The City of Lights beckons tourists, lovers and history buffs the world over to enjoy its art, architecture and aura, but one very specific group of gearheads knows it for other more mechanical reasons. Custom sportbike connoisseurs view the French as some of the most innovative and talented artists in the biz, and this Suzuki GSX-R1000 is another fine example of style and speed for the real world-with a French twist.
KMP Tuning's shop bike might not be the prettiest ride to roll out its doors, but it certainly falls into a category all its own for distinctness. A bit of grease and grime were strategically placed in the spots that a daily rider would normally host them, and to that we have no reproach. Hell, at least we know the thing doesn't sit on a trailer and make outlandish claims about how fast it is. Nope-this one would rather walk than talk, and it does so regularly at the strip when it puts up consistent runs in the mid-9-second range.
Big deal, right? Plenty of fancy sportbikes rock sub-10-second quarters. But look again at that swingarm and rear wheel-it's amazing that it even makes it down the strip intact.
Perhaps KMP's quirky swingarm design doesn't make the most sense when blueprinted and considered against the laws of physics, but for a one-off custom that likes to be ridden hard it suits it just fine.
The chunky Yoshimura engine case covers suggest there's more to the story within the walls, and an internal tune job and 60-shot of nitrous help the seemingly docile machine pump out 230 horses on the exhaust side. More trick Yosh parts are found in the shape of quickshifter equipped rearsets, and anybody that knows aftermarket Suzuki parts understands that the big "Y" stamps stand for pure performance.
Although a lot of us can find a certain amount of pleasure in the comedy of a French accent or pretentious dinner menu, there's nothing to scoff at when it comes to their bike builds. And if you mistook this monster for mere eye candy, it was just the flowers that fooled you. Don't let it happen again.
2002 Suzuki GSX-R1000
FRONT END: Beringer rotors, Ohlins steering damper, forks internally lowered 2 inches, Braking master cylinder
REAR END: Widened Triumph wheel and hub, KMP swingarm, dual EK chains
MOTOR: Hindle exhaust, Nitrous Express 60-horsepower shot, Wiseco pistons, blueprinted, Power Commander III, Dynojet quickshifter, Yoshimura case covers
BODYWORK: KMP race bodywork
ACCESSORIES: Yoshimura rearsets, Gilles triple clamps
BUILDER: KMP Tuning (www.kmp.fr)