Ready For A "SUZUKI BANDIT" Cafe Racer ?

There are some motorcycles that lend themselves easily to cafe racer conversions—just like the Hinckley Bonneville, or the Honda CB750. You’ll find a plethora of each in the EXIF files. Then there are bikes that tend to be ignored, or in a few instances, avoided.


The Suzuki Bandit falls into the latter class. No matter being a bare sports motorcycle, which quite a lot sums up what cafe racers are all about, it’s hard to appearance beyond the dated ’90s styling and plastic bodywork.

Then there’s the oddly shaped 1/2 fairing given to the ‘S’ variations. It’s nearly not possible to see how the Bandit should ever be a restaurant candidate.

Darrick Bartley didn’t see it that way though. What the Washington kingdom man saw in his 1996 Bandit 600S changed into a strong acting engine, a good-looking tubular body and loads of ability. However he knew he had his paintings reduce out.


“I constructed it in my basement,” says Darrick. “It’s form of a Bandit now. All that’s clearly left of the unique motorbike is the tank, engine, and about two-thirds of the body.”

His purpose with the construct changed into simple sufficient: tear the Bandit six hundred aside and turn it into a bare bones, nimble and modern-day cafe racer that might fit as a every day rider.

Throughout his look for elements, Darrick stumbled throughout a Ducati Monster tail cease, which suit snugly to the rear of the Bandit’s fuel tank. With the motorcycle now in pieces, he enlisted the help of Rob Hancock of Flipside Customs to address the framework.

After casting off the inventory subframe, Rob welded in a curvaceous tail to complement the lines of the backbone and help the Monster seat and cover.

Darrick then sourced a unmarried-sided swingarm from a Honda NT650 Hawk, so Rob used a water jet cutter to fabricate new mounts for the rear surprise and engine.

To present the motorcycle a extra competitive stance, Darrick bolted within the Showa monoshock from a Triumph velocity Triple—which he’s upgraded using a Hyperco spring.

At the pointy quit are a set of 2008-spec Suzuki GSX-R1000 forks, and a Triumph velocity Triple front wheel. To declutter the top clamp, Darrick’s changed the Bandit’s mechanical device cluster with a unmarried digital trail Tech Vapor gauge.

Clip-on bars with discreet bar-quit mirrors keep the cockpit clean. Hidden inside the seat and cowl are a lithium battery and the electrics, that have been wired to a custom-made harness.

With the assist of pal Steve Marks, the frame and bodywork are now completed in Audi’s Nardo gray coloration, with orange highlights to suit the Hyperco spring. The engine became given a clean coat of gloss black, and a gold o-ring chain added to suit the anodized the front give up.

With the Bandit sooner or later looking the element, it become time to enhance overall performance. The air box turned into eliminated and dual ok&N pod filters had been mounted to the mouths of the rebuilt carbs. They’ve been tuned using a degree 2 jet package and a +five° timing advancer.

The exhaust headers are fashionable, but a single SuperTrapp muffler frees up the flow—and adds more chew to the bark.



The motorbike now weighs in at forty kilos much less than its former self. And the suspension and driving role modifications have became it into an entire new form of beast.

As a present day take on cafe racer styling, Darrick’s Bandit has hit the nail on the head.

Perhaps it’s time we began searching at ’90s motorcycles a little in another way?

Pictures by Mike Kippen