard forks.
The most spectacular element of the assembly are solid aluminum wheels from Harley V-Rod of the first generation shod in Avon rubber. However, Walter does not recommend putting on the wheels V-Rod on the Gixxer by yourself.
The next thing that attracts attention is the body parts from Airtech. Plastic elements are similar to a combination of Moriwaki XR69 and similar parts. But they were worked on so well, so they are difficult to distinguish from each other.
Work on the tank, which was narrowed down by three inches, took three months. It now holds less fuel, but it looks much better.
The exhaust system includes an exhaust manifold Vance & Hines, converted Nike Atlas, and Yoshi pipes of cast brass.
But the trump card is hidden under the seat: wet nitrogen injection system able to send ‘Major Tom’ on the Earth’s lower orbit.