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Digital Subscriptions > Fast Bikes > 319 October 2016 > Age ain't NOTHING but a NUM

Age ain't NOTHING but a NUM

Costnig six times as much to build as the road legal GSX-R1000 it started off as, exactly how much better a bike is Halsall Raigcn’s Bentnets Suzuki’s BSB racer?

Less than 48-hours after two top ten finishes at the Snetterton round of BSB, Tommy Bridewell’s Bennetts Suzuki GSX-R1000 superbike – built by Martin Halsall’s eponymous Racing Team – was being wheeled out the back of the team’s van and into one of Donington Park’s garages for a more important event.

Laid carefully and awaiting the bike’s arrival was a branded garage mat, onto which Halsall’s pair of engineers, Colin Davies and Ian McMahon, wheeled the bike, before lifting it off the ground with fancy paddock stands and fitting digitally controlled tyre warmers. The whole procedure had a complete air of professionalism to it, effortlessly drawing the attention of all in the periphery. As the engine oil was carefully warmed (by a plug-in heater under the sump – how factory is that!) and the brand new Pirelli slicks began to cook on a medium setting, the anticipation for theWiltshire swearbox himself to arrive on the scene was building.

But Tommy wasn’t the rider scheduled to blast this 215bhp, £75,000 masterpiece around the circuit on that day. I was...

Parked in the same garage was my road going GSX-R1000, which mirrored the silhouette of the pedigree race bike convincingly from 20 metres. But a quick game of ‘spot the difference’ highlighted a multitude of alterations, with the most blatant being a complete removal of all the required road gubbings; headlights, sidestands and number plates were nowhere to be seen. Step a metre closer and you could see the difference in wheels, fairings and suspension. Then there were the clocks, fuel tank, swingarm and sparkling Brembo monoblock calipers to note. Whilst principally very similar to my 30th Anniversary GSX-R1000, the race Suzuki shared few of the same components outside of the main frame and engine casings. Every single element of the bike, from its wholly different Motec electronics package to its Suzuki kit rear shock linkages, had been carefully chosen in the name of performance. As a result, the bike's power output was up by some 35bhp and its weight was down by almost 30kg, meaning it had just proved to be one of the fastest machines on track at Snetterton, despite its ageing characteristics.

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