Donor Model: SUZUKI DR800BIG SR42B 1990

This project started one year ago on an idea of building a show bike for 2020.

As always, starting a new show project required a brainstorm between Mihaela and me, we are a bit tired of building typical cafe racers, scramblers, trackers on a trendy shape for our customers, we understand that’s what the market demands but is always “more of the same”.

As last year we decide to go on a bit different line, last year we go on an endurance bike with our Caballo de Hierro, and for 2020 we decided to build a tribute to the Rally bikes with our MadaSuki.

Choosing the donor wasn’t difficult… what was the most controversial Dakar bike ever? What was our favorite Dakar Hero? Both questions got quickly a reply: the Suzuki DRZ800 and Gaston Rahier.

So we went on a Suzuki DR800BIG as donor model, we selected a SR42B 1990 model because of the big bore 779 cc engine (the SR41 was 750) and keep a closer shape than the SR43 to the original 1988 DRZ800 Dakar.

Honestly I have years without working on enduro bikes and never worked in a rally bike before, but we got something so clear, the bike should be a true rally bike, not only an aesthetic recreation.

The definition of the shape was not a problem, Mihaela got clear from the beginning we should keep the big tanks and the duck nose but slimming the back for getting a light shape.

For performance reasons we decided not to touch the frame, the DR800 has amazing riding capabilities that we didn’t want to break, this idea that seems simplifying the work was the opposite, getting a new rear body elements in the Mihaela’s proposed shape without interventing on the frame was a lot of work, we used a very light aluminum alloy for the tail, undertail and sidepanels, very tricky for working on because doesn’t perform as normal aluminum and we got some pieces broken on the way until I get used with metalshaping this material.

Along this weird year we passed for a lot of down moments with the pandemic, close down and lack of supplies, also all shows were cancelled, we had previewed to release the bike at the Bike Shed Show and when the cancellation was announced was a kind of slap on our faces, but fortunately our partners in crime in this project continued working and sustaining us, and we decided not to stop the project and take advantage of the situation for getting the bike as closer to perfection we could.

Performance was a priority so we decided to ask for help to those that really know about this bike, the reply wasn’t far, we got it in Germany at Hessler Rallye Team, I contacted Stefan Hessler, the only one magician of Big Ducks and immediately he became so interested in our adventure, we should thanks this guy so much for months of help, tips, tricks and all materials provided for making our MadaSuki the closest thing to the original DRZ 800 from the technical point of view.

The 779cc engine has been overbored to 809cc, the cylinder bore works was made by Hessler in Germany while we worked here in the cylinder head, planishing it, polishing ports, new valves, guides, etc, following the Stefan’s indications. The piston is a performance CP Carrillo made on demand, all internals of the engine were reviewed and refreshed, new timing and balancing chains, new racing performance camshaft, new rocket arms, new bearings, new stator, new EBC performance clutch with hydraulic Magura HYMEC actuator and master cyl, new cooling lines, a complete overbore and overhaul so the bike we can consider is brand new from the engine point of view.

For feeding the monster we trust on a pair of Mikuni flat slide carbs mounted and set up also by Stefan Hessler, the best way of feed that torque hunger big single. We combine it with a custom intake pipe and a foam UNI filter pod.

On the exhaust side we are using a custom inox header combined with a bespoke performance Sebring muffler also under the design of Stefan.

This combo is a blast, the overbored big single is now giving 70 hp (vs the stock 50hp) with a monster torque that makes the bike a very nervous demon!!

For supporting the upgrade we implemented a upgraded YSS forks with a rear Wilbers full settable shock that allow us to play with the suspension a lot. Front brake was also upgraded to a 320mm full floating rotor with a 4 pistons calipper commanded by a Magura master cylinder, all reinforced with corresponding forks lower bracket. The rear brake is the standard enough with the 280mm rotor and the double piston calipper once upgraded with a performance EBC rotor.

Another important chapter on a rally bike are electrics and controls, we discard the old electric wiring a made a brand new one using siliconic cable, the main electrics are commanded by a Motogadget Mo.Unit and the bike controls are in the right side of the bar integrated on a bespoke push button switch setup made by our friends of 0711Motorcycles also in Germany.

A key part of the electrics were the instruments, we needed real rally instruments on this bike so we installed a rally tower with a Hessler electric roadbook device, and for navigation we ask to our Spanish friends of GZ Parts, these guys are producing high quality rally equipment developed by themselves from their experience as rally riders, they are very well know in the rally raid championships in Spain, they also became so interested in our project and provide us two OdoCap rally computers with their corresponding bar remote controls that are placed on the left side of the handlebar, the OdoCaps are one of the most accurate devices in the market combining the traditional wheel sensor technology with the GPS technology. The bike dashboard is now a Daytona Asura computer that give us a very exhaustive info of the bike in a clear way, rpm, speed, hours, oil temp, ambient temp, odo & trips, warning lights, voltage.

The decisions with paintings, as always, were taken by Mihaela, and from my point of view is one of her best works, the colors and lines are simply immaculate providing a very aggressive and stylish look at the same time, the duck nose mod with the double headlights and the clear windshield are simply awesome, and as required on a rally bike, all body is mounted with a quick release system that allow us to disassembly the whole in less than ten minutes. Also, even the light shape, the bike is ready to receive all rally annexes, being previewed on it points for holding tool box, pannier or additional fuel tank and also protection crashbars if required.

At the end, the Covid era allowed us to create the most perfect bike we ever built.

This demon was previewed also to participate at the Romanian Moonride 2020 that was cancelled and other events that never took place but, looking at the bright side that will allow me to ride its first kilometers and getting it ready for giving its best next year, and yes… the bike is addictive, can’t get down of it even I look small like Rahier on the DRZ, hahaha!!!!

Special thanks to Hessler Rally Team and GZ Parts for their technical and financial support along the way.