King of Bling
Nik Sampson of 100% Biker explores the world of high performance glitter
As any fule nose, the streetfighter genre is getting more and more diverse as the years go by. In the beginning the archetypal streetfighter was a performance-based chopper with short forks and a handlebar fairing, then it became a Zed or GeeEss Thou with a tuned motor and up-rated running gear. Next came the tarted-up GSX-R with the fairing removed (still the only real definition of a 'fighter as far as some people are concerned) and, equally, any race-rep with twin headlights in place of the factory offering. Some time shortly after that, the term 'streetfighter' lost its purity, its snobbery if you like, and began to become more an attitude than a style of bike. These days almost anything can be a streetfighter - slammed and lowered big cube H*rl*y-D*v*ds*n-based straight-liners, big an' bouncy road-wheeled supermoto singles, fully-faired race replicas dripping with the latest technological advances ... anything goes, it seems.
Alan Sutton, the owner of the GSX-R 600 you see here in front of you, isn't your natural streetfighter owner. He has no desire to rip the fairings from any of his bikes or to convert them from having racer-style clip-ons to 'crosser-style Renthals, but he does share our innate desire to have the most spanking-looking bike he can ... as you can probably see.
He bought his K3 new back in May 2003 and, exercising a great deal more self-control than the rest of us can, actually left it pretty much alone that first summer. He did have plans for it, though, because he absolutely hated the plain black wheels that it came with and a few other bits and pieces got on his wick too so, come the winter of 2003, he set about sorting them out. He started to shop around for parts and soon found that the majority of the kit he was looking for was, in his own words, 'either bloody expensive or crap'. So, rather than just whinge about it, he decided to do something about it and started his own company, Bikes Unlimited, to source and supply parts that he'd want fitted to his own bikes.
He spent every evening and weekend trawling the 'Net and speaking to suppliers worldwide and, very soon, he began to amass a sizeable stock of very trick components for a whole range of performance motorcycles. His website (www.bikes-unlimited.co.uk) now has a list of about two hundred deeply sexy aftermarket parts that he can offer.
With all this under his belt, the next step was to build himself a showcase for the parts he'd found and, of course, using the Gixer Six was the logical way forward - not only would it show people what he could offer, but as it was his own bike it meant that he could have the blingest bike possible and still write off all the bills for tax purposes too. There was definitely method in his madness.
During the winter of 2004/5, the big build started in earnest. The frame was stripped and polished, hordes of parts were lined up on his garage floor ready to be fitted and the bodywork was boxed up ready to be sent off to the painters to be made to look more in-yer-face than a crack-head with a flick-knife. Unfortunately it wasn't to be - despite promising a finish date of the end of February, by March they hadn't even started on any of the Gixer's panels so, seriously pissed off, Alan took them away and gave them to Shadow Auto Styling who did exactly what he'd asked them to do and in just three weeks too.
That little set-back aside, the rest of the project went swimmingly (what ever the fugg that means). The front muddie was replaced with a King carbon fibre one, and Pyramid Plastics supplied the 999-style fairing to which Alan added carbon fibre intake tubes and trimmed it down to show off the clutch window he was going to be fitting soon after these pics were taken. He also cut the neat litte 'R' logos out of the tail-piece too and, after meshing them in, added LEDs behind them to illuminate them at night, replaced the brake levers with the very swoopy cut-out ones the master-cylinders currently wear, binned the top yoke in favour of a much sexier lattice-style one, added the bullet-clip 'bar ends ... 'ang on, it'd probably be easier to tell you what he hasn't changed or modified than to list 'em all. If you want the full list, look at the spec sheet, okay, that's what it's there for...
Alan reports that, due to the handling and performance improvements, it rides just like a Gixer Six should, but more so. He is considering adding a nitrous kit to it this winter just to give it that serious over-kill factor and now has a TES windowed clutch cover and a gold-plated clutch basket fitted. Like I said - king of bling!
Mind you, he does also say that he's pretty much come to the end of what he can do with this bike and fancies a change to something with a lot more power so, to that end, this bike is being passed onto his wife and he's planning to buy a ... no, I'm not going to tell you, you'll just have to wait and see, won't you? Let's put it like this, if his next bike looks half as good as this one you'll be seeing it in the pages of this magazine in no time at all.
And if anything on Alan's bike really hits your buttons, then his company, Bikes Unlimited (who are based in Newmarket in Suffolk) answer the 'phone that rings when you dial 00441638 660597 or 00447976 187676 or you can check out the website at www.bikes-unlimited.co.uk ... just make sure you've got your credit card under lock and key though - we here at The ROAD will not be held responsible for any amount of debt you get into after looking at it, okay? You have been warned...
Original Year, Make & Model:
2003 Suzuki GSX-R 600K3
2003 Suzuki GSX-R 600K3, K&N air-filter, modified intake stacks, Bikes Unlimited one-off carbon fibre air intakes, heavy-duty clutch, four degree ignition advancer, Yoshimura headers, Devil twin carbon cans
112bhp at rear wheel
2003 Suzuki GSX-R 600K3, polished, Bikes Unlimited frame caps & swingarm pivot caps, Bikes Unlimited flamed axle adjusters, Bikes Unlimited billet axle caps, LSL rear-sets with Bikes Unlimited heel-plates
Five stage powdercoated stock wheel with three colour sparkle, triple chromed stock calipers, Bikes Unlimited polished carriers, Bikes Unlimited wavy outers, powdercoated forks with uprated springs & valves, stock bottom yoke, Bikes Unlimited lattice top yoke, Bikes Unlimited top yoke nut cover, Bikes Unlimited show-chromed master-cylinder covers, stock 'bars/brake lines/switchgear/clocks (bulbs changed for blue LEDs), Bikes Unlimited 'bar ends, Bikes Unlimited brake & clutch levers
Polished stock swingarm, rebuilt stock shock with up-rated spring, Bikes Unlimited shock guard, five stage powdercoated stock wheel with three colour sparkle, Bikes Unlimited disc with laser-cut web address, triple chromed caliper, Bikes Unlimited caliper hanger, Bikes Unlimited torque arm, Bikes Unlimited chainguard
King carbon fibre front mudguard, modified Pyramid Plastics 999-style fairing, stock fuel tank, Bikes Unlimited fuel cap, Bikes Unlimited embroidered front & rear seats, modified stock tail-piece, Bikes Unlimited hugger
Modified stock loom, ignition barrel removed, remote ignition/starter fitted, twin stacked projector headlights, LED tail-light with clear lens, Kellerman Micro 1000 indicators, thirty two inset Gallium nitride LEDs
Black n' flames with red & gold metalflake to resemble embers/sparks & twenty coats of lacquer by Shadow Auto Styling (01945 701333)
Top yoke, shock-guard, levers, torque arm, heel-plates, chainguard, discs, crash bobbins, 'bar ends, maater-cylinder caps, axle caps, frame caps, fuel cap, seat cowl, axle adjusters by Bikes Unlimited
'Stuart & Ray at Shadow Auto Styling for sorting the paint in mega-quick time; Jim at REBS for the seats & powdercoating; Jenna, the wife, for doing without me for days at a time; & Ian 'Fester' Pavitt, a great assistant/electrician/coffee drinker etc...'