Click here for an CycleVIN Motorcycle History Report on this 1986 Suzuki GSX-R750. Additional photos are available here for your perusal.
Featured in issue 50 of Practical Sportbikes magazine, this custom Suzuki GSX-R750 was built by Sean Freeman.
He provided the following write-up describing his inspiration behind the restoration:
“I had a motorbike accident back in 2008 — someone pulled left in front of me and turned my life upside down. When I finally had use of my left arm again, I decided to do what I’d always wanted, even since I was an apprentice technician in the UK in the 80’s: build a Skoal Bandit replica. The company I worked for had an ’87 GSX-R750 and an ’86 RG500 on the salesroom floor for quite a while. The GSXR had the red/black colour scheme and the Gamma had the red/white/black scheme. However, the new 750 Slingshot was just around the corner, so Suzuki and their dealers came up with an idea to get the old stock out of the door. 50 86/87 GSXR750’s were painted in Skoal Bandit colours, 50 RG500’s were painted Skoal Bandit colours and 50 RG500’s were painted in Pepsi colours. They chose Dream Machine (a paint company with a very good reputation at the time) to paint the bikes. Most of the commissioned bikes were picked up by Dream Machine from dealers, and some were still in their crates. The Dream Machine rep had a little photo album with some of the work they’d done. I remember seeing a photo of 15 to 20 Pepsi RG500’s all in a row! What a sight!”
“When the bikes arrived back from Dream Machine I absolutely fell in love with the Skoal Bandit GSXR and the Pepsi RG500 was a close second. They both sold quickly! You got a certificate of authenticity from Suzuki to show that you had an original.”
“The story goes that UK Suzuki would not allow Dream Machine to remove the tyres to paint the wheels due to safety concerns, so that’s why there’s a black rim on the Dream Machine version, they decided to mask off the wheel and part of the rim before paint. The wheels on my bike are the mid shade green, I always thought that the dark green on the wheels was, well, too dark. The seat cover is also in the mid green, which I think turned out pretty good! I searched everywhere for the material used on the original seats and asked as many people who could have been ‘in the know’ but came up blank. In any case, it’s a suede like material that’s waterproof. This bike is a true beauty and has a lot of blood, sweat and tears put into it. The stripes are all painted on. My painter measured all the stripes on the original bike to make sure it was identical. Also, all the gold paint you see on the calipers, etc. is the original paint. Gah, it breaks my heart to let her go, but needs must. This was a nut and bolt restoration, everything that needed changing was, and everything is completely stock — well except for oil, tyres and brake pads.”
This example is VIN: JS1GR75A4G2101100.
The odometer shows 2,603 miles. Please note: The seller switched the odometer for a unit from the UK. The original shows 13,066 miles, however true mileage is unknown.
In preparation for the listing, the seller had us replace the battery, the oil and oil filter, the petcock gasket, the spark plugs, and the brake fluid. We also cleaned and synced the carbs.
Steve did the work, he notes the following in his condition report:
Tire Years – Front:2011; Rear: 2012
Tire Life – Front/ Rear: 100%
Tire Pressure – Front: 40PSI; Rear: 44PSI
Brake Life – Front/ Rear: 95%
Hydraulic Fluid – Front/Rear/Clutch: Ok, New
Engine Oil – Level: Ok; Quality: New
Low Beam: Ok
High Beam: Ok
Turn Signals: Ok
Tail Light: Ok
Brake Light: Ok
Plate Light: Ok
Test Ride: 4 mile test ride, bike operates as intended
-Tires dated, but like new
Per the seller: “I won a low mileage red/black 86 GSXR750 from a little local auction (who knows how it got there?). Then I made a list of every minute difference between the US model and the UK model.”
Please note: The decals on the belly pan have been applied over the clear coat. They can be removed if the new owner would prefer a different look!
Speedometer (“the US speedometer has 55mph highlighted”), warning light cluster (“the UK didn’t get a side stand switch”).
Fuel tank (“the UK tank is a bit smaller and has a flat top”) and petcock.
Carburetors (“the US got vacuum operated carbs whilst the UK got flatslides”).
Exhaust system (“the UK system is a lot more free flowing and thinner”).
Tail lamp (“the UK tail lamp sticks out a bit so you can see the bike from the side in the dark”).
Reflectors removed and holes filled.
VIN plate removal (“the VIN is still on the frame and the UK didn’t get the Fed plate”).
Both axle castle nuts have been changed to the ‘Nyloc’ version.
‘Full Floater’ sticker delete.
It is riding on Avon Roadrider II tires that have aged out.
The sale also includes a spare tank, a Skoal jacket, a rear stand, and a matching Arai helmet.
Please note: The inside of the spare tank is rusting.
Cosmetic Blemishes: please see the album up top for all known cosmetic blemishes. Here is a selection:
Currently located at our facility in Santa Monica, California (please make an appointment for an inspection), this Suzuki is offered on a clean Georgia title. Have any GSX-R750 stories or questions about this listing? Let us know in the “Comments” tab!