1986 Suzuki GSX-R1100 Slabside

1986 Suzuki GSX-R1100 Slabside (Slabby) Project – Introduction

GSX-R1100 Slabside winning eBay bidExactly 1 month ago I was seriously considering buying a 2021 BMW S1000R (in M Sport colours) with carbon wheels fitted from factory, costing close to £20k (including add-ons!) What was I thinking, I just saved myself a shed load of money! 

With friends like these…

I didn’t know I needed one in my life until one of my mates sent me a link to the eBay listing, a beautiful (not mint) 1986 GSXR1100 Slabside, imported from the US. Being a Yamaha obsessed kinda guy I overlooked these beautiful classic superbikes, until now….

Clean, low mileage and mostly original, these are only appreciating in value so best I get my hands on one! 03-March 2021 and five days later and a knockout bid of £5135, she was mine. Rear grab rail was missing, tank was smashed in and rear number plate light assembly was missing. Grab rail was easy enough to source but the parts on these are getting rare and no longer produced, joined a few dedicated Facebook groups and the missing parts were sourced, but not cheap!

First Impressions

She had suffered a stationary fall judging by the tank damage, minimal fairing damage and broken front fairing bracket, which is impossible to source so an alloy welder is needed! Rear number plate light assembly was also AWOL, impossible to source and no longer produced. Eventually found one with a broken mount, it will have to do! 

We sourced a GSX-R750 tank in the same colours, it’ll do!

1980s GSXR1100 Slabside genuine Yoshimura exhaust ststemHowever, she came with a genuine 1980’s period Yoshimura exhaust system and even rarer matching single seat hump!

A standard uncut undertray was sourced on eBay and the old cut up one was sold for £36 + post!

Yoshimura engine covers and a new set of aftermarket indicators (the fairing indicators fitted were GASH!) were sourced locally, if I’m going to add value to this bike then she needs to be as standard as possible.

DVLA Registration is NEVER (ok rarely) straightforward!

GSX-R1100 US number plateThe company I bought the bike from offered to register the bike for an all-in fee of £150. As this was completely unfamiliar territory to me, we opted to use their services, as they import hundreds of bikes every year, they must know what they are doing, right? 

Onto the NOVA system she went and the paperwork sent to the DVLA. A few weeks later they acknowledged receipt of the paperwork but informed us that the first digit on the US title differed from the VIN plate! DoH! Photo evidence of the VIN were duly sent back and we waited patiently…

Unfortunately, after a few weeks of waiting the DVLA rejected the registration so we therefore had to obtain a dating certificate from the Suzuki Owners Club, which was subsequently sent back to Swansea, we waited again. Unfortunately, news of the DVLA staff going on strike  surfaced and wait times on paperwork being processed went through the roof, how long was this going to take!?

V5C received on 26-July 2021, YES!!!! Just 4 1/2 months it took but finally we are able to get her ready for the road! We were reluctant to spend any more money before being confident that she would be registered for use on the UK roads, at £5135 we paid top money, but she’s going to be a top bike!

GSX-R1100 Slabside single seat hump / cowlWe have no idea how long it had been left standing in the US so will need going through and recommissioning but it had been stored well and was very clean so someone had been looking after her. Brakes fluids changed, plugs, new fuel etc etc will be checked and fitted over the coming weeks.

Initial Conclusion

It is a very clean and (mostly) original Slabby, despite the best efforts of the DVLA, she is now registered and we can’t wait to get her on the road and hopefully get some miles done before the summer disappears. As usual Dave at Boston Bike Bits will be doing all the servicing and repair work for us, we are super excited, she’s a keeper! 

Am already considering fitting a YSS rear shock, an affordable replacement for the 35 year-old shock fitted from factory. 

YouTube video, first start-up after collecting her, the condition of the bike when we bought it;