This custom Suzuki pays homage to the legendary XR69 race bike
Few things are as satisfying as seeing a beautifully restored classic sports motorcycle. There’s just something about 1980s styling that really speaks to me, especially when compared to the wild and radical designs of the current generation of performance-oriented machines. Bikes like the legendary Suzuki XR69 are certainly much simpler to look at than the ultra-sharp, fin-laden superbikes we have today.
That said, people who appreciate classic superbikes, but don’t have the time, budget and space to own one for themselves, can live vicariously with dB Customs’ latest creation: a Tribute from top to bottom to the Suzuki XR69. At a glance, you’d think it’s a restored, custom-built GSX1100 or period-equivalent sportbike. However, the folks at dB Customs went through the painstakingly meticulous process of building this bike from a hodgepodge of parts and working them together seamlessly in a machine that looks like it’s rolled off the assembly line.
It’s called the Spirit of 69 and pays homage to one of Suzuki’s most popular race bikes. Unlike the original XR69, however, this custom version is powered by a 1,200cc inline-four from a Suzuk Bandit 1200. It also packs a few performance-focused modifications, such as a cylinder head from a GSX -R750, cams from a GSX-R1100, with new valve springs and new ignition. A four-into-one exhaust system consists of Yoshimura headers with a Racefit titanium tailpipe.
The 1,200cc engine is housed in a custom steel trellis frame made from 4130 aircraft-grade chromoly steel tubing. Suspension duties are handled by an Öhlins front end sourced from a BMW S 1000 RR. Meanwhile, the bike rolls on fancy 17-inch carbon fiber wheels from Dynamag. Braking duties are handled by dual radially mounted Brembo brakes with 320mm calipers.
As for the overall styling, the bike is wrapped in a bespoke carbon fiber fairing painted to pay homage to Suzuki’s iconic race bike liveries. The front fairing consists of two headlights taken from a Honda VFR400 NC35. dB Customs is looking to produce ten replicas of the XR69, each slightly different from the next.