Adam Fucking Frantz

1988 GSXR Streetfighter “the Shit-bomb” by Adam Frantz

Adam Frantz, Rutgers University New Jersey

 

This is a rather amazing bike with a very interesting history, a history I’ve not been able to find out much about…not for lack of trying.

A few years ago I spoke to a passerby at the IMS show at the Javits Center in NYC who recognized the bike in fighter form thanks to the trick bits adorning it. He told me it was owned by Hungarians that were heavy into racing, as you can see by the parts list (attached below). Allegedly, they were caught up in some bad business, the bike began changing hands from person to person – no one recognizing what a gem it was, and it eventually came upon someone who saw it for what it was.

Gil Conde found the bike offered for the right price and saw the potential in the un-loved old race bike that had been collecting dust, luckily he knew just the guy to highlight the beauty of this GSXR. Someone who could utilize the sum of the parts to create a unified whole of mechanical art.

Roman Levin, the builder of this machine as it now sits, refers to it as “The Shit Bomb”—personified by the brown paint and iconic bomb emblazoned on the clutch cover. Whether the bike’s shaky past or a troublesome build process give it that title, we’ll never know. However, I’d have to say it’s definitely one of the most polished turds I’ve seen!

What catches my eye is that this previously unloved and hidden in the shadows bike is setup with some seriously interesting and exotic parts—60 mm Paioli Forks held by Bimota triple clamps, sitting atop Antera wheels with Brembo brakes. Yoshimura carb’s, engine internals and race-braced swinger with a WP shock. Half of the people I’ve spoken with about it haven’t even heard of the rim manufacturer, let alone the Italian fork company that created those fat fork tubes up front. It’s not just the list of premier parts that make this bike an exceptional fighter, but the fab work put into it that sets it apart as a completely built well thought-out project and not another parts list thrown at a cool bike.

Roman wanted to keep those parts on spectacle when re-building this former track beast, so with his acute attention to detail he began his work. Clipping unnecessary wires and moving lines out of sight. Hiding the rear caliper completely within the swingarm. Painstakingly creating custom carbon fiber body work by hand. Molding the alien-esque headlight to give the bike its very distinguishable face — like it or not. Chopping the exhaust to fit underneath the engine, so not to block view of another part. Adding details like the spent shell casing covers throughout the engine bay, the incredibly clean top clamp with a simple tach and 3 idiot lights. Paintwork highlighting just the right bits and complementing the body lines amazingly.

I’ve only seen this bike in person a couple times, the photoshoot and the IMS show. While the headlight struck me as weird at first, the look of the bike starts to grow on you. Eyes scanning over the lines, over these exotic and different looking parts it starts to make sense that it has this alien looking headlight. For this bike is alien! It’s like nothing anyone has or anyone builds. We become used to seeing the same things, certain brands, certain parts, certain techniques of building. To see something built like this with all of these components is completely alien to the “custom motorcycle” industry. I don’t know about everyone else, but I’m praying for an alien sighting,  how ’bout it Gil?!

 

1988 GSX-R 750 Frame
Oil Cooled GSX-R 1100 with Yoshimura headwork
Yosh Flatslides
Paioli 60mm Front Forks
Bimota triple clamps (modded for gauges)
Brembo Brake & Clutch Resevoirs
Brembo Calipers and Rotors
Antera Wheels
Custom Braced Swingarm
Custom Rear Brake bracket – mounted inside swingarm.
Brembo rear caliper and rotor
WP Adjustable Rear Shock
Custom Subframe
Custom Carbon Fiber Kawi zx6 tail
One-Off Carbon Fiber headlight unit
Custom Carbon Fiber front Fender
Carbon Fiber overlay on tank
Custom seat
Dirtbike Pegs
636 Taillight Flushed into tail
12 ga. shotgun shell frame and motor mount bolt covers
Custom mix of Brown, Black, and FOH Special Blend Gold

-All custom work by Roman Levin, All photographs by Adam Frantz

 

Text & Photos by Adam Frantz

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