Scott Redmond, our wheeling dealing contributor, trawls the web daily in search of two wheeled bargains and nuggets of nostalgia. Each Wednesday he brings us his favourite from the past seven days, and this week he’s been salivating over a 32-year-old GSX-R1100 Slabby. Tell us more, Scotty…
It’s that time of year again, when the darkness arrives earlier than we’d like, the leaves fall from the trees and motorcycle dealers up and down the country stare at unsold new 2018 motorcycles.
With manufacturers revealing new colours for their 2019 stock the tried and tested method of respraying brand new bikes to entice an impulse purchase is well underway. Suzuki have gone one step further this year with an official limited edition Buildbase replica of the GSX-R1000R they race in British superbikes. It comes with a race rep paint job and countless other goodies that includes everything from performance parts to a mat for the garage for it to sit on.
But hey, there’s nothing new in this approach. It’s a craze that started out decades back.
Suzuki went for a full on sales assault in the late ‘80s with a range of Skoal Bandit replicas. Everything from the RG125, RG250, RG500 to the GSX-R750 and 1100 models got treated to some white paint and green stripes in honour of the chewing tobacco things that were a, erm, thing at the time, and promoted heavily through sponsorship of Suzuki’s racing programme.
Many of these genuine bikes have long since vanished, which is why the owner of this GSX-R1100G, known colloquially as a Slabside or Slabby, went to so much bother to recreate this bike. He points out that the paintwork is 100 % authentic, he knows this because he tracked down the folk at Dream Machine who repainted the originals back in the 1980s.
He’s not stopped there, he’s also fitted a Yoshimura exhaust and had the tired suspension fettled by Maxton. The bike looks very smart and with an asking price of £4,999 it’s exactly a quarter of the retail price of the 2018 GSX-R1000R Buildbase rep.
What to look for when buying a repainted motorcycle?
Was the respray purely a vanity exercise? Or does it mask accident damage? Ask the question and look beyond the fairing. Is it patched up on the underside?
Find out who did the work? Sellers often claim it’s the work of a reputable company, but is it?
Many new motorcycles will be resprayed in more eye catching colours before they leave the showroom. Occasionally slow moving stock is given a fresh coat of paint to increase its chances of selling.
What to pay for a GSX-R1100 Slabside?
Original bikes are commanding premium prices, £5,000 upwards is the benchmark for an original bike with a standard exhaust.
The GSX-R1100J came with 18 inch three spoke wheels and is the pick of the Slabby bunch, it was only made for one year and is a rarity on the used bike market, good examples are rare and will be the wrong side of £5,000.
Project bikes start at around £1,500.
See Scott’s chosen bike for sale here: https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.co.uk%2Fulk%2Fitm%2F183456652652