ironcity-suzuki-gs-5-of-14Sitting here in a warm London office and moaning about a spot of rain it's easy to forget that for some folk winter actually means no riding, or at least only the most hardy venture out on two wheels. The guys from Iron City Motorcycle Co. are a collective of mates based in Essex County, Ontario - just over the water from Detroit, where being snowed-in is an annual guarantee. Iron City Motor Co. consists of Mitja (fabricator), James (engineer), Brendan (a creative director and machinist) and finally Jon (mechanic). Sounds like the ideal mix of skills for a bunch of guys looking to make the most of the frigid downtime "So, as our wives stayed warm inside the house, splitting bottles of wine, we ventured out to the cold garage to huddle around a space heater to dream up our bike" says Brendan. ironcity-suzuki-gs-13-of-14 While the creative juices were in full flow the guys emptied their wallets, clubbed together and picked up a beater of a Suzuki GS1100. It's not hard to imagine the great time they would have had on the night the GS was stripped bare, all the plastic nineteen eighties-ness ripped off, beers in hand and bravado bouncing off the walls. "This bike build was a much a hobby project as it was a chance for four good buddies, and their wives, to hang out" ironcity-suzuki-gs-8-of-14 Brendan made some shapes, did some colouring-in and a design was formed. Now with a focus the team got stuck in. There was a lot of degreasing, sanding, rubbing-down, grinding and tidying to be done before any improvements could be made. Whoever was in charge of painting things black had the best job as this took place closest to the heater. The tank, front number board, frame, wheels and forks were also painted in-house, in fact the gang did all the work themselves, in true shed-built style.
The electrics were overhauled and new sections of loom run to the LED headlamp, tailight and indicators, saving considerable weight over the giant illuminations that come as standard on the original GS. In fact, along with the fairings, panels and heavy mufflers etc. about 50kgs has been ditched making for a much livelier machine. ironcity-suzuki-gs-9-of-14A seat pan was fabbed to sit on the looped tail and the upholstery was, you guessed it, made in-house. The exhausts are also from the same hands, an open 4-into-4 system which should sound the business. ironcity-suzuki-gs-7-of-14The fork has been lowered internally with spacers and the shocks replaced with a shorter pair to balance the drag-ish stance. Rubber is by Shinko, the E705 radials offering plenty of grip on the blacktop while suggesting a race on the unpaved stuff wouldn't be out of the question. ironcity-suzuki-gs-10-of-14 The guys have been asked what style or genre they've gone for but their Dirtnap is a bit of an amalgamation leading to a Frankenstein of a bike, which has ended up looking all the better for not following a formula. Trying things out for the first time has been a rewarding process for the team who had a blast working together, "The bike is finally done and is quite the monster... it's 100 pounds lighter, a few hp stronger and 2 babies later (so not every night was spent in the garage then), The Dirtnap is the product of a lot of good laughs and good times." ironcity-suzuki-gs-11-of-14The crew spent the summer enjoying the fruits of their labour but the lure of the workshop became too strong and more projects are enjoying the winter lock-in. So far an '81 Goldwing, XS400 and '31 Rudge Special are vying for space near the heater. No doubt we'll see these soon. For now give Ironcity Motorcycle Co. a follow on Email | Facebook | Instagram