This is one of my “finds” from my trip to the Horse Smoke Out Thirteen. I actually heard this bike before I saw it. I had just arrived, was unpacking and getting my act together, when I heard this loud howl coming from behind me. I turned around just in time to see a bike flash past, slow, turn up the hill, and disappear into the vendor area. This all happened in the space of less than five minutes. From a distance, I couldn’t tell if it was a Honda, Kawasaki, or Suzuki, the only thing I knew for certain, it was long, low, black, loud as hell, and I wanted to see it.
After a bit of wandering around I found it next to the Intensity Cycles booth. It was a 1982 Suzuki GS 1100 owned by Doug Hollandsworth. Suzuki has made several variations of the 1100, the GS is my favorite. Some would call the GS 1100 a “Standard,” or a “UJM,” Universal Japanese Motorcycle, but Doug’s GS is nothing close to standard, or universal.
This is a totally custom, street legal, drag bike. If you know me, you know my favorite color for a motorcycle is black, the other colors are ok, but I love black. Doug’s GS has a perfect balance of just the right amount of black and shiny bits.
This is a completely street legal drag bike, with just the bare minimum of the required equipment to make it so.
From the rider’s point of view it’s all business. The drag bars are capped off by miniature bar end mirrors, there is no speedometer, just a huge tach. I guess if you were curious about how fast you were going, the cop that stopped you would let you know. The only other equipment present is an emergency shutoff lanyard, shift light, and air pressure gauge.
The bike is long and low, the frame’s steering neck has an additional seven degrees of rake added to help straight line stability at high speed. The front forks are from a 750 Suzuki, the leading axle design drops the front about three inches, lowering the motorcycle and giving it an aggressive stance.
The lengthened swing arm is a Kosman Racing item, as is the widened rear wheel.
The polished finish really shows off the quality of the welds, Kosman makes a beautiful product!
The heavily modified Suzuki GS engine breathes in through a set of K&N style pod filters, and out through a Murray Racing Spyder four-in-to-one equal length header.
As I mentioned before, the sound is incredible! I was not familiar with this brand of pipe, so I decided to call the company. I was fortunate enough to speak with Dennis, the owner of Murray Racing, and he gave me some of the company’s history. Murray started out making pipes for the early Honda 750 fours, and went on to make exhaust systems for Kawasaki and Suzuki as well, they have been doing this for over thirty years. Murray has a big following in Bonneville Salt Flats and drag racing, Dennis himself started out as a drag racer. Dennis told me each pipe is hand made to exacting standards. Their most popular system at the moment is one made for the Suzuki Hayabusa, I can only imagine what that sounds like!
Doug’s GS is one badass ride, it shows you what can be done with one of the early Japanese fours. I can’t imagine Doug seeing anyone else on a bike just like his, and isn’t that what building a custom is all about? Congratulations Doug, awesome bike!
Words By: Terry Cavender
Images By: Terry Cavender
8 thoughts on “Featured Bike: Doug Hollandsworth’s Suzuki GS 1100 Drag Bike”
Hi Terry,I built that bike for myself about 20 years ago and sold it about 10 years ago. Glad to see it’s still out there.I own Speed Products in Batavia IL. and that bike had one of my Bad Ass ported cylinder heads that I did and just like you see I went 9.21 @ 154 mph on H.P.at the drag strip,the front wheel was in the air all the way.I would like to get a message to Doug, he really needs a APE cam chain tensioner and the air shift cylinder needs to be mounted to the bottom hole. Feel free to contact me @ 708-890-0770 or by e-mail. Dick Speed P.S. I have many more GS builds going on now.
It’s great to get the rest of the story on this badass bike! I’ll see what I can do about contacting Doug, he is a painter that works with a shop that is connected to my friend English Don. Right now Don is in the hospital from where some cager rear ended him, so I will have to try reaching the shop direct. Rest assured, I’ll try my best to connect you with Doug.
That would be COOL !
I just love the bike, I have a GS1100 myself and I want to make it something like that.
where can I get the parts? suggestion for any websites? Most important…do they send international?
There are links in the article to the parts providers. I do not know if they ship international, that is a question they will have to answer.
Just wondering is this bike in or near Ottawa Canada ?
I thought that I saw this bike in the summer around my place.
Hey Steve, as far as I know, the owner lives in the Midwest, but, he could have visited your location.
Ok thanks, just thought I would ask because its a one of a kind bike ….
hope fully if I see it again I will take a picture of it.
Comments are closed.