An old Suzuki Bandit gets a new, modern retro take on life
Words and photos by Icon 1000
LIFE ISN’T ABOUT THE WINS. IT’S ABOUT THE CRASHES.
Anybody can win, but real winners are defined by their ability to lose and recover enough to race again. Such was the sordid tale of Colonel Butterscotch. Built, raced, wrecked, rebuilt, and raced again.
She started life as 1997 1200 Bandit; The ultimate econo-cruiser best suited for the middle-aged office commute. Replete with weathered saddlebags and festooned in bulk packed moto decals she came to the ICON garage. Her motor lineage placed the full-sized bandit in the rare company of Cooley and Schwantz; torque for days, smiles for miles.
OVER A LONG WINTER, THE COLONEL WAS TRANSFORMED INTO A BUTTERSCOTCH’D BEAUTY FIT FOR LOCAL TRACK DAY GLORY.
And it was here that she smeared her lacquered bronze foundation across forty feet of Northwest asphalt. The late brake, inside pass seemed like a good idea at the time. In retrospect, it was asking a bit more than a 16″ front tire can deliver. We all crash shit on occasion, and for the most part, like Butterscotch, we can all be rebuilt.
An even longer summer followed. Old plastics binned, new plastics sourced; Bent suspension yarded and new bouncy bits fitted. Ebay pages were scoured for mundane factory bits to replace rashed components, while other trashed necessities were treated to more performance-oriented upgrades. Such is the way of motorcycles…and life. Six months later the reborn caramel captain rolled forth – reworked, reimagined, reborn.
OLDER, WISER, BUT STILL JUST AS SEXY