Suzuki Custom: Between art and kitsch

Suzuki Custom
ER Classics Desktop 2022

Suppose someone finds a Rembrandt. And want to get rid of that thing. But that nobody wants the Rembrandt. Then he goes to textile processing and becomes a newspaper or panty liner. Would be a waste of such a museum piece, right? The same goes for the Suzuki Custom that Joost Woesthoff found.

Saved from demolition

Luckily, motorcyclist / motorcycle dealer Joost Woesthoff is a man with a great mindset. When he saw this - it is not a Rembrandt but a - Suzuki roaming around unloved in the depths of the Internet, he bought it. Not to be demolished. But to be surprised. And if he doesn't find a buyer for it, he will keep it for himself. Because this Suzuki Custom is a genuine and masterful example of a very neat custom from the year jug. And in terms of sales, it has been going well enough for Joost for years. Fun motorcycling doesn't have to be expensive. In a world in which the top segment prices of about three grand are the dots on the horizon, there is a lot to experience if you are not status sensitive.

In the beginning

Here in the Netherlands there were only a few initiates who could obtain American chopper and custom magazines. Because in America? That's where it all happened. I remember someone who was angry because on a spreadsheet of one of those Harley chopper a lavishly modeled, scantily clad young lady draped over the bike. That way you couldn't see what kind of carburettor was on! And that was before various custum gurus had evolved into mainstream ready-to-wear custom stuff makers. The famous Arlen Ness has built up a whole custom stuff empire. He did this entirely to American taste. There is also quite a bit of shy ugly stuff in European eyes. Here in NL Frans de Weerdt, DPP and Peter Zulver were pioneers in that field. In the Netherlands, Highway Hawk was also early.

Friend Wessel from distant Groningen once had such an abandoned FvW structure. That was one based on a Honda CB 450 Black Bomber. The thing looked as awkwardly exuberant as Joost's Suzuki. But was in a significantly lesser condition. I believe Wessel wanted € 1.000 for it, because under all exuberance there was a fairly standard Bomber plus license plate.

The Suzuki Custom that is now retiring in Brummen is clearly the result of a lot of effort and a lot of hours with the jigsaw. The combination of dark blue, gold and chrome can turn out very stylish. But does not guarantee anything. The forward controls look firmly agricultural. People who like to think in smooth lines and transitions should get pretty confused when you see this unique special. But hey, the stone-age rock paintings in those Spanish caves also look very different from the Mona Lisa.

'A labor of love'

Or let's hope so. In fact, underneath all the fanfare and frills of the Suzuki Custom, there is a deadly honest, apparently undamaged Suzuki double-stud. All the work done on it is 'decor work', visually impressive, but little more than cut and paste hassle.

This Suzuki is 100% time-original. It's rarer in this form than a Laverda SFC or a Honda CBX. But whether it is more beautiful? Whether you see yourself taking a tour with it? No, no. This lost-era survivor deserves to be perfectly polished in a hall under a commercial. As a reminder of times when perfection was not yet perverse.

More stories about classic engines Through this link

Also interesting to read:
- Aluminum knocking. A craft
- Classic choppers. Is that allowed?
- Another chopper: The DPP Bijlmer Expres
- A non-original Harley and other bicycles
- The Bosozoku: Classics on the bad path

Also from that time: The Bijlmer Express from DPP

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