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Bipolar - 2002 Suzuki GSX-R

Honey, I'm home!

Primedia Motorcycle Group's streetbike project comes alive with vehicle acquisition. (That means we bought a bike.)

May 28, 2004—Los Angeles, CA.—After a successful auction at eBay Motors, a University of Michigan engineering school graduate bid farewell to his 2002 Suzuki GSX-R1000 this morning with a pat on the tank and a handshake with project coordinator Marc Cook. With the critical piece of the puzzle in place, work can begin in earnest on Project Bipolar.

The project's theme is straightforward: Create a practical yet sharp-edged sportbike sword that's equally at home punching through city traffic, stepping out for weekend tours and ripping up the racetrack during track days. To complete the mission, our plan is to build up an already great motorcycle with improved suspension and minor engine modifications that should add to the bike’s stock 142-horsepower punch.

As we go along, we'll be collecting the pieces to make this GSX-R a two-wheeled transformer: Sleek bodywork for street use as well as entirely separate racing-inspired bodywork (including requisite crash-protection measures) done up in a custom paint scheme for use during track days. One of two sets of wheels will be fitted with street-going high-performance radial tires. The other will carry the latest street-legal racing rubber for maximum performance at the track. We'll modify the bike as necessary to make the changeover from street to track (and back again) as simple as possible. Race on Sunday, commute to work on Monday.

Capable of quarter-mile times right at 10 seconds (in totally stock form), Project Bipolar ought to leave its four-wheeled competition in the Editors' Charity Challenge in the proverbial dust.