Richard Cooper is having a busy season. He still has an outside chance of winning the 2017 National Superstock 1000 championship, although with just the Brand Hatch GP finale left, he’s 15 points behind series leader Danny Buchan. Earlier this year, he tried a brief outing on the Suzuki Supersport race bike. And while the rest of his Superstock competitors are having a weekend off as the British Superbike championship races as Assen without them – he’s racing a retro-themed Suzuki GSX-R1000 as a wildcard.
The Dutch round at TT Circuit Assen features British Superbikes, Supersport, the MotoStar championship, Ducati Trioptions Cup and the British Sidecar Championship.
Cooper will be riding for the Bennetts Suzuki team alongside regular riders Sylvain Guintoli and Taylor Mackenzie, who have had mixed results this season.
The team hope to benefit from Cooper’s experience as he’s done plenty of development. And also road in the Superbike championship full-time from 2013 to 2016. And the new-for-2017 Suzuki GSX-R1000 needs to improve for next year.
But aside from that – it’s also a chance to run a cool, retro-themed livery that might inspire some road-going replicas. The one-off paint scheme, and accompanying special RST leathers, echo the original Suzuki GSX-R750F. The 1985 motorcycle was seen as one of the first affordable, race-inspired sportsbikes, with the slab-sided air-and-oil-cooled engine saving weight, and becoming increasingly collectible.
Richard Cooper, “Once we decided that I would ride the Superbike this weekend, we started thinking about doing something special with it. As good as bikes like the new GSX-R are, I also really like the retro stuff, too, and the colours we’ve gone for just scream ‘classic Suzuki’. That whole scene is very popular at the moment, I rode the Team Classic Suzuki Katana recently – which was really good – and the team has also got an immaculate GSX-R750F. That bike’s the real showpiece for Suzuki, so basing the design on that just seemed like a nice fit for this weekend.”
Speaking of restoring an original Suzuki GSX-R750F, here’s a video of the live rebuild which took place at the 2015 Motorcycle Live show.
There have been plenty of great liveries for Suzuki race and road bikes over the years. The black and red of Yoshimura, or the Pepsi and Lucky Strike liveries in 500cc GP racing. But there’s something just right about a Suzuki GSX-R1000 in blue and white.
What do you think? Good design? Worth having on a road-going replica? Or not different enough?