There’s no denying that the Verona Motorcycle Show attracts some truly spectacular builds. Unfortunately this year the one bike that really blew me away turned out to be the hardest one to gain more information on. After zooming in and clicking the “enhance” button on various photos of the bike I found spread around the web I tracked the stunning, full faired Suzuki GSXE back to Kiki Shop Customs in France. After several attempts at interviewing the guys at Kiki Shop they put me onto their photographer Antoine Pophillat (Krash Hop Tik), whose English was incredible compared to my French and he not only supplied this set of images of the bike but also conducted this interview…
Antoine: Can you tell us a bit about the bike and the different elements you’ve used?
Kikishop: The original bike is a 1983 750 GSXE but I only kept the motor, the motor mount and the fuel tank. The fork, the wheels, the shocks and the swing-arm are from a 1000 GSXR k6. I wanted a Suzuki 750 because I like them! There was a good deal on leboncoin.fr and I bought it. I like the GS, the GSX and the GSX-R from Suzuki but above all I love the 750 cylinder. It’s a legendary bike from my generation.
A: Did you already know what you were going to do with the bike before you began?
K: I found a GSX-R drive train by chance and followed my instincts and personal tastes. I found it interesting to mount an ultra-modern chassis on a first generation GS. My creative process begins by stripping the bike to its essential parts; the engine, the chassis; the primary elements of the bike. From there it is my own creativity which decides what to incorporate and how to integrate it.
A: Do you think everything is possible or are there things you just won’t take on?
K: Nothing is impossible. The only limits are those imposed by the owner. When there is no feeling, the project becomes more complex. Until now, I never did any sketches. I had the idea to build a bike inspired by the GP motorbikes of the 1970s and this is where I headed with this build.
A: What was the hardest part of this build for you?
K: The frame, the gearbox, the rear seat, attaching the fairing, adapting the instrumentation, cutting the fairing, polishing, painting….. everything really. If I get stuck I always have a way to get going again. I’ve learned to get myself out of trouble when I’m stuck, and I work in an old fashioned way. I don’t think people realize how much time you can spend in a garage, building a motorbike from scratch, especially when you want to achieve a high level of detail.
A: You attach great significance to colour choice. Why this choice of colours?