Retro looks and higher build quality. That was the thinking behind Suzuki’s 1200cc Inazuma when it was first released back in 1998. As stated in the sales brochure the Inazuma offered “Bare Thrills. Big, bold, unadorned beauty… The GSX1200 delivers the pure essence of open-class naked-bike riding enjoyment” and it didn’t fail to deliver. Although the performance of the Inazuma was undeniably impressive, naked bike styling of the nineties isn’t everyones cup of tea. Marco was of that opinion when he acquired the bike. I first featured Marco’s Suzuki GSX1200 Inazu-Manx back in 2009 but since then it’s changed hands and undergone further customisation to refine the beast and prepare it for daily use. I invited photographer Thierry Vincent to share the story of the evolution of the Inazu-Manx with us and to share his stunning images of the bike.
“It all started in 2009 with a Corsican guy named Marco. Basically, he stripped the Inazuma down, sold all the parts he didn’t want and used the money to get his project started. The first things to get sorted were making a very particular custom exhaust, lowering and shortening the rear subframe, modifying the electicals and fitting the battery at the very back of the bike under the tail unit. Then Marco adjusted a reversed front fork from a Aprilia RSV1000 / model Showa 53, but it was hard to fit so a set of special pieces had to be hand made to put the brackets in the right place.”
“While he was documenting his build on a forum, some guys started to joke about the mix of classic cafe racer looks and high performance. They called the bike the Inazu’Manx which is how Marco decided to name his bike. As I said, Marco is Corsican, so I bet this is the reason why this bike’s so hot blooded. The first time the Inazu’Manx rolled out of the garage, Marco took her for a ride on the asphalt in slick tires and without any instruments … and not even a headlight. I think that Marco sold the Inazu’Manx sometime in 2011 and one fine day, the guy who had bought it came to my friend PA’s cafe in the little town of Châteauroux (central France). My friend just fell for it and wouldn’t stop calling and texting Marco until he’d finally accept to sell it.”
“Since then he’s been taking the bike to a local dealership/workshop in order to “civilize” it. The Inazu’Manx has since been fitted with a new head light, set of turn signals and more suitable rubber for the street. It also got a speedo and a tacho, new master cylinders were added and the rear sub frame was consolidated (after it had decided to just fall on the back wheel at the end of a Sunday ride). On such a bike, work and mods are never really finished, so the Inazu’Manx can still be considered as an ongoing project.”
“Thee days Inazu’Manx rides just fine. She’s fast and now has an impressive yet not too loud exhaust. She’s light to handle although her turning radius is a bit short. He’s never regretted buying her, pure pleasure seems to be a constant sensation once hitting the road, whether it be on a windy country road or on a proper highway trip.”