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Suzuki GSX-R750 Project Bike

Thursday, January 1, 2009
Suzuki GSX-R750 Project Bike
Project Suzuki GSX-R750 Stage 1
Ultimate Street-Legal Sportbike: Stage 1

The plan was simple: Make a full-on, race-ready Heavyweight Superbike, but make it docile enough to be an everyday street bike. Okay, maybe not so simple. Typically a race bike is finicky, idles high, runs hot when not at speed, etc.; not very conducive to street use. But what sportbike, street or trackday rider doesn’t dream of owning a superbike that can be ridden to the coffee shop every Sunday? That’s just plain cool. So, we did it anyway! Well, Grant Matsushima at MPT Racing did it for us. In our recent do-it-all sportbike shootout the Suzuki GSX-R750 came out on top by virtue of its incredible all-around capabilities both on the street and racetrack. But we all would have liked some additional
power. This is where Matsushima first came into the equation. Originally consulted to build a “street-able superbike engine,” he quickly jumped at the task of building the entire motorcycle, leaving us to simply gather the parts needed. Thanks, Grant!

Suzuki GSX-R750 Project Bike
KR Tuned exhaust and an MPT Racing engine highlight some of the upgrades.
Engine-wise, Matsushima went to town on the 749cc powerplant, changing out to ’07 GSX-R cams and decking the head; plus a host of other black-magic engine-builder secret stuff, with the end result being horsepower numbers well above 150 at the rear wheel. Exhaust gasses are now spent via a one-off, handmade MPT system that features an interchangeable muffler design. Option One, the MotoGP option: Straight, slash-cut end pipe, and while extremely loud, it sounds amazing – straight up GP bike for the street. Option two: Simply remove one clamp and bolt up a KR Tuned muffler, which takes it back down to normal street-legal sounds, even featuring a quiet-baffle insert to bring it to nearly stock dB levels. All this from a reliable, street-able motorcycle!

Suzuki GSX-R750 Project Bike
Brembo monobloc calipers and radial master cylinder make for some of the best brakes we have ever tested.
As for the bolt-on parts, for Stage One a full set of Brembo Superbike-spec brakes were mounted, featuring uber-trick monobloc front calipers mated to a radial master cylinder, adjustable between 18mm and 20mm piston sizes for tunable feel and feedback. We used Kevlar-coated steel-braided brake lines. Suspension is handled via full Ohlins
cartridge drop-in fork internals up front, while out back sits an Ohlins TTX shock.

Vortex rear-sets make for a fully adjustable, easy-to-change riding position, so as to accommodate both street and track use. Vortex also threw in a trick shorty clutch lever, as well as shorter gearing making for additional acceleration at the twist of the wrist. Grant eliminates one of the throttle cables for the same purpose. GPR’s V4 stabilizer keeps the front wheel in line over the bumpy stuff, while Dunlop 209 GP “A” rubber front and back glues her to the pavement.
Suzuki GSX-R750 Project Bike
Color Zone did the paint work, which pays homage to Barry Sheere and his 70s-era Grand Prix bikes.

Rounding out Stage One was a fully custom look by owner/artist Matt Polosky of Color Zone Designs, a Huntington Beach-based do-it-all paint shop. We went for a Barry Sheene retro-meets-new look, modeled after the Suzuki GP bike Chris Vermeulen rode at Phillip Island last year, complete with Vermeulen’s old number 71 on the side. Quality of the
paint work is top notch, as was the turnaround time.

For the maiden voyage we took her out to Laguna Seca recently for a Track Crafters trackday and performance was incredible. Handling was on par with that of any supersport bike I have raced, plus an engine that could run with every 1000cc machine I encountered all day, and off-the-charts, onefinger brakes. Truly amazing considering I then used
the bike in its exact same state to commute to and from work the following week. An incredible combination, no doubt.

Stay tuned for Stage Two. We’ll be adding lightweight wheels, traction control and a host of other parts to really take this GSX-R to the max! 

MPT Racing 

KR Tuned Exhaust 



Color Zone Designs 



Track Crafters

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stefaan -still waiting..  December 9, 2010 05:06 AM
still waiting for part 2..
Bill Williams -Part 2  April 21, 2010 04:07 PM
Steve, When will we see part 2 of this mod with the lightweight wheels, traction control and who knows what other goodies? Great article. A breakdown of the costs would also be great. Bill
lacosteab -first bike  December 15, 2009 11:20 AM
I like this bike so much. do you think as a first bike would it be a good option or do I have to stick to 600?
kyle james -minee  December 15, 2009 10:07 AM
this bike is siting in my garge right now its a great bike
Dan H -Suzuki GSX-R750 Project Bike  April 9, 2009 04:00 PM
What happened to Stage 2?
Nitro -Paint Scheme  April 1, 2009 11:03 AM
paint is horrible. Its like living in the 80's
Steve D -750 GXR ---where's the beef  January 18, 2009 09:45 PM
Really liked the concept..but very superficial...no details at all make it kind of a waste. What the heck were the engine mods??...come on...how can someone get an idea of how to apply this? Anyway liked the concept..next time get it a little more real with some honest description of the mods...
a2birdcage -Gixxer 750 Project Bike  January 13, 2009 03:33 PM
What is the purpose of only going with one throttle cable? The bike looks amazing. The paint scheme is fantastic.
Sean -Nice but...  January 9, 2009 07:24 AM
The paint is terrible. Please folks, get out of the 70's.
Glenn Selvage -GSXR-750 Project Bike  January 7, 2009 05:00 PM
I think the bike is fantastic...It shows individuallity...I would not want to replicate it since is someone elses idea..But a nice idea indeed...I would build my own,to my own likes and handle the costs as they come along...If you are in the need to build a bike such as the project bike,you should know that there are going to be premium prices for the parts and performance you desire....Perform ance doesn't come cheap....Nice job..
wayne arless rhodes -gsxr 600 warmed over  January 5, 2009 11:58 AM
that is really the way to go for the 750, wow 150 bhp at the flywheel?? or the back tire?? eighter way that is great.Im out to port and polish the gsxr 600 engine head and add a three angle valve job and play with the exhaust cam timing since this is a 2008 model the lifter is now larger in diameter so i can advance or retard the exhaust cam timing and have the wheel dino tell me which works best.On top that open up the exhaust with a streight through muffler with some Injector tuning and should have 127 to 135 horse power at the rear wheel. I will soon let you know the out come also with some higher numbered sprockets to give some more gear to the rear.and wheels.it should pull as hard as a stock 1000 in the first three gears.then that big block one liter motor takes off and leaves me behind we shall see in about two weeks good day wayne rhodes
Paul -GSXR Project Bike  January 4, 2009 04:43 PM
The stock GSXR 750 looks way better than that monstrosity.
chris -cost  January 2, 2009 01:13 PM
Bolt-ons alone are close to 10k.
Superlight -GSX-R  January 2, 2009 09:22 AM
Harry X32, Get real. Since some of us might be inspired to replicate the project bike, details like costs are very important. How would we know the parts are worth it without some idea of costs.
Harry X32 -GSXR 750  January 2, 2009 07:33 AM
Nice job Steve. If you gota ask - you can't afford. People - get over it. Contact the contribtuors if you are serious.If not, you just need to know that stuff is expensive and worth it. I love the paint job, but would have gone with just the single 7 with the euro slash.
Dan H -7fiddy Project Bike  January 1, 2009 08:55 PM
Nice start but the article is real short on details. Examples of need-to-know info - why the switch to '07 cams; Supersport or full-on Superbike work on the valve seats; head ported and polished; crank polished, balanced, lightened; PCIII or Bazzaz; dyno readings before and after; and, last but not least, how much coin for the parts and labor? Come on, this is Journalism 101 stuff you left out of this article.
-Super-Fast-Steve-> -Engine Work?  January 1, 2009 03:33 PM
Why didn't you take the bike to Carry Andrew's HyperCycle in Van Nuys? I'd like to know the costs of there upgrades too! And lastly, everyone knows Stage 1 includes removing the factory license plate holder and adjacent junk. I still see it, what the french toast yo??
Ty -Prices!  January 1, 2009 01:53 PM
I enjoy your publication, BUT, too often, you leave out prices (even MSRPs on currently available bikes). On an "upgrade" article such as this, CERTAINLY there should be prices (I think on ALL articles - bikes, parts, tuning, etc. - there should be prices). Happy New Year!
1K -PRICES?????  January 1, 2009 10:18 AM
I agree...where are the prices? Those of us in the real world have to pay for this stuff.
6r rider -No  January 1, 2009 10:00 AM
Geez...that thing is just hideous!
Superlight -Suzuki Project bike  January 1, 2009 07:25 AM
Just as with the 1098 project bike, this info would be infinitely more useful if accompanied by the cost of parts/labor, and, if reducing weight on components, before/after weights. Only magazine guys get stuff for free; the rest of us have to pay for it. That said, we have to make a value judgment before embarking on a project.
Tom Lee -750 Gixxer Mods  January 1, 2009 05:59 AM
That is one ugly paint scheme. The exhaust as well. Maybe the photos don't do it justice. "Black Magic Stuff?" Come on! What makes an article interesting is the details! You don't have to reveal all but simply saying "a host of other "black magic stuff" just does not cut it. There are not even any lap time or dyno comparisons to show hard data on improved performance. Boring.